Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy contemporary romance about a smoking-hot professional football player and the small-town girl he can’t resist.

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

349 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 18, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Ilsa Madden-Mills

47 books15.2k followers
#1 Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills pens angsty new adult and contemporary romances.

A former high school English teacher and librarian, 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. ☺

★ Sign up for her newsletter and receive insider info about new releases and exclusive giveaways

★ You can stalk her/sign up on the contact page: ilsamaddenmills.com

★ Facebook: Author Ilsa Madden-Mills

★ Join her private reader group on FB: Unicorn Girls

★ Instagram @Ilsamaddenmills

New Book News:

Dear Ava is live!
Not My Romeo is live!
I Promise You drops October 12/20
Not My Match drops January 19/21 (pre-order on Amazon)

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
12,329 (40%)
4 stars
10,688 (35%)
3 stars
5,471 (18%)
2 stars
1,198 (3%)
1 star
390 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,954 reviews
Profile Image for mel ☽.
365 reviews7,567 followers
January 27, 2021
3.25 stars

first, i have the most important question i'll ever ask in my whole entire life and existence on earth...

... do people really have pet pigs??

asking for a friend.

the beginning got me instantly hooked because when the heroine walks up to a stranger who she thinks is her blind date but said stranger is actually a famous athlete and then they have a one night stand and THEN they meet again in the girl's small town because the dude coincidentally accidentally hit one of the kids from said town and THEN the girl is gonna play Juliet and the dude is gonna play Romeo in the their Romeo & Juliet play?? i was h o o k e d.

but then it slowly started to become... meh .
and mainly because of the slightly repetitive romance in the beginning and Jack (H) leading Elena (h) on!! i really just wanted to do this to him sometimes

he kinda deserves it.

and as for the repetitive romance well it goes like this:
1. H says something dirty and h is turned on
2. h's mind says no but her body says yeessss
3. they walk closer to one another (they always do this!!) and then the H kisses her. h melts of course.
4. they're cockblocked
5. H says something stupid/hurtful, h then goes all like bishh byee and then regrets their makeout session
6. h leaves, H doesn't run after her.
7. repeat

this goes on at least 3-4 times until that scene in the 66% mark where Jack saves her in a bakery (because she forgot her wallet) and then carries her from the bakery to his penthouse while it's raining then BAM, they're together for 2 weeks (time jump).

BUT THEN (spoilers) there's a little conflict here because of Sophia (Jack's ex) where he meets up with his ex who destroyed his trust by publishing a defamatory book about him. she wants him back and he's all like nahh bishh you wish and THEN she tells him she shouldn't trust Elena and he was like oh shit yeah ok i shouldn't (??)

AND THEN a little misunderstanding happens where Jack refused to listen to Elena then they're broken up for 2 days, he grovels during the Romeo and Juliet play and all is forgiven. the end .

k first of all, if i were Jack i would've sued Sophia (the ex) because duhh: defamation. like dude, get that $$$ because i would've been like this

and Jack should spend all that money for a therapist so he wouldn't lead our poor girl Elena on. just a thought.

second, no offense but i feel like Jack liking kdrama and loves singing to Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber is kind of hmm... how do i explain this.. "click-baity"?? i don't know man.. it just doesn't go with his character. at least in my opinion.

third, i don't like any kind of sibling rivalry because i feel bad!! like, i get it's for drama and some angst but i don't know, it just makes me really sad because i have a younger brother and i hate fighting with that idiot but yeah.. and also Elena and Giselle fighting over a dude (Elena's ex) that has a mediocre sized dick??

i think not.

again, i just thought that for most of the time (mostly in the beginning), i felt like Jack was only interested in her for sex. like i know there was probably a "deeper meaning" but he ALWAYS had to mention sex which was annoying tf outta me because y'all know me, i am trash for emotional connection and well, at least for 70% of the book, they're all about lust. which is kind of a no for me.

aaand i don't know how to explain this but i guess something was missing?? ugghh i don't know.

i heard there's gonna be a second book and it's about Devon (Jack's best friend) and Giselle (Elena's sister) who betrayed Elena by getting with her ex... uhhh im a little hesitant with this because it's kinda hard to forget that mistake 😅 BUT apparently their book has the roommate trope and the H teaching the h about dating because h is naive and innocent and H plays as her matchmaker but then he slowly falls in love with her?? yeah all of these tropes are a guilty pleasure to me sooo...

The Game Changers
#1: not my romeo3.25 stars
#2: not my match2.75 stars
June 24, 2021
This is the gold standard for sports romance!

The following ratings are out of 5:
Romance: 💜🖤🤍💙💚
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📘📗📕📙📓
World building: 🌅🌆🏙🏞🌃
Character development: 👤👤👤👤👤

The setting: Nashville & Daisy Tennessee
The Hero: Jack Hawke, Superstar NFL Quarterback that won 4 championships, but never won a Super Bowl.
The Heroine: Elena, a Librarian in the small town of Daisy with bit of a wild streak.

I loved this sports romance story. It was funny, heartwarming, a bit tragic and so hot! The romance between the Jack and Elena was terrific and natural. I liked that there was chemistry between them from the beginning and I didn’t have to wait until the last half of the book for them to get busy. Jack is definitely an alpha male, but he has insecurities which make him even more attractive than his looks alone.

Jack had a bad childhood and finds it hard to trust, especially women. Since his one and only long term girlfriend turned on him and wrote a tell all book about him which was full of lies. She portrayed him as an alcoholic and an abuser. Though Jack did his share of drinking when he was younger and had money to spare for the first time in his life, he has grown up since then and has never hit a woman in his life.

Jack gets severe anxiety around people he doesn’t know and especially around reporters so he never gives interviews. This had not helped his reputation at all especially since the book came out and he has never refuted anything in it. The world doesn’t know about his anxiety and as far as he is concerned he only wants to play good football but all this other stuff seems to get in the way.

When Jack meets Elena, she thinks she is on a blind date with a weatherman. Jack doesn’t immediately correct her because he enjoys the fact that she has no idea who he really is. Elena intrigues him, with her pencil skirt and buttoned up shirt, with curves underneath and dainty hands. He is even more intrigued when he sees what she has on underneath.

Elena designs her own unique lingerie, and though she is a small town girl at heart, she has so many inconsistencies. Her pet is a teacup pig named Romeo, she lives with a gay man named Topher and her sister stole her fiancé. Her Mama and Aunt work at the local beauty shop which reminds me of the one Dolly Parton worked at in Steel Magnolias.

