From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new standalone romance about a flawed hero and the woman he can’t forget.
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: November 13th, 2017
4 Broken Heart CROWNS
Spider has been one of my most anticipated books from Ilsa Madden-Mills. From the moment we met him in previous books and then got more of him in a short story she wrote, I needed more of this charismatic character who seemed to draw me in with his persona alone. And while I would have liked a little more depth to the story in general, Spider, as a character, and his heroine did not disappoint in any way.
Spider is on the surface a bad boy rockstar. He is damaged, a bit broken from his past, and self-medicating. Even with all of his pitfalls, he still has this personality that entices readers. They, along with the heroine and many other females in the book, will be drawn to him. His desire to want to be a good person, not only for Rose but for himself, makes readers overlook his more troublesome qualities. The one thing that I do wish is that we would have gotten more depth to his character. Readers get the basic information, enough to understand his choices, but I ultimately wanted to dive into more layers of his character to really understand him and what drives his character other than the surface level.
Rose, surprisingly, had much more development to her character. Readers get to see her past experiences, they get to see her grow and change from a teen to a woman, and they get to see her grab onto the life she wants. There are going to be readers who don’t like her choices, one in particular, as she gets older, but as a reader, I bought into the her reason for making the decision. The attraction between the two, the pull, makes this choice a no-brainer, and I ultimately like the growth and development of her character over the course of the novel.
This story, very similar to my feelings on Spider, is enjoyable, but I really wanted more. I wanted more of them together. I wanted more intimate moments between them. I just wanted more. Ultimately, this speaks to how much I enjoyed the characters, their story, and their romance, but it felt very surface level instead of really getting to the meat of their story. I wanted to see the struggle, the journey of them getting to their HEA, but a lot of these moments are skipped with the with jumping of time. If I could have seen inside these times, this would have been a five crown read for me.
If you are looking for a quick, angsty read with characters that are relatable but also have troubled pasts, then Spider is a read for you. Readers will be enamored with Spider, will enjoy the growth and development of Rose, and will relish in their journey.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
He calls himself Spider.
I just know him as the sinfully gorgeous guy with eyes of fire that fate places next to me on the airplane.
I didn’t who he really was . . . future rock star . . . my stepbrother.
He kissed me because he thought he’d never see me again. He would.
Everyone warned me about him.
They told me he was careless and ruthless and screwed up.
They said he’d leave me with a hole in my heart.
Maybe I should have listened.
Maybe I should have built a fortress to keep him out.
But I crumbled instead.
They say an unbreakable thread connects those who are destined to meet. If that’s true, then the moment he sat next to me, we were bound together forever.
He just had to figure it out before it’s too late…
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How can one human man be so hot?
Spider sits on my toilet, shirtless, while I dab at his swollen eye. I’m doing my best to keep my eyes averted from the ink on his body, the way his tattoos swirl underneath his jeans, the way his chest is carved from stone.
Of course, I’m the stupid person who suggested he remove his shirt so I could see if he has any bruising on his chest. A cracked or broken rib can cause a lot of pain, and I want to be thorough, that’s all—I swear to baby Jesus.
He grinned at my request and whipped it off—which is the reason I’m now a mess.
There’s hardly any room to breathe with him in my small bathroom.
I wipe at the spot of blood on his cheek as he watches me stoically, never taking his eyes off me, tracking my every movement.
“This will look worse tomorrow,” I murmur, just to ease the tension. I stand between his spread legs, acutely aware of his fresh scent, his pure magnetism. My hands shake and I have to focus to push an image of me straddling him, both of us naked, out of my head. I want to run my tongue over the tattoo on his neck. I want to bite him like an animal while he—
Good grief, Rose, stop the fantasy!
“You’d make a good nurse,” he says softly, his long black lashes fluttering softly against his chiseled cheekbones.
“Doctor of Psychology,” I correct him.
“Yes.” Although right now I’m dreaming of him…
“I know that feeling. That’s how music is to me.” His golden-brown eyes watch me as I reach over to the medicine cabinet for more antiseptic and antibacterial cream, my chest perilously close to his face. I swear my nipples are reaching for him.
I nod, pretending like I’m not all discombobulated. “My granny mainly. She loved to read people—literally. She ran a little palm-reading business out of her home before she died. All the old ladies of the neighborhood would come to see her. She’d make them coffee and they’d just…talk. She’d tell them what they needed to hear while I sat on the floor next to her and listened. There wasn’t any magic involved of course.” I laugh. “But…she was incredibly intuitive. She just got people. If someone twitched or looked left or right while they were talking, she’d have a reason for it and she’d tell me all about it after they left.”
“I think I would have loved your granny.” He curls an arm around me, tugging me close until my chest is a hair’s breadth away from his face. I recall our epic kiss on the plane. I feel the pressure of his taut thighs and my breath quickens as desire unfurls inside me.
A hum warms my blood. I want him—desperately.
And it’s entirely foolish.
He’s my stepbrother.
He doesn’t call girls back.
“Why does it seem like I’ve known you forever?” I ask, feeling myself gravitating closer.
He thinks about it, pushing a piece of hair out of my eyes. Cupping my nape, he pulls me in tighter until our noses meet. The back of his hand caresses my cheek and the heat from his touch burns, yet there’s a tautness in the roped muscles of his arms, as if he’s holding himself in check.
“Because I am you,” he says softly. “We’re so much alike, it’s staggering.” He pauses and stares deep into my eyes.
I nod. I can’t think. He’s so close to me, his eyes burning into mine.
He closes his eyes and exhales. “I want you, Rose. You’re intoxicating.”
I suck in a sharp breath, our lips inches apart.
Is he going to kiss me? I want him to.
His eyes open after the silence has gone on too long, a smirk forming around his mouth. “You scared of me, Rose?”
“I’m scared you’ll rip my heart out.”
He stares at the LOST tattoo on his hand. “I probably will.”
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.
She’s addicted to dystopian books and all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos.
She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education.
When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and paints old furniture.
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