[REVIEW] “Boyfriend Bargain” (Hawthorne University #1) By: Ilsa Madden-Mills

What is Boyfriend Bargain by Ilsa Madden-Mills about?

Broke and desperate, Sugar Ryan has no use for arrogant, bad-boy athletes…until she’s forced to bargain with the cockiest of them all.

If only he knew she was alive.

Her mission? Get on this hockey player’s radar any way possible.

Zack Morgan is the king of the ice and the bedroom, but nothing prepares him for the mystery girl who shows up everywhere he does—frat parties, his favorite bar, and finally his front door with an offer he can’t refuse. The only rule in her boyfriend bargain: no falling in love.

But after one (um, two) smoking-hot hookups, he’s done with pretending and vows to make their fake relationship real. Too bad she can’t trust a player with a reputation for breaking hearts.

Will this hockey star score his forever girl, or will this boyfriend bargain end in heartbreak?

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


I’ve been a fan of Ilsa’s books for a long time, and finally found the time to start her Hawthorne University series — and I’m so glad that I did!

I love the fake dating trope, which is a staple of this book. There’s always a push and pull of who’s going to admit their real feelings first, and I thought it was cool how quickly they both realized that what was going on wasn’t fake. As soon as they wrote down their “boyfriend bargain” on paper, I was afraid that they were going to get caught and it would blow up in their faces, but the conflict was deeper than that, which was nice to read. 

You all know that I love a good sports romance, and in the last few years I’ve found myself reading quite a few books centered around hockey. It was cool to see how Sugar and Z both had totally different life goals (hockey vs. being a lawyer), and how they navigated their futures together.

This book also does a great job of setting up the second book in the series, “Boyfriend Material,” which is an interconnected standalone with two of Sugar and Z’s friends. I loved the supporting characters, and I’m hoping that they all eventually get their own stories!

Overall, this was a fun read — I really loved her Waylon University series, so it was nice to delve into another university series of hers!



“I Dare You”

“I Bet You”

“I Hate You”

“I Promise You” – ARC

“The Revenge Pact” – ARC

“Beauty and the Baller” – ARC

“Boyfriend Bargain”


“I Dare You” ♪

“I Bet You” ♪

“I Hate You”

“I Promise You” ♪

“The Revenge Pact” ♪

2 thoughts on “[REVIEW] “Boyfriend Bargain” (Hawthorne University #1) By: Ilsa Madden-Mills

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