The love story is the thing, though. And it is wonderful. I recommend this to any fan of quirky, funny and epic love stories. I love anything Ilsa Madden-Mills writes, but this one was even above the rest.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Christy.
3,809 reviews32.4k followers
September 17, 2020
3.5 stars


Not My Romeo is my first book by Ilsa Madden Mills. It was cute and fun and I even though I didn't fall in love with the story, I did enjoy reading it and I'll be checking out more from this author in the future.

Elena and Jack meet on a blind date... only Jack isn't Elena's date. I loved this meet-cute and had so much fun reading about this couple. Jack is a professional football player and Elena is a librarian with big dreams to break out into the fashion world. Neither of them is looking for a serious relationship, but as luck would have it they keep getting thrown together in different ways. They have tons of chemistry and great banter. I was rooting for them to get together, I just wish it would have happened sooner!

This one started out really strong for me, but for some reason I lost interest towards the end. Still, it was a good read and I would recommend listening to the audio book because the narration was terrific. Savannah Peachwood and Eric G. Dove did a great job voicing Elena and Jack. I also really loved the Romeo and Juliet stuff going on and some of the side characters- I hope there are spin-offs from them because I would totally read those! If you're looking for a sweet, fun, and light romance give this one a try!
"I've never had this, Elena. I've never been with someone I couldn't live without.”
Profile Image for Tears Of Venus.
129 reviews1,453 followers
August 19, 2020
4 💖⭐️s
”Sometimes, fate gives you a bad game, but in the end destiny straightens it out. And you win. You and I are going to win.”

Song : Taylor Swift - August

I love this author. I really do. It normally takes me at least 3 books to love an author but Ilsa Madden-Mills won me over with Dear Ava .
When this book was announced, I fell in love with it before reading it. I just knew, in my heart, that I would love it. And I was right because

This is the story of two incredibly endearing and amazing people : Jack Hawke and Elena Riley.
They meet when Elena mistakes Jack for her blind date on Valentine’s Day. Jack thinks she’s a reporter willing to write a favourable story about him to hopefully help with his image, which has been not so pristine to begin with and getting worse lately. When he figures she's mistaking him for her date, he doesn’t correct her or tell her the truth, because for the first time in his quarterback life, someone doesn’t recognize him or knows rumors about him, and he doesn’t want to change that; at least not for that night.
What follows is fate throwing two people together in the hopes they’ll see how perfect they are for each other. 💖

Since this is a new release, I’m putting the rest of my review under a spoiler tag because y’all know I never know when to shut up

I hope Devon, Quinn, Topher, Lawrence, Aunt Clara and yes, even Giselle get their own books. This set of side characters was life. 💖

One thing is for sure, tho : Whatever Ilsa Madden-Mills writes, I’ll devour.

“My nana used to say that broken people love the hardest because they appreciate the things that make their heart beat. Do I make your heart beat?”
Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
617 reviews5,080 followers
August 20, 2020
I was blindsided.

All I've heard about this book from other reviews was: "the Hero watches K-drama and he's so sweet 🥺" That's when I knew, I had to read this book, but wow I did not care about neither Jack nor Elena.

But then Jack goes and says:
"I won't judge you for eating a pound of bread when we met, and you don't judge me for my K-dramas."

Dude. Are u ok? Is your head ok? Is your brain ok? Are ur brain cells still intact??? If you judge a girl for eating bread ... no comment. Maybe that comment was meant to be funny and I've read other Heros who said things waaay worse, but there is something about that comment that made me feeling very icky and super annoyed.

Before that I was already not invested in the characters or the story, but after it, I was even LESS invested. I've finished Not My Romeo not even an hour ago and can barely remember anything. That's the level of memorable it has on me.

Jack was such an one-dimensional character, cause the only thing besides him being a jock that I remember is that he was scared shitless of being in love and that resulted in him being afraid of commitment, which was basically the whole plot of this book. The most interesting about Elena was that she's a librarian with a secret wild side, cause she designs sexy lingerie.

Elena and Jack as a couple. A snoozefest. It's hard to care about them as a couple if I don't even care for them as individuals.

Also the sibling rivalry between Elena and Giselle? BYE! I hate it when sisters are fighting over some smelly dude.. like why? What's the point? He's not even worth it. So every scene with tension between Elena and Giselle because Giselle is now engaged to Elena's ex boyfriend gave me a huge headache. Girls, that's not acceptable behaviour 😭

Not My Romeo is already my third book by Ilsa Madden-Mills and there is just something about her writing style that doesn't impress me at all. Will I keep reading her books? Yes, because a lot of people seem to love her books and the stubborn part of my brain wants to find at least one book that I'll rate higher than 3 stars 😬

#1 Not My Romeo – 2.5 stars
#2 Not My Match – tbr
Profile Image for Carol.
1,310 reviews219 followers
May 16, 2020
5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
A fabulous rom-com, it ranks right up there along with all my other top favorites in this category.

The story was total rom-com magic....I laughed, smiled and sighed at times ...I also felt my positive endorphin levels rising with each new page that I read!!!
This has to be one of Ilsa Madden Mills best books ever IMO.

It starts off with a Valentine's Day blind date misstep when Elena (a sweet librarian and albeit secret lingerie designer) mistakes Jack Hawke (a somewhat cynical and shy football player) for her intended date (a weatherman named Greg) and she boldly sits down at his table.

What followed was such a fantastic scene (absolutely one of my all time book favorites) and it definitely sets the stage for this zany, crazy and positively adorable ROMANCE .

I loved Elena so much and all her crazy family. In fact I loved all of these characters including the insufferable ones such as Elena's Ex as they are all part of the reason this was such an endearing and "very" special read.
The majority of the book is set in Elena's "oh so" cute and charming hometown of Daisy....just delightful!!!

There is even a little Romeo and Juliet action going on here as well in terms of the town's annual play...note the choice of book title.

I totally devoured this delightful and adorable book and....

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING IT ......thank you so much Montlake publishing for giving me this ARC...as it was my pleasure!!!!

ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mali Mor ❤️ The Romantic Blogger.
422 reviews524 followers
September 7, 2020
This book had so much potential to be a 5-star read for me.

