Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Series: Off-Campus #1
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Indie
Reading Level: New Adult, 18+
Pages: 342 (eBook)
Source: Borrowed from Friend 
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Warning: This book is most definitely NOT for young readers. Sexual content, cursing, alcohol, drugs, violence, and various forms of abuse are brought up.

I can't believe it has taken me so long to read this series! Thanks to the urging of Dana, I have remedied this terrible mistake, and I am oh so thankful that I did.

Hannah has only found herself into two guys: her ex-boyfriend and a football player who has no idea she exists. When Garrett Graham, captain of the hockey team and the school's biggest player, convinces her to tutor him for a class in exchange for his help getting the guy, she surprisingly says yes. What comes next is an epic and unexpected romance that made my swipe right on my e-reader at a lightning fast pace.

What makes this book so amazing is the characterization. Hannah is such a strong character. She's been through some super serious stuff that has scarred her yet she is confident in herself in every aspect of her life except for one. She's come out a fully-realized person. She looks at her past and doesn't allow it to control her, even if she considers herself to be broken in some regards. And then there's Graham. All around ladies man, decently smart, quick-witted, and a killer on the ice. All he's wanted his entire life is to play hockey professionally and prove to the world that he can be better than his famous hockey player father, but he is also carting around some hidden emotional baggage, and putting the two of them together helps them both mentally, emotionally, and, of course, physically.

The romance is epic. Both of these characters are super snarky and can stand their ground, so the banter is constant because they simply can't let the other win. Which, you know, makes everything all the more steamier. The best part, though, is that these two characters get each other on an emotional level, which makes you really root for them. I ship it so hard it's not even funny.

What I respect the most, though, is how Kennedy chooses to handle tough subjects. Hannah is a sexual assault survivor. She doesn't go around blasting it for everyone to know, but she holds her head up high because she's overcome it. She doesn't let her rule her life. And Garrett is a guy who has spent his entire life trying to impress a man who will never be impressed, who only knows how to communicate while using his fists, even though he is idolized by many. I respect the way she went about things, and for giving us two such strong characters to read about and journey with.

I highly recommend this to romance friends or readers looking for a quick binge to take their mind off things. One thing worth noting is that this isn't a light, fluffy romance because of the tougher subjects this series handles. It's funny and entertaining, but also serious. And that's something I really, really like in a new adult read.

4.75 stars



  1. I love a good romance that deals with a lot of emotional stuff. Definitely adding this one to my list!