Date published: May 11th, 2014
Publisher: Little Dove Publishing
Synopsis: Born on the poor side of town...
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.
Born into wealth and privilege...
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. When trust crumbles and doubts creep in, both will have to decide to either love or let go... forever.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where sometimes, only the wicked survive.
What I Thought:
Ilsa Madden-Mills certainly knows how to write an amazing book. She manages to both shock, entertain, and thrill. I've been looking forward to meeting the real Cuba, and I got a hint of him in Very Wicked Beginnings, the prequel, but this was rest of the story was very much a surprise. I don't know who I loved more in this book, Cuba or Dovey.
It's amazing at how alike the two are, once you get past the outside surface. Yes, they're from different sides of town and socio-economic spheres. However both have parents with issues. Cuba might have everything he may possibly need, but all he wants is what's lost and can not return;what he wrongfully blames himself for allowing to happen. On the other end, Dovey has an absentee father who scares the dickens out of her and a mother who is almost the same. However the two have a chemistry, an attraction to one another that's almost scary for two teenagers.
I have to talk about how emotional I was as I was reading this book. I can't tell you how often I was absurdly angry and infuriated with the circumstances Cuba and Dovey found themselves in. These times usually weren't of their own doing, although Cuba did somethings which baffled both me and Dovey. I hurt for the two of them so much. I was reading this in public, on a bus, and I had to stop myself from bawling aloud. As it was I hard an extremely hard time keeping my tears in. And there was no way to stop the dull ache in my chest when Dovey's past came back to haunt her.
Dovey might not have been in a strong position in her life, but mentally she was strong beyond belief. Many may judge her for doing what she needed to do to keep the ones she loved safe and from harm, but not me. I absolutely hated that she was even put in that position in the first place. That scene when she first decides to take action herself hurt, but I understood her reasoning and why she did it. I think she is true hero of this book. she struggled the most and was the strongest of all.
Not that Cuba isn't a good hero. He's swoon worthy and I had to know why he treated Dovey so badly. Especially when she meant so much to him. I wanted him to stop feeling guilty about his past and to step in the present and be there. I wanted Spider to get a grip and be the friend Dovey needed him to be. I wanted Dovey to be happy. The book somehow managed to put me back together after it ripped my emotions apart. The people on that bus with me to Austin might have thought I was a lunatic, but the story pulled me in and didn't let me go until the last page. That's the type of magic Ilsa Madden-Mills creates with her characters and stories.
New York Times and USA Today best selling author 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, one neurotic cat, and one husband. 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 readers and fellow authors.
BUY HER BOOKS HERE: http://amzn.to/1qNbF3y
* I was inititally given a copy by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I then purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*