Monday, May 21, 2018

Review: The Deal

Title: The Deal 
Series: Off-Campus #1 
Author: Elle Kennedy 
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary 
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: Bought 

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.

Find The Deal online!
I need to preface this review by saying that I am THE WORST. Seriously. I keep coming back to the blog, writing an "I'm Back!" post and then disappearing for another few months. I'm so sorry. Honestly, I've been so mentally and emotionally drained the last few months because of school and all the things that go along with graduating that I have not had the energy to write for this blog (or write anything besides what I'm assigned in classes -- whoops). I miss it though, and I've been brain storming ways to get back into the swing of blogging. I hope you guys will stick it out with me while I figure it out! 

On to the review . . . 

This book took me by surprise; I've seen the cover floating around the blogosphere for years and even read a sample of the book a while ago and decided it wasn't for me. The first chapter just didn't have that spark that I look for in contemporary romances. However, I bought it out of desperation before boarding a plane with no other new reading materials and ended up completely engrossed in it throughout the flight. I'm so happy I gave it another shot because I fell in love with these characters. 

First things first -- the characters. While it wasn't love at first read, they won me over pretty quickly. Hannah has experienced and dealt with some really horrible situations but still remained strong and was determined to not let them hang over her life. I appreciated the way she handled the struggles she went through; having experienced situations similar to Hannah's, it was nice and heartening to see her living her life without a constant cloud of worry and fear. She didn't let what happened in the past define who she was and I loved that. Overall, she was an amazing character -- strong, stubborn, hardworking, relatable, and fun to read about. She's the type of character I would want to be friends with. 

Garrett, like Hannah, was incredible. He's not the typical "New Adult" hero (i.e.: arrogant, possessive, aggressive), he was way better. Sure, he was a little full of himself at times and earned his status of a "player", but it never crossed the line into discomfort or abuse (like the behaviors of so many other heroes). Garrett was a funny, sweet, and down right adorable guy who was passionate about hockey and made an amazing friend to Hannah. 

I loved seeing their relationship slowly morph from hate to friends to more than friends. This progression felt natural and easy to believe; I was swooning and cheering for them the whole time. It's not easy to find a New Adult book that does this transition well but The Deal definitely accomplished it. 

As far as the plot goes, it was honestly pretty typical of the New Adult genre, though made more interesting and engaging by the characters. Hannah and Garrett strike a deal (ayyy, look at that) in which Hannah tutors Garrett in exchange for Garrett taking Hannah on a date to get the attention of a guy Hannah has a crush on. It's a fun concept and Elle Kennedy executed it well! 

Like I said, this book took me by surprise; I fell in love with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed reading their story. While it took me a couple chapters to get invested in, once I was invested, it was almost impossible to stop reading. I haven't read the second book in the series (and I don't know if I will), but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks it sounds interesting!

“Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.” 

 Four Teapots

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