#NewRelease “Dear Ava” by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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Dear Ava, an all-new emotional and angsty standalone romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is available now!

Aundi’s Musings…

5 Truth or Dare Crowns

I read this short story last year in the Team Player 2 Anthology and was immediately hooked, I could not wait until the full book came out. Ilsa is a master at grabbing you from the prologue and keeping you completely engrossed until the very last word. This book is not an easy one and their HEA is a hard fought one, but all that just adds to the beauty of this story. 

Dear Ava, Your eye’s are the color of the Caribbean Sea. Shit. That’s stupid. What I really mean is…you look at me and I feel something REAL. And that never happens. It’s been ten months since you were here, but I can’t forget you. 

From the very beginning you are thrust right into the storyline and I am not going to lie, it’s a tough start. Your heart is immediately aching from the scene that plays out and from that moment on you are in a perpetual state of tension/anxiousness. You are drawn to Ava and her struggle from the very start her pain is right there in your face and palpable. Ilsa wrote her with such realism that you can feel what she feels and all that she’s going through as the story progresses. But what you also feel is her strength, not just of character but of conviction. She is trying to deal and come to terms with so much and being back in this environment isn’t just for her to overcome her trauma but for her brother whom she loves fiercely, to be able to give him more than she was ever given. She is a strong person more so than I think many could be if put in the same position. I found myself aching for her and rooting her on throughout the whole book. I wanted her to win I needed her to win because damn it she deserves it! 

“Ava,” He says in acknowledgement, his voice husky, laced with dark undertones. His tone reminds me of the night, steel wrapped in black velvet, hinting at secrets and barely leashed power.  

Knox let me tell you this man is something else. The person that he portrays to the outside world is not who he is. He too has things that he is trying to work through. And what happens to Ava opens a door to all these underlying emotions that he was trying to keep locked away. Knox loves with all that he has and its shows through his actions and the way he tries to take care of those around him. This man made me feel all the things! The delicacy with which he handles Ava will seriously make you swoon. He holds himself away thinking it’s best for her and watching as they both start chipping away at each other’s highly built walls will melt your heart. Their banter and the ease that they find while with each other will tug at your heartstrings, especially at a time when they are both hurting for different reasons, they still found that comfort in each other. 

She’s the eye of a hurricane, the winds of her pain whipping around her protectively.

This book sliced at my heart and soul, but I found that I could not put it down, I needed to know what was going to happen, for my own peace of mind. This book is guaranteed to run you through the gambit of your emotions leaving you completely drained but satisfied. My heart ached through most of the story and it brought tears to my eyes at other times, but their hard fought HEA was worth every single second. Ilsa has created such a heartfelt and dynamic story layered with societal issues that you hope someone will not have to endure in real life, but you know that so many do. I fell in love with this story as a short but I am obsessed with it as a standalone. 

Voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Complimentary Copy.



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 one of them 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 and their leader, Dane, his twin brother, or Chance, the ex who dumped me…

Dear Ava,

Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea.

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.

The truth is, I wanted you back then—but you had him.

And then everything fell apart that night.

Don’t hate me because I’m a Shark.

I just want to make you mine.


An excerpt of Dear Ava appeared in the anthology Team Player 2 in 2019. (No longer available.) This full-length version is 100,000 words.

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About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Ilsa head shot-2.jpg

Wall Street JournalNew York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

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Happy reading,


  1. Wow, I sure hadn’t thought this will be such an emotional read but it seems like it is. Still I very much want to read it.

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