Not My Romeo, the all-new swoon-worthy contemporary sports romance with heart and heat from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is available now!
We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.
My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.
The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.
But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?
Is Jack my real Romeo…or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?
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I pull my white cat-eye glasses out of my purse and slide them on for a better look. My heart flip-flops as butterflies take flight in my stomach. Oh heck no. That can’t be him. He’s . . . he’s . . . freaking gorgeous, and I don’t mean regular handsome but like a movie star: dark hair swept off his face, the strands wavy and unruly with copper highlights, soft and silky brushing against his cheeks, and too long for a newscaster, in my opinion—but what do I know? I don’t own a television.
He lifts his arm to shove his hair back, and my eyes pop at the tightly roped muscles of his forearm and biceps straining through the fabric, the impossibly broad shoulders.
Well, would you look at that.
And this has to be him, right?
I’m in the right restaurant. He’s alone. He’s wearing a blue shirt. He has dark hair. Odds point to yes. Usually the most simple explanation is exactly what it appears. Therefore, he must be my date.
The man in question turns to look out the window, tapping his fingers on the table impatiently, and I take in his profile. Long straight nose, full dark arching eyebrows, and a sharp, bladed jawline. Sensuous lips, the lower one decadently full. Almost wicked. He’s the kind of hot that draws your eyes over and over just to make sure it’s not a mirage. I knew guys like him at NYU—sexy, athletic gym types who played a sport. And those types never gave me a second look. I’d watch them work out while I fumbled my way around one of those god-awful butterfly machines, while beautiful, tall, svelte girls who weren’t sweating fawned over them, bringing them towels, water bottles, and sexy promises.
He takes a sip of an amber liquid, long tanned fingers grasping the fragile container as his eyes rove across the room. They prowl around the restaurant, as if he’s assessing every person in sight, and I feel the sizzle of him even from twenty feet away. Prickles of awareness skate down my spine. I’m the alpha, his body language yells. Come and challenge me.
His gaze drifts right over me without stopping.
I duck back into the shadows.
Dang it. My hands clench. I wanted nice and nerdy, not this . . . sexy beast!
And judging by the scowl on his face, he’s grumpy. Life’s too short to be dour, Mister. And what is he annoyed about? I am here!
And he did see a picture of me. Topher said so.
Yeah, maybe he doesn’t really want to meet you.
Maybe he’s hoping you won’t show up.
I tap my foot. I should leave. Really.
The smells of Milano’s waft around me, spicy and tantalizing, and my stomach lets out an angry howl. I move from one foot to the next. Every place to eat between here and Daisy is going to be packed. I could always hit a drive-through on the way back home—but how pathetic is a Big Mac and fries on Valentine’s Day? Plus, I’ll have my entire nosy family to answer to tomorrow. They’ve built up this blind date so much: Oooooh, Elena has a date with a weatherman. Ask him if that’s a barometer in his pocket or if he’s just glad to see you.
I give myself a mental pep talk.
Grow some balls, Elena.
Sometimes you have to go out and take what you want.
So what if he’s hot enough to suck the dew off a rose.
You are hungry. Do it for the pasta.
He is your date. Go get ’em, girl.
I gather my resolve, point my little black pumps in his direction, and start marching.
About Ilsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.
Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.
A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.
She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.
Connect with Ilsa
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nY2pxT Instagram: http://bit.ly/35xfNfo Stay up to day with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2ZWaTYh Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EESfM9 Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2GaR6cn Book+Main: http://bit.ly/2s4j9ci Website: https://www.ilsamaddenmills.com Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: http://bit.ly/37B6Nay Sign up for phone alert for book releases (max of 4) Text ROMANCE to 21000
My Review of Not My Romeo
This is the gold standard for sports romance!
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌅🌆🏙🏞🌃
Character development: 👤👤👤👤👤
The setting: Nashville & Daisy Tennessee
The Hero: Jack Hawke, Superstar NFL Quarterback that won 4 championships, but never won a Super Bowl.
The Heroine: Elena, a Librarian in the small town of Daisy with bit of a wild streak.
I loved this sports romance story. It was funny, heartwarming, a bit tragic and so hot! The romance between the Jack and Elena was terrific and natural. I liked that there was chemistry between them from the beginning and I didn’t have to wait until the last half of the book for them to get busy. Jack is definitely an alpha male, but he has insecurities which make him even more attractive than his looks alone.
Jack had a bad childhood and finds it hard to trust, especially women. Since his one and only long term girlfriend turned on him and wrote a tell all book about him which was full of lies. She portrayed him as an alcoholic and an abuser. Though Jack did his share of drinking when he was younger and had money to spare for the first time in his life, he has grown up since then and has never hit a woman in his life.
Jack gets severe anxiety around people he doesn’t know and especially around reporters so he never gives interviews. This had not helped his reputation at all especially since the book came out and he has never refuted anything in it. The world doesn’t know about his anxiety and as far as he is concerned he only wants to play good football but all this other stuff seems to get in the way.
When Jack meets Elena, she thinks she is on a blind date with a weatherman. Jack doesn’t immediately correct her because he enjoys the fact that she has no idea who he really is. Elena intrigues him, with her pencil skirt and buttoned up shirt, with curves underneath and dainty hands. He is even more intrigued when he sees what she has on underneath.
Elena designs her own unique lingerie, and though she is a small town girl at heart, she has so many inconsistencies. Her pet is a teacup pig named Romeo, she lives with a gay man named Topher and her sister stole her fiancé. Her Mama and Aunt work at the local beauty shop which reminds me of the one Dolly Parton worked at in Steel Magnolias.
The love story is the thing, though. And it is wonderful. I recommend this to any fan of quirky, funny and epic love stories. I love anything Ilsa Madden-Mills writes, but this one was above the rest.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
View all my reviews