Series: Off-Campus #1
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: February 24, 2014
Format: eARC, 326 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
I’ve been a big fan of Elle Kennedy’s Brazen adult contemporary romance books, so when I learned she was writing a new adult title, I knew I had to read it. I had pretty high expectations for The Deal, both because I loved the idea of the book, and I know how much I enjoyed Elle’s writing in the past. This book? It exceeded every single expectation I had. I know it’s pretty early in 2015, but I anticipate The Deal will finish the year high on my list of favorite books. This trope has been done oh-so-very many times in books and movies, but it’s never been done like this. Elle totally made it her own.
The characters were amazing. They were complex and didn’t fall into the stereotypes you might expect from a book like this. Garrett might have been the “bad boy jock,” but he was so much more than that. He was intelligent and driven, on and off the ice. He was honest and didn’t play games. He had some baggage and family issues, but everything was dealt with in a very realistic way. I loved Garrett. Hardcore. New book boyfriend, anyone? You can’t have him. He’s mine. 😉 I loved Hannah, too. She was incredibly smart, down-to-earth and sassy. She didn’t fall for Garrett’s charms (at first, anyhow) and didn’t bend over backwards to make things easy on him. She was real, and totally the kind of girl I would be friends with in real life. She had one of the most horrific things a person can experience happen to her when she was younger, and while it no doubt shaped some of her present, she didn’t let it ruin her. She might have thought she was broken, but she was so far from it.
Garrett and Hannah were freaking amazing together. I was hooked on them from the banter in their very first meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them move from strangers to more throughout the course of this book. Everything about the pace at which they moved forward felt so real. They had tons of chemistry. I can’t remember the last time I smiled so much while reading a book. To say they were great together is a huge understatement. They were pure freaking gold. This isn’t a book that has twists and turns to keep you guessing, but I literally never had any idea what would come out of one of their mouths next or what situations they would find themselves in. They were far from predictable.
The Deal gave me all the warm fuzzies – and quite a few laughs along the way. It was as sexy as Elle’s adult books, which is to say *seriously* steamy, and it had a pretty healthy dose of feels. I loved watching Hannah and Garrett get to know each other, break down each other’s walls and find themselves during this book. I was totally immersed in these characters and their stories. I also read a good 75% of this book with a smile on my face. Even the secondary characters in The Deal were fantastic. I can’t wait for this series to continue and each of them to be pulled into the forefront. I’m about half in love with Logan, Tucker and Dean already. I can’t wait for each of them to get their own book. (I really hope they each get their own book!)
If you’re a new adult romance fan, this has to be on your radar. If you’re unsure of new adult books, give this one a shot. It really is the best of all things new adult. I loved it so much! It’s destined to be “that book” I tell *everyone* about in 2015.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.