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Category Archives: Athlete

Taking Shots (Assassins #1), by Toni Aleo

Taking Shots
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In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.

No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the girls, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside throw her insecurities out the window before she misses out on a shot at love.

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Oh. My. God!
It took me 10 month to finish this book!….I think I’m in shock.
God it’s going to be hard to review this book.

First of all, I have to say that I like this story and it’s universe (hockey) a lot. So even though my review might be a little harsh and critical in a few lines, bear in mind that I actually enjoyed this book a lot and that I’m reading the sequel and the books after that.

“That’s not what drew me to you, it was your eyes…and your ass.”

So, the characters: I really liked them. Elli and Shea are really funny and sweet and they make a great couple.

I loved how Shea never took no for an answer when it came to Elli and how persistant he was in seducing her and winning her over. God knows it wasn’t an easy feat, but he did it nonetheless. Elli was sweet and all and I liked her, but I wish she would have womaned-up sooner than she did because she put them both through the ringer emotionally.

“What do you want me to say, Elli, I’m sorry? I’m sorry for feeling the way I do? Sorry for wanting to be with you every fucking moment of the day, for wanting only you? I mean what would you want? For me to be a fucking douche, cheating on you, not telling you I actually feel something for you? I mean for the love of God, Elli, what do you want from this?”

I get she has esteem issues because of her family but at some point you gotta realize that the people around you are toxic and make your own mind about things before jumping to conclusion hastily.

I also really enjoyed Shea’s family and Elli’s friend.
Her family on the other hand, I wanted to kill !(except for her dad and uncle) You’ll get why when you read it.

The main remark that I have on this book is that it is soooooooo slow. No kidding, it drags on and on and on…and on again. That’s one of the reasons it took me so long to finish this book.

And the reason why it is soooooooo slow, is because sometimes, the characters keep on repeating again and again the same things. It’s like they are stuck on some train of thoughts and just keep saying the same thing over and over again only with different words!

“Whoever thought up the phrase ‘Absence makes the heart grow founder’ was an idiot.
Absence makes a bitch go crazy.”

The other reason why it took such a long time to finish, is because the characters tend to create problems that are no business being created!
Elli knows her mother and sister are egotistical, selfish bitches, but what does she do? She listens to them, of course! When Shea tells her that he’s been played and that it wasn’t his fault, what does she do? She doesn’t believe him, of course!
I think you’ve got it now, Elli DOES NOT make things easy, for others and for herself. To the point where she’d rather wallow in her sorrow than get her head out of her a** and make things better for everybody! (pardon my French)

But I’ll say it again, this book I really liked. Even though there are those big things that kinda annoyed me a little, or maybe more like frustrated me, the book is filled with funny, sweet moments that made me love the characters and their relationship and how they got to know each other and trust each other with their hearts!

“I was meant to walk on this earth with only you, I was meant to give only you every piece of me. I don’t want anyone but you. I love you.”

And if you’re still not so sure about this book, all I can say is give it a chance. It might not be your cup of tea at all, it might be a book that you’ll love, or like me, it might be a book that will drive you crazy sometimes but still be one of your favorites. I for one, will remember this book with a smile!

And I wanted to add a little bonus here to make amends for the fact that I haven’t haven’t been really present on the blog and regular in my post for the last 2 weeks because of school. Anyway, here’s a little piece of eye candy for you ladies. It also happens to be the new cover for Taking Shots. Let’s just agree those are big selling arguments right there….

Assasins

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Cocky Bastard, by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Cocky Bastard_________________________________________________

From New York Times Bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, comes a sexy new standalone novel.

He was someone who belonged in my wildest fantasies instead of a rest stop in the middle of Nebraska.

A sexy, cocky, Australian named Chance was the last person I expected to run into on my cross-country drive.

When my car broke down, we made a deal. Next thing I knew, we were traveling together, spending sexually-tense nights in hotels and taking unplanned detours.

My ordinary road trip turned into the adventure of a lifetime. It was all fun and games until things got intense.

I wanted him, but Chance wouldn’t make a move. I thought he wanted me too, but something was holding him back.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the cocky bastard, especially when I knew we’d be going our separate ways.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.
_________________________________________________

“What’s C.B. stand for anyway?”
“Those are my initials.”
“Let me guess…Cocky Bastard.”

I know this book has been kind of a big deal since it came out and that everybody’s still raving about it, but I have to say, I don’t see why.

Sure I enjoyed reading it. It was fun and sweet with a dash of angst in it and it was a quick read. But Cocky Bastard didn’t exactly knocked my socks off either.

“A single minute can change an entire life.

