Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills


Beauty and the Baller
(A standalone)

Publication Date: March 29, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Sports/Fake Dating/Contemporary Romance

Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars


Beauty and the Baller was pure reading decadence and a bubbling bottle of happiness that overflowed with joy!

Every part of this story was magic. From the opening meet-cute to the happily ever after. Ronan and Nova lit up the pages with their steamy chemistry along the abundance of Texas Blue Belle charm.

Nova was the perfect sassy beauty to play opposite Ronan’s broken baller. Every aspect of their lives meshed up perfectly when it came to outside appearances, Ronan wa treated as football royalty in Texas, where as Nova was returning home to take care of her younger sister which is nobel, but Nova is unmarried and has no job, truly scandalous for a southern woman in Texas. However, it does put Nova on the list of dating prospects for Ronan…oh wait, Ronan isn’t looking to date, anyone, ever. Also, scandalous…a single man in Texas-round up all the single ladies, stat.

The hijinks in this book are hilarious and the busy bodies in Blue Belle, Texas are super funny, especially for anyone who’s lived in a small town, it really hits home. To even out the colorful characters, the students that Ronan coaches are really great and add that special touch that gives his beastly character real depth.

For Nova she’s spunky and sassy and truly shines with an inner beauty that matches her outer one. She polishes up everyone around her and brings out their inner glow. Nova is like the sun that pulls all the planets around them so people just gravitate towards her. She’s got that inner spunk that just shines. As much as Ronan tries to deny wanting a relationship with her it’s so hard when the pull towards her is so strong.

Their games with each other, where they bet and compete are hilarious and with both of them being super competitive, they do it over everything. It’s adorable and I loved every moment of it. I could have stayed in this town with the two of them forever, so I really hope I get to return with some future characters.

Beauty and the Baller is about love, friendship, integrity, finding your path when you’ve been lost, it’s also about finding your joy when you haven’t had it in a really long time. Hands down it is just a darn good book, with laughs and steamy times to be had. A 2022 must read.


An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

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