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Princess and the Player (Strangers in Love) Kindle Edition
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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.
Levelheaded 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 an exclusive lifestyle club.
There, she meets unknown-to-her NFL star Tuck Avery, dressed as a prince and hiding behind a mask—he’s there to celebrate 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 realizes quickly that her masked 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. Getting tangled up with a shallow jerk is the last thing Francesca needs right now, 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?
From the Publisher
“The couple has chemistry to spare and Madden-Mills packs in the feels. Returning readers will be pleased.” —Publishers Weekly
“A steamy romance that will appeal to fans of Karla Sorenson and Kristen Callihan.” —Library Journal
About the Author
Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills pens angsty new adult and contemporary romances. A former high school English teacher and librarian, 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.
Please join her Facebook readers group, Unicorn Girls, to get the latest scoop and to talk about books, wine, and Netflix: www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls. You can also find her on her website, www.ilsamaddenmills.com. Sign up for her newsletter at www.ilsamaddenmills.com/contact.
- ASIN : B09X56P77G
- Publisher : Montlake (November 8, 2022)
- Publication date : November 8, 2022
- Language : English
- File size : 6293 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 283 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1542038464
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,968 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #123 in Sports Romance (Kindle Store)
- #132 in Sports Romance (Books)
- #248 in Romantic Comedy (Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2023
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Top reviews from the United States
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This story had reformed player, accidental pregnancy, kind of forced proximity (lived in the same apartment building), and more. Tuck was a familiar character since he appeared in the previous book, “Beauty and the Baller”, as Ronan’s former teammate and best friend. Whereas, Francesca was a new addition to the story. Tuck had always been known to go through different women, he was usually single or always had a new woman on his arm. This time around, he found himself craving a different sort of intimacy, one that led to him having just one girlfriend as opposed to remaining single. Francesca still reeling from the aftermath of her former fiancé cheating on her with her coworker, and subsequently losing her job, things weren’t looking good for her. The cherry on top for Francesca was when she realized that all her symptoms of feeling sick lined up with the steamy night she had with her charming, mysterious prince two months prior which meant… oops seemed like Francesca had a bun in the oven, and she had a pretty good idea who the baby daddy was.
Tuck wasn’t joking when he said he would be able to recognize his Princess, and once he looked into Francesca’s eyes, he knew she was the woman from the club. Francesca on the other hand couldn’t believe that NFL football playboy Tuck Avery was the man who rocked her world… and subsequently got her pregnant… ta-da! Right away finding themselves constantly bumping into one another, Tuck enjoyed talking to Francesca and occasionally wanted another redo of their sexy time, and while Francesca was tempted, she had a lot of her plate from discovering she was pregnant and debating on telling Tuck the truth. Aside from the obvious truth that Tuck and Francesca were going to have a baby together, I loved how snarky and feisty Francesca was with Tuck haha. Tuck was use to women fawning over him and utterly being obsessed with him, but Francesca wasn’t easy, she wasn’t the sweet princess that Tuck met two months prior, she was tough and strong, but Tuck loved that about her.
With Tuck and Francesca sharing their little inside joke of being a stalker to one another, they were both enamored and couldn’t get enough of each other. The chemistry and connection between grew more over the course of the story, and they had their fair share of steamy and romantic moments together. I will say that the whole time while Francesca and Tuck were spending time together and getting more serious, I couldn’t help, but wonder, “umm hello, when are you going to tell him you’re pregnant?!” There was that lingering question in the back of my mind, and I couldn’t help but feel a little worried at how Tuck would react or even how Francesca would feel after Tuck found out. Obviously I knew things would work out, but it didn’t take away from my anxiety over the truth that Francesca had been keeping from Tuck.
Tuck and Francesca each had a difficult childhood. From Tuck dealing with his mother and father’s rocky and at times abusive marriage to Francesca going in and out of fosters home and trying to survive on her own, they each had a darkness that lingered over the years of their pasts. Tuck and Francesca allowed themselves to be vulnerable with one another, but when it came down to it, Tuck couldn’t envision himself as a father. I could understand why Francesca was hesitant to tell Tuck the truth about the baby especially since Tuck had made it very clear he never wanted kids. Francesca was trying to make the best out of her situation, while Tuck was afraid of becoming like his father. Both had a lot of fears holding themselves back from truly committing with each other.