I liked how Chance and Aubrey met even though I though Chance was a bit of an asshole and didn’t make the best of first impression on me. But I liked how they met and the adventure they went on. That was fun and quirky and original. I liked the tension between those two and how it kept building and how they clicked once they actually started talking to each other.

Sometimes, it takes losing everything to make you realize what you really need.

And I have to say, I was curious about what was keeping Chance from making an actual move on Aubrey when it was clear they both wanted each other bad.

But I’ll admit, Aubrey wasn’t my favorite character. Sure she had her moments and was funny and cute at times, but I never really related to her in the first part of the book. I just never connected with her so I guess that kept me from really getting into the story. But I think the fact that the book has two parts and that both Aubrey and Chance get to tell it separately saved the book for me.

When Chance took the lead of the story, that’s when I got more into it. I liked seeing things through his eyes and finally have his side of the story. And I enjoyed finally knowing what impression Aubrey left on him before they went their separate ways.

“I love you, Aubrey. Can’t you see that? I am head over heels in fucking love with you. I love you more than anything in this entire world. When I look into your eyes, I don’t just see you, I see my children. Hell, I see an entire farm of children and deaf, dumb and blind goats. I see my entire future. Without you, I see nothing. Nothing.”

Basically, the second part of the book was about Chance groveling and winning Aubrey over. And I liked it. I liked how resourceful and tenacious he was and the things he did to show Aubrey he was sincere and how he felt and had felt all along. Chance does very good and effective groveling. He had already made a good impression on me with his wicked mind, dirty mouth and and teasing ways, but that second part totally won me over!

“He had the most phenomenal ass. I wanted to bite it.”

But again, at some point Aubrey started annoying me. Big time. I don’t mind making a guy work for your forgiveness, especially in regard to what Chance did and how he left things with Aubrey. He definitely had some groveling to do. But it was also clear (once he explained it to Aubrey) that he didn’t mean to leave things like that between them when he left and that he didn’t have much of a choice. So when Aubrey started “being difficult”, she kind of disappointed me.

“Sometimes, those who put up the biggest shields are those who are protecting the biggest hearts.”

I get she had trouble trusting him again and that the decision wasn’t easy on her because of the state of hers and Chance’s situation, but at some point it became very clear that she knew what was the right thing to do (by her and by Chance too) and it seemed to me like she just kept him hanging and somehow, was playing with Chance’s feelings. And I really didn’t like that.

“If you let something go and it doesn’t come back to you, it was never really yours to begin with.”

That being said, all is well that ends well and she redeemed herself in my eyes. Now, I know I’ve mostly talked about all the things that didn’t work for me and that it might not really sell this book to you, but there was also a lot of good in it too.

“Care to take a little detour before darkness falls?” 
“Sure. I’d be up for that? What did you have in mind?”
“Somewhere rock hard and deep” he winked.
Well, that piqued my curiosity.”

Like I said, the way Chance and Aubrey fall for each other was great. The road trip they go on was one of the best things in the book and it was full of funny, sweet and heartfelt moments that I really enjoyed. I loved and hated the part that happens in Vegas, but it’s also one of the best moments in the book. The road trip was full of sexual tension between Chance and Aubrey and you know how much I appreciate good old sexual tension. But the second part of the book was when I actually fell for Chance and it was pretty dang good too.

You want to sin with me princess?”… Did I ever

So like I said, even though this book didn’t knock my socks off like it seems to be the case for most people that read it, I still had a great time reading it and really enjoyed it. It’s the perfect book for a weekend read and it should leave you with a feel-good vibe.

Body Check, by Elle Kennedy

a supprimer

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Hard body? Check. Awesome-night-in-the-sack potential? Check!

Hayden Houston is breaking out of her good-girl mode. It’s time for a one-night stand–and she’s found just the man for the job! She spent her childhood being dragged from rink to rink by her hockey-coach father. Now Hayden craves stability. And she’s determined to get it–after this one night. . . .

When hockey star Brody Croft sees the sexy brunette at the bar, he’s riveted. He’s ready to shed his bad-boy ways and settle down. And after a mind-blowing night in bed with Hayden, he knows she’s the one. Now all he has to do is convince her. . . .

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“I really need to get laid,”

Okay, so this book is not the kind that you’ll remember of for years to come, but it is a nice read that will give you a good time and finish with a smile on your lips.

What I really liked about this book is the fact that the story takes place in the universe of hockey. I usually really enjoy books where sport is mixed with romance, but there is a special place in my heart for hockey players and hockey themed books. What can I say, they do it for me. And Elle Kennedy’s hockey players are just to hot and sweet to resist.

“Stop looking at me like that.”
“Like what?” he said, blinking innocently.
“Like you’re imagining me naked.”
“I can’t help it. I am imagining you naked.”

