Book Review, Romance Review

Review: The Revenge Pact by Ilsa Madden-Mills

The Revenge Pact by Ilsa Madden-Mills - Kings Of Football trilogy
The Revenge Pact by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Kings Of Football trilogy

Anastasia Bailey is a nobody.
The queen of nothing.
An outsider with the face of an angel and a body made for sin.
The only chink in her armor is HIM, her boyfriend’s frat brother, the football player who hates her.

But when Anastasia’s life comes crashing down, River’s the one who sweeps in and saves her.
Torn between loyalty, lies, and secrets, he battles the temptation to take everything from her when they make their revenge pact.

He can’t tell her no.
Because revenge (or love) is sweet, and once you get a taste, the craving never ends.
The Revenge Pact is an angsty college sports romance with a beautiful HEA. No cliffhanger.

River Tate is a handsome, popular, college football star and he’s loyal to fault. His family and friends mean everything to him so despite his deep attraction to Anastasia, she’s wholly off-limits since his fraternity brother saw her first.  Even when things get rocky with her boyfriend and River agrees to help her make him jealous, their attraction runs wild but he still thinks it’s wrong to want her.

My one criticism of this story is that River treats Anastasia badly at first to deflect because he doesn’t want to give anyone even an inkling that he likes her. That’s so third grade and I have a real problem with it in children so it would never be acceptable from a grown man. Any guy who’s that emotionally stunted and socially inept isn’t worth the time. I know it’s a popular trope and the hero is always redeemed because he has some traumatic backstory that somehow excuses the behavior but can we let this one die off already? It really sucks.

Despite my initial dislike for him, I eventually warmed up to River because he is a very likeable character with a very sympathetic backstory. Still, his angst about loyalty seemed over the top and a premonition from his dead father that came to him in a dream was way extra. He wasn’t my favorite, especially considering how much I liked Crew and especially Hollis in the other Kings of Football books, but Anastasia is what salvages the story. She’s unique and quirky without being annoying or trying too hard and she’s easy to love.

River has a lot of baggage but she’s patient and loving as she pulls him out of his shell and helps him to deal with life. It’s a nice story and I’m not sorry I read this book but the hero could’ve been so much better. It feels like a lot of wasted potential, especially with a heroine as awesome as Anastasia.

This is the first book in the Kings of Football trilogy, followed by Meghan Quinn’s The Romantic Pact. The series ends with Hollis Hudson’s story in The Relationship Pact by Adriana Locke which also ties into her Mason Family series.

Leave a Reply