Very Wicked Beginnings & Very Wicked Things (The Briarcrest Academy Series) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Because Ilsa Madden-Mills fell in love with her beautifully flawed characters in Very Wicked Things, she penned Very Wicked Beginnings as a prequel novella to the book, featuring the story of football star Cuba Hudson and ballerina Dovey Beckham.
 
Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, all May proceeds from the sale of the novella will be donated to The Keith Milano Memorial Fund which benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  www.afsp.org 
 
Title: Very Wicked Beginnings
Series: Briarcrest Academy #1.5, a prequel novella to Very Wicked Things
Release: Both books will release on May 13th!
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Cover: Photography by Toski Covey
Graphics: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pear Creative Covers
Model: Tanner Belcher 
 

THE BOYFRIEND BOOKMARK: ★★★★

SYNOPSIS

Girls say I’m a walking, talking sex god. Guys call me Hollywood because my life is golden.

It’s not.
But, ESPN did rank me as a four star recruit, calling me one of the best defensive players since Briarcrest Academy opened its esteemed doors. So yeah, with football and a stellar GPA, my future seemed good.
Then Dovey Beckham shows up in her short skirts and ballet shoes. Driving me insane. Making me want to beg for her attention. But that wouldn’t happen, because Cuba Hudson didn’t beg for anything.
She walked around BA like she owned the place, and most days she looked right through me…the one girl I couldn’t have. So, of course, I made it my mission to claim her, to put her notch on my bedpost.
Because no girl can resist the Heartbreaker of BA.
But I never planned on destroying her.  I never planned on wrecking the one thing that could save me.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where wicked love begins…and ends.

STEPHANIE: ★★★★

Before you visit the Very Wicked Things, stop in and see where it all started in the Very Wicked Beginnings… Ilsa Madden-Mills takes up back to see where things started between Cuba and Dovey before you dive into the Very Wicked Things that happen at the Briarcrest Academy.
Two tortured souls from the beginning. One has never had and one has never needed or wanted. But avoiding love. But destined to be together. Dovey wasn’t rich, she didn’t live on the good side of town. She had nothing and most days that included food. But she had dreams and aspirations. She wanted to become someone she could be proud of. She wanted to make something of her life and she wanted to get out of this place where she lived.
He had everything money could buy. The nice car, the great house, the amazing amenities that life could give him. But he would never have the love of a little girl again. And he would never have the same level of motherly love again. 
Complete opposites in everyway, this is how their story began.
Ilsa Madden-Mills just touched my heart with these two characters. They are so strong independently of each other, but for very different reasons. He only wanted one thing, to add her to his collection. She only wanted one thing, her forever.
This is the beginning of their story, but it is in no way anything close to the end. It provided great insight and background on the two characters of Very Wicked Things and I found myself with tears in my eyes more than once while reading this. It was touching and beautiful and made of so many complex situations that you just have the feeling that things may never work for these two. The odds certainly are bit ub their favor.
I loved this prequel and found it to be the perfect tie in needed to go to Very Wicked Things!

