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Not My Romeo (The Game Changers Book 1) Kindle Edition
An Amazon Charts bestseller.
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy contemporary romance about a smoking-hot professional football player and the small-town girl he can’t resist.
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?
“Rife with uproarious moments and banter that sings, this scorching contemporary will captivate Madden-Mills’s fans.” —Publishers Weekly
“Not My Romeo quickly rose to one of my top reads of the year…” —Romantic Rush
“…Ilsa Madden Mills writes broken, damaged and flawed [men] to perfection. They are always so easy to connect with and fall head over heels in love with.” —OMGReads
“I’m lost for words on how to express my love…This sports romance has some of what you expect but also so much more.” —Book Boyfriend and Husband Make Three
“One of my favorites books ever!” —Dreams Book Club
“Lovable and interesting main characters, dynamic secondary characters, and a unique plot that kept me engaged. I was honestly sad when it ended.” —My Little Book Nook
“Jack Hawke is my newest Ilsa addiction. I can’t help it, I just love the sexy broken ones so much. Especially when they are also sweet & caring, you just want to bundle them up and protect them from this twisted world forever!” —The Masque Reader
“A happy ending so carefully wrought that you can’t help but tear up over both the pleasure of the moment and the pain of having to leave characters…” —Professor Romance
“Ilsa has exceeded any expectation I had of her newest deliciously sizzling hot bad boy in Not My Romeo!! A truly delightful and roll in the floor funny rom-com.” —Delish, Divine and All Mine
“…hot romance and great banter…this is a must read!” —Simon Says
“Wonderfully written rom-com…From Elena’s family, to the little town of Daisy, Jack’s teammates, and Romeo the pig, everything was just so wonderful!” —Romance Reader Gal
“Did not want this story to end and yet, I could not stop reading. She’s one of my top five favorite authors who never, ever disappoints.” —Fairwood Reader
About the Author
Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes new adult and contemporary romances with humor and heart.
She loves unicorns, frothy coffee beverages, and any book featuring sword-wielding females.
Please join her Facebook readers group, Unicorn Girls, to get the latest scoop and talk about books, wine, and Netflix: www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls/.
You can also learn more about Madden-Mills by visiting her website, www.ilsamaddenmills.com; signing up for her newsletter at www.ilsamaddenmills.com/contact; and visiting her page on Book + Main: www.bookandmainbites.com/ilsamaddenmills.
- ASIN : B0834TWTHX
- Publisher : Montlake (August 18, 2020)
- Publication date : August 18, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 2787 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 349 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 154202188X
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,615 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on August 18, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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Away from the prying eyes of the world, the masks that they hold in place slip off, and despite both being tortured and broken, they seemed perfect for each other...until they weren’t! Of course, there’s more to their story that can’t be surmised in a few short sentences, but will Jack justify his behavior? Well, you will have to read the book to find out what IS their story—is Jack’s behavior justified or not—revolving around one empirical truth: we want what we can’t have! There are several twists and turns within the story that will tempt the characters in ways they could have never envisioned. Ilsa Madden-Mills delivered a powerful and emotional, all-consuming story that left me obsessed and yearning for more.
Not My Romeo is a new sports romance/small town romance standalone where a blind date mixup involving mistaken identity sets up a love story that soon seems fated. Jack Hawke is the star QB for the pro team in Nashville, always hated & labeled an arrogant bad boy by the media, it only gets worse after a bad breakup & her tell all book of lies. He isn’t looking for a woman or trouble, yet both arrive in the form of sweet librarian Elena Riley when she mistakes him for her blind date. One night of passion turns into a fascination that doesn’t go away. He’s the kind of guy Elena needs to steer clear of.....but when he shows up to star as the Romeo to her Juliet in the town’s upcoming play, they both discover that maybe they are exactly who each other needs.
“I love you,” I say, the words broken. “I knew you’d sweep me away—and in the end, you’d crush me. I stayed right with you all the way because I couldn’t bear to not be part of your world!”
This was hands down the most anticipated release for me this month (and one of the years as well) so I went in with high expectations. I liked the premise and that cover is OMG hotness. Maybe I was unfair in my expectations, because it just didn’t live up to the hype. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad read....quite the opposite, it was adorable and sweet and all that. The problem came down to two things....it reminded me of other books/movies AND it was honestly slightly forgettable....even now (a few days later), I couldn’t remember the heroine’s name to save my life. It was just......okay.
