The Deal by Elle Kennedy

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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 take so long to read this? Seriously. I enjoyed this book so much and can’t wait to read the other players’ books. While reading, it felt like it was never ending, and I was loving that. I didn’t want it to end, and now I’m sad I don’t get to continue with Garrett and Hannah’s story. (Well technically, I do but not as much and from a different perspective.) But, I feel like once I continue with these books, it won’t matter as much, I’ll be immersed in the other players’ stories.

I can’t fault this book. There isn’t one thing I disliked about it. I loved the characters, their relationships, the plotline, the humour… EVERYTHING.

Firstly, I’m going to talk about the plot. While, from the summary, you may think this is just any ole cliché NA romance, it isn’t. Not at all. Sure, the very centre plotline- girl tutors the sports-playing womanizer- is a cliché idea, but it is so original in itself I won’t forget it. Where the author takes this book is anything but cliché. (But I’m not saying it’s an unexpected adventure coming your way. It’s still a sweet, sports romance.) This book was never the predictable, overdone romance I was expecting. If you’re not into drama, you’ll also be happy to know the drama is quite minimal. Also, if you’re not big into hockey, there isn’t a big emphasis on it. Though I will say, and I’m happy to admit, I did learn a couple new phrases. (There’s only one all-year ice hockey rink in Ireland so safe to say, ice hockey isn’t big around here.)

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You know when you’re reading a book and you just fall in love with the characters? You want to be their friend and you want to follow their story for many years to come? That was this book for me. Not very often do I read a romance book and find myself wanting to re-read it all over again. Usually, I want to read another book. But this time, one week later, I want to read this book again. (Unfortunately I can’t because I am swamped with books I need to read. This wasn’t even on my TBR. It was a buddy read that got cancelled.)

As well as that, it’s usually the characters that keep me interested in a book. This time, it was a combination of both. I really hope you pick up this book if you haven’t already because it truly is a gem. I think Elle Kennedy is definitely going to be added to my auto-buy authors list.

Yes, I did just say I couldn’t fault this book but there is one small thing that was later fixed: we learn early on that Hannah was violated when she was fifteen at a high school party. At first, the book did kind of skim over this which I was unhappy about but this was later rectified.

I enjoyed both characters; individually and together.
Hannah was strong and didn’t let her past trauma affect her life. She was an art major and a junior in college. She wasn’t planning for any relationship in college after a bad breakup with her ex but planned to get a career in music. She put on this front to hide her feelings but was hurt underneath. I admired her for being so strong yet still so caring towards her friends, family etc.
Garrett, was almost similar. They clicked. He too had something fuelling his way through college and to the dreams he wanted to accomplish. He was a hilarious character and seemed like he didn’t have anything to hide. He was honest and spoke his mind. Most of the time, this was SO entertaining!

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Together, these characters make one of my favourite couples. Their relationship was so real. I loved it. I really enjoyed the slow transition from stranger, to friends, to a couple. Usually, I’m not a huge fan on slow-burn romances but this couldn’t have been done any other way. I’m always kind of wary reading stories like this where the characters aren’t together but kind of are at the same time (if that makes sense), where they throw insults back and forth… the type of love/hate relationships where the hate is full blown. (I hope you understand what I mean.) I don’t like it because sometimes it can be really personal and hurtful. But, that never happened in this book. They’re insults and witty comebacks were harmless.

As for the guy that she liked and Garrett was helping her get; I didn’t like him. I don’t know what it was. (Maybe just because I liked Garrett so much.) He sounded attractive but there was just something that felt off about him.

I really liked both Garrett and Hannah’s friends also. We didn’t actually see very much of Hannah’s friends because they’re weren’t a big part of the book, as opposed to Garrett’s friends who are the MCs in the following books. But, that’s okay. It wasn’t a big deal.

Now, one last thing before I end this really long review: sitting room. There’s this scene in the book where they go to Garrett’s dad’s house. It’s in Hannah’s POV and it’s like “whoa, they’re posh. They have a sitting room.” In Ireland, everyone has a sitting room. I guess in other places you may say like, living room or den but here it’s sitting room. I just thought that was so funny because there’s not one house in this country that wouldn’t have a sitting room.

three-starstar ratingstar rating

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