Tuesday, September 17, 2013

***Very Bad Things (#1 Briarcrest Academy) by Ilsa Madden-Mills Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway***

Title: Very Bad Things (#1 Briarcrest Academy)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release date: September 9.13.2013

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire.  She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school.  She’s perfect…
Leaving behind her million dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex. 
Then she meets her soulmate.  But he doesn’t want her.
When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year old Leo Tate has one rule:  never fall in love.  His gym and his brother are all he cares about…until he meets Nora.  He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.
As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where sometimes, the best things in life are
Very Bad Things.

“I got one last request, and I’ll never ask again,” Leo said.
“What?” I croaked out.
He set his books on a shelf and then took mine and set them beside his. He tugged me to him until our chests were touching.
“What are you doing?” I mumbled in confusion.
He put his hands on either side of my face and slid them into my hair, letting out a breath as if in relief. “Just saying goodbye, Nora.”
“You’re going to kiss me?” I asked, tears pricking my eyes at the sadness in his face.
“Please, just this last time, Buttercup,” he said.
And with that one word, I was his.
He lowered his head, his gaze holding me captive. When our lips touched, his heated eyes stayed open and mine did, too. My mouth melted into his, moaning as his hot tongue explored the details of my tongue, my teeth, my lips. We started slow but it escalated rapidly, the passion between us burning higher and higher. He owned me with his mouth, and I was lost.
I palmed his ass, grinding myself against him. He hissed at the increased pressure and pushed me back against the sturdy bookshelf, positioning me so his hips fit into my pelvis. I lifted one of my legs, and he caught it and wrapped it around him.
“Say my name,” he muttered gruffly as I sucked hard at his neck. He grunted, and I dug my nails into his back as I kissed my way around his collarbone, sucking another spot.
Say it, Nora.”
“Leo, Leo, Leo,” I pleaded, arching my back and pushing into him.
He shuddered. “Fucking love that,” he whispered.
 He placed his lips back on mine, dominating my mouth, like a man starved. All I could think about was him, him, him . . . his lips, his tongue, his taste, his butterscotch smell. I wanted all of him, and I’d never have him, and that thought made me frantic. I gripped him tighter, pushed my nails deeper, and kissed him harder.
I never wanted to say goodbye.

Sandy B's Review
"This...this was a kiss. I never wanted it to stop. I never wanted his lips to leave my body. This was like when Prince Charming kissed Cinderella, only this price was no gentleman; he was sexy and hot and played a guitar. Instead of riding on a black stallion, he drove a bad-boy Escalade. Instead of wearing a princely cloak, he wore tight True Religion jeans. It was fairytale f****** worthy." - Nora

"This was no lukewarm, vanilla feeling. It was a madness, making me feel like a week-kneed boy on his first date, like I had f****** butterflies in my stomach when I pictured her face. She consumed my, my head my heart, my skin, my blood, my muscles, everything aching for the physical touch of her body against mine." - Leo

Very Bad Things is a Very Good Thing. I enjoyed the heck out of this story by newbie author Ilsa Madden-Mills. Nora is paraded before everyone, by her celebrity anchorwoman mom and pimped by her school, as the ideal of perfection that everyone should want their daughter to be. Nora has done everything her mother has asked of her, until now, the fa├žade is starting to crack. Or maybe Nora is just done! She can no longer bear the weight of the lies, the pretense and the dirty secret she keeps. Right from the first chapter I was hooked. Check out this little snippet - "F*** Briarcrest Academy, and f*** you all. Finally, some of the pain and darkness that had been wrapped around my soul fell away. I smiled for real this time without even trying. It felt GOOD TO BE BAD." Awesome right? Ha! I thought bring it - I am in for the whole ride.

Leo loves and adores his brother Sebastian. So much so that when their parents died he gave up his old life and came home to raise Sebastian. He's done is gladly and done it well. No committed "relationships" that require no involvement of his heart is just how he likes it. Until he meets Nora who proceeds to come on like a freight train. He thinks she's a minor so she's off limits! is she really underage? Why does the thought of her liking Sebastian get Leo so angry.

There is also Nora's BFF Mila who is cute, perky and funny. Sebastian, oh Sebastian is an old soul in a teenager's body. Nora's aunt who is the only real love Nora has known.

Nora has a list of things that she must do to properly become this worthless human being she imagines herself to be. Truth is, Nora is constantly betrayed by the people that are supposed to love her! She is forgotten by her businessman father who, though he loves Nora, is content to be on the periphery of her existence, so that he can continue living his life unencumbered. She is used by her cold hearted mother who deliberately chooses to close her eyes to the truth of what is staring her in the face. As long as Nora continues being the perfect Stepford daughter all is well. Manipulated by her half-brother in such a way that Nora starts to believe all the noise in her head. Until the day Nora and Leo lock eyes and though neither one knows what's coming, they both sense the ping of recognition when one half meets its other half. Leo tries like hell not to want Nora, but of yea, he wants her. Nora may look like a Gossip Girl but really she's a tarnished Cinderella waiting for her Prince Charming to rescue her from her fractured fairy tale.

Ilsa Madden-Mills tackles several serious subjects here with a sure hand. Things most young people consider mainstream and a part of their everyday lives. Alcohol, drugs, tattoos, sex, an older sibling you cannot stand for whatever reason and a verbally abusive parent. You will laugh, you will cry and no doubt you will feel angry several times. Lord knows I wanted to throat punch "she who shall not be named" (Nora's mother) several times. You will laugh out loud when Nora teaches Leo a very special lesson. Lord knows the man needed "clarity". You will also thrill at the way this all comes together. VBT is a love story and the required angsty and smexy is there - for sure. In my humble opinion, ultimately, it is a story about a young woman who is trying to find her way. It is a story about finding that spark within that makes you say hell no this is not the way my life is going to go. It's also a story about the wonderful assortment of people she calls friends but are really her family. Life has taught me over and over that it takes more than blood to make you family.

I don't know what Ilsa Madden-Mills intends to write next but I'll be stalking....I mean....patiently waiting to love it just as I did Very Bad Things.

About the Author

Ilsa Madden-Mills is a loving wife and mother, a loyal friend, and a teacher. When all that is done, she writes. Obsessively. 

She spends her days with two small kids, a neurotic cat, and her Viking husband. She collects magnets and rarely cooks except to bake her own pretzels. 

When she’s not typing away at a story, you can find her drinking too much Diet Coke, jamming out to Pink, or checking on her carefully maintained chocolate stash.

She loves to hear from from fans and fellow authors. 
Check her out on Facebook or her author website.

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