Monday, June 23, 2014

Review of Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy #2) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Synopsis: Born on the poor side of town...

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.

Born into wealth and privilege...

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 tasted... love.

But once in a lifetime kind of love doesn’t come easy. When trust crumbles and doubts creep in, both will have to decide to either love or let go... forever.

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

5 Stars!

Review: Book 2 in the Briarcrest series starts about a year or more after the prequel, Very Wicked Beginnings. Dovey and Cuba now have a history, and you begin to see bits and pieces of it throughout the story, and it was not pretty. Cuba, who was known to be a major player, had convinced Dovey to give him a chance. He was the guy that seemed to have it all, including some major looks, and Dovey has really had to work for every little thing that she has. She did give him a chance, and gave him her heart and piece of herself. He gave her heartache, in return. 

Cuba dropped Dovey in a pretty public break-up, and she has spent the time since trying to focus on dance, school and her little hodge-podge family. She is so closed to finishing and reaching her dreams, despite life continuing to be tough for her. Her adoptive mother, Sarah, is declining mentally, and Dovey has become the parent, in many ways. She takes care of Sarah on top of everything else, until her world literally seems to come crashing down. Suddenly, she finds out that Sarah made some poor decision, financially, and she is now in a very dangerous situation. 

Meanwhile, Cuba has begun to reach out to her, almost as if he can't resist. He has been so unhappy, and his break-up with Dovey was mainly due to his breaking apart in his own life. My heart really went out to Cuba, in some ways, but I really wish that he had shown more compassion to Dovey...but that just adds to the angst of the story. Cuba and Dovey's good friend, Spider, both seem to blind to what Dovey is really experiencing - she tries to tell both of them what she is going through, and they really kind of only hear what they want to hear. Dovey makes some hard and very, very heartbreaking decisions to try to support herself and her family, and she again gets judged for it. 

In many ways, I think that this book ended the way that it needed to, in that Cuba seemed to grow up. He learned how to take care of someone other than himself, and he stepped out of his comfort zone to do it. Dovey learned to ask for help, when she had only ever had herself to count on. Another great one by Ilsa!


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