REVIEW – Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Title: Fake Fiancee
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release Date: February 5, 2017

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.

Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a sassy, sweet and delightfully sizzling read with Fake Fiancée. Max and Sunny’s story was enchanting, pulling me in from the very first page and keeping me grinning until the last. I loved the push and pull between this couple, their shared stubbornness and determination not to fall in love the perfect catalyst for an explosive romance. Their chemistry was immediate and impossible to ignore while the deeper connection between them simmered beneath the surface, begging to be explored. Ilsa Madden-Mills filled the pages of this book with plenty of delicious sexual tension, entertaining banter and quiet moments of emotional honesty that easily stole my heart. I was hooked and before I’d even realized what was happening, I had devoured this refreshing story.

“And maybe . . . just maybe, awful things had to happen to me before I ended up in the right place.”

Sunny was the kind of heroine that tugs on your heartstrings and never lets go. From the beginning, I felt for her. She harbored a pain that made my heart ache but also possessed a strength that had me rooting for her. I loved exploring the smart, snarky and adorably awkward side of this character. She came across as genuine, relatable and certainly one-of-a-kind. I especially loved her relationship with Mimi. It was incredibly telling of Sunny’s character, not to mention Mimi was undeniably amusing. Max was absolutely swoon-worthy. He was playful, sexy and the total book boyfriend package. I loved that he wasn’t the typical jock and that his heart was obviously quite complex. I definitely would have liked to dive a little deeper with Max. I felt like Fake Fiancée barely scratched the surface when it came to his past and what he’d already endured in his life. However, there was something in Max that recognized its counterpart in Sunny and that spark made for an addictive and inimitable connection I couldn’t get enough of.

“God had been using his A game when he’d created my hero.”

If you’re looking for a light-hearted and sparkling read then Fake Fiancée will absolutely hit the spot. Ilsa Madden-Mills has done a great job at creating a story that is fun and sexy with just a hint of angst. Personally, I wanted a little more in terms of emotional depth from this novel. The beginning was such a powerful plot point that I kept waiting for the moment when it would come full circle for the characters – the reality was just a bit lackluster for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the book and I can certainly appreciate a novel that isn’t totally heart wrenching. As a big fan of fake relationship storylines, I adored the direction the author took Fake Fiancée and how she made this motif her own. I loved Ilsa Madden-Mills’ writing style. Her voice was fresh, funny and delivered all the feels. I’ll definitely be back for more from this author and recommend Sunny and Max’s journey to anyone looking for a great new adult sports romance.

Oh my goodness, if you’re looking for an incredible light-hearted, feel good romance, look no further and check out Fake Fiancee from Ilsa Madden-Mills! This standalone made my heart frantically beat, butterflies in my stomach flutter, and a huge smile stay on my face. From the very moment that I finished that first chapter, I was all in and needed more of these characters and to see how events would unfold.

“It wasn’t about the pretending. I could be a fake girlfriend. It was my body that was the problem. I wanted Max Kent.”

Max and Sunny are each dealing with mounds of individual baggage with one running towards something and the other running far away. I appreciated and admired both of them for what they had gone through, but also for how far they were able to come. Sunny was not only a survivor, but she was a fighter. She never admitted defeat and instead fought tooth and nail to become this caring, fiercely independent woman. Max was honestly a breed of his own; he was so dedicated to his craft that at times he could be blind. However, that tenacity rippled to other areas of his life, like his relationship with Sunny, that I couldn’t help but be utterly smitten with him. He never came across as shallow or fake, but instead as one of the most genuinely compassionate personalities. What resulted was a perfect complementary pair with sizzling chemistry and tons of sexual tension. Much like the characters found within their relationship, I was drawn to them like a magnet, unable to tear myself away.

“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.”

There were a few moments where I really wish the author would have dug a little deeper. The scenes as they were certainly didn’t take away from the story, but it was just a personal preference to have more in-depth dialogue that could have lead to a better understanding of how feelings evolved. That being said, I found myself on an astonishing emotional journey from beginning to end with Fake Fiancee and absolutely adored every single moment of it. It’s a fast-paced read with compelling characters chock-full of history and multidimensional realism. I became so emotionally invested and could have easily stayed in this world longer. Fake Fiancee was my first novel by Ilsa Madden-Mills, but if she can make me fall in love that quickly, I can promise that it will not be my last.

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