Princess and the Player (Strangers in Love #2) Read Online Ilsa Madden-Mills

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Sports Tags Authors: Series: Strangers in Love Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills
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Total pages in book: 91
Estimated words: 87341 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 437(@200wpm)___ 349(@250wpm)___ 291(@300wpm)
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A masquerade ball brings together an NFL player and a penniless princess in this smart and sexy romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Level-headed Francesca Lane never thought she’d miss her own wedding. But when her fiancé betrays her, she puts on her wedding dress and ditches the altar for a masquerade ball—at a sex club.

There, she meets NFL star Tuck Avery, dressed as a prince and hiding behind a mask as he celebrates his birthday. For one night, Francesca and Tuck indulge in a wickedly incognito affair. No names. No strings. And the masks don’t come off.

Unfortunately, Francesca soon realizes her prince is the wealthy jock who lives in the penthouse of her apartment building. His hobbies include parties and supermodels—or so the tabloids say. Another shallow jerk is the last thing Francesca needs, so she vows to keep Tuck from recognizing her, not that she’s his type anyway.

But fate has a teeny-tiny trick up her sleeve… a plus sign on a pregnancy test. Can this tormented prince accept love, or will he push his princess away forever?

Princess and the Player is a complete stand-alone romance with nuanced characters and a swoony happily ever after.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter 1

TUCK

“To Tuck, the oldest wide receiver in the NFL! Happy birthday, old man!” Jasper says as he raises his glass of Dom Pérignon.

“Still kicked your ass in the gym today, quarterback,” I say as he and Deacon clink their glasses with mine. “You puppies dream of being me when you’re thirty-five.”

“True, true. You’re a legend on the field,” Jasper says. “In fact, you’re so old I bet you still have a Blockbuster card.”

I grunt. “Jesus, that’s lame—and wrong. I grew up on HBO.”

Deacon, our running back, refills our glasses as our limo moves smoothly through Manhattan traffic. He chuckles. “I’m not going to make any jokes about your age because I sincerely feel bad for you, but think of it like this: You’re one year closer to wearing a big ole diaper. Better yet, you’ll be wearing it while you watch us play.”

Jasper cackles as I roll my eyes. These young guns are twenty-seven and consider me old, which is sorta true in the football world. Most wide receivers peak in their midtwenties, then decline by 50 percent each year after. Somehow, I’ve lasted fourteen seasons. I have had two ankle fractures, a broken wrist, four dislocated shoulders, and a groin injury but still keep coming back and playing my heart out.

They start whispering, and I eyeball them, wondering what they have planned for tonight.

They surprised me an hour ago when they showed up at my place wearing black masks and killer suits. They gave me a mask—only mine has a shit ton of feathers on it. Judging by their excitement, I’m surprised they didn’t insist I wear a sash and a crown.

I sigh. Usually my birthday is a somber event, and I either hang at home with my current girl or go to the Baller. I drink a few beers and eat a slice of chocolate cake. That’s the tradition.

I gaze down at the scars on my fingers and knuckles, glossy and whitened over time. My birthday is also the day my father died ten years ago. These guys don’t know that. Why would they? I keep my personal stuff close to my chest.

Whatever. Fine. No matter the dark shit going on in my head, I can roll with a surprise party. It’s not a stretch to put on a smile. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid.

“You all right there, Tuck?” Jasper asks as the limo pulls to the side of the road and stops.

“Yep,” I say as we get out of the car. “So what’s this big surprise? Where are we going?”

“Oh, it’s nothing special,” Jasper murmurs as he and Deacon share a sly glance, then giggle like frat boys.

Uh-huh.

One of the feathers from my mask sticks to my mouth, and I spit it out.

Sure, I’m a carefree guy. Some might even call me a party boy. But this—this shit is just weird.

Jasper tosses an arm around me, obviously the organizer of this shindig. He’s dressed in a tailored navy suit, and his frizzy white-blond hair is twisted up in a man-bun. His eyes twinkle. “Trust me; you’ll love what we have planned. I can’t tell you because I want to see your face when we get there. It’s going to blow your mind.”

I glance around the dark alley we’ve entered. There are no shops, lights, or people. A rat scurries off to the side. “If a clown jumps out from behind that dumpster, I’ll kill you,” I growl. “Birthdays are prank-free zones.”

“For the third time, there aren’t any clowns tonight!” Jasper lifts his hands. “I wouldn’t do that to you, Tuck!”

“Clowns should be murdered,” I add. “Wanna know who invented clowns? A psycho, that’s who.”


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