Book Review Double Header: Very Wicked Beginnings/Very Wicked Things by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Very Wicked Very Wicked 2

Title: Very Wicked Beginnings/Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy 1.5/2)
Author: Isla Madden-Mills
Length: 68 pages/
Rating: 4 stars overal

Synopsis: Very Wicked Beginnings
A Prequel Novella
Girls say I’m a walking, talking sex god. Guys call me Hollywood because my life is golden.
It’s not.
But, ESPN did rank me as a four-star recruit, calling me one of the best defensive players since Briarcrest Academy opened its esteemed doors. So yeah, with football and a stellar GPA, my future seemed good.
Then Dovey Beckham shows up in her short skirts and ballet shoes. Driving me insane. Making me want to beg for her attention.
But that wouldn’t happen, because Cuba Hudson didn’t beg for
She walked around BA like she owned the place, and most days she looked right through me…the one girl I couldn’t have.
So, of course, I made it my mission to claim her, to put her notch on my bedpost.
Because no girl can resist the Heartbreaker of BA.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where wicked love begins…and ends.

WARNING: This dark and twisty new adult romance contains sexual situations and graphic language.

Synopsis: Very Wicked Things
Born on the poor side of town…
Ballerina Dovey Beckham is a scholarship student at Briarcrest Academy, determined to prove she’s more than just a girl with the wrong pedigree. She does whatever it takes to succeed in her endgame, even if it means surrendering her body…but never her heart.
Until the day she meets him, and he rips apart all her well-laid plans. Suddenly, the girl everyone thought unbreakable might just shatter.
Born into wealth and privilege…
Cuba “Hollywood” Hudson is rich, spoiled, and a star football player. With his fast cars and superficial girlfriends, he lives the high-life, hiding his secrets from the world.
Until the day he meets her, and she offers him something he’s never tasted… love.
But once in a lifetime kind of love doesn’t come easy. When trust crumbles and doubts creep in, both will have to decide to either love or let go… forever.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where sometimes, only the wicked survive.

My Review
I decided to do a joint review, as one really can’t read the novella, Very Wicked Beginnings, without reading the novel, Very Wicked Things. Could you skip the novella?  Sure, you get a recap of the novella within the novel, but you will lose some of the other character’s perspective, so I’d recommend you read both, back to back.

In the novella, we learn about Cuba and Dovey.  They are not a typical match, their backgrounds are worlds apart.  He’s VERY rich.  She’s dirt poor.  He’s the most popular guy at Briarcrest Academy.  She only has one friend, Spider.  He’s a star football player.  She’s a ballet dancer. Despite their difference, the attraction between them builds slowly in the novella.  Reading this, I immediately pictured a John Hughes movie, only maybe sadder.  I can see Molly Ringwald now . . . or maybe Lea Thompson . . .

While the novella ends with some hope for the twosome, the novel starts off one year later, and things are NOT good between Cuba and Dovey.  Thru alternating POVs and a series of flashbacks, we learn the highs and lows of their courtship.

Something had shifted in me today at our lockers. Something had clicked or been turned on or whatever. I was feeling more. It was as if I was finally waking up after being submerged in water for a year. Drowning my feelings had been comfortable, and I wanted it back.

*begins rant*
Although I sympathized with both characters and the horrible turn their lives had taken, I was annoyed as shit with how they treated each other.  Regarding Cuba, he was a class A douche for a good part of the book.  He ignored Dovey most of the time, but when he did open his mouth, I just wanted to staple it shut.  Nothing about what he said made me like him.  Feel sorry for him, yes.  Want him to be with Dovey?  HELL NO!.  And this girl, jeez, where do I start?!?  For as strong as she appears at times, she is utterly weak and with no backbone whenever she was around Cuba.  She could do SO much better in my eyes, and I don’t know why she continued to fawn all over him when he treated her like crap.  I’m with Spider on this one!
*end rant*

BUT, it’s clear that these two have some sort of “soul mate” thing going on.  Cuba is just being a blockhead and ignoring the obvious. His motives are ridiculous, but whatever.  Deep down, you know he cares for her.

Cupping my cheek, he took my mouth hesitantly, almost as if he was afraid I’d run, or perhaps, he was afraid he’d run. His lips feathered over mine gently, his tongue massaging mine, reigniting flames that had never been distinguished to begin with. And heaven help me, our kiss was fire and ice rolled into one. Love and hate, light and dark, our lips made a perfect symmetry.

Despite how I personally felt about the characters, the story is well written and kept me hooked throughout. The flashbacks show how good the highs were in their relationship, and I was scratching your head as to what caused it to go so wrong.  And then it’s revealed and things become clear.  Do I think that Cuba’s response was right?  HELL NO!  Way to be a drama queen Cuba!  When you could have gotten support to help you through the pain, you alienated the one person who truly cared about you, only causing more pain!

Regarding Emma, am I supposed to feel sorry for this girl?  That would be another, HELL NO!  I . . . I just can’t . . . ugh . . . what she did was just not cool.  So dear author, my vote for the next book would be for Sebastian.  I am dying to know what happens to him.  Yes, I’m greedy and still want Spider’s story too, but Sebastian first, please!

Very Wicked Beginnings                Very Wicked Things

Amazon                                          Amazon

Goodreads                                  Goodreads



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