First Half: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fun, hilarious, steamy... and also fun (I know I already wrote "fun", but thats how fun this book was!) 😂

Second Half: 1 Star ⭐
Boring, boring, boring... and a bit stupid (in what world is a famous football player participats a theater show of a neighborhood community center? And what does that show have to do with everything that happened in the plot so far? And why, OH WHY, after all the rehearsals they had, there was only one show...?! I mean, come on!) 😭

📚 “𝑴𝒚 𝒏𝒂𝒏𝒂 𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒂𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒃𝒓𝒐𝒌𝒆𝒏 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒍����𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕. 𝑫𝒐 𝑰 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕?” 📚


📖 ᖴOᒪᒪOᗯ ᗰE Oᑎ IᑎᔕTᗩGᖇᗩᗰ: https://www.instagram.com/the_romanti...

📖 ᐯIᔕIT ᗰY ᗷᒪOG ᖴOᖇ ᗰOᖇE ᖇEᐯIEᗯᔕ: https://books-romance.com/

📖 GOOᗪᖇEᗩᗪᔕ: https://bit.ly/3acMRMP

💕 לקריאת הסקירה בעברית, כנסו לבלוג: https://books-romance.com/ 💕
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
574 reviews3,301 followers
August 18, 2020
Two opposites mending one puzzle, and one attraction that never seems to sizzle no matter how far away they run from each other...

Jack and Elena, a couple filled with lots of chemistry and lust that truly breaks the pages. At first sight, it's kind of complicated to feel their attraction, but after a while it's a no brainer that they are meant to be. Elena is such a unique character that's for sure. She is quirky, introverted, smart, and sexy. Qualities in which to Jack's eyes make her worth his time. Though his real identify is not revealed at first, he knows that he is one of a kind to not judge him due to his reputation;
"Goddess. She's the sexiest woman I've ever met, and she doesn't even know it..."

With time, and both getting to know each other more and more. It is revealed how Elena's true side comes out. It's a beautiful thing to read to be honest, like seeing a flower blossom. And with Jack being by her side, she keeps blossoming more and more. Though the struggle of him admitting how much he truly loves her, but he doesn't know it at first, is real; throughout time you slowly learn to love Jack and his commitment issues. I wouldn't say I fell in love with the lack of committing, but his excuses where real and considerate. And with football still in his life, he needs to learn how to balance a d relationship as well as his career, or have to make the decision of knowing when to stop one thing and take care of himself first, and the ones he loves.

New characters in which I already have a feeling will be the next books in this hopeful series emerge, in which I am beyond excited about. Especially if Ilsa decides to write a book for Devon, a true swoon worthy character that had me laughing every time he appeared. In general, Jack and Elena's book was truly worth the reading. Plus, I will never NOT read any of her books that's for sure.

ARC kindly provided by Social Butterfly PR, in exchange for an honest review...

Follow Me On:
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,404 reviews449 followers
August 17, 2020
One of my favorite romance reads of the year!!
I highly recommend it to every romance reader, this book has off the chart chemistry and unbelievably believable dialogue.

It is hard for me to be critical or even write a review when you loved the book as much as I did love this one. I feel like I can’t express it well enough how much I enjoy reading this.
What I find the best is writing more specifically the heroine. I haven’t read such a well fleshed out character in a long time.

It seems that this book will be book one in a series. But don’t worry, it can be read as a standalone. I assume the next book is about one of the side characters. Which I will be reading, of course. This book is about a football star Jack and small-town librarian Elena. They meet in a restaurant where Elena mistakes him for her blind date. From there all yumminess ensues. Jack can’t stay away from the mysterious Elena. But it seems that they also keep bumping into each other.
Do opposite attract? Or do they have much more in common than they think?
Many interesting side characters keep this story going. From Elena’s meddling mother who wants her to find a boyfriend to her damaged relationship with her sister, her cheating ex-boyfriend, her vivacious aunt, sweet roommate, Jack’s teammates, and a bunch of curious small-town people this book makes a page-turner. Once I started it I couldn’t stop reading it. Jack makes a sweet book boyfriend. I loved the pace of the book and character development. I would categorize this as a small town, mistaken identity, or even sports romance. But this book doesn’t shy away from some heavier topics such as cheating, abuse, trust issues, self-confidence.

Filled with funny moments, lots of steam too, but the emotional parts are what tied everything in a perfect feel-good read. Not My Romeo is a book that every romance reader will be in love with.
This is a book I want to reread!

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,543 reviews1,399 followers
February 23, 2021
I needed some time to decide how to grade this book because while I loved most parts of it, I also disliked certain parts of it.

All in all, it is not a bad book, its good outweighs its bad.

First of all, it is well-written and most importantly, it makes you feel but I think it is the hero that spoils it all. He’s had a traumatic childhood and it still affects him in a negative way. He cannot trust anyone. Especially, after the betrayal of his last girlfriend, who published a book about him which was full of lies, he has closed himself off totally.

Although I understand where his distrust is coming from, our heroine, who is totally an awesome woman, doesn’t deserve his distrustful attitude and his long-term hesitation. That’s what bothered me most. He is too whiny about it all, always thinking people will abuse his trust if he ever gives it.

Come on, two bad people and what they did to you in the past doesn’t reflect the whole world.

He acted as if everyone is the same, every woman who approaches him will betray him, blah bla. And after a while, he sounds like an immature person, maybe even a child who always whines about it.

Apart from that, the whole book is enjoyable. It has a lot of depth and very interesting side characters and side stories. It is never boring.


At first, the writer makes a mistake and their "one-night stand" fades to black!


Tsk tsk tsk, that was a huge mistake in my opinion because I could have DNF’ed the book there, thinking this is one of those books where I won’t be feeling their chemistry and passion at all!

Why would you do that? Isn’t the purpose of a “one-night-stand” to show us how combustible their chemistry is and how they cannot resist each other? Why would you fade it to black after a short oral scene? (If the answer is because she wanted to show us their intimacy after they developed feelings, I say "bullshit"... Sorry! I checked twice if I missed pages or not. It was awkward.)

Whatever... Thank God, the rest of the book gives us enough scenes where we feel how strong their attraction is.

The characters in the book are interesting but sometimes weird.

The heroine is lovely but her lingerie taste was strange for me – beads, pictures of animals on them, bright colors that change with motion and all...

She is a librarian. She studied literature.

I think the writer tried to make a contrast or something like that.