Overall, despite the initial bad reaction from Tuck learning the truth about the baby, and Francesca feeling heartbroken over Tuck, things managed to work out for them in the end. Tuck realized that he wasn’t like his father and he could be the best man possible for his family with Francesca. Francesca got her happy ending with Tuck, and with the epilogue it was so sweet seeing their little ones, and them being married. I generally liked the story, but felt like the secret of Francesca’s pregnancy was dragged out a bit too long. I liked the found family that Francesca had with CeCe, Brogan, and Mr. Darden, they were all so supportive and loving. There were some equally funny moments that had me smiling and laughing. I liked Tuck and Francesca together, they were all kinds of fun, loving, passionate about each other.
This story followed Tuck, Ronans best and oldest friend on the Pythons football team as he is now facing HIS mortality in the NFL world. Madden-Mills made it seem believable. How like I imagine the players feel IRL when they are starting to face down aging and being replaced by a younger, newer model and that really added depth to the story. He had a lot of emotional baggage he was avoiding dealing with and it all boiled down to a pretty closed off, leery of everybody he didn’t already know, man. He didn’t trust easily but wanted to try as his parents did not show him love or affection and he wasn’t sure if he was just too broken to love or BE lovesZ He Was however, tentatively willing to wing it for a shot with the h.
Enter Francisca who is an artist with her own deep seated fears as she was left on the stairs of a police station (I believe??) when she was just a baby. She carried that rejected feeling around with her her entire life and it polluted all of her relationships. She was a bit more of a dreamer than and believed in fate thanTuck and when they met we learned opposites really DO attract!
We follow these two as h gets pregnant and struggles with how to tell H. He had made it clear he does not want to have a baby and pass on his messed up genes to another and feared he’d be a terrible father like his own.
You see they’d meet in a naughty club where for just one night they wanted to forget their problems and who they were, the issues they face and the choices to be made, just wanted to be free!! They take that chance to “let their hair down” and just BE for a night. This results in a pregnancy that catapults this book into action and doesn’t let up until the very end. This book had the most steam in it I’ve ever read from Ilsa🔥🥵🌶!! I was floored and had to fan myself multiple times throughtout, YUM-ME!
I’m glad I waited to read this so I had a chance to fall in love with Tuck. Would have LOVED to see Ronan in here yet I understand why he wasn’t featured. He and Tuck are in completely different places in their lives and just didn’t have that same connection as before when they were both just guys getting older in the league.
The narrators on the audible version rocked pretty hard too! Lee Samuels and Stella Bloom, both veterans I believe, really know their stuff! They helped weave the story to new levels and added an element of drama to make you feel even that much more invested.
All in all, this was another banger by Ilsa Madden-Mills who has YET to disappointment. Every single book I’ve read by her has evoked some type of emotion that is real and honest and I love it! I am into another book of hers I think to round out my duets by her for the year. Go grab this book, you won’t regret it!
Top reviews from other countries
This was an addictive read that I could not out down! Can't wait for Ilsa's next book!
It could be argued there’s too much going on but it’s just enough to keep you hooked and finding out where their journey takes them.
Some scenes are skipped and mentioned later which doesn’t diminish the story but it would have been interesting to see the character experience the pain they mention. A solid read with little to complain about.
I really enjoyed this book. Tuck and Francesca were great characters. They were both hugely flawed, but I found them charming, quirky, likeable and endearing. Their meet cute, is quite heated, and their relationship is fairly rocky, but the intense pull towards each other had me hooked all the way. This story also had a lot of wit, banter, great secondary characters and was just a thoroughly satisfying read.
There were some surprises in this book and an assortment of ex's trying to cause issues.
Tuck was his own worst enemy at times and I loved his friendship with Jasper.
Francesca has been through so much and loved how she had her found family through her friends.
This wasn't a straight forward love story and enjoyed reading how they overcome their reservations and past trauma.