Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blog Tour Stop + Giveaway: "Very Bad Things" by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Author: Ilsa Madden Mills
Series: Briarcrest Academy #1
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.

~ 5 STARS ~ 

“I wondered if these bad things would make me a happy person. The intelligent part of me knew it wouldn’t. Not really. I didn’t deserve happiness anyway.”

Wow. Okay, I don’t feel like this review can do this book any justice in the awesomeness department, but I'm sure going to try. Very Bad Things was even better than I ever imagined. Deep, sexy, passionate, angst-ridden, and downright PHENOMENAL. I felt an emotional connection not only with the book, but with all the characters. I was hooked from the very beginning, all the way till the end. Loved it.
To say “there’s more to Nora Blakely than meets the eye,” would be the understatement of the year! To everyone, she was this perfect student from the perfect, high-class family. Boy, was that far from the truth. Reality was not as nice to Nora as everyone thought.

“If you study someone long enough, you’ll find out their secrets.”

At first, it may seem like Nora does and says things just because she’s “acting out” or looking for attention. But no. Everything goes way deeper. As I kept on reading, I realized that her “actions” were more like “reactions” to secrets she kept inside. Secrets that were slowly eating her up. Destroying her. So, she just reached a point where she gave up pretending.

“Bad decisions can make some damn good memories.” – Nora

The moment Nora and Leo’s eyes found each other for the first time, they had an instant connection, and as a reader, I felt it. It was incredible… electrifying, even. Leo Tate is one swoon worthy man!! *sigh* Having lost his parents, he took over the “dad role” for his younger brother. Moving from LA to Texas, Leo enrolled Sebastian in the Briarcrest Academy, which is where he met the girl that would change his life…Nora.

“She’s this beautiful chaos.” – Leo 

A LOT of things happened… a lot… which of course, I won’t mention because I like to keep my reviews spoiler-free. All I will say is, prepare yourself for one hell of a rollercoaster ride! Leo and Nora didn’t go from 0 to 60, like it usually happens in most books. Even though they did have an instant connection, they didn’t come together right away… and I loved that! This aspect of the book was very realistic. Decisions were made that kept them apart and essentially, life happened. I completely understood Leo’s reasons for not jumping head first into a relationship with Nora. In many ways, he was just as broken as she was, and simply put, it wasn’t their time… yet.
I HAVE to mention one specific scene at around 68 or 69%. HOLY CRAP, BATMAN!

“This was a lesson in clarity, Leo”

Ha! WAS IT EVER!!! I was seriously fanning myself!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!! Go Nora! I was truly amazed by this scene. *wink*  
Overall, I have to say, I LOVED LEO AND NORA!!! Loved them individually and even more so, together. Their chemistry was so intense, I felt it.

“We are everlasting. Fucking forever. I love you so much.”

This book was wonderfully written. Ilsa’s writing style flowed smoothly and allowed me to connect completely. The secondary characters were just as interesting as Nora and Leo.  Sebastian, Mila, Teddy, Cuba, and even Drew… loved them. I really liked the fact that we got a few scenes with them -- enough to actually know them as characters. I absolutely hated Nora’s mom, Finn and Tiffani-with-an-i. Ugh! HATED THEM! But they sure did cause some drama… Ha. Did they…
I’m super happy with how Very Bad Things ended. I feel like the whole book was a build up -- the angst, the waiting, the wanting – and it was all worth it. Of course, I want to see more of Nora and Leo, but I’m sure we will in the other books.
Very Bad Things made its way to my “favorites pile” so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read it.

 “I promised myself that no matter what happened in the future, no matter the rough patches we might come across, I’d never give up on us. Fate had known all along we were soulmates. Now, I did too.”

“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.

~ Book Trailer ~


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 fans and fellow authors. 
Check her out on Facebook or her author website.

Social Media links:
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook   

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