The hero is weird too. He is a footballer but he studied English major, too. He can quote from various books. Also, he likes Korean drama and sings pop songs from Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift etc.

I don’t know how to express it without making a mistake but sometimes he sounded more feminine than masculine.


I believed in their feelings. Amidst all his distrust and hesitation, I felt how much he cared about the heroine and how much he wanted her. He just didn’t know it was love. It was just a scary feeling for him.

He was neither able to escape from it nor was able to embrace it fully for a long time.

Towards the end, there is a cliché plot twist, where he hears a part of a telephone conversation and blames the heroine. It is very frustrating and later, he doesn’t grovel the way I like. Yes, he regrets and tries to win her back but not in the way I liked.

At the end of the book, I still don’t know how he will react in another situation where he assumes the worst thing?!

The writer gives us an Epilogue for a few years later with their HEA but still, I have doubts because his wounds are deep and maybe he should have had some therapy.

In my opinion, he needed therapy seriously and there is no mention of it in the book.

Well, I need to assume that their love will overcome it all if they ever find themselves in a crisis like that again. And I wish happiness to this couple with all my heart.

Yeah, despite it all, I think I still loved them together ❤️



I think it is safe to say that this book is safe 😊



This book is solid 3.5 stars for me. Not 3 nor 4. However, as goodreads does not allow half points (which is a shame), I needed to lower it to 3 or raise it to 4 and I chose to raise it to 4 because a "360-page book" with depth and feelings deserves it as there are so many books with 180-200 pages which, I am sure, are written with little effort.

Also, this book has made me want to continue the series and I hope Devon's book will be more fun with less drama.


P.S. Sorry, but how awful is that cover? Is he hot or handsome for some? He looks like someone not to be trusted, let alone being someone who has trust issues.


Some QUOTES from the book

He nods, his lashes fluttering as he comes closer, then pauses, looking uncertain.
“God, Elena. I’m afraid you’re going to push me away. I know I’m not perfect, that I need to work on this, but I can’t let go of you. I spent two wretched nights without you. I never want to be this . . . sick again. I love you, Elena. So much. I don’t even know how to describe it.”

My breath hitches. He says, “I want to wake up next to you every day and see what life throws at us. Will you try?”

Will I try? I’d walk over hot coals for him.


He holds my face steady with his fingertips. “I’ve never had this, Elena. I’ve never been with someone I couldn’t live without."


"Sometimes, fate gives you a bad game, but in the end destiny straightens it out. And you win. You and I are going to win."


* You can follow my instagram page from here
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,345 reviews1,416 followers
August 24, 2020
5 Stars!
(ARC provided by Montlake)

-Sometimes, fate gives you a bad game, but in the end destiny straightens it out. And you win.


Elena Riley is a 26 yr. old, single librarian that lives in a small town in Tennessee called Daisy. Always feeling she's expected to be the perfect southern girl she is prim, proper and reserved. After a bad break up she needs to move on. It's time for some good to come her way. She agrees to step out of her comfort zone, and go on a blind date on Valentine's Day. It's then she meets a drop dead gorgeous man who isn't her usual type, but makes her senses come alive again. He comes across as a little dangerous, and a whole lot sexy. After a couple drinks they end up at his penthouse, and she feels an all consuming need and desire she's never experienced before. This beautiful man lights a fire inside her that brings out a wild, spontaneous side she never knew existed. She thinks she'll never see him again, but she soon learns his true identity as they continue to cross paths. He's positively sinful, and could be very dangerous to her heart.

Jack Hawke is a professional football player for the Tigers in Nashville. He's a legend, and one of the hardest working quarterbacks in the league. Football has always been the one stable thing in his life. As a famous athlete he lives his life in the limelight. He loves the game, but not the attention. Often misunderstood, he has a reputation as the broody, bad boy of the NFL. His image is in need of an overhaul, and he should be focusing on football, but he suddenly gets distracted by a feisty firecracker of a woman who he can't get enough of. She consumes all his thoughts and breaks all his rules, but he wants her. She's genuine and makes him feel vulnerable. He knows he should probably try to keep his distance and avoid complications, but destiny keeps pushing them together.


-I have no self-control apparently when it comes to him, and no matter what my head says, that I shouldn't get lost in his lips, I already know I want to. I'm dying for his mouth on mine again.

-"I've never had this, Elena. I've never been with someone I couldn't live without."


Not My Romeo (The Game Changers #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills is a fabulous sports romance about love, trust, betrayal, chemistry, passion, and fate. Sparks fly when a delicious, alpha, dirty talking football superstar, and a beautiful, quirky, innocent, introvert librarian meet. Opposites attract and we get a super sexy story full of humor and sizzle. I adore this author's writing, and this is one of my favorites by her. Pure Ilsa Madden-Mills gold! It will definitely be in my top reads of 2020. I can't wait for more books in the Game Changer series. I need more of these yummy football players!!!

 photo 708800B6-901E-4A2B-8B1A-C8DCD774F259_zpsqkbfrd0n.jpg

Profile Image for moonlight ☾ [semi-hiatus].
621 reviews922 followers
December 16, 2020
4.5 stars

this was a hilarious, heartwarming and fun read between a sexy professional football player and a small-town librarian and I loved every moment of it. <3

Jack (H):
➴ a hero who reads and likes kdramas?? where can I find my own Jack? 😩 on a serious note, Jack was such a kind and respectful H (the way he would ask Elena (h) in the beginning if they could kiss had me swooning) that I couldn’t help but adore him. His lack of commitment and trust issues frustrated me towards the end, but I understood where he was coming from, even tho I just wanted him to take “a leap of faith”, as Elena puts it. Overall, I loved him as a herooo :))

Elena (h):
➴ my favorite character, hands down. Jack may be swoony, but Elena was quirky, hilarious and relatable. She made me laugh out loud so many times throughout the book and she’s the type of heroine I’d love to be friends with irl. I also love the way she could hold her own and stand up to Jack, when needed.

the romance:

side characters:
➴ I love it when side characters are just as lovable as the mains! Elena’s aunt stood out to me cause of how similar she was to Elena (personality-wise), but also the way the guy she’s seeing is 10 years younger than her? I love a good age gap, forbidden romance 😌 I’m also interested in reading stories about Aiden, Quinn (and Topher?? based on that epilogue) and Devon!!
Profile Image for ❤️ Nanda ❤️.
672 reviews304 followers
August 18, 2020
❤️ Follow me on Instagram 💋

I can't put in words how much I loved this book, but I'll definitely try.