Very Wicked Beginnings

Excerpt from Chapter One
“Two things about me: I play football—and girls.” –Cuba Hudson I wanted the gorgeous girl in the window. More specifically, I wanted the dark-haired girl dancing inside the Symthe Arts Building as I stood outside on the twenty yard line at football practice, fixated on her when I should have been focused on the line of scrimmage. I adjusted my helmet and squinted through the afternoon Dallas sun. Did I know her? Movement from other players on the field pulled me back. Good thing. As defensive end, it was my job to put the screws to or sack the quarterback as soon as the ball snapped. But I was off today. Probably because I knew I had a shit ton of homework waiting for me at home. With my dream of being a doctor and getting into a good school, being on top of my game in class was important as well. Briarcrest Academy was one of the top-rated private schools in the country, making expectations here high. Just like every eighteen-year-old kid out there, I had stresses. But I did have more than the average. I had a sick mom. But those thoughts faded when I looked back at the window and watched the girl run and then leap in the air, her body doing some kind of crazy in-the-air-leg-split-thing. Damn. She’d gotten at least four feet off the ground. Then, after landing on her feet light as a feather, she danced away from my view. I waited for her to come back, wanting to check out her toned muscles again, especially her tight ass. And then I randomly wondered if her tits were small. Weren’t all dancers? Yeah. But still, she looked— “Pay attention, Hudson!” Coach Howe yelled at me. Fuck. Caught. I automatically stiffened and tightened my defensive stance, running my eyes across the offensive line, waiting for the play. But the quarterback was pussy-footing around still undecided if they were gonna run or pass. Whatever. Matt the Quarterback was a complete jack ass. I ate guys like him for lunch which wasn’t hard when you’re tall and fast like me. I got bored. Out of my peripheral vision, I caught a flash of pink dashing past the window. She was back. And like I was addicted to her, my eyes drifted to the building again, one part baffled by the fascination, the other part wanting to get another glimpse of her long legs. As I watched, she adjusted her ponytail as she laughed up at her ballet partner—who was a dude. Crazzzy. Yeah, you’d think he’d be all feminine and shit, but he wasn’t. Nope. Dude looked buff, like he could bench press a school bus. Something about the girl called to me. Yeah, it was probably that short skirt she wore. I pictured slipping my hand underneath it to her panties. Her core would be hot, on fire for me, of course, and I’d ease my finger inside her wet— Bam!  I took a hard hit from Tank Carson, an All District offensive guard I routinely ran circles around in practice. He might be big, but I was quick and smart and had more moves than a freaking octopus. So the chance to plant my distracted ass on the turf was an early Christmas present for him. That’s what I get for letting some piece of ass get in my game, even if it was practice. And so. My unprepared body flew through the air with 290 pounds of Tank on top of it. My head followed my body and hit the turf, the contact reverberating inside my helmet and then everything went black…
Charity Information: The Keith Milano Memorial Fund was established to help raise awareness about the devastating and deadly disease that is mental illness. Keith’s spirit and laughter is kept alive through our efforts to increase awareness about mental illness and to raise money for education and imperative research. Keith often struggled with society’s perception of mental illness.  Our hope is that by having the strength to say that Keith was “Bipolar” we can strip away the stigma and help others to be more open about their disease. www.keithmilano.orgThe Keith Milano Memorial Fund benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  www.afsp.orgAFSP is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.

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Very Wicked Things Cover

THE BOYFRIEND BOOKMARK: ★★★★

Synopsis

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.

STEPHANIE: ★★★★

I spent a lot of time with Very Wicked Things with an ache in my chest. There was so much pain and hurt in this book. but the power of love is so beyond resounding. It was moving, touching and incredible. Ilsa Madden-Mills takes us on a journey that I did even know I wanted to be one.

It is over. He destroyed her. He broke her heart. But no one has really ever explained exactly what when wrong. It has been a year since Cuba has talked to Dovey. A year since he broke her heart and destroyed her. She has tried every day for a year to make sense of it all, but once he took the one thing that she owned, he was gone. Determined not to let it change her future, Dovey does everything in her power to stay strong and move on.

But let’s face it, their lockers were right next to each other and Cuba had spent almost a year trying to avoid her. He didn’t want to answer her questions, he didn’t want to admit his fault in the entire situation. He just needed to treat her like every other girl and move on with his life.

But keeping going seemed to be the easy part for both of them, the healing part not so much. So many unanswered questions and that deep emotional bond that had these two connected could have been broken forever, but can that spark that just doesn’t seem to go away be exactly what they need to find their way back to one another or is it too late? Has the damage already been done?

Let me tell you the heartbreak in this book from parents to friends, to one another was a lot to take in. I felt my chest tightening over and over. I couldn’t fathom how these two could continue to hurt each other the way they had. But I also believe it made it that much more powerful to read.

Ilsa Madden-Mills takes the two people that are so completely opposite and finds a way for them to try and have it all. Whether they work or not, is just something to experience in this book, but I found myself turning page after page hoping with each turn. My heart broke for the characters over and over again.

Well written and very intriguing, this book is not to be missed!

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Haven’t read the first book #1 New Adult Romance Very Bad Things? It’s on sale!!
Author Bio: 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.

Links to Very Wicked Things USA Today Book Trailer:

 

 

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