Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden Mills


They say nothing compares to your first kiss,
But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.
Our second kiss…that one was REAL.
He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.
He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.
Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,
He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,
And he'd never get another piece.
A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist...
And I was lost.
I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.
I forgot we weren’t REAL.
Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist…
Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.

"I believe that whatever's meant to be will be."

If you know me or have been following my page for even a little bit, you know the meaning behind that quote will have an impact on me: FATE. Lucky me, I got two books in a row that spotlighted that characteristic. As I started to read this one, I had high hopes for it. I have had some hit or miss stories from Ilsa, so I knew going into this one it may or may not be a good outcome. I was pleasantly surprised with this book. While it was a little outlandish in some parts and some of the plot points were super cliché, in the end it finished on a positive note for me. There wasn't a lot of depth to this story, and some slightly vapid and immature side characters, but that allowed it to stay light and easy, making it an enjoyable read overall. 

With this review fluctuating between a heavy 3* and  light 4* read for me, let me explain why I can and will still easily recommend this one. This may seem long-winded, but I want to be able to explain that while I may have enjoyed it, there were some aspects that didn't allow me to rate it very high.

Sunny was a strong woman; so strong and quite admirable. I enjoyed her character and really liked her strength in staying true to herself in the beginning. She was determined and hard headed as well, and that added another layer to her that I was easily able to connect with, being a stubborn one myself.

Max was, what else? SEXY. He was definitely one that played the field in his younger days, but he had his eye on the prize. Determination was key with him. The end result was his 'goal', and he had plans to make it work out for him. He had a soft side that I was able to connect with, which is rare for me. I don't normally do softer-sided heroes, but Max just worked in all the right ways. He was so sweet, and when his softer, sweeter side came out in him, I was falling for him.

The love between Max and Sunny may have started out as a farse, but obviously grew into something far more meaningful than either of them originally anticipated. I liked watching them fight their attraction and maneuver through the murky waters of their imaginary relationship while trying to maintain their separate identities....only to have that come back and knock them down with the reality of their true feelings. That was fun to read.  Their love was my favorite part of the entire book. 

Please let me explain what gave me pause, but don't let it deter you because, again, it is an enjoyable read. 

THEY WERE SO back and forth with their questions about their feelings when one minute he would proclaim how much he liked her, and then she would internally debate the availability of his heart, the truth of his feelings and the possibility of a relationship. I understand original reservations on it, but it kept going on for the majority of the book. It got to be a little much for me. I don't much enjoy the back and forth so much. And then the anger that didn't match the actions....that was hard, but again, I had to remember they were young. Still didn't make sense to me, but they are young. 

THE SIDE-CHARACTERS WERE so very annoying to the point of an eye roll. And cliché. The immaturity of the main characters actions were bugging me but I could overlook them due to their age, but adding to it the side-characters' over the top craziness and it was insane. Seriously, insane. I also had to understand that they were young and careless, not thinking to their future by their actions, but it sadly removed me from the depth that could have been in this story.

THE MANY DIFFERENT plot devices that caused my head to spin. The ex girlfriend/ex boyfriend/villain/daddy issues/booby-trapping/stalker/OTT drama all played a part in their history, but it got to be a little overwhelming. Pick one or two, but ALL of those wore on me and pulled me out of the sincerity of their love. I wanted to read about them, and yes the drama they dealt with, but that was a lot of stuff going on. Honestly, all of the drama wasn't necessary because they had a great love story to be told and I really enjoyed that part. I wanted to focus more on that part of it. I felt like we got to live their relationship with them, and that was a very definite upside.

Now having said all that, I would still easily recommend this to someone that wanted a read that they could get immersed in and read straight through. It is a one-sitting book that will make you smile. None of this is meant as rude, I just wanted to point out my reasons for loving it and rolling my eyes at it. Debatable, discussable points that I would love to hear other sides. Despite the cover being extremely sexy, this was a sweet NA book.

"It was as if I was standing at a crossroads and I couldn't decide which direction I wanted to move."


Amazon Paperback:

New York Times and USA Today best‐selling author Ilsa Madden‐Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She's addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword‐wielding heroes in books. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she's a Gemini), Sephora make‐up, and tattoos.

She has a degree in English and a Master's in Education.

When she's not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets, paints old furniture, and eats her weight in sushi.




  1. Wow I'm so overwhelmed Bee! You got me intrigued with your review. Beautifully said!