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Very Wicked Beginnings (Briarwood Academy (1.5)) by [Madden-Mills, Ilsa]
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Very Wicked Beginnings
Book 1.5 
Briarcrest Academy Series
Copyright © 2014 by Ilsa Madden-Mills

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above copyright owner of this book or publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked statue and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
First Edition May 2014

 Chapter 1
Briarcrest Academy, Highland Park, Texas
"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.

I was off today. Probably because I had a ton of homework waiting on me at home. 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. 

She disappeared from view, and I waited for her to come back, wanting to check out her toned muscles again. 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.


I tightened my defensive stance, running my eyes across the offensive line, waiting for the play. Matt, the asshole quarterback, was pussy-footing around, still undecided if they were gonna run or pass.

I got bored.

Out of my peripheral vision, I caught a flash of pink dashing past the window. She was back. Like I was addicted to her, my eyes watched as she adjusted her ponytail and laughed up at her ballet partner--who was a dude. Crazzzy. Yeah, you'd think he'd be feminine, but he wasn't. Nope. Dude looked buff, like he could bench press a school bus.

Something about the girl had me riveted.

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, so the chance to plant me 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.  
My unprepared body flew through the air with 290 pounds of Tank on top of it. My head hit the ground, the contact reverberating inside my helmet. And everything went black ...

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.
She collects magnets and rarely cooks except to bake her own pretzels. 
When she's not crafting 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.
Sign up for her newsletter (sent out less than five times a year) to receive info about sales, new releases, and of course those FREE bonus scenes and stories!
You can stalk her/sign up here:
Facebook: Author Ilsa Madden-Mills
Twitter: @ilsamaddenmills

Product Details

  • File Size: 391 KB
  • Print Length: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Little Dove; 2 edition (May 11, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 11, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K9ZLW3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,554 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, bravo to the author. The proceeds from each copy sold go to charity. That's just freaking awesome. Nothing to do with how FANTASTIC this book is but still kudos!

Ok to the good stuff. I just want to go and give Cuba and Dovey a hug. Seriously, these two souls have been through so much. So much burden lies on their shoulders. You want so much for them to find that spark in each other. You want them to have someone to lean on when the world seems to have taken away everything else.

I can't tell you how much I recommend this novella. I am a huge fan of the Briarcrest Academy series. While you don't have to read this one to understand the full length novel, it does give you tremendous insight into the characters that you may miss otherwise. I whole heartedly recommend this book!
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This is a great introduction to book 2 in the Briarcrest Academy series, Very Wicked Things. It is a prequel novella and it gives you a little taster of how Cuba and Dovey met and how their relationship began. It is very short but also very sweet. Cuba is introduced in book 1, Very Bad Things, as a sideline character, he is portrayed as a player but also an overall nice guy. In this prequel novella you see another side to Cuba, you get a glimpse into his home life which gives some insight into Cuba's ways. It is written in both his and Dovey's POV's and switches between the two from chapter to chapter with the majority being Cuba's POV. I fell in love with his character reading this novella and found myself really rooting for him. Dovey is also a great character, you don't find out much about her in this short story but what you do see of her is that she is head-strong and her own person, an individual, and not just another mean-girl bimbo of the popular crowd.
5 epic stars from me for this super sweet novella, this series is fast becoming one of my favourites!
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"...this was just the beginning. A very wicked beginning."

Ilsa Madden-Mills couldn't have given her fans a more perfect surprise present than giving us this prequel novella for Very Wicked Things. It might be a short read but it packs all of the heart wrenching emotions that I have come to love about Ilsa Madden-Mills writing.

"I don't play pranks. We have a connection. I knew it the moment I sat down with you. You want to resist me that's fine. I like it. It's like foreplay."

VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS tells the story of when our hero, Cuba Hudson, and heroine, Dovey Beckham, first meet in the halls of Briarcrest Academy. While they might have attended the same school for the last few years, it wasn't until his junior year that star defensive end player, Cuba "Hollywood" Hudson, notices ballerina, Dovey Beckham, during ballet practice. Cuba is immediately mesmerized by Dovey's sculpted ballerina body and elegant dance moves. Being one of the biggest womanizers in school, Cuba sets his eyes on adding Dovey's name to the long list of girls he's been with at Briarcrest Academy. But as soon as he sees that Dovey isn't anything like the other girls in his school, Cuba realizes that he might be falling into something more wicked than he had ever planned.

"I blame myself for a lot of things. Loving her wasn't one of them."

VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS will get your taste buds salivating for what's to come in Very Wicked Things. As I said earlier, Ilsa Madden-Mills packs in a lot of heart wrenching emotions in this short novella. Madden-Mills gives is a very clear glimpse of what makes Cuba's past so heart-wrenchingly painful, and why he does what he does to try to mask the pain he hides.
Read more ›
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I know it says that each book in the series can be read as a stand alone, but I don't see how. This book was clearly a part of whole story, not a story in itself. I was really getting into it and then it ended out of nowhere before the real meat of the story even began. Maybe it's just me but I am not a fan of this trend of partial stories being released as "books."
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This is a Prequel and Novella of the background of Cuba Hudson and Dovey Beckham's story before going into their novel in the next book.

Katerina Dovey Beckham is a scholarship student at BA and is from the poor side of town in Ratcliffe. She has been taking dancing and ballerina lessons for over 7 years and working to get into a dance academy. Cuba Hudson is one of the most popular guys and of course on the football team of BA, son of one of the coaches from a Texas University.

"I wanted that girl in the window. But not enough to find her."

Cuba finds Dovey dancing in the window one day during class and everything changes, he wants to know who this girl is. When he finds out, he is determined to ask her out but his persistence doesn't get him close till one day she finally gives in. They both have relationship issues and parent issues, more in common than they know.

"I stared at her so long and hard, I wondered if she could feel my gaze. Could she feel my intensity? Did she sense that her lightness was the perfect foil from my darkness?"

Just when you think the healing of love begins, hearts are broken and this time, love may destroy at it's weakest timing. Both have secrets but will they overcome or will they stay broken. You will get to meet some side characters in both books and of course our one and only Sebastian is in both. I loved Spider, the British bestie of Dovey! This short novella will get you read for Very Wicked Things.
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