DNF Series Review: Kings of Football by Ilsa Madden-Mills

DNF December Review Blitz — Day 4: I’m sharing my thoughts on some book series that I have marked as incomplete as I have never finished the first novel in the series. Find out why these weren’t for me:


Synopsis for The Revenge Pact (from Goodreads):
River Tate is a god on campus.
The king of football.
A tattooed bad boy with gunmetal eyes that see right through you.
The only chink in his armor is her, the girl he pretends doesn’t exist, the forbidden one with the shy smile and lavender hair.

Anastasia Bailey is a nobody.
The queen of nothing.
An outsider with the face of an angel and a body made for sin.
The only chink in her armor is him, her boyfriend’s frat brother, the football player who hates her.

But when Anastasia’s life comes crashing down, River’s the one who sweeps in and picks up the pieces.
Torn between loyalty, lies, and secrets, he battles the temptation to take everything from her when they make their revenge pact.

He can’t tell her no.
Because revenge (or love) is, sweet, and once you get a taste, the craving never ends.


Series: Kings of Football
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills, Meghan Quinn, Adriana Locke
# of Books: 3 (View Full Reading Order here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Football
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2020
Source & Format: Own–Kindle


Note: I stopped reading Book 1, The Revenge Pact, at 44% (start of Chapter 14) and marked the series as DNF. Find out why…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Admittedly, I was in a bit of a reading funk when I picked up the Revenge Pact but I really thought that book would cure it for me. I enjoy a good college sports romance; Ilsa Madden-Mills is pretty consistent for me; and I’m a sucker for a romance where the male hero is completely in love with the heroine before she does. Plus, I liked that the sequels were written by different authors–particularly authors I hadn’t read before and I always like to explore new reads.

What I Liked:

Honestly, I was nearly halfway through and I can’t tell you a thing I liked (or remembered about this one as I write this review a month later…). I didn’t even gravitate towards the future leads like I usually do in this series.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Lack of Chemistry–

These two had as much spark as a wet piece of paper. I was seriously underwhelmed by the tension. Sell me on this undeniable connection between them would you?!

–Boring Plot–

When “revenge” is in the title, I really wanted something with a little more drama. I’m not even sure if I had reached the “revenge” aspect of their plan by the time I decided to call it quits. All I know, I was bored and it was becoming a chore to read this.

–Because the Plot Didn’t Have to Exist at All–

I think part of the reason I struggled with the plot was that everything was so obvious and stereotypical. Anastasia’s boyfriend is obviously a dud so it was obvious very early on she needed to drop him ASAP. But even River’s “infatuation” with Anastasia could have been sorted out earlier. Like I really don’t understand his hesitation because he really isn’t that close to her boyfriend in any way that would make it “forbidden” or out-of-line.

Will I Finish the Series?:

Nope. I read the synopsis for the other books but they didn’t really appeal to me.

Series Rating: DNF

The Revenge Pact DNF | The Romantic Pact N/A | The Relationship Pact N/A


I’m probably in the minority for this one. But I couldn’t get into this plot and I found the characters to be uninspiring.

Read if You Like: sports romances
Avoid if You: dislike college romances


Have you read this? Should I return to this series? Leave a comment!

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