I received this book for free from Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Ilsa Madden-Mills on May 5, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Sports Romance
Source: Enticing Journey Book Promotions
Coming May 5
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills returns with an all-new swoon-fest of a novel about what happens when you take a chance on love.
Wanted: one hot guy with rock-hard abs and a big stick.
Broke and desperate, Sugar Ryan has no use for arrogant, bad boy athletes . . . until she’s forced to bargain with the cockiest of them all.
If only he knew she was alive.
Her mission? Get on this hockey player’s radar any way possible.
Zack Morgan is the king of the ice and the bedroom—but nothing prepares him for the mystery girl who shows up everywhere he does—frat parties, his favorite bar, and finally his front door with an offer he can’t refuse. The only rule in her boyfriend bargain: no falling in love.
But after one (um, two) smoking-hot hookups, he’s done with pretending and vows to make their fake relationship real. Too bad she can’t trust a player with a reputation for breaking hearts.
Will this hockey star score his forever girl or will their Boyfriend Bargain end in heartbreak?
A standalone hockey romance
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you know that I absolutely love hockey romances even though I’ve never seen a hockey game in my life. I also have a deep love for fake dating, and it is one of my favorite tropes and Boyfriend Bargain had both of my favorite things.
Boyfriend Bargain is a heartfelt college romance. I found myself intrigued from the first page. I was expecting a very light hearted read which is kind of what I was looking for but I’m glad Boyfriend Bargain delivered something deeper. Although, I thought the story could have gone just a little bit deeper. I loved Z and Sugar together. Their banter and chemistry were totally amazing, and I couldn’t put my phone down while reading. I also developed a true love for Eric and Julia, and I hope they get their own story because I definitely feel like there is something there. So, this is me, putting it into the universe and hopefully it will land on my kindle soon.
But anyway, I loved how this started out as a fake dating but then the lines blurred between what was fake and what was real. I think that is my favorite part about the fake dating trope.
Zack or Z is our hero. He is anything but the playboy that everyone makes him out to be. He struggles with things from his past. He struggles with a lot of pressure to win a championship and being drafted by the NHL. He was not the womanizer everyone thought he was, and I was seriously impressed with his character. Sometimes he would annoy me, but I liked him.
I especially loved the fact that Z had anxiety and it was brought forth in the story. I cannot say if the representation was accurate because we all experience anxiety differently. I personally experience anxiety similar to the way Z does. I also go to therapy and use techniques similar to Z’s, so I appreciated that.
I also love that it touches on athletes and mental health. I feel like we don’t always think about the immense pressure these STUDENT athletes have on their shoulders. Not only are they playing at a collegiate level, but they also go to class and some may even go pro. It was definitely something I’ve only seen a couple times in books, and I would love to see this explored more.
Sugar is our heroine. She’s from Alabama and dreams of becoming a lawyer. She is going through a break up. Sugar was a bit quirky, but I personally loved how she wasn’t afraid to put herself first. Her ex cheated on her and she kicked him to the curb. She wasn’t going to accept less than she deserved even if it broke her heart and I loved that about her.
It was definitely attraction at first sight. You could tell the chemistry wasn’t forced and the friendship between both of them was really cute. I loved how the relationship wasn’t just based on sex although they did have a lot of sex. They talked about their pasts, they both try and help each other overcome their issues.
I truly enjoyed Boyfriend Bargain and appreciated the twist that it had. I couldn’t put my phone down from the moment I started the book. Z and Sugar were truly a lovely couple. I am hoping we see these characters again because I’d love to know more about Julia and Eric.
Trigger Warnings: Cheating, Car Accident, Survivor’s Guilt, Slut Shaming, Violence, Absent Parent, Anxiety.
About Ilsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her contemporary romances ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.
Seven of her ten novels have placed in the Amazon US Store Top Six Best-seller List: Dirty English hit #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You hit #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things all placed #6 in the Amazon US Store.
The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, hit #4.
A former high school English teacher, 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.
Connect with Ilsa
Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls/
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