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A Coffee Break Chapter: VERY WICKED THINGS by Ilsa Madden-Mills


by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Publisher: Little Dove; First Edition (May 11, 2014)
ASIN: B00KA0AGJK on Amazon
ISBN: 9780990368410

From New York Times bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes VERY WICKED THINGS, a sizzling standalone novel in the Briarcrest Academy series. This new adult romance is dark and edgy with mature content. Over 18 readers only, please.

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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 

But once in a lifetime kind of love doesn't come easy...especially when dirty money, past sins, and old flames come calling. 

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

"Angst, dark secrets, and off the charts sexiness abound in this twisty installment of the Briarcrest Academy Series. First love never sounded so hot and good. Ilsa never disappoints!" ~Shanora Williams, New York Times Bestselling Author 

"Cuba is hot, delicious, and intoxicating...the perfect book boyfriend. Be prepared for a heartbreaking and addictive read." ~Tijan, New York Times Bestselling Author 


Read an excerpt:

Very Wicked Things

(A Standalone Briarcrest Academy Novel)  

Cuba was part of the beautiful people, and I was fooling myself if I believed for one minute he’d love me back. Rich boys don’t fall for poor girls.” –Dovey Beckham

Chapter 1

A cold rain drenched me in seconds as I raced from my car to the front doors of Briarcrest Academy. That’s what I got for parking my beat-up car in BFE. But it was preferable to parking next to an import or a luxury car. At least in the overflow parking, I didn’t have to worry about accidentally dinging a hundred thousand dollar car with my door. But most of all, I didn’t have to worry about running into him. He always parked in the closest lot, the one designated for seniors.

Prestigious and old, Briarcrest Academy was hailed as one of the most academically excellent schools in Texas. Against a backdrop of stately oak trees and carefully maintained shrubbery, the austere grey stones ushered in the privileged to its hallowed halls. Calling me privileged was downright funny, yet here I am, finishing up my last year.

I pushed through the entry and continued down the hallway to my locker. One of the football jocks—Matt the Quarterdick I called him in my head—whistled at me as I passed. As if. The star quarterback at BA, he was the epitome of the handsome, frat boy type. I avoided him.

I’d already learned a painful lesson with a certain rich boy at BA.

When I’d first come to BA, like most girls, I’d entertained thoughts—briefly—of meeting a hot guy, kinda like a Taylor Lautner type with a warm smile and perfect abs. He’d see me breeze through the door, and he’d break his neck to rush to my side. He’d introduce me to his friends, even the female ones, who’d be just as welcoming. Maybe he’d try and smell my hair without me knowing or offer to sing to me even when he couldn’t carry a tune. He’d drive a fast car and own his own penthouse where he’d promptly invite me over for a candlelight dinner. He’d sprinkle roses out in a trail to his bedroom. Yeah, I’m no beauty and that scenario only happens in the movies.

I stopped in my tracks ten feet from my locker.

Not today. Not with my plastered hair and wet shoes that squeaked when I walked.

He was there, his big shoulders and well-toned biceps taking up most of the space and all of my air.Yes,brooding and sexy, Cuba Hudson was serious man-candy, the kind good girls knew to stay away from. But I hadn’t. Within the space of a few weeks last year, he’d wooed me, screwed me, and then tossed me in the trash.

Perhaps running or hiding would be good now, but then I’d be late for class.

I marched up to my locker and flung it open with a metallic bang, making him flinch.

Of course, I immediately smelled him, a woodsy, expensive scent that wafted around him, bringing back a time I didn’t want to remember. One whiff and a thousand memories assaulted me, of how he’d incinerated me. I held my breath for a few seconds until I decided that was straight-up stupid. I had to breathe because it would suck if I passed out at his feet.

So what if he smelled delicious? I could handle it. I knew his game now. He had a knack for being a playa and…

Tingles skipped up my spin, and as if it were choreographed, every hair on my body lifted in perfect unison. For the first time in a year, my peripheral vision saw his head turn and sensed his golden eyes behind those shades, running over my body, lingering uninvited.

He had actually looked at me.

I stared into the recesses of the locker, my mind reeling.

Why today?

