Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

24920901The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: 
February 24th 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars
New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Sport – Ice Hockey
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
Goodreads Summary
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.

Why did I wait so long to read this book!? I don’t read a lot of NA books purely because of the fact that the angst overload is too much for me. So, when it came to The Deal I was fully expecting the book to follow the same path. I was proven wrong and I was surprised at how hilarious and angst free this book is. 

The Deal follows the story of Garrett and Hannah. At first glance Garrett is this cocky, ladies man and ice hockey sensation. He is basically guaranteed to go pro after graduation. However, in order to do that he needs to get those grades up. Here enters Hannah, someone who is not so easily charmed by Garrett and is dead set against being his tutor – that is until they come to a mutually beneficial agreement. Naturally as these two spend more time together, the sparks fly and it was only a matter of time that they ended up colliding. 

Plot wise, The Deal, is nothing remarkable. What is remarkable is that it somehow avoided falling into the same trap most NA books do. As I was reading I was waiting for that moment that would spiral us into that angsty overload roller-coaster but that never happened. I think what makes this book so great are the characters. In the beginning, Garret was your typical cocky playboy and I wasn’t sure what to make of him. However, as we see his friendship with Hannah develop I couldn’t help but be charmed by him. He’s cocky as hell and the banter between him and Hannah was on point. More than that though, I loved the way he cared for Hannah. As this friendship turned into something more, we really got to see how observant Garrett was. Hannah became an open book to him and I loved the journey they take together. 

Hannah is equally as wonderful. We find out very early in the book that Hannah experienced a trauma when she was younger. However, instead of dwelling on the incident, Hannah learned to move on and not let that trauma define her. It was so refreshing to see a character deal with their traumas. Yes, it took a lot of time for her to recover and she still has some setbacks but it still doesn’t stop her from embracing and enjoying life. Beyond the way she handled the trauma, Hannah is also a great match for Garrett. At first she was very standoffish and saw Garrett as nothing more than a typical jock but as the story progresses, she starts to see past that image and peels back those layers. Her character arc was one of my favourite aspects of the book.

About the romance. Let’s just say it was hot and steamy but also tender and sweet. The chemistry between Hannah and Garret sizzled and I loved how their relationship was grounded in friendship first. 

The only minor complaint I have is that I wish we could have spent a bit more time on the ice. We know that ice hockey is a huge part of Garrett’s life and I would have liked to explore that passion when he was out there playing.  

If you’re like me and hate the angst overload of a typical NA book then I would highly recommend The Deal. This book was a breath of fresh air. I loved the characters, the humour, banter and the romance.

17 thoughts on “Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

    1. I’ve finished the second one and while I enjoyed it on the whole Garrett is still my number 1. I’m a little bit nervous for Dean’s book because he sounds like the ultimate manwhore of the group.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh this is definitely my kind of NA book. I’ve already gone and gotten myself a copy of the Hook Up and I’m told that the Gridiron series is another NA series to check out. 😀


    1. It’s such a funny book and it doesn’t take itself too seriously but still has a lot of heart. It’s a total win for me and I hope you enjoy it as well. 😀


  1. I just finished reading Paper Princess and I’m in an odd NA mood right now – it’s not a genre I usually pick up, but I was sort of impressed by how fun PP was??? And I’ve been recommended The Deal before, so. 😛

    Glad you mentioned that the angst isn’t overloading on this book! That’s definitely one of my problems with the NA books that I’ve read, and I can’t say that I enjoyed them. I like banter, too, so Garret and Hannah’s might be fun to read for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard conflicting reports about Paper Princess and I’m told the ending is both stressful and sad so I’m unsure about the series. I’ve been in such an NA mood recently as well and I have no idea what brought this on but I am all for embracing it haha.

      The banter between Hannah and Garrett is one point as is the camaraderie between Garrett and his ice hockey mates. The Deal is probably my favourite NA so far and that’s mainly down to the lack of over the top drama. 😀


      1. Hmm, “stressful and sad” is not the way I’d describe the ending… it’s a bit of a cliffhanger but the second book is already out (though the 2nd book also has a cliffhanger). I think I’d say more dramatic in that “OMG GASP” kind of way? But reading that book is like reading Gossip Girl for me – so it’s not something that I take *that* seriously. 😛


  2. Yay! I’m so happy you liked this one, Lois. This one took me by surprise by how much I ended up enjoying it too. I loved that Hannah was a character who had gone through something incredibly traumatic but was learning to live with it and slowly move on from it. It really was refreshing.
    I hope you’ll love the other books in this series too, Lois. Elle Kennedy knows how to write her books with a lot of humor and steam.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep saying we need more examples of characters that don’t let their past trauma’s define you. I am so glad I gave this book a chance because it was just what I needed.
      I’ve finished the Mistake and Logan’s wooing skills was on point but Garrett remains to be my number 1. 😀


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