Very Bad Things Read online Ilsa Madden-Mills (Briarwood Academy #1)

Categories Genre: Angst, Chick Lit, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult Tags Authors: Series: Briarwood Academy Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Total pages in book: 104
Estimated words: 97578 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 488(@200wpm)___ 390(@250wpm)___ 325(@300wpm)

Read Online Books/Novels:

Very Bad Things (Briarwood Academy #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Ilsa Madden-Mills

Book Information:

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She’s perfect…
Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex. Then she meets her soulmate. But he doesn’t want her.
When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about...until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.
As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken. Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things.
Books in Series:

Briarwood Academy Series by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Books by Author:

Ilsa Madden-Mills Books

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are they crazy?”

~Albert Einstein


Yeah, that’s not an easy word to say. Yet these often mispronounced staccato syllables have been ticking in my brain like the click of my piano teacher’s metronome for the past fifteen minutes . . . weiss-nicht-wo, weiss-nicht-wo, weiss-nicht-wo. I tapped my fingers to the beat.

This obscure word was coined by Thomas Carlyle in his satirical work Sartor Resartus, so it’s not surprising the organizers selected it for the Belltone National Spelling Bee. Even the best speller might be thrown off by it, maybe because the /w/ is pronounced as a Germanic /v/ or maybe they make the rookie mistake of forgetting to capitalize the beginning.

But four years ago, I’d made no mistake at that renowned spelling bee. I’d been perfect, since screwing up was not allowed in my family. In my last year to compete and at the age of fourteen, I’d nailed Weissnichtwo, beating out the pimply, homeschooled kid from Rhode Island in round six.

My IQ tested at 162 which most considered genius level. Yet, I still had to work my ass off for the spelling bee, studying the two-hundred-page word list and thirty thousand flash cards for two hours a day, four days a week. For an entire year. In those days, I was quick to remind people that Einstein was a proven horrible speller.

My mother snapped her fingers. “Nora Grace, please stop slumping and sit up. Good posture improves your overall attractiveness. You know this.”

I straightened my back.

“Mr. Cairn’s about to call you to the podium,” she said. “Don’t let me down.”

I nodded.

She scanned over my new dress and brown sandals. “That yellow dress was a very bad idea. It completely washes you out, and I’m surprised my assistant picked it out. She usually has better taste. Please don’t wear that—” she gestured at my outfit, “terrible ensemble again.” She sighed. “At least you didn’t wear those disgusting cowboy boots.”

I gripped the edges of my chair, refusing to acknowledge her last remark. Did she think I was stupid? I’d known to not wear my boots in front of her, not when I’d be wearing her handprint on my cheek later for the infraction. I pushed her from my mind and stared down at my note cards, concentrating on remembering everything my speech coach had taught me.

She continued her lecture as she focused her attention back on the headmaster of Briarwood Academy. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help you shop for an appropriate outfit. Now that Geoffrey has resigned, the station is in chaos, so I’ll be working more hours and staying at the apartment in the city. It can’t be helped,” she said, shrugging her impeccably suited shoulders. “I do worry about you though. Princeton is only a few months away, and you’ll never make it past freshman year if you don’t stop daydreaming. We expect big things from you, Nora.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She checked me out again, this time directing her critical gaze to my waistline. “Mona mentioned you haven’t been weighing yourself each day, and I’m concerned. You must never forget how fat you were.”

I peered down at my size five dress and sucked in. Mona, our housekeeper, reported everything I did. She probably kept a log telling Mother when I peed.

“Oh, and I do have some exciting news I’ve been meaning to tell you. Finn’s moving back to the house after Christmas,” she said with a smile. “Houston isn’t working out for him like he thought, so he’s going to work downtown with your father’s law firm.”

I swallowed down bile at what she’d said. Everything was always about Finn, my half-brother. Why didn’t she give a shit about me?

I glanced around her to peek at my dad, but he wasn’t even listening to Mr. Cairn or to us. He had his phone out, texting. He didn’t want to be here.

From the stage, Mr. Cairn was finishing up his spiel, “ . . . to Briarwood Academy’s Senior Registration and Open House Night. This fall marks our hundredth-year anniversary, and we look forward to celebrating this event all year. And now, to welcome our incoming seniors, last year’s junior class president Nora Blakely will be speaking to you. An asset to our Academy, she was not only the Belltone National Spelling Bee Champion four years ago, but she’s currently the editor of the yearbook, the co-captain of the debate team, and an early recipient of the esteemed James D. Gobble Scholarship to attend the University of Texas. She’s an exemplary role model for all of us here tonight.” Mr. Cairn smiled benignly down at us in the front row. “Without further ado, please give a hand for Miss Nora Blakely.”

Polite clapping ensued.

“Go get ’em, sis,” Finn said to me as I rose to walk up the wooden steps to the stage. Shocked to hear his voice, I turned to see that he’d obviously slipped in late and had been sitting right behind me the entire time. I felt myself draw up inside. He wasn’t supposed to be here, not when it was a week day and he lived four hours away. Deep in my gut, I realized Mother had told him to come. And he always did what she said. So did I.