SPOTLIGHT, Review & Giveaway: Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy #2) by Ilsa Madden-Mills


Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy #2) by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Cori
Rated: 5 Stars

Ballerina Dovey Beckham is a scholarship student at Briarcrest Academy, determined to prove she’s more than just a girl with the wrong pedigree. She does whatever it takes to succeed in her endgame, even if it means surrendering her body but never her heart.

Until the day she meets him, and he rips apart all her well-laid plans. Suddenly, the girl everyone thought unbreakable might just shatter.

Cuba “Hollywood” Hudson is rich, spoiled, and a star football player. With his fast cars and superficial girlfriends, he lives the high-life, hiding his secrets from the world.

Until the day he meets her, and she offers him something he’s never tasted…love.

But once in a lifetime kind of love doesn’t come easy…especially when dirty money, past sins, and old flames threaten the very fabric of their lives.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where sometimes, only the wicked survive.

I loved Very Wicked Things! It is the second book in The Briarcrest Academy Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Ilsa debuted her first book, Very Bad Things, last year and it ended up being one of my favorites of 2013. I couldn’t wait for the second book to release and it did not disappoint! I devoured it and it will be on my favorites list for 2014. Ilsa has a great writing style that flows and she draws the reader into the story with her dynamic characters. I loved Cuba and Dovey. They both have a damaged past and their relationship was explosive and complex. Very Wicked Things was exciting, emotional and a sexy romance. I highly recommend this book and this series for new adult romance lovers and I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. Ilsa Madden-Mills is on my must buy list.

*Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


✿Excerpt for Very Wicked Things
Book #2 of the Briarcrest Academy Series
by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I got out of the shower and dressed hurriedly, anxious to get back to Cuba.
The door opened, and like he did it every single day, he stepped inside the steamy bathroom.
“Think I need a shower, too,” he said, his fingers easing off his football practice shirt.
What? Now?
Trying to play it cool and failing miserably, I moved my eyes off his naked chest and checked out his track pants and the obvious bulge he sported.
Oh. Did his lower body match the rest of him? Was it all sinewy muscle and big?
Just, yeah. That thought got stuck in my head and went round and round.
“You staying?” he asked, a grin working his face. Pleased at my open admiration, probably.
“No,” I said, but made no move to go. ‘Cause I had no shame when it came to catching a glimpse of his muscular body.
“Good,” he said, his smile broadening.
He pivoted to turn on the shower, and my eyes betrayed me again, admiring the muscles in his back, checking out how they twitched and rippled when he moved. Football and rowing had been good to him. My fingers itched to know how they’d feel underneath my hands. Which was stupid because we had nothing in common. Not a rich Highland Park boy and a poor girl from Ratcliffe.
And most importantly, he was a player, not to be trusted.
He hooked his thumbs into his pants, paused a moment—maybe waiting to see if I’d run from the room?—but when I didn’t budge, he slid them and his underwear off. My mouth opened. Cuba Hudson, the most popular guy at Briarcrest was standing right in front of me, naked and beautiful. And like the cocky bastard he was, he posed for me, his big-ass biceps and chiseled abs making me vibrate all over. Need for him slammed into me.
Did I say he was hot?
Well, I was wrong.
He was off-the-charts, no-holds-barred, freaking going make-me-lose-my-mind-right-there delicious. The ultimate man-candy, the kind I knew to stay away from, yet here I was, ogling him.
“Still leaving?” he asked huskily.
“Any minute,” I said in a weak voice, backing up to the wall and propping myself up. “Just chillin’. Shower wore me out. I might need to hold this wall up for a sec.”
“I want you to stay,” he said, eyes at half-mast, glowing with heat.
“Why?” I said, aching to touch him. But that was crazy. I was a virgin, and I didn’t know jack about touching a guy’s you-know-what.
“Look at me, Dovey.”
I tore my eyes from his manhood, blushing.
His eyes burned. “There’s a sense of urgency in my head. Like our time is limited.”
I nodded. Yeah, same here.
“And, I’ll be honest, I don’t want to rush you, but I’m dying to sink into you. I want to set you on fire with need for me.” He ghosted his hands over the steel rod between his legs. Once, twice, and—holy shizzle, he didn’t stop.
My chest rose faster and faster, and I tried to chill-out, but I couldn’t.
He lowered his voice. “Kiss me again, Dovey.”
Oh. “That’s a terrible idea, Cuba. Cause you’re naked, and I’m turned on because you’re naked. And you’re touching yourself. And you’re naked.” I sucked in a sharp breath. “Not a good combo. Odds are we’ll end up in that shower together or back in your bed doing the double-backed monster.”
“Then join me in the shower. I’ll be good. For you.” He arched his back, his hands still doing that back and forth that was driving me insane.
Liar, liar, pants on fire, I thought. No way he would he be good.
Because he was the Heartbreaker of Briarcrest Academy. And one wicked boy.

