by: Ilsa Madden-Mills
series: Briarcrest Academy #1
genre: NA 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.
***** 5 hair-pulling, frustrating stars *****
****contains minor spoilers****
“That’s not really you is it?"
“I don’t know who I am anymore,” she said with a sad smile.
“Tell me about your family.”
“Sometimes I dream my family is dead,” she said, “and it’s not a nightmare.”
“What happened to you?”
Wow….what a hot hott mess. That was just painful. What does it say about me that I loved every angst filled second of it? This author rocked my world and drove me completely insane. It. Was. AWESOME!!
If these people only knew the dirty truth about me. How weak I was. How I was dying a little bit every day in small doses. Would they look at me differently? Treat me like a pariah?
Nora may appear to be a typical spoiled little rich girl –perfect grades, debate team, yearbook committee, class president, starting her senior year at an exclusive private school with plans to head off to Princeton the following fall- but this girl has some deep scars and emotional damage from a very troubled, yet superbly hidden, mess of a home life. She’s forced to put on a happy face and pretend nothing is wrong by parents who are more concerned with their image than their children. She finally snaps at the worst (and perhaps funniest) possible time. She’s surprised by how good it feels to finally let loose. So she comes up with her list of ‘Bad Things’ to do to cope with her life, consequences be damned.
Whatever was waiting for me, I could handle it. I simply needed to do the things on my list: get drunk, get high, and get laid. Get relief. End of story.
Did I look trashy? I shrugged. Who cared. Tonight’s goal was to get drunk and get fucked.
The list is what puts her on a crash course straight into Leo & Sebastian Tate’s lives. She instantly feels a connection with both guys, but in very different ways. Sebastian (new student at her school) becomes one of her few close friends and protective big brother. Leo (Sebastian’s older brother and guardian) is the one she wants, desperately. Leo responds with a giant hell no.
no matter the strange pull I felt for her, I was letting it go. That girl was a forbidden fruit I could never taste.
Leo doesn’t deny that he wants her, but with a seven year age difference and severe fear of commitment due to his own broken past, he does all that he can to push her away. He refuses to be involved with her beyond friends. He does care for her, knows she’s got some major skeletons in her closet and wants to help her but, he just doesn’t do relationships.
Why did I want her so fucking much? Why couldn’t I push her away like I did everyone else? Why couldn’t I breathe when I saw her? I…I think maybe if I let her in, she might get under my skin so deep that I’d never want her to leave. That terrified me.
Nora knows what she wants and she wants Leo. She just can’t figure out how to stop him from fighting it and seeing what they could be together. Every time he slips up and she thinks he’s finally coming around, he shoves her back further than before.
I’d had enough of him, of his hot and then cold. And him pushing me away couldn’t all be about the age difference. Something else was keeping him away. But then, maybe it was all me. Maybe I was chasing him and bringing all this on myself. I needed to get away from him, but because I’m a glutton for punishment, I couldn’t let it go.
Will Leo ever see what’s right in front of his eyes or will he be too late? I have to admit, this man frustrated me beyond belief. It’s been a long time since I’d read such a stubborn, thick-headed character. When things were good between them, it was sweet and incredibly hott. But when things were bad….they were really, really bad. Heart breaking and tear inducing bad. If I had any complaints, it would have to be the ending. It wasn’t a cliffhanger, THANK GAWD, there are enough of those dirty little bastards running around out there, but it did seem rushed. After everything you’re put through in this book, it seemed to just end right when you could finally breathe. I didn’t get enough time to enjoy it. I will however continue on to the next book in the series, because let’s face it-this author is angst awesomesauce =)
“Forget those stupid MasterCard commercials. Watching two chicks duke it out in high heels…now, that’s priceless.” Sebastian Tate
About the Author:
Amazon bestselling 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 fans. Sign up for her newsletter (sent out less than five times a year) to receive info about sales and new releases.
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