I received this book for free from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills
on February 3, 2020
Genres: NA Contemporary Romance
Source: Social Butterfly PR
“Dear Ava is heartwarming and angsty and don’t get me started on Knox. Read this book! You will love Ava’s fight and Knox’s alpha.”
—Tijan, New York Times bestselling author
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a gripping enemies-to-lovers, secret admirer, high school romance with Dear Ava, available now!
The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world–until they destroyed me.
The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them.
Please. I hate every one of those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer?
Knox, the scarred quarterback.
Dane, his twin brother.
Or Chance, the ex who dumped me. . .
Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea.
Wait. That’s stupid.
What I really mean is, you look at me and I feel something REAL.
It’s been ten months since you were here, but I can’t forget you.
I’ve missed seeing you walk down the hall.
I’ve missed you cheering at my football games.
I’ve missed the smell of your hair.
And then everything fell apart the night of the kegger.
Don’t hate me because I’m a Shark.
I just want to make you mine.
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“What do you want?” Knox says with as sneer as I ease in the football locker room. Cold eyes flick over my cheer skirt then move up and land on the hollow of my throat. It’s not cool enough at night for our sweater uniform so tonight my top is the red and white V-cut vest with CP embroidered on my chest.
He whips off his sweat-covered jersey along with the pads underneath. “I don’t keep tabs on my best friend for you. Get out—before I scare you.”
He’s scaring me already.
But I can’t stop looking at him.
His shoulders are broad and wide, his chest lightly dusted with sparse golden hair, tan from the sun, rippling with powerful muscles, leading down to a tapered and trim waist. He has a visible six-pack, and my gaze lingers briefly on a small tattoo on his hip, but I can’t tell what it is. He isn’t brawny or beefy-looking like one might expect from a guy blessed with his athletic prowess, but sculpted and molded and—
Dropping my gaze, I stare at the floor. I shouldn’t be ogling him. Chance is my maybe-boyfriend.
I hear male laughter from one of the rooms that branch off from the locker room, maybe the showers, and I deflate, guessing that’s where Chance is.
Glancing up, I intend to ask him to tell Chance I came by to congratulate him on his two touchdowns, but my voice is frozen. Knox has unlaced his grass-stained pants and is shucking them off. His legs are heavily muscled and taut, unlike the leaner build of Chance. His underwear are white and tight, cupping his hard ass, the outline of his crotch—
“Like what you see, charity case? You can look, but you can’t touch.”
Anger soars, replacing my embarrassment. I know I’m just the scholarship girl at Camden, but why does he have to constantly remind me?
“Don’t worry about me touching anything. I don’t like ugly.” The words tumble out before I can stop them. I meant his superior attitude, not his face, but I see the moment when he freezes and takes it the wrong way.
He touches his face, tracing his scar while his jaw pops. “Get the hell out. Only players allowed in here.”
I pivot and go for the door, forcing myself not to run. “Asshole,” I mutter.
His laughter follows me.
So I kind of read this as part of the 2nd Team Player anthologies. But I didn’t remember a lot about it, other than it was really emotional. And as I re-read it for this review, that was definitely the truth. There was a lot that happened to Ava that was really scary, but real. And the story kept me not knowing for sure the exact situation until close to the end, but had me guessing and going back and forth on who was involved really, and who was just there and didn’t do anything. I was definitely glad that some of the people who were possibly suspects turned out to not be. And I liked that they had their own issues, and it was real how they let those issues cause them to not just give her an easy time. That’s how real people are. But also, there was a lot of being able to overlook some things, that in some books becomes such a huge drama and annoys me.
Without spoiling, there was a bit at the end that totally confused me for a minute, but when I figured it out, I smiled and loved that it had happened that way. This is another great story from a favorite author of mine that I look forward to more from in the future!