5 Stars / Contemporary / New Adult / Review

Review: Not My Romeo by Ilsa Madden-Mills

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo…or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

Title:Not My Romeo
Author:Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series:The Game Changers (Book 1)
Genre(s):Contemporary, New Adult
Trope(s):Opposites Attract
Sports Romance (American Football)
Point of View:FIrst Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint H & h
Release Date:18th August, 2020
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonUK.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonUS.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonOz.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonCanada.jpg

The perfect romance

I love Ilsa Madden-Mills – her writing, her storytelling and the characters I am guaranteed to fall in love with. I’ve mostly read her new adult romances but this story is adult contemporary with 20-something hero and heroine. But fear not, it’s every bit as good as – if not better than – her younger NA books.

We start off with a hilariously adorable meet cute – and it’s clear from that first chapter that both our hero and heroine have, inadvertently changed each other’s lives in their short meeting. Oh, and things get heated very, very fast! It’s hilarious, hot and I was almost giddy with excitement with what was to come.

Elena was truly my kind of heroine. She was sassy, spunky and while she might see herself as slightly average, she has a wild streak that makes her a character I could both see myself in, but also really aspire to be more like. She was unapologetically quirky and in just being herself she managed to capture the interest of Jack.

Now let’s take a moment of silence to adore and worship the character that is Jack. He is my catnip. The absolutely best kind of hero ever to live. Normally I want a character for my very own…but Jack is made for Elena (and vice versa, obviously) so I wouldn’t even dream of desiring him. What I want is my own Jack. He’s hot, alpha, grumpy and has a cold, closed off demeanour. But that’s simply a smoke screen to hide a man who still has scars from a traumatic childhood, as well as someone who suffers from severe social anxiety. Oh, and of course his trust issues. I just wanted to hug the poor (gorgeous) man. I also feel there should be some kudos to Ms Madden-Mills for making Jack just as smart as Elena. No dumb jock here, thank goodness.

Whenever I read an Ilsa Madden Mills book, and I see how she writes the relationship between the hero and heroine, all I can think is “I want that”. Oh, I don’t mean the sex (although, uh – yes, please!) but the connection of the pairing. How perfect they are for each other. How much they want each other. How they see the other – all their quirks and imperfections – and just *get* them. I read a lot of romance, but it’s very rarely I love a couple while also thinking “this author really knows what true love is and how it feels”. It really gives you a wistful, yearning feeling while reading. And it’s everything.

“…this author really knows what true love is and how it feels.”

Okay, I admit it – sometimes I flick through sex scenes in books. I love them, but at times I just want to read the story and skip the sexy shenanigans. Not so with this book. I read Every. Single. Word. Twice. And damn was it good. For them, for me, for everyone. So, so hot. Even as time – and their relationship – progressed, we never lose the heat but with each encounter comes more emotional connection and holy shit was I there for that.

The book is written from the perspective of both Jack and Elena, so we see both of their points-of-view, how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. You can really see the emotions between our couple and although at times I wanted to hit Jack upside the head, I still totally understood his motivations for acting the way he did.

As I moved to the end of the book, I was surprised to realise I had tears rolling down my cheeks. It wasn’t just the resolution of Jack and Elena’s story, but the resolution of different aspects of our story. It made me happy, it made me sad (but not in a bad way) and it inspired me to be a bit more like Elena. And when Jack says Elena’s name during the play – I still go over that scene in my head and get butterflies. Perfection.

While the book focuses on our couple and their journey, the rest of the town of Daisy also stole my heart. I really hope we hear more about the Daisy Lady Gang and I am almost salivating at the thought of Devon getting his own story. He was just as swoon worthy as Jack and he definitely deserves to be given a run for his money by the woman of his dreams.

As always, Ilsa Madden-Mills pens a romance that is everything you could ever want. It’s got engaging characters, hot sex, laughs, crazy situations, deep emotions and – of course – true love. Ms Madden Mills is an absolute genius story-teller and I love the worlds and characters that she builds. This book is absolutely perfection and I love, love, loved every second of it. 5 stars.

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her contemporary romances ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Seven of her ten novels have placed in the Amazon US Store Top Six Best-seller List: Dirty English hit #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You hit #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things all placed #6 in the Amazon US Store. The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, hit #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

https://www.mayahughes.com image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bookbub-Small.png

Game Changers Series:

No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.