The Revenge Pact

Kings of Football, Book #1

By Ilsa Madden-Mills

ISBN# 9798572854664

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of possible spoilers*

River Tate is the man on campus at his college.  He’s a senior, president of his fraternity, and a star on the football team.  Although the team, has been terrible this year. 

He has a lot on his mind.  Not only has the football team been horrendous, and dropping his potential draft placement for the NFL, but his mom’s cancer is back and seems to be winning the fight. 

And, then there is Rainbow.  Her real name is Anastasia, but everyone calls her Ana … except him.  Ana just doesn’t do her justice. 

“You say my name weird.”

He wipes at the crumbs on the table. “How’s that?”

“You linger over it, like you’re about to take its clothes off and fuck it.”

River’s got a major crush on Anastasia.  The problem is that she has a boyfriend.   And worse?  He’s the one that helped his fraternity brother and friend, Donovan, get her to notice him.  From the first conversation with her, River knew she was the perfect girl for him.  However, Donovan saw her first …

River is failing his Lit class, a class he took because Anastasia was taking it.  He has a triple whammy of ADHD, dyslexia, and dyscalculia that is making the class impossible no matter how hard he tries.  He needs a tutor to help him and he has his eyes on Rainbow.  And, when Donovan breaks up with her in a very public and embarrassing way, River has the perfect opportunity.  They form a revenge pact.  She helps him with his last paper he needs to write and he helps her find a perfect rebound to make Donovan jealous.  The only problem is that River wants her for himself, but he can’t hurt his friend who wants her back!  Now he must decide what’s most important … friendship or his own desires?

This book started out really slow for me.  The first ¼ of it was a bit dull, but it all changed when Ana’s friends got her high on her birthday and “Fake River” showed up.  It sounds bad that a drug scene was the turning point for me, but it was absolutely hilarious!  She had no inhibitions and her truths were coming out for all to hear!  And, River was a good sport, as well.

“Mind. Blown. I’ve created him just from memory. Maybe I did get some of the artist gene from my parents.”

Lila scrunches her nose. “But, don’t you think it’s weird that all three of us see him? I mean, I understand you seeing him, but how are you getting in our heads at the same time? Is it telepathy?”

“Pot makes us powerful.”

 I really loved this couple.  River was so sweet once you got to know him.  Always there for anybody who needed him …. his family, his friends, his fraternity brothers … and later Rainbow.  He had a heart of gold and I loved it.  Anastasia was just as caring and giving…. too giving at times.  Her parents are free spirits and never stay in one place long, leaving her a bit lonely at times.  She knew the relationship with Donovan was doomed, but stayed with him months after she should have ended it because she didn’t want to lose the friends she had at the fraternity house!  And, then there is her care of the homeless woman, June, that lives behind her apartment.  Both River and Anastasia have generous caring hearts and it was great to see.

I really enjoyed some of the secondary characters in this book as well.  The friends that both River and Anastasia lived with, and of course, Benji (and don’t forget Spike)! 

I thought Donovan was a bit of a tool, and didn’t deserve a girl like Ana!  He can’t get up the nerve to ask her out by himself and then lets his parents and friends influence him so easily.  No, thanks!

This was a really enjoyable read and I didn’t expect to like it nearly this much.  It had such emotion, and I didn’t see it coming!  And, it’s making me want to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover … they made it sound intriguing! I’m curious to see what happens in the next book, but it will be interesting considering every story in this series is being written by a different author!  I’m assuming that means we won’t be reuniting wih River and Ana, but I guess I’ll find out when I read the next one, The Relationship Pact.

“… when you like a flower, you pluck it. When you love a flower, you water it daily, hold it close, tell it your secrets, and watch it bloom and grow strong. You grow strong with it.”