Book Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

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Title: The Deal (Off-Campus #1)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Genre: Sports Romance
Length: 358 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis
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.

Michelle's Review

At first glance, I really did not know what to expect from this book.  I always go into a book with no expectations, I rarely read anyone’s review prior to delving into a book.  I usually go by the synopsis to see if it will reel me into reading.  Boss lady Grace told me that she was hearing really good things about this book already.  Having said that, I could not wait to start reading this wonderful book.  Yes, wonderful.

You will fall in love with Hannah from the very beginning.  She is a junior in college majoring in music.  She is also very smart and very sarcastic.  Although she faced a painful past, she did not let it define her, or made her feel sorry for herself.  She has only had two relationships, and because the former boyfriend could not deal with Hannah’s “issue”, he broke up with her.  Instead, Hannah is determined to win the winter showcase at school to help pay for her tuition and surround herself with her artsy friends.

Garrett Graham, oh man, I am swooning just thinking about him right about now.  He is the Captain of his school hockey team, Mr. Popularity, but he is failing his ethics class.  In order for him to stay on the team, he needs to pick up his grades.  When he stumbles upon Hannah’s passing grade, he will do anything in his power to have her help him pass the ethics class.

Hannah knows all about Garrett and his player ways, so when Garrett all but steam rolls into her life and almost becomes a permanent fixture everywhere she goes, begging her to tutor her him, she undoubtedly gives up the fight and helps Garrett out. Here is a funny exchange between Hannah and Garret: “For the love of God, I’m not tutoring you.” “Sure you are.” I shrug. “I just need to figure out what you want in return.” “I want to not tutor you. That’s what I want.” Like I said, she ends up tutoring Garett.

These two become attached to the hip until Garret notices that Hannah has the hots for someone on the football team.  He antes up their friendship with a Deal.  If Hannah helps him pass ethics, he will make sure that the star wide receiver will pay attention to Hannah because hello, guys always want what they can’t have, right?

Although this friends with benefits situation is all well and good, Garret is still a guy. His internal monologue is hysterical, case in point: “Yes, Hannah and I are friends. In fact, she’s the only female friend I’ve ever had. And yes, I want to keep being Hannah’s friend. But…I also want to sleep with her.”

Eventually, these two start getting really intense feelings for each other.  They help each other out emotionally as well as physically.  Oh did I mention Garrett’s father is a real douche bag? Oh he is big time. Not a very nice man at all and he will test Garrett and Hannah’s relationship.  Hannah does see the good in Garrett  “You’re a good person.”… “You’re honest and kind and compassionate.” … I mean, don’t get me wrong, you’re a total dick sometimes, but it’s tolerable kind of dickishness.” God that was one of my favorite lines.

I loved how Ms. Kennedy kept me captivated throughout.  I found myself not wanting to put the book down especially when I had things to do around the house.  Although you can put this in the NA category of romance, the sex scenes were hot and very well written.

There is an HEA, so do not fret.  My understanding is that Ms. Kennedy is writing a series with the secondary characters from the book, so you can read this as a standalone, but I would totally suggest reading the others to come, I know I will.  I cannot wait for The Mistake which comes out in the Spring!

– Michelle

*An ARC was provided for an honest review.

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