"Boys in Our Books"…

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REVIEW: “The Deal” by Elle Kennedy


She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

24504048Title: The Deal (Off-Campus #1)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publisher self-pub
Pages: 340 
Release Date: April 9, 2015
Purchase Links:  Amazon


So close…so very very close to being THAT book! The one that completely knocks my socks off.

I am, admittedly, a sucker for NA books…I think even more so in the M/F space. Maybe because it was SUCH an emotional time for me in my own life and the emotions that are brought to the surface in some of the best M/F NA books I’ve read feel so very familiar and real. And apparently, I’ve got a thing for hockey books…I’m coming to find.

I don’t know how much can be new under the sun when it comes to NA tropes. The Deal features a oft-done musician/theater-type girl named Hannah and the star-jock-who-needs-a-tutur named Garrett. But it didn’t feel generic.

From the get-go, I really enjoyed the voices of these two MC’s. You have alternating chapters from each in first person present POV and I’m finding I might not hate that as much as I thought. I really liked the banter and sarcasm between Hannah and Garrett…it made me think of the way I talk to friends and it had an authenticity to it for the age.

I liked Hannah a lot…she’s s survivor, she’s tough, she’s guarded…but she’s growing up and fighting to be free from a traumatic event in her past. She’s hard but soft and I appreciated that. But for me, the real star of this book is Garrett. He’s a DUDE. He’s an ASS sometimes. He’s a BRO. He’s a JOCK. He’s an IDIOT. And when challenged to be more, he’s MORE. He’s KIND and PROTECTIVE and SELF-REFLECTIVE and unf…so much of what warms my heart. If I didn’t feel like such a creepy old lady saying so, I might’ve just admitted he’s kind of dreamy.

As the book went on, I found myself hoping for more of the Garrett chapters, I was enjoying his POV so much.

Now…here’s where the book kinda went off the rails and veered from the road towards my “favorites” list to just a book I really liked. About 80% in, a plot twist is presented that felt…off…contrived…forced…slightly unbelievable…definitely over the top. And it was…disappointing. It made me question the characters. It made me frustrated. And though the author brings it back around and I will say, saves the book from destruction…I wasn’t entirely mollified.

Still…despite that, I did enjoy this book GREATLY and I kinda already miss Garrett. *sigh*…Garrett…


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This entry was posted on June 8, 2015 by in MF / MMF / FF, Reviewer: Susan, Sports / Athletes, YA / NA and tagged , , , , , .

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