✿FACEBOOK EBOOK GIVEAWAY: Win an ebook copy of all three ebooks in the Briarcrest Academy Series. Copies will be awarded when they release on 5/13. To enter just go to the Facebook post on our page and comment. Winner will be announced today (5/9) by 5PM Central. (EBooks provided by Ilsa Madden-Mills)
Facebook Post To Comment On:

If you haven’t read the 1st book now is the time to grab it for $0.99! Each book is about different characters. Very Bad Things was on our Favorite Romance Books 2013 List and Ilsa Madden-Mills was also on our favorite debut authors list. /Cori

✿$0.99 Sale ➢ Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills
B&N is $3.99
✿Review Rated 5 Stars:
✿USA Today Book Trailer for Very Wicked Things.


Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap. 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.

Ilsa’s website:

✿Links to Very Wicked Things USA Today Book Trailer:





WEEKLY RELEASE LIST 9/22 ~ 9/28 (Romance, Paranormal Romance, New Adult, Romantic Suspense)

MONDAY, September 23, 2013
✦ Simple Perfection by Abbi Glines
✦ Tempted: A Nightshade Novel (The Nightshade Series) by Brenda Tetreault
✦ Dirty Trick by Christine Bell
✦ Headfirst Falling by Melissa Quinn
✦ Secrets and Sins: Malachim (A Secrets and Sins Novel) by Naima Simone
✦ Dangerous Desire (Entangled Ignite) by Annie Seaton
✦ For Love or Vengeance (The Reborn Vampire Series) by Caridad Piñeiro
✦ Sweet Treason by Gail Ranstrom
✦ Lovers Unmasked by Katee Robert, Cari Quinn, Tessa Bailey, Samanthe Beck

TUESDAY, September 24, 2013
✦ One Lucky Vampire: An Argeneau Novel by Lynsay Sands (Cori 4.5 Stars)
✦ How to Tame a Wild Fireman: A Bachelor Firemen Novel by Jennifer Bernard
✦ Bound by Night (The Moonbound Clan Vampires) by Larissa Ione (Cori 5 Stars)
✦ Midnight Lies: The Wildefire Series by Ella Grace (Cori 4 Stars)
✦ A Seal Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear
✦ Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter
✦ Shadow’s Curse by Alexa Egan
✦ The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Kauffman, Donna, Angell, Kate and Kincaid, Kimberly
✦ Getting Rowdy by Lori Foster (Donna 4 Stars)
✦ Fatal Strike by Shannon McKenna (Cori 4 Stars)
✦ Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis (Dawn 5 Stars)
✦ Run To You by Rachel Gibson (Dawn 5 Stars)
✦ So Tough to Tame by Victoria Dahl (Dawn 5 Stars)
✦ Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery (Hardcover Release)
✦ Kissing Under the Mistletoe: A Sullivan Christmas by Bella Andre
✦ A Terrible Love by Marata Eros
✦ The Christmas He Loved Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake) by Juliana Stone
✦ Two Times As Hot (Oklahoma Nights Romance) by Cat Johnson
✦ On Fire (Shadow Stalkers) by Sylvia Day
✦ Razor’s Edge (Shadow Stalkers) by Sylvia Day
✦ Promise Me Light by Paige Weaver

THURSDAY, September 26, 2013
✦ Solace in Scandal by Kimberly Dean

FRIDAY, September 27, 2013
✦ A Matter of Choice by Nora Roberts (Re-Release)


