Cover Image: My Darling Bride

My Darling Bride

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Member Reviews

This book follows the unlikely romance between Emmaline Darling, a bookstore owner, and Graham Harlan, a famous football star, whose lives intersect when Emmy "steals" Graham's car. Forced into a fake marriage by Graham's ultimatum, sparks fly between them as they navigate their complicated feelings. Despite obstacles and emotional hurdles, their chemistry is undeniable, leading to a sweet and satisfying conclusion. Ilsa Madden-Mills' skillful storytelling and character development make this a captivating read, filled with humor, passion, and heartfelt moments.

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My Darling Bride is a modern day marriage of convenience story that weaves together an interesting meet cute, a love of books, and insta-love. Ilsa Madden-Mills is a contemporary author who when I pick up a novel from her I always expect to be taken on a fun and interesting ride. My Darling Bride is exactly that, a fun, well paced, romantic and sexy escape from the everyday. Madden-Mills' writing is easy to engage with and enjoy, it has a clarity that is comforting and keeps the story moving forward. Madden-Mills also easily brings to life. her characters and builds their relationship with understanding for who they are as people. My Darling Bride reads like a modern day fairytale and I really enjoyed watching this low angst romance blossom before my eyes. My Darling Bride is a delightful escape and a sweet romance that was softly enjoyable, and any lover of Madden-Mills works is sure to be charmed.

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Emmaline and Graham have more in common than initially appears, and yet they couldn't be more different.
Two completely opposite lives that mainly revolve around their respective families.

great cinema, great and at times funny story with great characters, not just the main characters.

Have fun reading for yourself!

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Unfortunately this book was not for me. Super fast romance which made no sense to me. We didn’t get to see any development from the side characters. Honestly I nearly DNF this book several times which took me by surprise because I almost always enjoy the author’s books.

*ARC received in exchange for an honest opinion

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My Darling Bride is a fast paced, marriage of convenience rom com that will keep your attention and have you rooting for a happy ending. I enjoyed the book and the characters, I particularly liked Emmy who is such a good person who deserves all the happiness. Graham could definitely be infuriating with his lack of communication but thats pretty expected in these types of stories. I does have some trigger warnings so be sure to read those first before going in = things like abuse, parental death, etc. I hope there will be a Jane/Jasper book next.

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Ahh! Isla Madden Mills story are legit pure Kindle crack laced with an addictive substance only she can deliver. I love love LOVED this story. The banter, swoon, connection and feels hit the mark! 5 stars! ~Ratula

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I really enjoyed this hilarious, emotional, very unique arranged marriage story. This book just keeps you glued to the pages. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. These characters are so special and I wanted them to find happiness together. The writing is excellent and you will just love this story!

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This was a really cute and fun read by a new-to-me author. Graham and Emmy have an unconventional first meeting - he chases her down because she stole his car. She didn't mean to steal it, but she had no choice in order to escape from her dangerous ex-boyfriend. Graham is in a little bind himself. In order to gain access to his inheritance, he needs to marry, so he makes a deal with Emmy. He won't press charges if she agrees to marry him. Graham manages to convince her that this is the best option for both of them, and she agrees to the plan.
Marriage of convenience tropes are always fun to read, because I enjoy seeing the characters fall in love with each other and finally realize their feelings. Watching them get to that point through all the ups and downs and misunderstandings is always exciting and this book was just exactly that. This was a creatively written story with interesting and endearing characters and I am glad to have had the opportunity to read it.
I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.

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My Darling Bride is the newest romance from Ilsa Madden Mills. I'm a huge fan of Ilsa's and I absolutely loved this story. Emmy and Graham are so much fun together. From their crazy meet-cute to the fake marriage to Fate doing its thing. I love a well-executed fate story and this one hit me in all the feels. Emmy and Graham had a connection from the first time they saw each other. It only grew stronger as they got to know each other. It's just pretend until he gets what he needs to help his family. But they both know there's more going on than an arrangement, they just have to take the leap and admit how they really feel. I loved all the family, friends and fun they had together. They are both stubborn, but they were made for each other. I really, really want to see a secondary character (or two!) get their story! Overall, I loved every second of it. I laughed, teared up, smiled, swooned and laughed some more. It's a feel good romance that left me both satisfied and wanting more!

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I really enjoyed this book. It’s great to read a book that doesn’t feel just like every other book out there.

I really love Emmy’s character. I love how much she looked out for others. She was strong and determined. She knows her worth and won’t accept less!!!

Graham is a great character as well. His character was relatable, I understood his struggles. I loved watching him overcome some obstacles to become a better person for not only others but himself.

I really enjoyed this story and hope there will be a book about Jasper and Jane!!! Those two are going to be explosive!

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Ilsa Madden-Mills delivered a sexy, funny, emotional story that I couldn't put down. My Darling Bride was such a joy to read. I laughed, I cried and I swooned. Fake marriage, forced proximity, grumpy sunshine.....this book has it all.

