The Story Behind I Hate You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

19 Aug 2019

By Ilsa Madden-Mills

Okay, I admit it…hate/love romances rock my world, and my newest release I Hate You delivers it deliciously. Smart enemies-to-lovers? Check. Second chance, sports romance with all the feels? Double check.

We have Blaze, star football hottie, who fights for the love of the brainy, slightly bad girl he dumped—at her own party in front of her friends. In his defense, he thought he was doing the right thing, but he has growing to do, yet isn’t that the best part, when a character grows and changes? It’s steamy and full of flirty banter, but underneath it’s an emotional, layered story about overcoming our pasts to get the love we all deserve.

Did I mention there’s a highly intelligent, foul-mouthed parrot named Vampire Bill—after True Blood, of course. “Get your a*s up and get me a cigarette,” might be his favorite saying. I snorted every time he offered up advice on Charisma’s love life—and her clothing selections.

The hero and heroine have original names, my favorite! Blaze is the charming, wide receiver from Mississippi and Charisma is the high-heel wearing, chess-playing New Yorker. Total opposites—but when they share a kiss—a white-hot inferno ignites and doesn’t let go.

I adored writing these deeply flawed characters. Blaze might be the hottest guy on campus, but because of his childhood, he doesn’t know what love really is. He’s a bad boy who’s broken, and these heroes always tug at my heart, seeing how they overcome their insecurities and get their HEA. Charisma, on the other hand, knows exactly what love is, but has rules when it comes to protecting her heart. Through it all, she hangs on to her badassery and never gives Blaze one inch. Dang, don’t you love a strong heroine?

Ma, Charisma’s meddling, Italian-American mother, is another favorite side character. I giggled in every scene she popped up, her advice to Charisma about “being a good Catholic girl” and “don’t end up with one of those Mississippi hillbillies” are priceless. And when she finally meets Blaze, the guy who never had a family, holy cow, have your tissues ready.

I Hate You is my 6th sports romance book, including my hockey romance Boyfriend Bargain. It’s easy to write about football when you have a true passion for it. I live in the South where football is life—from Friday night high school games to tailgating on Saturdays with your favorite college team. Go UT!

If you love angst, bad boys with heart, relatable, real heroines, and smart banter, check out I Hate You! It’s a complete standalone and will be live August 19 and available in Kindle Unlimited.

Ilsa Madden-Mills is the author of the new book I Hate You.

Connect with Ilsa:
Author Page


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