Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Score by Elle Kennedy

The Score by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus #3)
Release Date -  January 11, 2016
Publisher Website - Createspace Independant Publishing Platform
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 360 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**borrowed from a friend**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.
I like to venture into the New Adult genre from time to time. I had devoured the first two books in Elle Kennedy's Off Campus series and was eagerly anticipating the third. Dean Di Laurentis' story did not disappoint. This novel has some scorching chemistry, some perfectly paced angst, and a guy who proves himself to have a heart of gold under all his cocky swagger.

These novels are really good at balancing the plot elements along with the sexy scenes. These are really steamy novels, but they are done in a way that still keeps the focus on the plot. These books would be a good litmus test for those unsure if this genre is for them. It balances everything pretty evenly even if this one felt a little more sex focused than the others.

I always forget how hilarious these books are. There are definite laugh out loud moments in this that rival the blush worthy ones. From coded song choices at a bar to a hilariously awkward near miss, this book has plenty of lighter moments to help balance the darker ones within it.

Dean is the character that surprised me the most in this series so far. He is almost nothing like what you would expect. We've seen Dean through the viewpoint of others in the previous novels in this series and I feel that only gave us a surface level understanding of who Dean is. He is plenty of things you would expect him to be, but is also a lot of things you wouldn't. I expect that Dean even surprises himself at various points in this novel and that is one of my favourite things about The Score.

Allie is Dean's opposite in so many ways and that is exactly why their relationship works. Dean brings out a more adventurous side to Allie, and Allie grounds Dean in a lot of ways. They bring out the best in each other, while never wanting to change the other person. I love this kind of romance because it shows that someone cannot make you change, but they can encourage you and help you thrive.

There is a underlying commentary in this novel about slut shaming and the ways that society views men who enjoy sex versus women who enjoy sex. Allie feels guilty after her sex filled night with Dean. She judges herself a little bit which, for me, perfectly showcased how women internalize this narrative. We see people reassure her, and we see those who judge her just as harshly as she judges herself. There is a particularly brutal scene between Allie and her ex-boyfriend that felt like a gut punch. The books overall message of sexual empowerment is made extremely clear and that is something worth mentioning. I especially liked the 'erase the word slut from your vocabulary' advice that Allie is given. I wish the book had examined this a little more deeply, but I do applaud what it did manage to convey.

The Score is pretty much tied with The Deal for my favourite novel in the Off Campus series. It's a fun mix of everything I like in my New Adult reads. I highly recommend this book (and series in general) for anyone who wants some sexy sports themed reads. 

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