Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills brings you a
brand-new heartfelt, sexy contemporary romance with I DARE YOU is
Bad Ass Athlete: I dare you to…
Delaney Shaw: Who is this?
The late night text is random, but "Bad Ass Athlete" sure seems to know who she is…
Lover of fluffy kitties and Star Wars.
His dare? Spend one night in his bed—a night he promises will be unforgettable—and
she can solve the mystery of who he is.
She knows she shouldn't, but what else is she going to do with her boring Valentine's
One sexy hook-up later, her mind is blown and the secret's out.
The most talented football player in the country.
Just ask him.
Too bad for him Delaney's sworn off dating athletes forever after her last heartbreak.
But Maverick wants more than one night and refuses to give up on winning Delaney’s
heart. She isn’t one to be fazed by a set of broad shoulders.
After the semester ends, will the bad boy land the nerd girl or will the secrets they keep
from each other separate them forever?
Welcome to Magnolia, Mississippi, where locusts are as big as your hand and iced tea comes
with a double helping of sugar.
It’s also home to the best damn annual bonfire party at prestigious Waylon University, which is
currently happening right now in the middle of a cotton field.
I shouldn’t even be at this party.
It’s mostly for Greeks and jocks and popular people, yet here I am, a mere freshman, hanging out
with my bubbly redheaded roommate, Skye.
“See?” she says as we take in the bonfire. “Isn’t this better than watching cat videos on a
Saturday night? What do you want to do first?”
I sigh, feeling nervous. Ever since I moved here from North Carolina, I’ve been pushing myself
to try new things. Might as well put a crazy college party on that list. “Let’s get a drink.”
She claps and excitedly replies, “Done. Alcohol at two o’clock.” We weave through the crowd,
headed in that direction, and eventually we reach the bar, which is really just a long collapsible
table someone set up. On top are various bottles of alcohol, and I grab the Fireball to pour shots.
I’ve just tossed mine back and set down my cup when a prickling sensation washes over me,
giving me goose bumps.
My gaze moves across the crowd, stopping on a tall guy with dark blond hair, broad shoulders,
and a cocky smile. Aha. He’s been staring at me, and now that he’s caught, he raises his glass as
a half-grin crosses his face.
I blush wildly as I adjust my black cat-eye glasses. I’m not used to such blatant male attention.
Skye—who’s followed the trajectory of my gaze—spits out part of her drink. “Oh my God, do
you know who that is?”
“Obviously I should,” I say dryly.
Her mouth flops open. “You really need to get out more.”
My eyes drift back to him but keep moving as if I’m not staring. “So who is Mr. Hottie McParty
“If you don’t know him, you don’t deserve to know. But, he’s H-O- T—like Chris Hemsworth
hot. I dare you to flirt with him.” She wiggles her eyebrows at me, knowing full well that for
some reason, I can’t resist a dare. Normally rather reserved, a dare gives me permission to be
someone I’m not.
So does Fireball. I sling back another shot.
“I’ll bring you a donut every day for a week if you flirt with him,” she adds, watching me.
My ears perk up. “The ones with edible glitter?”
She nods, and I toss a quick glance back to him. Our eyes collide again, and a zing of connection
fires between us. He has a strong, handsome face and a stance that has masculine written all over
it. A smile tips up his full sensuous lips, and—
Two brunettes—twins, no less—approach him, one on either side, and wrap their arms around
his waist. He smiles down at them. Oh. Well then.
I turn back to Skye and frown. “Player. Not interested.”
She waves her hands in my face. “He likes you—I saw it on his face.”
I snort. “Probably gas pains. Your dare is not accepted.”
We hear our names being called from the other side of the party and turn to take in the helmet-
haired Martha approaching us, which is taking some time due to the fact that she’s wearing
stilettos and a slinky halter dress. She carefully picks her way through the crowd, nudging people
out of her way—sometimes rudely—as she focuses on us. Great.
“Incoming mean girl,” I mutter under my breath.
Like us, Martha Burrows is a freshman and lives on our floor. Rather full of herself, she
announced within a week of meeting us that she’d no longer answer to anything but Muffin, a
nickname she’d given herself.
She eyes us both, a look of superiority on her pretty face. “I didn’t know you two were invited to
this little shindig. Obviously, I know all the right people, so I’m always invited.” Her gaze zeroes
in on my outfit and she rears back. “What on earth are you wearing, Nerd Girl?”
“Clothes.” I stiffen at her name for me as I tug on my fitted Star Wars shirt and the pleated red
miniskirt I made from a man’s shirt. My long pale blonde hair is up in curled pigtails, and I went
a bit heavy-handed with the shimmery eye shadow and red lipstick. It’s not your typical look for
WU—which is anything monogrammed—but I’m learning to ignore the raised eyebrows.
Skye, the peacemaker among us three, clears her throat and nods her head at the guy who’s been
staring. “Delaney has an admirer, but she doesn’t know who he is.”
Martha-Muffin follows Skye’s gaze, eyeballing the mystery man over my shoulder. She gives
me an exasperated look. “That’s Maverick Monroe, you idiot. He’s the biggest football star in
Mississippi and the freshman recruit of the year. Word is, though, girls like you aren’t his
type—not at all.” Her hand flicks a stiff honey-colored curl over her shoulder.
My teeth grind together. “Martha, if you think I care what you think about me and whether or not
a quasi-famous football player is interested in me, then you are confused.”
Her lips tighten. “It’s Muffin now, and why do you have to use such big words? What does quasi
even mean?” is her cutting reply.
Skye’s eyes get as big as saucers, and I assume it’s because Martha-Muffin and I are about to
finally have it out. I can’t stand her, and she can’t stand me. We just…clash.
But that isn’t what has Skye in such a titter.
She points over my shoulder, and I get it.
It’s the person standing behind me, the one I can’t see. I feel a nervous sneeze coming on
and—thank God—I somehow push it down.
A husky voice reaches my ears. “Quasi means seemingly or supposedly. What she means is I’m
probably not a famous football player but rather one that’s been highly touted but is without
Oh, shit. The voice is rich and smooth with just enough southern drawl to make a girl swoon. He
also sounds halfway intelligent.
I turn around slowly. Mr. Tall, Blond, and Football is right in front of me wearing a cocky smile.
How in the hell did he get over here so fast?
You know that moment when everything stops and the next breath you take is the first one of the
rest of your life? That’s what it feels like as Maverick Monroe stares at me with his piercing blue
I glance down and take in the sculpted chest and hard biceps.
I look back up and see a chiseled jawline that’s defined and lined with a slight scruff. I see the
thin pink scar that slices through his left eyebrow, and it does nothing to detract from his appeal.