I Promise You by Ilsa Madden-Mills
October 12, 2020, Self Published
Bringing you part two of the books that got me through election chaos, presenting, I Promise You by Ilsa Madden-Mills. This is a standalone book, HOWEVER, there are other books set in this world. If you like it, which I did, you can go back for more deliciousness.
Our story begins in college with young freshman hottie and future football star, Dillon McQueen. Every time I read that name, I did indeed think of the movie, “Cars.” Dillon is at a bonfire and is immediately attracted and drawn to a lone girl, Serena. She is dancing by herself. There’s a legend that says, if you kiss a girl your freshman year at the bonfire, you’ll never forget her. You’ll be obsessed with her forever. Hmmm…ok…
Of course, legend be damned, Dillon gets up the courage to approach Serena and kiss her. It’s a good kiss. Even a great kiss. But, she shoves him away, because it’s creepy and weird to kiss strangers. She leaves, he searches for her, but she’s disappeared.
Fast forward a few years and he’s shopping at the local grocery store with a few sorority fangirls. He’s now the starting quarterback for his college team and the entourage of girls hovering all over him is related to a contest around a superstition. He has to go through with this charade for the good of the team, so they’ll win (insert eye-roll…but, it’s evident from his behavior, that he’s not really into it).
Serena, the bonfire kiss girl, is at the grocery store. She notices him. He’s in leather pants, has girls fawning all over him, and he’s ripped. It’s a cute scene, funny, silly, and contains Oreos and Fat Tire beer. Dillon knows that she’s familiar, but hasn’t figured out from where just yet.
He ends up driving her home. She sits in the back of his car with his fangirls, They all fit the stereotype of sorority girls. I was one, I can say that. :) Although I wasn’t the bitchy one…and there’s always a bitch. In this case, her name is Ashley, and she features prominently in the story. I hate her.
By the time he gets her home and safely inside her place, it dawns on him…she’s bonfire girl. We learn he was totally smitten by her after the kiss and searched for her for months. Sadly, he could never find her after that night. Unfortunately for Dillon, Serena says she doesn’t remember him. Ouch!
What makes this book so enjoyable isn’t the amount of drama, although there is a fair share of that. It’s the clever dialogue and sweet trust that Dillon and Serena build. Dillon comes from a broken family and is super awkward with his feelings and how to express them. Serena has been burned and deeply hurt in a major way by a guy who has the same shades of celebrity as our boy Dillon.
It was one of those books where I had to look away, put it down, pause a bit…because I was yelling to the characters about their crazy misunderstandings. “Can’t you see that he desperately LOVES you?!” Wake up, woman!
I read Dear Ava by this author and absolutely loved it. I’m not sure why I didn’t explore more by Ilsa Madden-Mills. I am now. I’m reading all the books.
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