Not My Romeo Read online Ilsa Madden-Mills (The Game Changers #1)

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Tags Authors: Series: The Game Changers Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Total pages in book: 114
Estimated words: 109708 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 549(@200wpm)___ 439(@250wpm)___ 366(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

Not My Romeo (The Game Changers #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Ilsa Madden-Mills

Language:
English
Book Information:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy contemporary romance about a smoking-hot professional football player and the small-town girl he can’t resist.
We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.
My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.
The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.
But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?
Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?
Books in Series:

The Game Changers Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Books by Author:

Ilsa Madden-Mills



Chapter 1

ELENA

If I smoked, I’d have one in my mouth right now. Maybe two.

But I don’t, so I settle for chewing on my thumbnail as I whip my little Ford Escape into Milano’s jam-packed parking lot. Glancing around, I take in the stone-and-cedar exterior, the flickering gaslights by the door. It’s a five-star restaurant, one of the best in Nashville, with a monthlong reservation wait, yet my date managed to get us one on short notice. Points for that.

A long sigh leaves my chest.

Who, tell me who, agrees to a blind date on Valentine’s Day?

Me, apparently.

“I’m breaking the seal!” I announce to no one.

That’s right. Tonight, I’m meeting Greg Zimmerman, the local weatherman for the NBC affiliate here in the Music City. Supposedly he’s tall, dark, handsome, a little nerdy, and fresh from a breakup. Perfect for me. Right?

So why am I so anxious?

For a brief moment I contemplate a pretend headache. Dang it. I can’t do that. For one, I promised my roommate, Topher, I’d follow through; two, I have nothing better to do; and three, I’m starving.

And this is just a quick dinner, no matter what Topher says. I recall him in the library today. He’d been wearing his Grateful Dead T-shirt and skinny jeans, bouncing up and down in the romance section as he mimicked riding a horse. Straddle him like a thoroughbred, Elena. Take those reins, dig your spurs in, and ride him until you can’t walk the next day. Pound him so hard he can’t even say “Cloudy with a chance of snow” the next day.

I blow at a piece of hair that’s fallen out of my chignon, then tuck it neatly behind my ear. No horsing around tonight. I’m here for a nice meal. Italian is my favorite, and I’m already picturing a nice bowl of pasta and garlic bread.

Just say hi, be nice, eat, then get out.

Besides. What can go wrong from meeting someone new?

I pull down the rearview mirror and check my appearance. Pale as paper. After scrambling around my bag, I pull out my cherry red and roll it over my full lips, then blot them with a tissue. I sigh, studying my features as I adjust my pearl necklace and matching earrings. The truth is there’s nothing spectacular about me. My nose is a hair too sharp, and I’m annoyingly short: five feet, three inches and a quarter in bare feet. That quarter is very important. Floating somewhere in between a true petite and the “standard” size, I’m stuck with clothes either too long or too short. If I want something that fits well, I make it myself.

Another glance in the mirror. Another sigh.

I hope Greg isn’t disappointed.

I get out of the car and approach the beautifully stained oaken double doors, where a doorman dressed in a black suit gives me a smile and opens the door. “Welcome to Milano’s,” he murmurs, and I swallow down my qualms as I step into the foyer and squint around the dark interior.

Dang.

Dread inches up my spine.

Why did I insist on not seeing a photo of Greg before the date?

Mostly I just wanted to be . . . surprised. When your existence is as boring and mundane as mine, it’s the little things that spice it up. Instead of my normal coffee, let’s try the peppermint latte. Mind blowing. Instead of wearing my hair in a bun, let’s make it a messy topknot. Amazing. Instead of seeing a picture of your blind date, go anyway, and look for the guy wearing a blue shirt. Sounded exciting at the time, but I’m cursing myself as I check out the interior. There’s no one waiting for me in the foyer. I did text him to let him know I was caught in traffic, yet I got no response back. Perhaps he’s already seated and waiting for me.

The hostess whisks a lovey-dovey couple to their seats in the back of the restaurant, leaving me alone and fidgety. I brush down my black pencil skirt. Maybe I should have changed into something flirtier? I do have a closetful of slinky dresses Nana left me—

Nope.

This is the real me, and if he doesn’t like what he sees, then, well, he can suck it.

I am who I am.

After five more minutes have passed and the hostess still hasn’t come back, my nerves have ramped up, and I’ve broken out in a small sweat, the nape of my neck damp. Where did she go? Is she on a break?

I take a seat on a long bench, whip out my phone, and send him another text.

I’m here in the foyer, I send.

No reply comes back.

Annoyed and running on hunger fumes, I decide I can find him myself. Feigning confidence I don’t have, I waltz out of the foyer and make a quick perimeter of the restaurant. A few minutes later I feel like a stalker as I peer at the patrons, so I move to stand in the shadowy alcove next to the restrooms, scanning for men alone on Valentine’s Day.

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