Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden Mills
Narrated by Sebastian York and Savannah Peachwood
Sports Romance. Stands alone easily.
“I knew exactly which road to take, and it was back to you.”
I admit, I’m not much of a sports romance fan, but I have always liked Ilsa Madden Mills books, and the audible of Beauty and the Baller is part of Kindle Unlimited so I grabbed it. If you like a Friday Night Lights type of story, this book is for you!
Beauty and the Baller takes place in a Texas small town that is all about football, and it encompasses a sports romance, fake dating, neighbors and second chance tropes. Ronan Smith is an NFL superstar. The quarterback won the Heisman more than once until his career ended with the accident that also killed his fiancé.
He and Nova meet in New York when Nova sneaks into a party to meet her crush, Ronan. They spend one drunk night together that ended badly because he was still grieving. A few years later, Nova has to move back to her small Texas town to become a guardian for her younger sister.
Her new next-door neighbor happens to be the hero of the town, the football coach who has finally made a winning team…Ronan. And he doesn’t remember Nova. The town wants him to stay so much that they keep trying to find a woman that he will settle down with, marry, and stay in town. It’s gotten so out of hand that Ronan proposes fake dating his new neighbor.
I loved how their first meeting was quirky and nerdy, but it felt weird to me that she did so much to meet him. It felt like she didn’t like HIM, but his sports status. That was reinforced when it was clear she had a specific type: sports stars. Other than that, I really loved Nova’s character, especially her relationship with her sister. Luckily the romance did feel very real in the end and the chemistry was there.
I was entertained the entire time I listened, and had a smile on my face almost the whole time. Their playfulness and banter was great, but there were also some serious, emotional moments.
- Kept me smiling the whole time.
- Great banter and playfulness.
- I loved all the side characters and stories.
- Nova’s sister was on the spectrum and I just loved her and I loved the sister relationship.
- Pool tables 😉
- Great chemistry.
- The school scenes with the kids.
- A few stories made me laugh out loud.
- Too much of his dead fiancee.
- I felt like she liked his “type” more than him at first.
Sebastian York is always my favorite male narrator so he really added to the book for me, and he was perfect for the part. Savannah Peachwood is another narrator I always love. They both fit the parts perfectly, and I think the audiobook was enhanced by their performances.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4 Stars, 4 Heat, 5 Narration
Purchase Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Both the book and audiobook are FREE in Kindle Unlimited
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