March 13, 2015

Title: The Deal

Series: Off-Campus,
Book One

Author: Elle Kennedy ♥ @ellekennedy

Published: February 24, 2015

Publisher: self-published

Genre(s): New Adult ♥ Contemporary ♥ Romance

Source: purchased

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 03/12/2015): 4.50

  • Christina thought this title was hot, plain and simple. It goes on her TOP SHELF. To find out why…

♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating:
5 hella hot stars!
When I saw Tonya (from The Midnight Garden) state on Goodreads “I loved this one. For once, a light-hearted NA! Low angst, sweet and sexy with great characters.” and noticed other friends raving about this book with glowing 5-star reviews, I knew I had to jump on it immediately. I’ve said for so long that I was beyond ready to depart from the standard angst ridiculousness that’s taken over New Adult and longing for it to be infused with super fluffy good times reading– which this was and wasn’t– and so I couldn’t wait to dive in. This definitely lived up to the expectations I set for it. I finished at 4:30 in the morning and I couldn’t regret it, even after several trips to the Keurig that still left me crashing later in the day with exhaustion. (Real life and responsibilities, what’s that?)

The Lowdown: Please refer to the Goodreads summary above. It does a way better job of explaining it than I could (and I’m being extremely lazy right now. #Honesty).

My Thoughts: The breakdown behind this book is simple and though you’ve probably read something similar before, I guarantee the characters in this book, the hilarity of their banter and dialogue exchanges, and the hotness level well definitely leave an impression in your heart and in your head. I still catch myself thinking about certain scenes and either sporting a huge smile, fanning my rosy cheeks, or giggling- and I do mean giggling– uncontrollably. The Deal is definitely a book I plan on returning to often and a series that I’m anxious to have more from in the future. Elle Kennedy is on my radar now as well.

As far as characters and chemistry go, Hannah and Garrett definitely are the kind of characters you’ll find yourself connecting to and rooting for almost immediately. I loved that Hannah didn’t initially fall for all of Garrett’s usual playboy lines/moves and cocky assuredness that usually had the girls flocking to his bedroom. She definitely gave snark as good as she got it and that made for the most amazing banter between them. With it being well into the wee morning hours and my family fast asleep, there were several times that I found myself smothering my laughter by burying my head down in my pillows. By the end and several times throughout the book, my sides and cheeks were literally aching. I love a book that can make me laugh out loud and this novel made it happen time and time again. Now, for the chemistry I mentioned earlier, hoooooo-ly hell, these two have it. When I wasn’t near to bursting from withheld cackles, I was patting my cheeks and in search of a cool compress to bring down the temperature of these two burning up the pages. It was hot hot hot.

Another thing worth mentioning because some people take issue with this particular plot-line is the fact that Hannah was raped in the past. I don’t consider this a spoiler because you learn about it within the first few pages of the book. So yes, I can feel you on the other side of this screen right now, sighing dramatically, like, “Here we go again. Always with this storyline in New Adult ” and I feel you so hard because that was one of the biggest reasons I found myself avoiding this genre lately. Howeverthis book is different. Firstly, I felt Kennedy gave this plot point a better angle. It was never really a huge secret from the reader throughout the book, nor was it something that was heavily played upon or a major rift-causing issue between the hero and the heroine. If anything, it might have brought them closer. It was simply a part of Hannah’s character, something she had already sought therapy for in previous years and was handling/managing as well as can be expected by any survivor on her own. This was really something that I appreciated, seeing it dealt with in such a healthy, uplifting manner.

I will say that I wasn’t over the moon about the conflict, but in comparison to its counterparts in the genre, The Deal really did maintain a low angst profile. I can also see how it was relatively necessary to how the author needed the end to work out, so it wasn’t hard to just roll with it. I laughed and loved and swooned way more than I was frustrated or pissed (which I never was unless it was at a certain dad which I guarantee will also be your reaction) or sad, so this goes down as a BIG WIN in my book. I’ll be anxiously waiting with my hands out for the next book in this series.

Swoons: There was sexiness and there was swoons. Both were kind of tangled up in each other. It was awesome.

Teaser Quote:

“Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them. How you went about your day and hung out with your friends and fucked other people without having this one important person in your life.”
~quote taken from the purchased Kindle edition of The Deal at 66%

Rec It? Absolutely and without any hesitation whatsoever! If you’re looking for a little more hilarity and hot with a dose of minimal angst in an overly saturated angsty NA market, this book is definitely for you. Buy it, read it, love it, and then come back here so we can laugh at the dialogue and discuss all the dirty-talking hotness together.

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