If you follow my Instagram stories then you may have seen that I bought the 5 books of the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy for my Kindle for my vacation. I wanted to see how many of the books I could finish during the 9 days. My goal, obviously, was to finish all the books but realistically I thought I’d finish 2, maybe 3. The time I’d have to read would be during the flights (approximately 5.5-6 hours but depended on whether I slept for any of the flight time) and at the hotel before bed. I finished all 4 of the main Off Campus books and I think 27% of the final book which is made up of 4 connecting novellas that give us an update on what the couples are up to 4 years later. I really think I might have finished book 5 or at least be much closer to completely finishing it before I got home, but I made a mistake before getting on the flight home. I forgot that just because I had bought the book ahead of time and could see the title on my Kindle, doesn’t mean it’s downloaded. So when I finished book 4 during the flight and wanted to open book 5 I couldn’t because I didn’t have wifi! The only reason I was about to read 27% before I got home was because we were stuck on the tarmac for almost an hour once we landed.
Anyway, today I want to give my book review for the first book in the series –The Deal.
I can’t even explain how much I love this book. I had a feeling I’d like this series of college sport romance books and I knew they must be popular for a reason, but I really did not expect to get as sucked in as I did. I truly could not put it down. I had read 70% by the time my plane landed in Seattle!
The series follows four best friends and hockey players at Briar University outside of Boston. The Deal follows the story of Garrett Graham and Hannah Wells and is told in dual pov. Garrett is the captain of the hockey team and a hockey star. With his charm, insanely good looks, and funny personality he is super popular amongst the girls at Briar. But, he has no interest in a girlfriend because hockey is his priority.
Hannah, like Garrett, is a junior at Briar and a music major. She, of course, knows who Garrett is since he’s so popular, but unlike all the other girls she has no interest. She has a crush on Justin Kohl, the quarterback for the school football team, but he hardly knows she exists.
Hannah and Garrett have an Ethics class together with a tough professor and when midterm exams are returned Hannah is pleasantly surprised to see she got an A while almost the rest of the class failed, including Garrett. Garrett sees Hannah’s A when they are leaving the lecture hall and he begs her to tutor him for the re-take because if he fails it will ruin his GPA and he won’t be able to play hockey. Hannah refuses for a long time, but is persistent – asking her wherever he sees her on campus, at the diner where she works, texting her after getting her phone number from the study group sign up sheet etc. When they run into each other at a party and he realizes she has a crush on Justin, he makes a deal with her. He will help her get on Justin’s radar (if she hangs out with him and if people think they are dating it will elevate her social standing and Justin will be interested) if she will tutor him and help him pass the midterm re-take.
After spending some time together Hannah quickly realizes that there’s more to Garrett than hockey. He’s not a “dumb jock” who is cocky and self-absorbed, but actually smart and kind. And Garrett wonders how he never noticed Hannah before because she’s beautiful, smart, and funny.
But this isn’t a simple romance of two unlikely people becoming friends and then falling in love. Both Hannah and Garrett have had traumatic pasts. Only Hannah’s parents and closest friends know what happened to her in high school. And Garrett has not told a single person about his trauma. I loved seeing how close Hannah and Garrett became and how even though they were an unlikely pair (or so they thought) at the beginning they became the one the other trusted the most and helped each other through things.
I absolutely adore Hannah and Garrett. The guys in the series in general are so funny and I love the girls too, but Hannah and Garrett are probably my favorite couple of the whole series. This book is definitely going to be a comfort read for me. I actually have reread parts multiple times over the past week because I just love them so much. I may or may not have ordered a Garrett Graham hockey tee from Elle Kennedy’s merch shop…
I would say it’s an enemies to friends to lovers romance, but I use “enemies” loosely because they’re not truly enemies – Garrett just didn’t know Hannah existed before and she thought he was just a popular jock. It’s obviously also a sports romance if you are interested in that!
Anyway, in short I loved the book, I couldn’t put it down, and it just gave me all the feels.
My reviews of the rest of the books to come!
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