Narrator: Savannah Peachwood

🎧︎Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

🎧︎Beauty and the Baller

Posted on November 14, 2022 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 5 Comments

🎧︎Beauty and the Baller is the first book in the Strangers in Love series. After reading Princess and the Player, book two in the series, I had to read book one. 🎧︎Beauty and the Baller was an entertaining, humorous, flirty and sweet romance which will appeal to fans of contemporary romance.


🎧︎Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-MillsTitle: Beauty and the Baller
Author(s): Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: Strangers In Love #1
Also in this series: Princess and the Player
Narrator(s): Sebastian York, Savannah Peachwood
Published by Brilliance Audio on March 29, 2022
Pages: 314
Length: 10hrs 10mins
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

An Amazon Charts and #1 Kindle Store bestseller.
An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.
Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.
Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.
Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.
The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.
Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

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Two and a half years ago, Ronan and Nova met at a party. They had an incredible night together. However, the next morning Nova left and Ronan never had the chance to get her name and to apologise for the faux pas he made. This incident provided the catalyst he needed to get sober and get his life back on track. At the time he met Nova, he was mourning his fiancé, who had died in a motor vehicle accident. The same accident, which ended his NFL career. 

Fast forward two years later. He is sober, a teacher and coaches high school football in Blue Belle, Texas. Nova came home to Blue Belle to take care of her sister after the death of their mom. It so happens that Ronan is her next-door neighbour. Although he didn’t recognise her at first, he sensed an air of familiarity about her… And when he discovered she was his one-night stand from two years ago; he made a proposition to her. 

Full of humour, heat, and flirty banter, 🎧︎Beauty and the Baller will tempt you to read/listen without taking a break. The banter between Nova and Ronan and the secondary characters will have you laughing and crying in one breath.

Nova and Ronan are wonderful and flawed characters. Even though Ronan’s got his life back on track, the tragedy which changed his life still haunts him. So much so he closed himself to the possibility of finding love a second time around. His focus, his career and so had no interest in any of the women who threw themselves at him since he came to town.

Having had her heart broken before, Nova is wary of forming intimate and long-term relationships. Especially relationships with jocks. However, fate had alternate plans for her. She tried to keep her distance from Ronan, despite the sparks which ignited between them whenever they came in contact with each other – but of course she fought a losing battle.

I loved them as individuals and even more so as a couple. They brought out the best in each other. The walls they built around their hearts came tumbling down brick by brick, opening them up to the healing power of love – learning to trust the process. Mistakes were made along the way. However, their willingness to embrace the unknown and claim happiness aided in rectifying these mistakes.

I loved the small town vibe and the way the community embraced Ronan. From the members of the football team, the students in his class, his coworkers, and neighbors. These secondary characters were a delightful bunch, and they had me cracking up. Of course, there were a couple who needed to get a clue.


The narration by Sebastian York and Savannah Peachwood added to my enjoyment of the story. Well paired narrators who captured the characters, the heat, the banter and the story. Looking for a feel-good, small town, sports romance, filled with heat, flirty banter and all the feels, then 🎧︎Beauty and the Baller is the perfect romance to grab.


Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Narrator (Audio)
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies. Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #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.

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Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

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