ARC Review: Princess and the Player (Strangers in Love, #2). ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Princess and the Player by Ilsa Madden-Mills

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A masquerade ball brings together an NFL player and a penniless princess in this smart and sexy romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Level-headed Francesca Lane never thought she’d miss her own wedding. But when her fiancé betrays her, she puts on her wedding dress and ditches the altar for a masquerade ball—at a sex club.

There, she meets NFL star Tuck Avery, dressed as a prince and hiding behind a mask as he celebrates his birthday. For one night, Francesca and Tuck indulge in a wickedly incognito affair. No names. No strings. And the masks don’t come off.

Unfortunately, Francesca soon realizes her prince is the wealthy jock who lives in the penthouse of her apartment building. His hobbies include parties and supermodels—or so the tabloids say. Another shallow jerk is the last thing Francesca needs, so she vows to keep Tuck from recognizing her, not that she’s his type anyway.

But fate has a teeny-tiny trick up her sleeve… a plus sign on a pregnancy test. Can this tormented prince accept love, or will he push his princess away forever?

Princess and the Player

“One night. No names. No strings. And the masks don’t come off.”

The following ratings are out of 5:
Romance: 💚🖤💙❤️💜
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📕📗📙📘📔
World building: 🌏🌍🌎🌏
Character development: 🤓☹️🙃☺️🥰

The heroine: Francesca Lane – she caught her fiancée cheating on her right before the wedding. So on the night that she was supposed to get married, she dons her wedding dress and goes with her friend to club decadence for their fairytale masquerade night where the women are all dressed as fairytale princesses and the men are all in masks.

The Hero: Tuck Avery – he just turned 35, which is old for a wide receiver in the NFL. His birthday is also the same day his dad died ten years ago. His friends on the team take him out for his birthday to a high class BDSM club where the patrons all wear masks and/or costumes. There was a time in Tucks life where he sowed his wild oats, but lately he has enjoyed having regular girlfriends rather than different women every night, but he didn’t have one at the moment so decided to enjoy the night out.

The Story: When the princess bride calls Tuck Avery a pervert in the bar of club Decadence, he is not used to that, especially since she was wrong about his intentions. However, when his friend, the Quarterback of the team makes a bet that he can’t get the princess, Tuck decides to take on the challenge.

Tuck and Francesca have a one night stand, but they find out later that they live in the same building. Tuck has some issues from his past and Francesca grew up in foster care, group homes and Juvie. I like that despite the steamy beginning, their relationship ends up building naturally. They become friends and really enjoy each other’s company. They both have tragic pasts that they struggle to come to grips with.

There are also some great supporting characters in this book from each of their room-mates and best friends, to Francesca’s grumpy old next door neighbor. I liked how they each made their own family from their close friends. Ilsa Madden-Mills writes great romance with so much heart, I was pulling for these two from the start.


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