Monday, September 16, 2013

Very Bad Things Review

Very Bad Things
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release Date: September 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 rated Very Bad Things 4.5 leaves. It’s been a while since I’ve read a New Adult romance that takes place in high school. However, the contents of this book were so mature and intense that I kept forgetting that Nora was only in high school. The only reason I remembered was because the age difference between 18 year old Nora and 25 year old Leo was supposedly an “issue”. Anyway, so Nora attends Briarcrest Academy (little of the book actually takes place in school) which is in the upper class community of Highland Park in Dallas, Texas. Her family is very prestigious. Her family sucks to say the least. Her father is always on business slash having affairs. And then her mother and step-brother make her life a living nightmare. Her mom is a psychotic control freak with no bounds. Her step-brother…well, I can’t spoil it and talk about what his problem is now can I? I’ll just say that he is sick and twisted. This is not your average story of a little Misunderstood rich brat. It is the ultimate story about finding yourself, learning to be happy, and letting love in.

At the very beginning of the book we get to see Nora finally tell everyone eff you. Literally actually. In front of the whole school, her family, and other prestigious people. It was pretty great. Then, we gradually learn more about the insane things that she has suffered through because of her mother. Nora then makes a list of the bad things she wants to do to break away from her mother. But, it’s more than that, she’s trying to make herself feel alive. All of a sudden, we get a POV change! Yay! I love dual POVs and I couldn’t imagine this book without getting to see Leo’s side along with Nora’s story. Leo has been playing dad to his brother, Sebastian, who is the same age as Nora, ever since both their parents died. He has never been in a committed relationship because he is scared of losing someone he loves like he lost his parents. I like how we get to find out ALMOST all their dirty laundry at the beginning of the book. Because the rest of the book is dripping with off the charts chemistry and oozing with sexual tension. From the very first glimpse at each other to the last love-making scene, Ilsa Madden-Mills leaves no doubt that Nora and Leo are destined to be together. It was a VERY rocky journey for them. I mean, this book just had everything! From the great circle of friends to the suspense to the disgusting antagonist to the hot, sexy lead male to the strong, unique heroine to the life lessons and finally to the ultimate love story.

I loved Nora. I wanted to be her friend. I have a slight look into what it’s like to have a controlling parent, however, Nora deals with way more than that. There were a lot of moments in the book where I was just like, “F*** yeah! You go girl!” Cheesy I know, but so true. Nora was already forced to grow up quickly because of the non-existent childhood she had, but in this book she went on the journey of figuring out what it’s like to be free and own your life. I was so proud of her. She went after what she wanted, even though it might have scared her. One of those things was Leo. Oh, Leo… He was so stubborn. It’s been a while since I’ve read a male lead to stubborn to realize his feelings for the girl he loves. It was beyond frustrating but all it took was one calling Nora “Buttercup” for my heart to thaw back out. He had such a pure heart on top of his extremely good looks. I hated his friends with benefits buddy. She needed to go away like yesterday. But, it all makes for the perfect recipe of the amazingness that is Very Bad Things. There are really no words to describe THE FEELS. It was so intense and emotional! There are definitely some unexpected plot twists. And overall, I just couldn’t get enough. I can’t wait to see what Ilsa Madden-Mills has in store for us next. Maybe a book for Sebastian? *hint hint*


The Kiss in the Library

“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.
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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