Julie Reviews VERY WICKED THINGS by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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.

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…especially when dirty money, past sins, and old flames threaten the very fabric of their lives.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where sometimes, only the wicked survive.

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I must say that when I read a book, I usually try to write the review as soon as I’m finished, but this one left me with quite a hangover!! I was happy, sad, and yet so frustrated. My heart really broke for both Dovey and Cuba. If any couple was meant to be together, these two people are a perfect match and true soulmates. 

We met Cuba in Very Bad Things and got into a little bit of his character but in this one, we dig deep into his life.  Cuba was your typical high school jock. He loved playing ball and he loved playing with the women. He experienced tragedy by losing his younger sister and always blamed himself for her death. He felt riddled with guilt since her death and believed he shouldn’t be loved by anyone, and that no feelings should be involved in being with anyone again. He had such a good heart but at times, I just wanted to slap him for being so damn cocky.

Dovey had been through her own trauma by losing her mom at a young age but her love for dance is what kept her going. Without that one constant in her life, she would never have survived. Dovey knew Cuba from school but knew he was ‘out of her league’. He was rich and well, she wasn’t. She was the poor girl who came from nothing and was reaching for the stars by dancing.

As Cuba and Dovey are brought together, they realize they have so much in common, yet are so different. They both share loss and are so scared to love. As Dovey finds herself unable to deny him any longer, it ends up costing her more than she bargained for. But let me tell you, the heat is definitely ON and you can feel that chemistry!!  Not only did she lose Cuba due to him being a typical ass, but she also lost herself in trying to save those she loved.

“After bad things happen, it’s up to us how we go on. The sun may be gone, but the stars are still there, waiting, always giving you light.” - Dovey

This is where I found myself so torn. The lengths she went through to save herself really tore me in two. We get to meet dear old dad, who should really be six feet under!! He is one father I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Talk about a pervert? Well, he passed with flying colors. And not in just what he did, but what he allowed to happen? OMG, I was speechless!!

As Cuba found himself in a precarious situation, he realized he had deeper feelings than he realized for Dovey, but was it too late? Had she sold herself to the devil?

“You’re a light I need. Like a thousand fucking suns.” - Cuba

As the story progressed, my emotions were all over the place. I wanted to slap Cuba, knock some sense into Dovey, and beat her father to death. Along with the crazy friends along the way, this was one book I won’t soon forget, but that’s what I love so much about Ilsa’s writing. She really pulls at your feelings and will leave you shocked.

I kept pulling for them to reunite and find their way back to each other but so many obstacles kept getting in the way. I loved seeing Cuba and Dovey fight their feelings, and how scared they were to try to love each other. This book was well written and pulled me in from the start and wouldn’t let me go until I finished. The secondary characters are ones you love and love to hate. I applaud Ilsa on a great sequel and give this book 4.5 stars. Ilsa, please don’t let me wait too long for more in this series!!

“We all travel life’s highways, making good and bad choices based on upbringing and beliefs. And, in the end, we have to be able to live with what we’ve done.”


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