Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Release Date -  April 9, 2015
Publisher Website - Createspace Independant Publishing Platform
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 330 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**borrowed from a friend**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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. 
Unlike most Canadians I am not all that into hockey. I was intrigued however when I heard about this New Adult series that features hockey players. The Deal did not disappoint. Elle Kennedy heats things up on and and off the ice and delivers one of the best new adult novels I've read.

Pretend relationship to real relationship is always a good trope and Elle Kennedy uses it to perfection here. Hannah and Garrett entering into a mutual beneficial agreement leads to all kinds of delicious tension and relationship drama. I loved experiencing them navigate towards each other and overcoming the obstacles that stood in their way.

Despite the fun, light feel of the novel as a whole, there are some darker issues that are dealt with within the pages. Hannah's "baggage" when it comes to sex is on of these. I will not spoil where her baggage comes from but it makes complete sense for her character, and makes some of her choices more clear. Garrett is patient and allows Hannah to control what happens between them which added another sweet layer to their growing bond. I do wish that this had been a little more of the focus, and that it had gone a little deeper.

The other is related to Garrett's issues and what made him the character we know. His rough relationship with his father sets up a side story arc that not only explains a lot about Garrett's character and his attachment issues, but makes a statement about abuse in general. The way this story is woven into the main storyline is wonderfully done and it is not just used for dramatic purposes. There is a reason, and it also is such a large part of who Garrett is.

The other guys on the team are just as memorable as Hannah and Garrett. They leave a lasting impression which will undoubtedly carry over to the other books in this series. It was nice to see the friendships between the players and have Garrett interact with them when Hannah was not around. The dual perspective was used effectively to not only flesh out both Hannah and Garrett but added to the tension. This is a novel where communication would clear a lot of things up, but because the reader knows everything it ends up being all about the journey.

If you're not a sports person let me assure you that you will still very much enjoy this novel. It is a relationship novel first and foremost. It is not about the game as much as it is about the players. It really will appeal to non sports fans, especially if they love romance.

If you like hockey players, romance, sexytimes, and some fun banter I highly recommend you check out The Deal. Elle Kennedy has written a fun, sexy novel that leave you reaching for the next novel in this companion style series. 

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