Brody is a character that you’ll like and want to get to know really fast. He’s the kind of alpha male that I really enjoy in this kind of books, but he also have depth and kindness to himself. I really enjoyed reading his point of view, even though sometimes it was a little repetitive.

“When I’m with him all I can think about is ripping off his clothes, and when I’m not with him all I can think about is ripping off his clothes.”

Hayden is likable and has her funny moments but she might get on some readers’ nerves. She was a very independent woman and the fact that the roles were reversed and that it was Brody who went after Hayden was a nice change. I liked seeing him go after her and try and seduce her, and her worked really hard to get her to open up at first and to convince her to go on dates and later on, to fall in love (or admit it anyway) with him.

But one thing I enjoyed was Elle Kennedy’s special kind of hot scenes. This woman is gifted when it comes to writing sizzling, steamy sex scenes. She just knows how to do it and the chemistry she created between Brody and Hayden was crazy

So to conclude, I liked this book. It is not a book that will stay with me for years to come but it was a nice read that I really enjoyed.

Play With Me (With Me In Seattle #3), by Kristen Proby

Play With Me______________________________________________

Will Montgomery is a successful professional football player and seemingly has it all. He’s not used to being told no, and certainly doesn’t take no for an answer. So when he turns his charms on his sister’s sexy rocker-chick friend Meg, he’s not only turned down, but met with open hostility, piquing his curiosity and libido. He’s determined to show her that he’s not the arrogant jock she thinks he is, and to get her into his bed.

Megan McBride is not impressed with Will Montgomery, his fat contract, fancy car, or his arrogant public persona. She doesn’t have time for a relationship, and if she’s learned anything in life, it’s that loving means losing, so she guards her heart ferociously. But she can’t deny the overwhelming attraction to the sexy, tattooed athlete, and when Will starts breaking down her defenses and grabs hold of her heart, will she be able to admit her feelings for him, or will her troubled past cause her to lose the first man she’s ever truly loved? ______________________________________________

God that was painful!
My advice for you concerning this book (but probably the serie as a whole) is: DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!!!!

I came across a review for the first book Come Away With Me, and I should have listened to the reviewer, because she was so so right.

The thing I liked about the book was the cover. That’s it. Of course there were other things that grabbed my attention, like the fact that the male character is an athlete and that they usually do it for me in books, or the city the story sets in, but sadly, even the fact that it happened in one of my favorite place in the world did not save this book, and the cover became the one thing about the book that I enjoyed.

Otherwise the characters were empty and flat and dull and oh so boring. After 29% in the book I started skipping all the descriptions and only read the dialogues it was so painfully bad.

“When I take you, you’ll know exactly what we’re doing, what you’re feeling, and I won’t stop until your legs are shaking and the neighbors know my name.”

I know a quote like this seems like a good sign as to the kind of steam we should get, but I even ended up skipping the sex scenes because it felt empty as well, and those are usually the ones that keep my attention when nothing else does, so it’s saying something that I couldn’t even keep on reading them.

I’m having a really hard time reviewing this book because I could comment on every little aspect of it and how bad it was but I feel like it would be wasting my time even more, so I’ll stop there.

So again, my advice to you is do not read this book and save your time and yourself the unnecessary hardship. But again, if you want to make your own opinion, go ahead. That’s what I did, because I’m stubborn, but now I know I’ll avoid every last book by Kristen Proby. Her brand of writing is really not for me, but it seems to be others’.

The Friend Zone (Game On #2), by Kristen Callihan

The Friend Zone______________________________________________

Gray doesn’t make friends with women. He has sex with them. Until Ivy.

The last thing star tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is drive his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum pink car. But he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride. Before he knows it, Ivy Mackenzie has become his best texting bud. But then Ivy comes home and everything goes haywire. Because the only thing Gray can think of is being with Ivy.

Ivy doesn’t have sex with friends. Especially not with a certain football player. No matter how hot he makes her…

Gray drives Ivy crazy. He’s irreverent, sex on a stick, and completely off limits. Because, Ivy has one golden rule: never get involved with one of her father’s clients. A rule that’s proving harder to keep now that Gray is doing his best to seduce her. Her best friend is fast becoming the most irresistible guy she’s ever met.

Which means Gray is going to have to use all his skills to get himself out of the friend zone and into Ivy’s heart. Game on
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Oh My Gray!!!!!!!

“IvyMac: I’m…prickly. I don’t mean to be.
GrayG: Prickly? Naw. You’re…saucy. Like that sauce on a Big Mac.
IvyMac: If you call me special sauce, you lose a nut.
GrayG: I knew it, you’re talking dirty to me! Shenanigans!
IvyMac: Lol. Dork
GrayG: That’s Cupcake to you, Special Sauce.”