For months, like I was toxic, he gave me plenty of leeway in the classrooms, the cafeteria, and the quad. He’d see me coming from twenty yards, and he’d turn around and go the other way. If our eyes accidentally bumped into each other’s in class, his never paused, just kept right on trucking.

He hated me and I didn’t know why.

Well, maybe I did.

Even without glancing at him, I knew his visage by heart. The soft dark hair with sun-tinted highlights, wavy and overgrown enough to label him as a bad boy by BA standards, and his absurdly long lashes that rested on his sun-kissed skin. He reminded me of the Greek gods, the ones with patrician noses, high foreheads, and aloof expressions. They’d sit up in there in lofty clouds and gaze down at the lowly mortals. Because they think they’re better than you. And here’s a tip: nine times out of ten, when a god gets with a mortal, nothing good comes from it. Well, the sex maybe, but once that’s over, most humans suffer a horrible death or die from a broken heart. Gods tended to ditch them for some other prettier mortal, or better yet, a goddess. Screw them all, especially fancy goddesses, I say.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him turn back to his locker, his arm muscles flexing like liquid steel as he pilfered through it like he was in a hurry. Ha. He was probably freaking out because of our proximity. Which I’d found interesting at first when his No Looking at Dovey campaign began, but had long since given up trying to figure him out.

Perhaps that’s not the entire truth. I ached to know why he’d played his head games with me; I ached to have his eyes see me.

Being sneaky, I slid my gaze over him. He was built like a god, too, with muscles that absolutely pulsed with a tangible sexuality. He was lickable. I can’t deny it. But the kicker was how in tune he was with the female heart, how he innately knew how to pose his physique for optimal viewing. Some people are born knowing the right stance and gestures that capture your eyes, hypnotize you with every step. Making you entertain the idea of him. Of being his.

It’s impossible though. He laid his heart at no girl’s feet. Hadn’t he told me so?

So yeah, no way was I turning to face him. Nope. Just gonna stand here and pretend he was a rock and think of unsexy things, like the frog I had to dissect in science this week or the test I had in Calculus.

It was over between us.

He selected a book from his locker and promptly dropped it, making me think he was as anxious as I was. With a grimace, he bent down to pick it up, his head at my knees. I immediately stiffened at his closeness.

Then his warm fingers slid up, up my calf, stopping at the top of my upper thigh, just at the hemline of my skirt. And my skirts are short, which meant his hand was nearly to my panties.

I flinched and pulled away. Even though his touch had lit me on fire.

And I hated him for it, for making me still want him.

Long seconds passed as I waited for him to stand and face me, my head screaming at me to just walk away now, to snub him like he did me every day. A rush of adrenaline kicked in because I’d fantasized this moment a thousand times in my head. Images of me spitting in his face came to mind.

He stood.

He eased off his ridiculously expensive sun-glasses.

Don’t look at him.

Gazing at him was suicide for your soul.

But basic need won out over self-preservation, and my blue eyes crashed into his amber ones straight-on, the force of his gaze making my chest tightened.

Tick, tock.

Time passed, maybe a minute or two. I really don’t know because everything but him zoomed out.As we studied each other,the sounds of students going to and fro and teachers starting class faded, leaving only us and the sounds of our breathing. The rumbling sound of thunder from the storm outside registered briefly, but then it disappeared as my vision narrowed in on him, blacking out everything. This was it, the moment I’d dreamed about, the moment I could lie and tell him that the way he’d destroyed me hadn’t really hurt. My heart was still in my chest; it still beat.

I licked my lips, accusatory words rising up in my throat, but I swallowed down my bitterness at the expression on his chiseled face. And even though I remembered clearly what he’d done to me, it got all mixed up—and I deflated.

Cuba Hudson, the hottest, richest, most popular guy on campus looked as broken as I felt.

© Ilsa Madden-Mills


Author Bio:


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 spends her days with two small kids, a neurotic cat, and her Viking husband. She collects magnets and rarely cooks except to bake her own pretzels.

When she's not crafting a story, you can find her drinking too much Diet Coke, jamming out to Pink, or checking on her carefully maintained chocolate stash.

She loves to hear from fans and fellow authors.

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