Book review + excerpt: Fake Fiancée ~ Ilsa Madden-Mills

Posted February 13, 2017 in Reviews by Marieke/ 0 Comments

Book review + excerpt: Fake Fiancée ~ Ilsa Madden-MillsTitle: Fake Fiancée
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: Standalone
Release date: February 6, 2017
(Sub)genres: College
Pages: 250
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
Rating: four-stars
I received this book from TRSOR Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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.

Get ready for breathtaking kisses and dreamy football players…

“I wished the moon had been bright enough to see the color of his eyes. I wished I knew his name. I wished… I wished fate would bring us together again, some other time, some other place. But not today.”

Sunny is a sweet girl, focused on her study and her part-time job at the library. She doesn’t have contact with her father, after the death of her mother he lost it, making Sunny pay for mistakes she didn’t make. After her ex-boyfriend broke her heart, Sunny doesn’t date, and especially not with athletes. Too bad her new neighbor is the star athlete of their university, and while he is a true sports guy, he can be nice and charming.

“I wouldn’t be the next girl stumbling around in his azalea bushes. Yet, I couldn’t deny the absolute pure truth between us. Ignore that, I told myself. So I did. I slammed the door on those feelings, stuffing them in the part of my brain that kept anything with the power to hurt me locked up tight.”

Max is the star quarterback and a very popular guy on campus. While he enjoyed the perks that come with the territory when he was younger, he’s now a focused guy and doesn’t need the distraction of girlfriends and groupies. In order to stop the female attention, Max asks his new neighbor to pretend to be his girlfriend for fun. He enjoys spending time with her, but he can’t shake the feeling he knows her from somewhere.

“My heart jumped. I knew her. I shifted through memories of countless girls I’d met—and screwed—at Leland. Had she been in one of my classes? Had I met her at a party? Nope. I got nothing, but I couldn’t erase that feeling of goosebumps, like a ghost was blowing on the back of my neck.”

When Max and Sunny meet for the first time, Sunny isn’t the friendliest person, she’s angry (for a good reason) and Max is surprised she doesn’t respond to him like other girls. Sunny and Max are attracted to each other, but Sunny is done with dating athletes and Max is working hard for his sports career. Playing pretend boyfriend and girlfriend is ok, but since this is a romance novel it doesn’t stop at pretending. Soon the couple can’t find the attraction anymore, and they fall in love for real.

Fake Fiancée is a sweet story about two young people who aren’t looking for love, but who find it anyway. I love that Max isn’t the usual manwhore star-athlete. Yes, he was a bit of a lady’s man when he was younger, but now he knows what he wants and goes after it. Sunny is a sweetheart who deserves love after what she has been through, I’m glad she gets her Happily Ever After with Max. I like Sunny and Max, and the friendships they have. Fake Fiancée is a typical college story complete with the stereotypes that come with it, but it’s not overdone.

“I didn’t understand the hows and whys of our meeting, but life isn’t nearly as complicated as we make it. Sometimes there really is a bigger plan. Sometimes there really is that one person. Sometimes true love finds you no matter what.”

I’ve enjoyed reading Fake Fiancée, I give the story of Sunny and Max 4 stars.



Max stalked over to the barrier that divided the stands from the football field and jumped it. The fans went nuts as he brushed past them, some not even realizing it until he was down the aisle. The Jumbotron followed him.

“Good Lordy, what’s he doing?” Mimi asked, clutching at her chest.

“I don’t know,” I said rather weakly, taking the chance to study him the closer he came. He was beautiful, his shoulders impossibly broad. To add to the distraction, his helmet was in his hand and all that dark brown hair was flowing around his chiseled features as if he had a fan in his face. My Viking.

“He’s coming over here,” Mimi commented.

He was. But why?

I stopped breathing . . .right when he came to a halt in front of me and knelt down on one knee.

Eyes the color of a wild ocean gazed at me.

He took my left hand in his right one.

“Max,” I breathed, my heart fluttering.

He gazed up at me. “Sunny Blaine, will you marry me?”

The stadium went wild. In a daze, I looked up at the Jumbotron and felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Camera phones flashed all around us.

My first clear thought was I’ll kill him.

Aloud, nothing came out but a faint wheeze. Clearly someone had stuffed a giant wad of cotton in my mouth. Clearly I needed something a lot stiffer to drink than this Diet Coke. Clearly my fake boyfriend was a freaking raving lunatic.

He sat his helmet on the ground next to my feet, reached inside it and pulled out a small black box.

No, no, no!

The box opened, and my stomach churned at the sight of the large round solitaire diamond ring that was nestled on the black silk. I blinked repeatedly to clear my vision.

With deft fingers, Max eased it out of the lining and slipped it on my left hand.

I stared down at it. Then back at him.

I was going to murder the hottest quarterback in the country.

Kiss her, Kiss her, the crowd chanted.

We were the focal point of the entire world.

Max stood and tugged me up with him until we were standing. He slid his hand around my neck and pulled his face to mine. The sky was blotted out as he kissed me.

But I hadn’t said yes!

I wouldn’t say yes.

Not to a fake engagement.

The applause of the stadium was deafening. And his kiss—it was deadly. Despite my rage, my body craved him. His lips were hot, so hot, and my tongue met his with a vengeance. We kissed hard, and I nipped at him, my teeth scraping across his lips. But the only one who’d end up bleeding in this scenario was me.

He eased back to take me in, and with a final look at my face he gave a thumbs-up sign to the entire stadium. They went nuts, chanting his name.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered in my ear, letting his hand trail down my arm as he stepped back from me. He walked away backward, eyes on me the entire time. The announcers for the game told everyone who might have missed it that Max Kent had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she’d said yes. More cheers came as they replayed him on his knee in front of me with a giant YES written across the top.

I plopped back down in my seat. Frozen.

“. . . did you see her face? Shocked . . .”

“. . . most romantic thing in football . . .”

“. . . luckiest girl in the world . . .”

My face went hot. Even my ears burned. I wanted to crawl under a seat.


What a lie.

The half ended and our offense came out to the field, snapped the ball, and Max threw it straight to Tate who ran it in for another touchdown. My chest constricted and anger churned in my gut.

I didn’t care who won.

I hated football right now.

Most of all, I hated Max Kent, and I was going to make him pay.


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