Review: The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

the dealTitle: The Deal
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Sheโ€™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, sheโ€™s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crushโ€™s attention, sheโ€™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 itโ€™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 heโ€™s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, heโ€™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.

My Review:
Thank God for this book! The Deal was a breath of fresh air for me after reading a succession of similar NA books that fell way short of the mark. This book ROCKED – it was insanely good and there isn’t a single thing I can fault about it. In fact, I loved it so much that I’m going to reread it again tonight. It’s just that good.

Writing – Amazing. The dialog was freaking hilarious and I was cracking up all over the place. There were tons of funny one liners and I loved it. The banter between Garret and Wellsy (Hannah) was priceless.

Character Development – I loved both mains and character development was really strong. I genuinely felt like I got to know both of them and I was rooting for them as a couple. As the story progresses we understand the issues driving both of them and see how they help each other overcome their inner demons. I also liked all of the side characters, though I couldn’t fathom Hannah’s attraction to J (her crush).

Plot – Not a hugely original story but it was superbly executed. Information leaked out at a steady pace and keep me hooked. So much so, that I stayed up until 4.45am reading it. I kept saying ‘just one more chapter,’ but I couldn’t stop reading. It was unputdownable. There are some heavy themes in this book, but it was appropriately and sensitively handled, never glorified or glossed over. Brutal and honest at times, parts of it had me in tears. I really felt Hannah’s pain and these sections, in particular, were extremely well written. Garret was a rock and I just fell more and more in love with him as the book progressed.

Worldbuilding – Not bogged down with heavy descriptive text but enough info to allow you to visualize the world. I liked the college setting and the glimpse of both the hockey and music worlds.

This book was a perfect blend of angst, longing, heartbreak, pain, humor and drama. And did I mention plenty of steamy romance? Hells, yeah, it was STEAMY.

I am definitely continuing this series and I’m pleased to see that the second book focuses on Logan as I’m intrigued to find out more about him. I’ve already downloaded it on my Kindle. Elle Kennedy is now on my list of favorite authors and I look forward to reading more of her work.

If you love NA then you MUST check out this series!

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