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Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She’s perfect…

Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex. 

Then she meets her soulmate. But he doesn’t want her.

When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about...until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.

As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things
A Strong Four Stars

He stiffened. “Nora!” he yelled out as he came, throwing his head back, his blond hair falling into his eyes, his muscles body straining forward and undulating in a beautiful symphony of ecstasy.

I wanted to weep.
I wanted him to love me. 
Long moments passed and he recovered slowly, opening his eyes and blinking up at me. “What was that?” he ask weakly.
I picked up my purse and stood up on wobbly legs. “That was a lesson in clarity, Leo,” I said in a small voice. “I have a date tonight with a guy I’ve fucked before, a guy I once had real feelings for. Think about what just happened in here between us and how non-epic it was. Think about me doing that with someone else. Think how good we could have been.” 


Excuse me, but I couldn’t help but lead off with one of my favorite scenes in the book. There was something about this scene, about this quote, that perfectly exemplifies how achingly frustrating this story was; frustrating, but hot. 

I simply needed to do the things on my list: get drunk, get high, and get laid. Get relief. End of story. 

On the outside Nora’s life seemed perfect. She’s smart, beautiful and rich. What people don’t see is that Nora’s life is anything but perfect. Her mother is a complete psycho control freak. Her father is pretty much absent from her life and her brother, well, that’s a whole other hot mess there. She’s tired of living this secluded, miserable life and she wants to break free. So what does supposedly little Ms. Perfect do? Sabotage her welcoming speech at school and decides to make a list of things to escape her perfect cage. 

Why did I want her so fucking much? Why couldn’t I push her away like I did everyone else? Why couldn’t I breathe when I saw her?
My heart new the answer, and I’d realized it at the movies. I…I think maybe if I let her in, she might get under my skin so deep that I’d never want her to leave. That terrified me. 

Aaaaaannnnnddddd…here we go. Everyone meet Leo. Leo is thefirst Hero that frustrated the fuck out of me. Normally the heroine is the one I want to bitch slap, but nope, not in the scenario and Leo is definitely the one I wanted to slap the fuck out of. If you can tell by the amount of obscenities I mean serious business. LOL. It’s no doubt that Leo wants Nora and wants herBAD. But does he make any moves? Nope. Why? Well, at first he convinced himself it was because she younger and too immature, but he more he gets to know her, the more he realizes its much more than her age. She might only be eighteen, but this chick has gone through a lot. But does that change matters? Of course not. He’s a stubborn, stupid man. 

Nora Blakely was everything I avoided when it came to girls. Her kind expected love and commitments, two things I’d run away from a long time ago.
But still I stared at her, now focused on her pouty, sexy mouth as it tilted up in a smile. Fuck. 

I have to give this book and the author credit for making this story memorable. It was angsty, frustrating and just plain ole infuriating; the masochist in me relished in its fuckedupness. I wanted to put it down, but I was too determined to get to the part where Leo finally got it. However, there were many other things that kept this story flowing. As much as Leo frustrated the fuck out of me, he was still one sexy Hero. As for Nora, I loved her. She was such a strong heroine and never wavered, no matter what an asshole Leo was. 

So yes, this book was super angsty and fucked up. But I did enjoy the ride and looking forward to the next book in the series. Speaking of which: Cuba, baby, I can’t wait to read your story (though a part of me was hoping for Sebastian’s story, but I’ll take Cuba.)

P.S. On December 2, 2013, the author released an extended epilogue. You can find it here:http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/#!exce...

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