Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blog Tour Review, Author Interview & Giveaway: VERY BAD THINGS by Ilsa Madden-Mills

VERY BAD THINGS (Briarcrest Acadamy #1)

by: Ilsa Madden-Mills

A New Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Trailer:  


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.


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.


Star Rating:  4 out of 5

Heat Rating:  SCORCHING!

Very Bad Things was a different book for me, I typically don't read books with the characters still in High School, but something about this book drew me in so I had to try it.  I am so glad I did!  Ilsa Madden Mills has created a great new series that will keep me reading more about Briarcrest Academy! (this did feel like more of a mature young adult book than new adult, in my opinion)

Nora, Nora, Nora.  She was an interesting character, the more we learned about her the more I appreciated why she wanted to go on the bad girl journey.  Nora has tried to be perfect, doing what she was told and was miserable.  Very Bad Things is the story of Nora trying to find out who she really is, when she isn't trying to be what her parents want her to be.  She tries to be the "bad girl" to shake up her life and find her slice of happy, it is during her "bad girl" trial run that she meets Leo.  Watching Nora try to find what makes her happy was very touching and I loved that she wanted to create her "happy"  by "simply collecting and remembering all teh good moments in your life, kinda like beads on a necklace".

Leo is a hot mess of confusion, but damn he might be worth the heartbreak and conflicted emotions!  Leo moved to Texas to give his brother (Sebastian) a better life than the one they had in L.A.  He had to grow up fast after a tragedy and hasn't slowed down long enough to find love.  At twenty-five he thinks he is too old to be enticed by Nora (and I hate to agree, I would have liked him younger, maybe 22 but I digress) and he fights his attraction with everything he has.  I enjoyed seeing him struggle (does that make me mean?) and then learn that sometimes you can't fight fate.

Isa Madden-Mills does a great job writing a story that grabs your attention and gives out little surprises as you go.  The secrets that were revealed had me understanding Nora a bit more but also left me wanting more information too (can't say more...spoilers but more background on her family situation).  The story moves pretty fast, especially at the end, and at times I thought I skipped over something by accident.  While the characters, and story were well done I think the pacing needed a bit of fine tuning, I needed to catch my breath at times before I hopped back on the ride.  My favorite thing about this book was the different twist with Nora, it was a refreshing change to see the female lead be the aggressor in the relationship, pursuing the male lead and not being afraid of revealing her feelings.  She was a girl who put it all out there and I loved her for it!

Very Bad Things is a start to a new series about Briarcrest Academy and we get to meet a handful of Nora's classmates so I am curious to see where the next book takes us.  I would love to have more time with Nora and Leo, the end (was great) but I want to spend more time seeing how Nora and Leo work together after the dust settles.  I will definitely be on the lookout for more in this series!  If you like young adult or books with high school heroines this would be a perfect book to read this weekend! (Heck, even if you just enjoy a well written story about finding yourself and grabbing what you want, then this is a great book for you too)  I say 1-click and enjoy!

Buy this Book:


Meet 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.

An Interview with Ilsa Madden-Mills:

1.  What kind of snack/drink is a MUST for you when writing? Coffee with dark chocolate creamer and a power bar. I eat to stay alive when I write. 

2.  What made you start writing? My hubby encouraged me five years ago to try it. I've always been a writer since I was twelve. One of the plays I wrote was performed at the high school where I worked for 7 years.

3. What is your biggest inspiration source (where do you get your ideas? There are about twenty or so crazy people who live and talk in my head. I write to get them out! 

4.  Describe your perfect writing space? and where do you actually write? I write on my laptop in the kitchen. In a perfect world, I'd have an office, but I have two small kids so I split my time between watching them and writing when I have a spare moment.

5.  Is writing your full time job? If not, what else do you do? I am also a PTA and cheer mom. Yeah, sounds terrible doesn't it. I just try to be involved in my kids' lives. I want to be there for them. In my past life, I taught high school. I also worked with autistic children at one point when I was getting a SLP master's. I also ran an etsy shop for years where I made custom children's clothing. I still sew for people and redo furniture. I love to paint. I guess I love to create things.

6.  What is one surprising fact about you, that not too many people know? I sleep under an electric blanket even in the hot summer.

7.  What are you writing now?  Book #2 for Briarcrest Academy.

8.  What is the first Romance book you remember reading?  What is the last book you read? I just re-read The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Loved it. Again.

9.  Who is your current book boyfriend/crush? Alex from Bronze Horseman.

10. What was the last book you read that gave you a "book hangover?" The same book. I talked about that book for the lady at the grocery, to my dentist, to my shrink. Everyone.

Social Media Links:


Tour Host