I've thought that after Dear Ava, I couldn't enjoy this author as much as I did back there.
Ohhh silly me...
This book is just perfect!
I can't think in not even one negative point to tell you!

I've to start by saying that:

With that out of the way, I can just tell you that my man is perfect.

Jack Hawke is a hot famous, but very reserved, quarterback for the Nashville Tigers. His social skills are the lowest and he really doesn't trust nobody. Obviously he's right to have his trust issues, but everything in his life start to change at the moment that Elena wrongly sits across from him, in his lonely Valentine's day dinner.

Elena is a sassy, smart, completely out of the box, sexy librarian. She's that kinda of person who just adopt a baby pig instead of a dog, and lives with her gay best friend, in a very full of gossip small town.
She's so different from every other women who had crossed his way, that he can't resist to know her. To touch her... And to pretend that he's actually, her blind date.

Their chemistry is out of the charts since the first moment, and their growing feelings are so well described, so raw and pure, that I just couldn't put it down.

She lives in a small town near Nashville, and after a few troubles with the media, Jack is out there to play Romeo and Juliet, and clean his image with the media sharks. Their encounter were just meant to be.

I'm not going to make a huge review, because this book is amazing, romantic, breathtaking, funny, heartbreaking and so different, that I'll not ruin it dropping some spoiler.

You just have to read!
It's a must read!
One of my favorites books ever!
Can't wait to read about the other boys!

ARC Reviewer

❤️ Follow me on Instagram 💋
Profile Image for FictionalDen.
251 reviews205 followers
August 28, 2020

4.75 STARS

Omg you guys, I absolutely loved this book so much, I’m actually considering reading Dear Ava again (left it as DNF).

Elena was set up for a blind date on Valentine’s Day by her friend Topher. The only thing she knew about her date was that he was a weatherman and he would be wearing a blue shirt. When she goes to the five star restaurant he had invited her too, she see’s a gorgeous man in blue shirt sitting all alone and already having his dinner, assuming he is her date she goes to him, nervous and pissed off that he started eating without her.

Jake, was spending his Valentine’s Day alone in a restaurant he owns, when a woman suddenly came and sat in front of him. He first assumed that she was a reporter who sympathized with his current bad reputation and wanted to interview him for her blog, but then as their conversation continued it started taking a weird turn and he realized that she really isn’t a reporter but just someone who mistook him as her date. But he doesn’t say anything to her because he was actually enjoying her company and the cherry on the top was that she had no idea who he was, or about his past or what bad reputation his ex and the media has spread about him. One thing led to another and they end up sleeping together at his penthouse.

The next day he feels guilty and leaves a note with his real name and number. Which obviously pisses Elena off and the worst part is he even steals her PANTIES.

Thus beginning the chain of hot, chemistry filled, sometimes wanting to stab Jack.....repeatedly encounters.


Elena is a hot librarian, who is also a closet lingerie designer. I just loved how until 71% of the book, she was thinking from her head and not her vagina. Yes, I’m precise with my percentage as after that she was like fuck it, “I’m going to give this man my heart and access to my vagina even though I know I’m going to be left heart broken towards the end.” But I was completely cool with it because the sex was hot. And she did stand her ground most of the book and pull away from Jack when he hesitated with her.

So I honestly have no issues with her, she was smart, sexy and sweet. Total package.


Boy, do I love that man. I want a Jack. Someone please guide me to the nearest Jack. I mean COME ON! He watches K-DRAMA. I REPEAT JACK WATCHES K-DRAMA! A man after my heart. And let’s not forget he is a closet Justin Bieber fan and also listens to Megan Trainer and Taylor Swift........ and was not ashamed to sing and dance in front of Elena. Just for her.


Throughout the book I either wanted to protect Jack from all the Vile woman of the world and keep him for myself


And then just a few times wanted to stab him repeatedly with a knife (very rarely though).


But yeah you could tell from the start that this big bad quarterback is a goner for the sexy Librarian but he was just not willing to admit it. And when he finally did... Oh god! the Romeo and Juliet play will forever be iconic.

”Will my love forgive me for leaving when he first heard of it? It was only fear and insecurities that drove him thus.”

I forgive you Romeo and I shall push thy Juliet towards you.


I mean the ending was a little rushed for me since she forgave him too quick for my taste. And then the book got over 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

But I can’t wait for the upcoming books from the series! And also Giselle you got what you deserved. 😉

Received an ARC for a honest review

width= width=
Profile Image for Malene.
1,199 reviews525 followers
September 4, 2020
4.5 Stars
Oh my lord! I absolutely adored Not My Romeo. Yes, the premise has been done before but that wasn’t important when the characters shined the way they did.
Elena, Jack, Aunt Clara, Topher, Devon. I could go on. I liked every one of these characters and especially the two leads Elena and Jack.
Elena is such a great heroine. A librarian who designs sexy lingerie in her spare time. Her first meeting with the famous and shy quarterback Jack was so much fun and immediately set the tone. Their chemistry was delicious and sizzling. They just complemented each other beautifully.
Jack has his insecurities and Elena does everything she can to destroy those walls of his and climb into his heart.
There’s so many highlights in this wonderful friends to lovers romance. A cute pig, a hilarious aunt Clara, steamy scenes just to name a few.
I need more books in this series cause I can’t get enough of these characters. So damn good.

4.5 DLG Stars
Profile Image for Messy Bun Book Blog.
2,316 reviews
August 19, 2020
LOVED!! Elena & Jack had me all up in my feels and swooning the whole book! I giggled during their meet cute. I loved how Elena ran away but couldn't escape Jack. Plus I loved how I slowly fell in love with Jack, commitment issues and all!
This was such an amazing book! Loved every word!
Profile Image for Lien.
286 reviews215 followers
April 15, 2021
2.5 Stars

This book started out so promising. A case of mistaken identity, a distrustful hero who finds himself reluctantly intrigued by the heroine and a dash of chemistry and I thought "yeah, I can see myself liking this couple". And for a while I did. I looked forward to their interactions and it seemed like Jack was the type of guy who knew exactly what he wanted and was willing to work for it, but that was before I knew that he had commitment issues.

