“Sometimes people sneak up on you, and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.”
The Deal (Off-Campus #1)
by Elle Kennedy
published April 12th 2013
Link to Goodreads
New Adult Contemporary
My rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Recently I’ve been finding myself NOT wanting to read the synopsis of the book simply because it feels like the summary of the novel. Not just a blurb, so I feel like reading them is a huge spoiler [forgive me, for I’ve written it there above]. I am very glad that I did not read the synopsis of this book because it pretty much gave away a lot of details that would show the progression of the relationship of the characters.
I can’t quite decipher [yet] why I don’t feel like giving this a 5 star rating. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t connected with the characters and it didn’t impact me as much? Maybe. The Deal was filled with humor, and sexiness. I found myself laughing at most parts, sobbing at some, but all in all, it was such a great read.
Hannah Wells is a smart, strong-willed woman who has a passion for music, and she can be shy, not to mention a tad desperate to get her crush to notice her. Although it may seem that she’s timid, she’s actually a fun, sassy-sarcastic character. I’m not actually certain how to tell one of the greatest points in this story without spoiling; but there has been this certain event which happened in her life that made her change everything drastically. Anyway, I enjoyed this because I found myself respecting the way Hannah handled the situation in her life so well, that she didn’t at all seem the typical damsel in distress. She was headstrong, fun, and overall, a great character.
On the other hand, Garrett Graham was your typical college casanova who does not have time for a girlfriend because his life revolved around hockey. He also calls his casual flings as puck bunnies. I mean, are you kidding me? But anyway, he would seem like an asshat or a total jerk but if you get to know him, he’s not actually pretty bad. I couldn’t hate him despite his cocky personality. I actually love how he’s can be so persuasive that it’s not annoying… but cute. [He’s not supposed to be cute cause he’s a 20 year-old man, who also happens to be the captain of the hockey team; but it feels like he’s a boy-man] I swear everytime he passes by, women can’t help but either drop their jaws, or drop their underwear. I don’t get how he’s can be so cockingly-charming [I know that’s not a word, but I think that’s the perfect way to describe him]. I’d really love to have a Garrett Graham in my life.
No matter how cliché some scenes were [trust me, if you’ve read a LOT of new adult or contemporary romance in general, you’ll be used to the frequent mishaps and the personalities the main characters might possibly have], I still appreciated the way it was made and the overall plot. I don’t think I have any problems with this book. It was swift, the writing was direct to the point, and I finished this book in one sitting. I was hooked from page one and I just couldn’t get enough. The buildup of the relationship of our two main characters was so entertaining, I found myself enjoying this whole deal they had between them. From Hannah’s annoyance, to Garrett’s perseverance; their relationship was just fun, sexy, and everything in-between.
There were a couple of major issues tackled about in this book that was handled well and I applaud Elle Kennedy for doing such a great job in executing the process. This read was not light, nor was it by any means heavy. But it felt good to read a contemporary novel like this again.
One more thing I loved the most about is the way the characters were made. They all had bad experiences, but they all turned out to be great people. They all felt very real.
I know this is a frequent lesson in NA books, but I can’t explain how I only had a realization now [thanks to this book]… that no matter what happened to you in the past, it does not define who you are. Everyone is a survivor. Now and then are different times; you are you, and that’s what matters is how you act now [if it makes sense]. Anyway, I just really loved how they didn’t let what happened in the past impact much on their personalities.
I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book, and The Deal surely did not disappoint. Overall it was fun, sexy, and definitely entertaining to read. 🙂