I adored Emmy and Graham. They had an interesting meet-cute followed by specific events that led to their fake marriage. Both characters had difficult past events that shaped their personalities and viewpoints. It took a lot for Emmy and Graham to break through those walls to find their happily-ever-after but eventually, they got there. It wasn't easy but it was worth it in the end. Their witty banter and sexual tension were exactly what was needed to take this story to the next level. Madden-Mills clearly knew the assignment! Add in a fun cast of characters from siblings to teammates and this story was perfect. And I am not-so-secretly hoping we get a story with Jane and Jasper because their animosity and chemistry were fire!

Madden-Mills's stellar writing was on full display and I literally devoured every word. This story seriously gave me all the feels. From the first page to the last, I was invested and couldn't put it down. What an amazing story! 5 stars

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“Maybe sometimes, things really are meant to be.”

Ilsa’s writing has a magnetic quality. It’s hard to set her books aside because of their well-paced narratives, intriguing side characters that leave you craving more, and a perfect blend of sweetness and spice — and that is all found in “My Darling Bride”.

Emmaline Darling’s bold decision to break free from an abusive relationship brings her to an Arizona desert motel. A twist of fate unfolds as football star Graham Harlan becomes an unexpected ally in her journey, creating a heartwarming “meet-cute” moment. However, the story takes an unexpected turn when Emma “borrows” Graham’s Lamborghini for a hurried trip to the airport.

Graham not only locates her in Manhattan but presents an intriguing proposition loaded with a “you owe me” undertone: marriage. He says that marrying is essential to get the inheritance his brother needs, connecting their lives in a complicated mix of responsibility and necessity.

When Emma and Graham are together, there’s a palpable warmth that fills the room. Whether it’s their closeness, playful banter, flirtation, or unspoken yearning, the ache in your chest intensifies, drawing you into the perfect blend of angst and simmering desire they share.

Emma’s dedication to her family resonates deeply. Graham recognizes this, realizing that what she offers is precisely what he has been missing in his own life: “Her loyalty and self-sacrifice to others? It’s challenging for me to comprehend because I’ve never had someone like that in my life…” This dynamic adds a layer of depth and emotion to their love story, making it all the more memorable and delightful.

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Ilsa’s books are always a fun read and this didn’t disappoint!

I really liked these two. When the walls started coming down and we were able to peak inside Grahams mind, everything was starting to make sense and come together. I adored Emmy and the way she cared for her siblings made her that much more special.

These two are really something together.

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I love how Ilsa can write a fake dating romance inside a sports romance and not make it feel like more of the same.

Emmy is a bookstore manager in NY that had a bad experience in a relationship that took to the desert and stealing a very expensive car to get out of there. The car’s owner is nobody but our hero, Graham, that then blackmails Emmy into marriage so he can get his share of his inheritance and give it to his brother.

Because he’s a famous football player, they need to play and act as an actual couple. Until lines blur and feeling are involved.

I liked the development and the writing is always good. The characters were very relatable and real even if the circumstances were not.

But I’m suspect to talk because I’ll read and like anything by the author.

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Ilsa Madden-Mills has delivered once again, a great love story between two people faith had in mind for each other.

Graham and Emmy have both been hurt in the past. They have given up on love and are not looking. But what happens when Graham needs her so he could help his brother? She says yes even though they agree not to fall for each other. But spending time together and getting to know each other better proves that to be hard thing to do. But being close off for so long almost destroys the love that just started to bloom.

I have a few soft spots for Ilsa's heros. But I think Graham just made it to the top and if you've read her books you know the competition he had for the top spot. I absolutely loved this story and I'm hoping we get her sister’s spry next because that girl is a firecracker.

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Graham and Emmy are absolutely delightful! I absolutely loved the witty banter and chemistry between the characters is amazing. You’ll be hook from the very first page.

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My fav Ilsa Madden Mills book yet. Emmy and Graham were a brilliant pairing! This story had me hooked from the off. I loved every aspect of this story and I didn't want to put it down! Brilliant!

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Cute and heartfelt, I enjoyed this standalone unexpected romance which features a fated love and fake marriage trope line. It touches on caregiving, abuse, and disability, which brought a lot of emotional resonance for me as a reader and intensified the connection between Emma and Graham. The characters were fully fleshed out and it was a pleasure to read.

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My Darling Bride is classic Ilsa Madden-Mills, and I loved it. The tragic pasts, the "oh no, I'm falling in love" moments, the banter, the humor, it's all so so good. I adore Emmeline and her devotion to her siblings, Graham has a bit of a rough exterior but deep down he's a marshmallow who's also just trying to take care of the ones he loves. It's sweet and spicy and the set up for the next book is perfection.

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Graham Harkell is having a rough time first he took an enormous hit on the football field which he thought he might not have woken up from, and then he promised his brother he would marry to collect his inheritance. The problem with the last part is he is not dating anyone. So he takes off driving and ends up in a small town in New Mexico. Emmeline Darling who owns a book store has left Manhattan to get away from her ex and has ended up in the same hotel a dive as Graham. So when her ex shows up they act like they are dating and when he trunks his back she takes off with his car and leaves it at the airport. He ends up tracking her down and because of everything that happened, he won’t press charges if she agrees to marry him. This is just the beginning, I have left out a lot of stuff but a lot of funny moments. This is a really good book with really good characters.

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