While I loved Jack and Elena as individuals, I didn’t like how they were when it came to each other. Jack was leading her on, plain and simple. Honestly, he deserved a few hard whacks on the head. Who knew he’d be wishy-washy like that? He let her walk away 2 times and did nada to stop her, but then it takes two to play, right? There was a point where I just wanted Elena to walk away from this for good just to show him what he’s missing but it never came true. His sexual prowess was just too good, I guess, also, circumstances always made them meet again. This basically resulted in a lot of repetitive/similar situations where they made out but couldn’t go all the way for whatever reason, and then the heroine would come out of this sex-haze and realize that she didn’t want this type of relationship.

Weirdly enough, I was more annoyed with the hero than the heroine (it's usually the other way around no matter how bad the hero messed up). So in my mind, Jack had a lot to make up for, especially because besides stringing her along the whole time, it was also him who blew the conflict at the end out of proportion. Instead of being charmed by his act (pun not intended lol) I found myself quite annoyed and didn’t think it was very romantic 🤷‍♀️.

If I had read this book a few years ago, I would have been head over heels for this but unfortunately this back and forth doesn’t really work for me anymore.

**ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Seline.
493 reviews37 followers
September 5, 2020
Not going to remember reading this in a few weeks time. It’s not that special and I didn’t feel anything through most of it. I was just so indifferent to the whole book because there was no chemistry between H and h and I couldn’t connect to the characters. I wish I enjoyed this more but it is what it is.
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
September 3, 2020
He’s going to crawl inside my heart. He’s going to break it into a million pieces.

Ummm....excuse me? How and why is this my first Ilsa Madden-Mills book? I am shooketh! SHOOKETH! I'm now immediately rectifying my mistake by purchasing the woman's entire backlist. True story. But I digress.

I totally misjudged this book based on the blurb. I was expecting just another famous jock meets nobody heroine fluffy romance. But this was so much more than that. It was packed full of feels and laugh out loud moments. It was adorably quirky and layered with plenty of emotion.

It's a case of mistaken identity when Elena meets Jack. Elena is searching for her blind date, and thinks Jack is the weatherman that she's been set up with. Elena is also a little bumbling, a touch awkward, but full of sass and fire. She's impossible not to love from the very first page.

Jack is the bad boy of football. With a reputation that precedes him, he's used to being eviscerated by the media. He's also extremely misunderstood and the readers learns this as layers begin to peel back on him. Jack prefers to lay low but when a quirky beauty rushes to his table and questions him like she knows him, he plays along. And when he realizes he's not quite who she thinks he is, it's too late to turn back. He's already riveted by her.

What's supposed to be just one steamy night turns into something much more when their worlds collide shortly after.

Now usually I'm not as invested in the romance when the characters sleep together so early in the story, but the author pulls this off flawlessly. She does it so well, in fact, that the following slow burn just about killed me. If these two didn't come together soon, I thought my head would explode.

They dance around each other for weeks. When Jack lands in Elena's small town by pure happenstance, he knows he has to go after his chance even though Elena is not thrilled to see him. I loved the way that Elena makes him work for it. She may be quirky and awkward at times, but the girl has sass for days.

I loved all of the secondary characters, Jack's best friend especially. The chemistry between Jack and Elena was incendiary, but their inability to communicate about their feelings until the end drove me a little batty. But I also understood why each of them struggled with this, as they both had their trust issues. Jack especially, coming off of the ex that he had. But I also appreciated that there really wasn't any female drama with that, except for the issues it caused his image and career.

Ultimately, this was a fun, sweet and steamy read that I enjoyed immensely and can't wait for Elena's sister to get her story next.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Find me on:
Follow me on facebook Follow Me on Twitter blog
Profile Image for Melanie (mells_view).
1,709 reviews331 followers
September 14, 2020
Life is messy, love especially.

A super sweet mistaken identity blind date book? Haha I don’t even know what to consider it. A football player and a librarian from a small town. It’s an enjoyable read. The H has social anxiety and I appreciated that. He also has many trust issues for good reason. The h is fun and sassy and also designs fun lingerie. I don’t know why but I really just enjoyed her. There’s a lot going on and a heap of angst, but overall it’s steamy sort of small town romance. Just what I needed.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,227 reviews1,930 followers
August 18, 2020
Amazon US * Amazon UK

I loved this book so much! Elena quickly became one of my favorite heroines with her no nonsense attitude. She was quirky and fun and a little quiet at times but she was also not afraid to speak her mind and would stand up to even the most imposing football players. She and Jack were amazing together and it was so fun to see Jack not sure how to handle a woman like Elena who didn't just fall all over herself to get to him.

Jack really opened up around Elena and it made me love him so much that he showed that side of him to her when usually he hid it around other people. He was sensitive and sweet under the tough football god exterior and it really drew me to his character. He and Elena together had me smiling so much and I just couldn't get enough of them. I was sad to see the book end but I can't wait to read more from this series.

ARC kindle provided in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
808 reviews1,018 followers
August 18, 2020
4.5 'Mark Twain's Romeo' Stars!
ARC provided by the the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I think it was enough for me to want to read this book since it’s written by Ilsa Madden-Mills and, also, specially, after seeing its title. Not My Romeo. Just with that and I was desperate for this novel! I am glad to say Ilsa did a fantastic job and started her new series perfectly. A novel full of quirks, humor, sexiness and emotions. Everything I love and everything I needed to fall for with this amazing couple and the new list of characters introduced.

Not My Romeo is, as I said, the first installment in Ilsa’s new series called The Game Changers. It’s the love story between Jack Hawke and Elena Riley, a smoking-hot and troubled football player and a sassy small-town librarian. It’s Valentine’s Day and Elena has a blind date. Apparently Jack. Or not? Circumstances bring them together, they are opposites in many ways but they share an unforgettable night. Fate makes its magic and now they are also acting as Romeo and Juliet in the community’s theater. But not everything is hearts and flowers. Both these people are scared to love. Will they win their happy ending?

The wolf has caught me, and I couldn’t be happier.
I may not recognize this daring part of myself, but he is what I want right now. This moment. This bliss. This one night.