Told in: Dual POV, all present day.
Type? First installment of an all new series of interconnected stories called The Game Changers.
Ends in: HEA ending for couple with overall universe expanding into other installments.
The Main Players:
Jack Hawke: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“It’s beautiful, the way he wants me. And the beauty of it is that it’s not just about the sex between us; it’s about him, his awkwardness, how he gets me, how he carried me in the rain.”
Elena Riley: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Is she crazy? Who the hell is she? Yet I’m hanging on her every word, slowly warming up, feeling . . . interested.”
What worked for me:
❤️ It was funny but not in that overdone kinda way. Every character in this book had a moment where they genuinely pulled (at the very least) a giggle from me. That may not seem like a huge feat BUT it’s actually rare for every “involved” character to be part of those moments.
❤️ It’s rare when I feel like the support characters outshine the leads, but that’s the case with this book. From Aunt Clara and her completely inappropriate texts/dialogue, to her mama’s unintentional funny moments (where I feel most Southern girls can all see a little of their own mamas in her), to Topher and his steadfast support/loyalty to Elena, Timmy and his adorable-ness, and even Devon (& Aiden) with their arrogance....it all came together to create a group that was more likable and relatable than the two we were supposed to connect with more.
❤️ I LOVED the blind date aspect of this story. The chapters that lead up to and involved that scene were my faves of the book. It was a unique premise (for me), and I felt like Elena was someone we could all relate to a little....being the “everyday” girl in front of someone seemingly unattainable and getting a shot at him.
❤️ I wasn’t a fan of the whole Romeo & Juliet dynamic of the story, even if it was just a play they both starred in. It was a little cheesy and just didn’t “fit” Jack’s character. However, the actual performance and how it plays out was hilarious to me.....
“Juliet?” I start as he climbs back up the trellis. “Romeo, you’re back. What a surprise.”
....giving me that spark of excitement missing as it neared the end that was necessary to keep me going.
❤️ Despite not being a big fan of Jack’s, I have to admit I actually liked that he was everything opposite of what his public persona was. His love for K-dramas, his shyness and social awkwardness, and his gentlemanly ways made him a lot more bearable when he did something stupid involving Elena.
🖤 It felt like it was a combo of a few very well known books/movies I’ve seen before. There was something about Jack and Elena’s romance (and his commitment phobia) that was very much reminiscent of the Driven series. It felt too “been there done that” in some parts. Then the whole beauty shop/small town southern vibe that is Steel Magnolias, one of my most fave childhood movies BUT also something that felt a little too in your face. Was it enough to completely deter me? Of course not, but I couldn’t help comparing.
🖤 The same way I loved the support characters and felt they outshined the leads, it’s also a “strike” against the book in a sense considering the leads should always be the two most important/connectable characters in the book. When that doesn’t happen, it leads to a read that isn’t very memorable and quite possibly the reason I couldn’t remember the heroine’s name of this book so soon after reading it yet could remember all the secondary ones. When you can’t really connect to the two the book is all about, it’s hard to really “love” or enjoy a story like it’s meant to be enjoyed.
🖤 While I admired Elena’s refusal to bend to what he wanted (the NDA being the main one), I felt it was quite empty when she continued to give him everything knowing he had no intentions of giving her his all in return (originally). Not to mention, his inability to trust her and immediate think the worst of her yet she so easily forgives him just made her a little too weak for me. Oh but don’t worry, he wasn’t too high on my “admired” list considering his refusal to see her as someone other than his ex. Of course it all works out in the end, but it just was kinda “whatever” at that point.
🖤 How her little sister is set up in this one, not only doing something absolutely unforgivable in terms of sister loyalty but playing the victim as if she had a legitimate excuse for her actions really isn’t the best way to appeal to readers to want to get to know her in the next installment. I think I would’ve respected her more had she just woman-ed up and not made excuses, but the whole playing the victim in order to make her more likable to readers didn’t really do it for me. But who am I kidding....I’m going to read her installment because I love me some Devon.
