Book Reviews · Releases & Reveals

Blog Tour + ARC Review: ‘The Revenge Pact’ by Ilsa Madden-Mills

What happens when the king of football meets the queen of nothing?

Find out in The Revenge Pact, an all-new emotional and swoon-worthy enemies-to-lovers standalone romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills!


River Tate is a god on campus. The king of football. A tattooed bad boy with gunmetal eyes that see right through you. The only chink in his armor is her, the girl he pretends doesn’t exist, the forbidden one with the shy smile and lavender hair.

Anastasia Bailey is a nobody. The queen of nothing. An outsider with the face of an angel and a body made for sin. The only chink in her armor is him, her boyfriend’s frat brother, the football player who hates her.

But when Anastasia’s life crashes down, River’s the one who sweeps in and picks up the pieces.

Torn between loyalty, lies, and secrets, he battles the temptation to take everything from her when they make their revenge pact.

He can’t tell her no. Because revenge (or love) is sweet, and once you get a taste, the craving never ends.


4 ‘Rainbow and Snake’ Stars!

ARC provided via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.

Ilsa Madden-Mills has slowly but surely found her way into my heart ever since the release of Dear Ava early this year. I fell in love with her writing and the high emotions in her novels. I instantly asked for the early copy for her new series with Meghan Quinn and Adriana Locke and I have to say it was definitely different from what I’ve read by her but still in her unique way to tell stories. A slow burn, enemies to lovers / “I-love-you-from-afar” love story with fascinating characters that you’ll never let go of.

So, The Revenge Pact is the book that starts the multi-authored series called Kings of Football and it focuses on River Tate and Anastasia Bailey, two people who apparently can’t stand each other but nothing is how it seems. River is the “bad boy” in campus that everybody loves (except for Ana). She doesn’t understand his hate but, knowing the whole truth behind River, it’s quite easy to get. River is hiding behind an armor, he loves Anastasia dearly but cannot show it because she is with one of his “brothers”. But can their chemistry be ignored or will it grow stronger as they get to know each other?

“You do not exist, Anastasia Bailey. You. Are. No. One. To. Me.” Yeah. Been saying that since the moment I saw her.

Ilsa has a way to grip us, her readers, with the way she develops her stories and the progress of the feelings between her couples. I knew when I started The Revenge Pact that it would be a different story, with two main characters that are not the most common in romance. River seems to be the typical sports romance hero but he is not. He hides his real self from almost everyone. He has ADHD, suffers learning difficulties and his family has gone through a lot. He is the hero you’ll fall in love with without even realizing it and you’ll get swept off your feet, just like Anastasia.

“Sometimes it only takes one sunrise to know someone.”

Speaking of Anastasia, what a wonderful heroine too! She is fighting to get the career she deserves and it hasn’t been easy for her. She has very liberal parents who love her but never gave her an actual home. She wants that and she believes she has it but River changes everything. The magnitude of their feelings for each other overwhelm them and a beautiful love story begins. It was sure a slow burn but it was so addictive. I wish we had more moments of River and his Rainbow as a couple though because they got together a bit too late for my taste.

“It’s just…being with you, this feeling, it’s like nothing I’ve ever had.” That’s us, Rainbow.

Therefore, I am rating The Revenge Pact with 4 STARS because it was an extremely emotional romance with unique characters that got me gripped to their love story. River and Anastasia were so good together, I really enjoyed them together though I wished for a bit more towards the end. The Kings of Football series starts amazingly, with a fresh couple and I hope the other two installments will keep up the good work. I am sure they will!

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“Why is the elevator so slow?” she mutters.

“Tell me three things you’re grateful for,” I say.

She does a double take. “Is this where I’m like your…pet project? Don’t feel sorry for me.”

Rainbow, sorry is the last thing I feel for you.

I want you under me.

Deep and hard.

“How are things with Donovan?” I ask.

Her throat bobs. “I-I can’t talk to you about him. I mean, yeah, um, it…doesn’t feel right, you know, to him.”

Right. He’s her boyfriend and my frat brother.

The door opens and she slips out, her arm brushing against my chest. I follow, sucking down the electricity between us.

She blows out a breath. “I know what this is, why you’re being nice to me—”

“Yeah? Tell me, because I can’t figure it out,” I snap, annoyed she won’t open up while the other side is pissed at myself for asking. “Trust me, I wish I didn’t…” I stop, my jaw clenching.

She stops at the door to class and faces me. “Your paper. I’m sorry I can’t help you, I really am. I love helping others, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for us…” She bites her lip, her gaze avoiding mine. “There’s something about you and me—” She halts and looks down at her feet. “Anyway, I know a few students who tutor athletes. Let me give you their names—”

“No one but you, Anastasia.”

“What? Why?”

Instinct takes over and I back her against the wall, towering over her. I tilt her chin up, and she doesn’t speak or move, just breathing fast, as my hand slides around to her nape. A hum of heat goes through my body as my hands tangle in her hair.

“River…what…” Pink rises on her cheeks as her lashes flutter.

Every time, I’m pushing a little more, the dark side of me winning. Monday. Her apartment. Now.

I could kiss her right now, but it’s wrong, immensely, and I’m being bad, so bad…

She gazes up at me, her eyes flaring, the gold around her pupils darkening. She swallows as goose bumps appear on her neck.

A primal sound builds in my throat.




Dammit. I shouldn’t be this close, shouldn’t touch her—

“I’ll wait.” I grind my teeth and step back.

Her lips part, a small puff of air coming out. She looks at my mouth. “For what?”

The lethal side of me, the one itching to play this game no matter the consequences, tries to take over and speak the truth. I shove it down.

You, I say in my head.

Leaving her there, I sweep past her and go to my seat.

Five fucking rows back.


Best-selling authors Ilsa Madden-Mills, Meghan Quinn and Adriana Locke,deliver three stand-alone romances about college football players finding true love while on the verge of losing everything.

THE ROMANTIC PACT by Meghan Quinn Release Date: December 10th PREORDER NOW: Add to Goodreads:

THE RELATIONSHIP PACT by Adriana Locke Release Date: December 17th Preorder Now: Add to Goodreads:

The Author Ilsa head shot-2.jpg

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Todaybest-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, 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.

Join her Unicorn Girls FB group! Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon



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