I loved this book. I devoured it. It was hilarious, it was full of sexual tension, it was addicting and it was emotional. It had some drama but just enough to still keep it a light romance. Not My Romeo simply has everything I enjoy in a good sports romance. Let’s start with the storyline. I was all over the idea. Two opposites (apparently) having an inescapable connection? Oh yes! I adored Jack and Elena as characters. Jack is so swoony, broken, protective, an inside nerd and sexy AF. Elena is sassy, funny, nerdy, loving and a lingerie lover. Those two together? AMAZING. They just click. They are perfect for each other and it freaking shows.

I should beg her to stay. I should. Because it feels like that—like I’d be willing to walk across hot coals just to get her to be with me.

Their chemistry is burning from the very first page to the very last one and I loved their whole relationship and how Ilsa developed it. I loved how Jack and Elena bring the best in each other, how Elena helps him to open up about what haunts him, how Jack slowly but surely falls for Elena’s charms. They are adorable, quirky and burning hot together and I could not get enough of them. I especially enjoyed the last chapters, all the interactions with the secondary characters and I am just so glad these two found their HEA.

“Sometimes, fate gives you a bad game, but in the end destiny straightens it out. And you win. You and I are going to win.”

Therefore, I am rating Not My Romeo with 4.5 STARS because it found it the perfect way to start this new series and fall in love with this crew of characters. I loved Jack and Elena, their moments together and with the rest of the crew, their steamy chemistry and all the feels. I cannot wait to see what is next in the series and who is getting the next love story. Ilsa, wonderful job! Highly recommend to any sports romance fans!

Profile Image for Blythe The Word Junkie.
239 reviews95 followers
August 30, 2020
4 out of 5 stars!

"Then have my lips the sin that they have took." Jack replies, "Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg'd! Give me my sin again."

Ilsa Madden-Mills is putting a compelling layer in sports romance! Miss Ilsa, I believe you're going straight into my romance-writing favorite authors. This story is so much more than what "A romance book with a guy on the cover" entails.

✨ Librarian, cat-eye-glasses-wearing, yummy-pie-hoarding, auburn-haired heroine with closeted dreams for lingerie fashion (We're talking artfully created lingerie with all the sequins, lace, and Paris-made exotic cloths. *Aggressively-adds to cart!*)

🏈 Orphaned quarterback hero with a side-addiction to K-dramas & sings pop song lyrics when enticed (*cinnamon heart melts*)

✨ Romeo & Juliet, but not quite.

🏈 Steam steam steam

✨ Love, you great vulnerability youuu.

I love how Elena is such a stan-able character. She comes off shy but then surprises you with her courage. Ghorl, let's be best friends!

I thought I could only read so much sports romance until I'm fed up and need a genre switch, but please slap me for saying such an abominous chuck-worthy thing. Please forgive me for that. Ilsa Madden-Mills really made this genre her bitch. I want more.

P.S. I want me some cat eye glasses (and those lingerie designed by Elena herself). Also, this book has a playlist. Yep. Stories are so much better when they have playlists. Stayed up all night, last night, reading this. No. Regrets.
Profile Image for Ilsa Madden-Mills.
Author 47 books15.2k followers
August 18, 2020

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy contemporary romance about a smoking-hot professional football player and the small-town girl he can’t resist.

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

Download your copy or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited! LIVE AUGUST 18!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ztiNzh
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/notmyromeo 
Profile Image for Elle Kennedy.
Author 209 books54k followers
August 18, 2020

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy contemporary romance about a smoking-hot professional football player and the small-town girl he can’t resist.

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I signed it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

Download your copy or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ztiNzh
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/notmyromeo
Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,761 reviews1,330 followers
May 19, 2020
GAH! Ilsa Madden-Mills has done it again. Not My Romeo was a sweet and swoony romance that had me giddy and grinning every other minute. Anyone that knows me KNOWS that "sweet" is not my usual read of choice, but there was something about Elena and Zack that just did it for me. They were sexy and real and just addicting. It doesn't hurt that she was sassy as hell and gave this bad boy quarterback a dose of everything he deserved, nothing of what he expected but ultimately everything he needed. They were just perfect! I loved this story!

What started as a hysterical dinner date of mistaken identity completely evolved into a swoony and heartfelt story of true love and finding what you need when you least expect it. I loved how Jack was a man of many different facets. Shy and tortured and just wanting out of the limelight and the drama his past brings. But he meets his match in the sassy and quirky Librarian, Elena, who is a firecracker that combusts his whole life.

Overall, this was a fun and sexy story full of laughs, swoons and heat. I can't wait to see what else this author has in store for us in the town of Daisy! Bravo! 5 stars! ~Ratula 
Profile Image for Radd Reader.
868 reviews443 followers
August 21, 2020

Elena: 26, librarian but she would prefer to be selling her sexy lingerie line that she designs
Jack: 28, NFL quarterback
Mistaken identity on a blind date leads these two to meet. Elena has no idea that Jack is a famous NFL quarterback and that takes Jack by surprise and he is instantly intrigued. Who is this girl who has no idea who is? Sparks fly, they have a one night stand, that of course, becomes more.

My Thoughts:
Elena: I thought she was a unique character who had some quirkiness to her and some “unusual” characteristics. She was close with her family and the whole package surrounding her brought light and color to the story. She had some funny one-liners as well as the supporting cast around her and scenes with her or her family brought quite a few chuckles.
Elena: “Weatherman, where are my panties?”

Jack: I didn’t love him as much. First, he didn’t tell her who he was and left a note with his real name the next morning. Really??? A note? So rude. Second, I felt like there was something missing and I can’t quite put my finger on what it was, but I just didn’t feel like I connected with him. Maybe it was his constant attitude that everybody wanted a piece of him and although I’m sure that’s true for famous people, it just made him come off as if he thought he was special and that rubbed me the wrong way. Finally, don’t even get me started on his treatment of Elena towards the end of the story. Man, I wanted to bitch slap him. 😡. He had some good one-liners too, but his side of the story was darker. Not a good childhood, not a good image, injury that could impact his career - so everything surrounding him seemed to lean toward the negative. There weren’t bright rays of sunshine on his side like there were on Elena’s side.

Together: they had some definite steam. I found it odd their very first love scene was basically behind closed doors. There was a little foreplay but the main action wasn’t on page so I was worried the book was going to be “fade to black”. Thankfully, later on there were much more descriptive scenes so maybe the author waited until they were more connected before the bedroom scene was out in the open. 🤷‍♀️

Jack: “Let’s just say I know how to satisfy a woman, to have her crave me every moment we’re apart.”
Elena: “I volunteer as tribute.”