Despite having my share of issues with this book, I can’t deny it was a fun little read. It won’t be one I reach for the re-read or likely one I remember reading 6 mths from now, but I didn’t feel like I wasted my time and I thought it was cute. So should you invest the time? If you have some to spare and are into cute sports romance reads, this isn’t a bad way to take up the time. It’s just not something that will likely blow your mind.
“That sometimes, fate gives you a bad game, but in the end destiny straightens it out. And you win. You and I are going to win.”
Top reviews from other countries
"Goddess. She's the sexiest woman I've ever met, and she doesn't even know it."
When Elena Riley's best friend sets her up on a blind date, she never expects him to be so freakin' gorgeous. She also never expects to end up back at his place, or to wake up to an empty bed, and a note that proves him to be a liar. However, that's not the last she'll see of him.
"I close my eyes briefly, feeling the force of his focus and presence like a huge hurricane that's blowing straight in my face.He's primal."
Jack Hawke has trust issues and an NDA to protect his privacy. However, Elena is seeping beneath under his skin and making him throw caution to the wind. He definitely knows that one night is not enough for him but his fears may just damage something that could be amazing.
"No matter my declarations that he's dangerous to my heart, my gut knew I wanted to be in his arms again."
I adored this story. Elena was a fab female lead. I loved that she walked her own path, yet didn't realise how magnetic and charismatic she was - the effect she had on other people. She was direct, sassy, and had some great verbal comebacks. Jack was misused and misunderstood. Under his gorgeous, hunky facade was a surprisingly sweet guy. I giggled and melted at his favourite things but thrilled at his dirty-talking mouth! These two had intense chemistry and were made for each! The kissing alone was so sexy! Another fabulous read from one of my faves!
Also, having just looked at my kindle notes from when I read The Revenge Pact, I notice this had the same problem where some of Jack’s chapters just didn’t really feel like a male characters perspective?? In that it was obviously a man written by a woman. That might be just me and it isn’t exactly a big deal but idk.
I liked this. Hero is a supposed badboy (he isn’t - he’s shy) and heroine is the librarian that makes lingerie as a side line. The meetcute is an accidental first date (she turns up for a blind date and mistakes hero for him).
Some people would have an issue with the fact that he doesn’t own that he isn’t her date - it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
There wasn’t a lot made of his celebrity status and no real sports time on page - I think this is more of an unlikely romance between a man who doesn’t trust and a woman who has had her heart broken.
I’ll read more in the series.
I love both characters, even the secondary ones. They all have their quirks. Elena is sweet and nice. She loves her family the most, even with some circumstances. She has her own secret too. I like characters who are relatable and not overly dreamy when I read about them, that was was she was from the first. She was simple, but there was just something in her that caught Jack's eye. She's genuine, and kind.
Jack, oh my god, Jack, he's a man full of surprises. He did have a dark past. Yes, he's not perfect and he had hurt our girl several times with all the walls surrounding him, but he just redeemed himself. The things he can do, and can't. He's just pretty much easy to fall in love with him.
Secondary characters both family and friends are great as well, aome you will love immediately, some you will love eventually, and some, well you just hope you haven't really read about them. I can't wait to read their stories and own HEA.
The pacing is excellent, even from the start. It didn't feel draggy at all. The rollercoaster ride that Ilsa Madden-Mills has let us experience was worth the ride.
I am so in love with this book, finished in one sitting and just bawl my eyes out in the wee hours of the morning. Not My Romeo gave me all the feels - you'd laugh, fall in love, and cry. It's hot at the same time it keeps your heart warm.
Not gonna lie, I’m slightly more in love with Elena than I am Jack. She is so relatable, a little dorky, says EXACTLY what pops into her head at that moment (even if it is slightly inappropriate) and I really just want her to be my BFF! I do adore Jack though; he’s a little moody, massively misunderstood but he’s such a better person for having Elena in his life.
I am such a big fan of Ilsa Madden-Mills and feel like her writing just gets better and better with every new book she releases, even though it was pretty awesome to start with; she is definitely on my list of automatic one-click authors. If you haven’t read NOT MY ROMEO yet then you really should - I got my paperback copy too, just so I could stare at that gorgeous cover!