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Summary

An Amazon Charts and #1 Kindle Store bestseller.

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

©2022 Ilsa Madden-Mills. (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

“In this un-put-downable romance, Madden-Mills skillfully balances the emotional with the physical to produce a love story that’s equal parts scorching and sweet.”Publishers Weekly

“A sexy, fun romance from an author who always delivers.”Kirkus Reviews 

What listeners say about Beauty and the Baller

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This is a classic - never gonna get old!

This is not only an excellent story. It's a journey, a beautiful feeling . I love and respect the narrators for what they did .It's everything that you can ever imagine to have in a book. Sheer joy and worth all the appreciation.... Congratulations for this book !!

1 person found this helpful

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Only in Texas

Very enjoyable story with well rounded and lovable characters you can't help falling a little in love with, even Lois! There a great side characters and a ménage of critters to have you snort laughing, swooning and just full on turning over pages to find out what happens next. It's a fun, funny, romantic, steamy read with a little drama to get yourself invested in their HEA.
The narrators have very nice voices and pace to bring this story alive in my head, loved it!

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A Small Town Romance with Bite.👑👙🏈🔥💘🎧

Beauty and the Baller
Audiobook 🎧
by: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Narrators: Savannah Peachwood, Sebastian York
10hrs 10 mins


This was a good small town romance. The story starts off in NYC, in a really awkward way, so it's kind of a second chance romance too!😍 Ronan lost his fiance and, through injuries, his NFL career, after a devastating car accident. He's spent nearly a year trying to rehab his injuries, without success and has turned to drink to drown his grief and guilt. When he awakens from the night he met Princess Leia, Nova, he realizes he said something awful to her and vows to himself to change!🙈


Nova leaves NYC a year after their careful meeting, to return to her Texas hometown of Bluebell. Her Mama has passed away and she needs to go home to finish raising her younger sister, she's 15.💔 She's feeling out of her depth, full of grief and fearful she won't have the money to keep their home! Then she finds out her next door neighbour is none other than Ronan Smith, and that on top of the humiliation he caused her the year before, he doesn't even remember her!🙈😡


I thought the female narrator did an excellent job of giving each character their own voice & identity. I wasn't as drawn in by the male, I've heard him before but he sounded unconvincing in this book, unfortunately!😔


I given this 4 stars overall.🌟🏈🎧


Debbie, 1970, UK

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Great book

narrators were great and I liked to listen to them , the book it self was great and I would recommend it to all. a good heart warming and laughter out loud book

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  • Frances
  • 31-03-22

Loved it!!!

This was such a great book. This had it all. Started off with heartbreak. Losing a fiancé and his football career. Having a one night stand with someone (when super drunk) and ruining the moment. Her taking off and not seeing her for several years. To all of a sudden she’s your new next door neighbor in a small town where you’re the football coach.
So many funny moments in this book. Not going to lie my head was itching thinking of lice…. Haha!! Listen to understand!! But such a great HEA. I really hope some of the side characters get there own books too!!
Sebastian York and Savannah Peachwood were fantastic narrating this book!!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kiaorateora
  • 14-04-22

Weak & stereotypical

Nothing new here. Same trope different author. There are times I don’t mind a simple, predictable story. I can suspend my disbelief because it’s just fun, entertaining fiction. But there were too many times I was asked to “go with it” when situations were just a bit ridiculous. Examples: having an instant “connection” during a drunk one night stand and being hurt over it for 2 years. Being a 29 year old woman and still scared of the “mean girl” that stole her man…9 years ago. Suddenly being hired as a high school teacher even though she has zero qualifications to do so. Wearing sexy outfits to school (including stilettos!) as a new teacher so she can make her ex jealous and none of the horny high school boys say anything nor does the administration say boo to her about sexy outfits. Her mom just died and she’s overly concerned about the hot coach and her ex and her libido. That to me is the worst of it. I had to stop. It’s hard to connect to characters when they read more like caricatures. It was the stereotypical homecoming Queen and popular hot jock as grown adults still being stick in high school, both figuratively and literally.

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  • Kelly and Chris
  • 31-03-22

great story

Our lives can be changed in an instant. Ronan's life is forever changed after an accident that kills his fiancée and sidelines his professional football career. Just when he can't seem to get his life on track, he meets the one that got away. Ronan's one night stand after a very drunken night is the reality check he needs. Ronan moves to Texas to take over the coaching job of a local high school football team. Two years after his move, Ronan still isn't convinced this is where he is staying. Nova is forced back home to take care of her sister after their mother passes. Nova is stunned to find out her next-door neighbor is the man she left in NY after their one-night stand, except Ronan doesn't remember her. The chemistry between Ronan and Nova is unmistakable and Ronan realizes she is the one that got away. This couple is perfect together, bringing out the best in each other. Can their love overcome all the pain they both have from the past? Well fake dating will force them together to find out. Ilsa does such a great job intertwining such fun aspects into her stories. Let's talk about a cat who is walked on a leash, all the Star Wars references, the lice, the list goes on. Another great book and such a great read.

Sebastian York and Savannah Peahwood did a great job bringing the characters to life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ash
  • 27-04-22

sweet

This is a sweet sports romance.
Plenty of laugh out loud moments mixed in with steamy scenes.
I love Nova's strength- she suffers a loss, but gains so much throughout the book.
Narrators did an amazing job.

1 person found this helpful

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  • xxBooksILovexx
  • 03-04-22

Another great listen from Ilsa Madden-Mills

Another great listen from Ilsa Madden-Mills! This story is second chance & fake dating. Nova & Ronan have a one night stand in NYC. It’s a turning point for Ronan. Fate took over and they are reunited in Texas. Lots of twists & turns for this couple. Excellent Narration by Sebastian York & Savannah Peachwood.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JamieKoep
  • 01-04-22

Cute

This is a sweet and simple second chance/small-town romance. I’m a huge fan of this author and normally fall madly in love with every story she writes. This one was sweet… But just didn’t connect with me on a deeper level.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-06-22

I love IIsa Madden-Mills

Loved loved loved this book. It has the perfect balance of love & humor and totally relatable. You won’t regret this read.

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  • Donna
  • 26-06-22

Wonderful story

I definitely recommend this book and enjoyed listening to the narrators.loved the characters in this book. I laugh and cried almost at the same time. Amazing book

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  • Pennie Morgan
  • 25-06-22

Beauty and The Baller

I loved everything about this one! Ronan and Nova met when she dressed up as Princess Leah and he kissed her when he was too drunk to remember. Fast forward two years and he is no sober and teaching and coaching high school football and Nova has come home to Blue Belle, Texas, and he just happens to be her next door neighbor and does not recognize her. The town busybody keeps throwing women at him trying to get him to fall in love and stay in town and he wants nothing to do with it as his plan is to leave at the end of the school year. When he approaches Nova with the idea of "fake" dating this starts so much more and the chemistry is off the hook. There is no way there is anything fake going on. These two are perfection! I had so much fun reading/listening to this one. If you haven't grabbed this one yet, grab it and enjoy it and make sure you have a fan around because it is steamy.

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  • CourtneyP
  • 23-06-22

So good!

I loved this book and the audio was amazing! Nova and Ronan are so sweet and I loved how they found each other!