So we’ve established that I got sucked in to the Briar U series universe because I wanted to read about Summer and Fitzy in The Chase. Then I stuck around for book 2 to read about Brenna and Jack Connelly in The Risk. That one wasn’t as good as The Chase, but I still really enjoyed it. Book 3, The Play, follows Hunter Davenport and Demi Davis.
Hunter has been around since the Off-Campus series. In The Score, he was a freshman and Dean took him under his wing and mentored him. In The Chase he lived with Fitz, Summer, and Hollis, and had a crush on Summer having known her since prep school. In The Risk, he was a huge player after getting rejected by Summer. His player ways led to a fight during a key hockey game against Harvard and a broken wrist that cost Briar the game.
At the end of The Risk he announced that he was taking a vow of celibacy after his actions this season was one of the factors that led to the team not advancing to the finals. Now, Hunter is the captain of the Briar hockey team and more determined than ever to not let girls and/or sex distract him from hockey. It’s not easy when girls are constantly throwing themselves at him, but he has managed for months so far.
Demi Davis is also a junior at Briar and just so happens to be in Hunter’s abnormal psych class. She doesn’t know anything about hockey nor does she hang around that crowd. She only found out who Hunter is when her friend and classmate pointed him out one day at the beginning of the semester and then she and Hunter got paired up by the professor for a semester long project. Demi has a boyfriend who she has been with since they were kids living in Florida, which works out perfectly for Hunter since he does not want any temptations.
This is a real friends to lovers story. Hunter and Demi become friends as they work on their project and really enjoy getting to know each other and becoming friends. When things take a turn for Demi and her boyfriend, Hunter is there for her as a friend not as a guy trying to swoop in and take her boyfriend’s spot. It takes time for their friendship to grow into something more and still they have Hunter not wanting to break his vow to contend with. They also work through Hunter’s reservations about pursuing a professional hockey career after graduation and Demi’s desire to be a psychologist while dealing with her dad’s expectations for her to pursue medical school.
I really enjoyed this friends to lovers romance and it was really nice to see how much Hunter has grown since he was a freshman in Off-Campus. The one thing I didn’t really like is that while Demi became good friends with Brenna, she wasn’t close with Summer. There are a few times where the author, Elle Kennedy, wrote that Demi wasn’t super close with Summer or that Summer and her didn’t have a lot in common. There’s one part where Summer opens the door to the house and Demi says Summer’s face is dazzling because her default face is always dazzling. It came off as passive aggressive and I know I’m making a big deal out of tiny details and not all characters have to get along, but I love Summer! Summer is my girl so I don’t like that Demi isn’t good friends with her! I know, I’m being ridiculous but I get attached to characters haha. Anyway, that’s the only thing I didn’t really care for, otherwise I did enjoy the story!
Also if you’re a fan of the Off-Campus series we get cameos from Dean, Allie, Garrett, Hannah, Logan, and Grace!
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