Jack: “I’m better than ice cream.”
Elena: “Obviously you haven’t had Ben & Jerry’s Rocky Road.”
Jack: Obviously you haven’t met me before.”

The Story: It was cute, and Elena and her entourage brought some fun to the story. Lots of funny dialogue from Topher and Aunt Clara.
My problem was the story became really cliché and I always have to knock off a star when there’s a lack of originality. The drama that drove them apart has been in countless romance novels and I had to roll my eyes because I knew exactly what was going to happen and how it was going to resolve. Was Jack’s grovel a big enough gesture for the way he treated her? IMO no, so he didn’t redeem himself much in my eyes.

The story started off great and I was sure it was going to be a solid 5 star. Unfortunately I thought the last 20% of the story was predictable and the tone at the end was not the same funny, upbeat story that I read in the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, there were still some good one-liners but they came from the supporting cast rather than Elena so I felt like Jack was sucking the “fun” life out of her a bit.

Topher: “Why can’t I be part of the Daisy Lady Gang? I’m not a lady, per se, but I like to dress in women’s clothes.”
Profile Image for ✨ Lucy ✨.
327 reviews84 followers
January 8, 2021
" Sometimes , fate gives you a bad game, but in the end destiny straightens it out.

And you win. You and I are going to win"

I don't even know where to begin .

Like always Ilsa left me speechless .

I'm so filled with emotions that I can formulate a straight sentence without getting lost in the memory of this beautiful story.

I loved it .

I laughed , I cried , I got angry and i fell in love all at once.

What a better way to start a "love story" other than on Valentine's Day ?!

So we have a sexy professional football player , a blind date and an innocent white lie.

What could possible go wrong?

Jack Hawke a bad boy , bad news in the eyes of the public opinion , with a not so noble past.

His whole life rotate around football , he doesn't have time for anything else.

His life wasn't easy due to absent parents that literally left a scar on his skin , and if you add an ex girlfriend that ruined his image you have the perfect guy with trust issues that doesn't want to have anything to do with love.

He was never able to open up to a girl , to let someone in , he built walls so high that noting could go past them.

At least that's what he thought.

Until Elena jumped out of nowhere in his life and at his table.

" The wolf has caught me, and I couldn't be happier "

She thought he was her blind date , a weather man . But for a t-shirt mistake she joined the wrong table, finding without knowing the right match.

She was a sassy , without filters librarian , with a pig as a pet and a passion for extravagant and very unique lingerie that she made with her hands . So she had nothing to do with a professional football player , the complete opposite. Or maybe not

"You a football fan?

Men pushing each other around in tight pants, fighting over a ball?

Please .Very caveman. I prefer books and podcasts. You? "

In some way Jack was stunned by her being so careless and free. She was real .

After that first date , he couldn't stop thinking about her . And destiny worked his magic and soon they were bring back together .

They were crazy about each other , but Jack couldn't help but hold back.

He didn't know how to talk about his feelings . She understand him life no one else .

But his trust issues , his inability to fully commit to anyone almost ruined everything .

"I don't know how to even be myself with a girl anymore.

She's right. My walls are up.

I'm living in a fortress."

At some point i really though their relationship was heading to a point of no return .

But then something happened and finally he was able to see what has always been under his nose.

Fate has a strange way of working , but he's never wrong. Maybe it takes time , but he always win.

"My nana used to say that broken people love the hardest because they appreciate the things that make their heart beat.

Do I make your heart beat? "

The chemistry and the feelings were undeniable .

One of the things I loved the most was the relationship between Elena and her family , and the small town kind of environment really played an important factor in making this story even better.

I gave it absolutely 5 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Now I need Devon and Giselle story , like right now !
Profile Image for Hanne.
655 reviews66 followers
August 18, 2020
I loved the sound of Not My Romeo and I couldn’t wait to start it when it landed on my kindle. I loved every minute I spent reading this novel. It’s one of my favorite reads of 2020. It put a big smile on my face and it made me feel. I fell head over heels in love with Elena, Jack and them as a couple.

Elena is creative, hard working, feisty, loving, funny and loyal. Her last boyfriend wasn’t a great guy and she was hesitant to date again. Her pet, her best friend, her job and her hobby keep her very busy. Jack isn’t what Elena expected, but she’s attracted to him. Elena falls slowly, but deeply in love with Jack.

Jack is rich, sporty, distant, determined, hot and loyal. Football means everything to him. He loves playing it, but he doesn’t like the attention he gets from being a pro. Jack doesn’t trust easily and that was totally understandable. Elena isn’t at all what he expected, but exactly what he needs.

The author always makes the characters meet at a great way. It wasn’t any different in Not My Romeo. A date and a mistaken identity. The entire conversation and the entire night actually was so much fun. The next time Elena and Jack met, was unexpected and it put a smile on my face too. After that night, it was obvious that Jack and Elena were meant to be together and I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. That epilogue was so cute and beautiful.

Not My Romeo is the first book in a new series and what a superb first novel. I’m so happy that there will be more books, because there are many secondary characters whom I hoped would get their own story. Both Elena and Jack have amazing friends and family. I adored the friendships and the banter between them all.

-- My honest review is based on an advanced reader copy of this book. --
Profile Image for Carmen Rae.
1,459 reviews174 followers
August 12, 2020
I put off reading this because of my weird Covid book slump. I love everything that Ilsa writes and the blurb for this had me dying to read it but I didn't want my issues to ruin it for me. Until finally I couldn't hold myself back from diving in.

First as a non American, I have a serious lady crush on these strong, independent, Southern women. Im sure they all just walk around all "bless your heart" sugary smiles with a backbone of steel. And that's entirely how I pictured Elena from the start. She was so sweet and strong. A complete lady who could slap anyone down with her words while flashing a beauty queen smile.

Elena had so much going on and it just made her stronger and determined to hold it all together. And her meeting with Jack was great. I fell completely in love with her. Even though Jack was amazing and it was all about him for me, I know that's all because of how awesome Elena was.

Jack was so broken. And I really loved that he had good reason for it. And even when he let his broken edges rule his actions he was still a genuinely nice, caring person. I loved that he was surrounded by so many people who knew him and were perfect secondary characters. Who hopefully will be getting their own books.

I am so glad I waited to read this because this book was just what I needed. And I can't wait to see what Ilsa has planned for us next.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,954 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.