WEEKLY RELEASE LIST 9/15 ~ 9/21 (Romance, Paranormal, New Adult, Romantic Suspense)


MONDAY, September 16, 2013
✦ Unspoken by Jen Frederick
✦ Mine to Keep (Mine – Romantic Suspense 2) by Cynthia Eden (Donna 4.5 Stars)
✦ Finders Keepers (Lost & Found, #3) by Nicole Williams
✦ Lethal Pursuit by Kaylea Cross
✦ Black and Blue (Black and Blue Series) by Khelsey Jackson

TUESDAY, September 17, 2013
✦ Cake by Lauren Dane
✦ 3:AM Kisses by Addison Moore
✦ A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
✦ Stolen Chances (Stolen Series Book #4) by Elisabeth Naughton
✦ Unchained (Nephilim Rising)(Entangled Edge) by J. Lynn

Weekly Release List (Romance & Paranormal) 9/1 ~ 9/7

Bodyguard Under Fire by Elle James
Glitter and Gunfire (Shadow Agents) by Cynthia Eden (eBook Release)
My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

Wicked Heat (A Feel the Heat Novel) by Nicola Marsh

Styxx (Dark-Hunter Novels) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille (Dawn 5 Stars)
Hunter’s Heart: An Alpha Pack Novel by J.D. Tyler
High Passion (AN ADRENALINE NOVEL) by Vivian Arend
Wait for You by J. Lynn
How to Date A Dragon by Ashlyn Chase (Donna 3.5 Stars)
Dark Lycan (CARPATHIAN) by Christine Feehan
Bad Nights by Rebecca York
Real by Katy Evans (Paperback Release) (Cori 4 Stars)
Soul Kissed by Erin Kellison
Death’s Lover by Marie Hall
Blue Forever (Men in Uniform) by Nina Bruhns
By the Tail (Cougar Falls) by Marie Harte
Everything for Us (A Bad Boys Novel) by M. Leighton
The Art of Stealing Time: A Time Thief Novel by Katie MacAlister
Nothing to Lose by Jill Shalvis
Blue By You by Rachel Gibson (Dawn 3 Stars)
Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren

Dangerous by Jacquelyn Frank (Donna 4.5 Stars)


PRIVATE MESSAGE by Danielle Torella

PRIVATE MESSAGE by Danielle Torella
Publication Date: May 31, 2013
Reviewed by: Reading In Pajamas/ Cori
Rated: 5 Stars

Tess has never had sex. Believe it or not, she’s never had a decent kiss.

The aspiring Seattle painter and photographer is still recovering from the trauma of being beaten and nearly raped at a rock show nearly three years before. So she keeps life simple: she goes to school, goes to work in a coffee shop, goes home, goes on living.

But then Ben’s naked body crashes—almost literally—through Tess’s wall against the world.

Ben is doing his dad’s art-teacher girlfriend a favor when he agrees to pose nude for her drawing class. But what he draws is the interest of the irresistible punk-looking girl—and it’s interest he reciprocates, with interest.

Their sexual chemistry is too much to resist. But it’s when they have their clothes on that their heat quickly slips on ice. Ben’s womanizing history is one thing, but it’s history of another kind—related to that fateful night at the rock show—that threatens to tear the young lovers apart forever.

I absolutely loved this book! I requested the book to read and review after spotting the hot cover on Facebook this morning and I sat down to read it not really knowing what to expect because this is the author’s first book. I was blown away! Private Message has a unique plot, great characters, and it is a great love story. Once I picked it up I could not put it down. I loved the characters in this book! Ben, sigh! I just loved him from his winks, to his smirks, to his sexy tats. Danielle Torella gives the reader both Ben and Tess’s story told from each of their prospectives, and this really made me feel connected to the characters. I love a good romance story, and this is an incredible romance story. Ben and Tess had instant chemistry and attraction that simmered and heated the pages. I don’t often find a book I really connect with like this one. You know that special feeling you get when you read an incredible book, and it leaves you excited, giddy, and happy when you’re done reading it? This is one of those books! It had everything I look for in a great story. I highly recommend this book and I can’t wait for it to be released so the rest of you can read it!

*Review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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