5 Stars / Contemporary / New Adult / Review

Review: The Revenge Pact by Ilsa Madden-Mills

River Tate is a god on campus.
The king of football.
A tattooed bad boy with gunmetal eyes that see right through you.
The only chink in his armor is HER, the girl he pretends doesn’t exist, the forbidden one with the shy smile and lavender hair.

Anastasia Bailey is a nobody.
The queen of nothing.
An outsider with the face of an angel and a body made for sin.
The only chink in her armor is HIM, her boyfriend’s frat brother, the football player who hates her.

But when Anastasia’s life comes crashing down, River’s the one who sweeps in and picks up the pieces.

Torn between loyalty, lies, and secrets, he battles the temptation to take everything from her when they make their revenge pact.

He can’t tell her no.
Because revenge (or love) is sweet, and once you get a taste, the craving never ends.

Title:The Revenge Pact
Author:Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series:Kings of Football (Book 1)
Genre(s):Contemporary, New Adult
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Sports Romance (Amercian Football)
Soul Mates
Point of View:First person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Walker, Georgia, USA
Release Date:3rd December, 2020
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Excellence in every way

From one Ilsa Madden-Mills books to the next – I genuinely forget just what an amazing writer she is, and how she manages to bring out so many emotions in me. But as soon as I start reading, and get sucked into her story, I wonder how I could forget how much I adore her and her writing.

This particular story is the first in a trio of novels called The Kings of Football about three football playing college friends, all written by different authors. After this one we have The Romantic Pact by Meghan Quinn and then The Relationship Pact by Adriana Locke. Each stands completely alone and focusses on a different couple.

Without a doubt, Ms Madden-Mills is the queen of new-adult, college romance. I tend to shy away from books that claim to be full of the angst, or pull on the heartstrings – they sound far too emotional for me. But this book just tells the story of a couple – in this case River and Anastasia. That it happens to have such an emotional depth that it will leave you reeling – that’s just an added bonus from the effects of a fantastic tale and characters with multiple layers.

I loved Ana. She has a unique blend of confidence and acceptance of herself – good and bad – and youthful doubt. She was a little bit quirky, astonishingly kind-hearted and just the most generous soul. As I said, I loved her.

“Oh, those feels, man. Oh those feels.”

But River? River slayed me. It wasn’t that he was gorgeous – even though he was. It wasn’t that he was kind – even though he was. It wasn’t even that he had his issues – and he definitely did. It was all of that mixed with the sheer depth of his feelings and emotions. His way of looking at the world. The way he thought about things. His loyalty. And the way he was with Ana. They way they had such a deep connection and had finally found the person they were meant to be with. Oh, those feels, man. Oh those feels.

It takes a while for our first kiss and more with our couple but you hardly even notice, if I’m honest. It’s so charged with emotion, lust and feelings that the first kiss is just the explosion at the end of the shooting firework. Pretty soon after that, it’s a delicious free-for-all. Happiness abounds.

This is the kind of book where you have to force your eyes to stay on the line you’re reading – so desperate are you to want to know what happens next. Damn me sideways for not being able to read faster! Gah!

There’s something so energising about Ms Madden-Mills’ writing and her stories. I want to live inside her worlds. I want to keep on reading about these characters, their friends (extra points for the epic friendships in the story), their lives. I highlighted so many passages – wanting to remember each and every detail. But even if all I remember is the romance of River and Ana, then I’ll be one happy bunny.

An amazing read, highly recommended and one of my best reads of 2020. If the next books in the series are even half as good as this one then they’ll be winners, too. 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.

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Kings of Football Series:

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