Book Review

Sunny Shelly’s Review: Princess and the Player by Ilsa Madden-Mills

“The couple has chemistry to spare and Madden-Mills packs in the feels. Returning readers will be pleased.” —Publishers Weekly

Princess and the Player, an all-new sexy, surprise pregnancy sports romance featuring a meet cute at a masquerade ball from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills, is out now!

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?

Ready today!
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Sunny Shelly’s Review: 4 Stars

Princess and The Player is a great follow-up to Beauty and the Baller! Tuck is Ronan’s best friend/former teammate, so the books are loosely connected, but Player is a complete standalone.

The book opens when Tuck and Francesca meet while wearing masks at a sex club neither of them have frequented before. It’s his birthday, but he’s mourning the crossroads he’s at facing the end of his career and his messed-up family life, and she’s mourning what would have been her wedding day and her cheating fiance. Their meeting started out as a bet, and their incredible connection led them to an incredible one-night stand.

But fate had plans for Tuck and Francesca, because they keep crossing paths. They live in the same building! They can’t deny the sparks between them, but Francesca believes Tuck to be a player and is determined to stay far away. Especially after she discovers that she’s pregnant and Tuck never wants a family.

While I hate it when the heroine puts off telling the hero that she’s pregnant in the surprise-baby trope, I did appreciate how that played into the development of Francesca and Tuck’s relationship. As a foster kid, all she’s ever wanted was a family. And he’s had nothing but disappointment in his life because of his family. As they spend time together, Tuck’s walls start coming down, and Fran realizes that she was wrong about him being a player, but that he’s a genuinely nice guy. But how can they make their situation work?

I also really enjoyed the supporting players. Jasper and Brogan and CeCe are all hoots, and I adored Mr. Darden and the Widow. Both Francesca and Tuck had families of their choosing, and I loved how they ultimately decided to choose each other as well. I just wish Fran would have told Tuck earlier about her pregnancy rather than hide it for so long.

I received an advanced copy from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily left a review.

About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-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.

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