I was so looking forward to this book! First, I loved The Hook-Up so much it’s not even funny! I couldn’t wait for The Friend Zone to come out and I was going crazy because the release date came out so long after the first book. Or maybe it didn’t but it felt like forever to me. All I could think of during these months of waiting for Grayson’s story was how freaking bad I wanted it and how freaking cruel the teaser had been, because I kept picturing him in this ridiculously small and pink car and I wanted to know the girl it belonged to and how her and Grayson would become friend and then more. I’m such a sucked for friend falling in love that I kept The Friend Zone Goodreads page open from the moment I finished The Hook-Up until I finally had book #2 in my possession. I think it’s safe to say that I was going a little crazy over this book.

Now that this is covered, I think I need to warn you a little bit here. This review will probably involve a lot of gushing and not a lot of actual reviewing. It’s been a long time this this happened but it should be taken as a good sign in regard of this book: the more gushing involve, the more I liked it and recommend it. But I hope it does a good job at telling you why I loved this book so much, at least a little.

“You are the happiness I never realized I needed.”

I loved Gray and Ivy’s story. How they met, how they became friends, how they became more, everything about their story, I pretty much loved.

Gray was such a great character to get to know, a lot more complex than what he seems in book #1 except for the glimpse the author gave us at the end. He was so funny and I don’t know he just made me swoon like crazy and it’s hard to think straight when he’s involved.

“Jay-sus, he’s hot. And freaking huge. A veritable mountain of sexy. Seriously, Iv…You could climb him like Everest, make base camp at his cock, and tackle the rest in the morning.”

Ivy was great too. She was sassy and sharp-witted and she had two left foot when it came to dancing and she was just so cute and funny! I think I might have a girl crush on her. I loved her from the moment she send that first text to Gray. I loved how she saw Gray for who he was and not the player with a reputation for screwing everything in a skirt, and how her faith in him never wavered. I loved that she wouldn’t settle for less than what she wanted where Gray was involved, but also in her life. I could really relate to her character and what she was going through when she first met Gray. And she really made me laugh too. I loved the banter and complicity between her and Gray. I ate it all up!

“You’ve owned me from ‘Shenanigans,’ Ivy Mac.”

I loved their dynamic, how it was almost second nature for them to be together and how they felt empty and like something was missing if they couldn’t see or talk to each other.

“I just like her. I really like her. She’s the first person I want to talk to. Every day.”

I wish Gray and Ivy’s story never ended because I want to keep reading about it!! For a lover of friends falling in love with each other, this book was a wonder! I think it’s the best story of two people becoming real friends and eventually falling for each other that I have ever read.

“…all I wanted to do was kiss her, explore the gentle curve of her lower lip before sucking on it. And Ivy would have flipped out. Because friends do not maul other friend’s mouths.”

This book was funny, sweet, sexy (oh my Gosh, so sexy!) and low drama (which is always a plus for me). It made me laugh, it definitely made me swoon, and it made me squirm too.

“I’ve never been in love before.”
I have to smile as I snuggle closer.“Neither have I.”
Gray breathes in deep.“Drew was right. It’s better than football.”

I loved reading Gray and Ivy’s text messages. Seriously, if you don’t have a goofy grin on your face after reading the texts they send each other, I’m ready to say there is something wrong with you, in all kindness of course 🙂 The nicknames they gave each other and the easiness between them made this even better. I loved the building sexual tension between them and how they skirted the line between friends and more until they crossed it completely (damn this phone conversation almost made my Kindle explode it was so hot!). Yes, you guessed it, there is a very big dose of steam in this book as well. It did feel a little different to me than the steam in The Hook-Up, but it was just as good. I swear, Gray soooooo did it for me. The phone scene, the bar scene, the shower, the everything. If he was involved it was pretty much always good. It was HAWT!

“And, God help me because the truth is Ivy has become a craving in my blood, racing through me hot and thick.”

I loved how Ivy was a game changer for Gray and how he never questioned where their relationship was going for him. I loved how Ivy found someone she could connect with in Gray and never doubted how important she was in his eyes. I loved the complicity between them. And I loved the last look we had into their lives at the end of the book even though I wish it never ended. I truly wanted this book to go on forever.

“There is one absolute truth. The sum of my existence equals you.”

I wish I could do a better job review it because this book is so much more than the story of two friends falling for each other to me. I loved everything about this book. The characters, the plot, the pace, the secondary characters (Gosh Ivy’s sister is the best – I kinda wish she gets her book too). Even what happens toward the end because it gave the story more depth and it just fit (even though I would have wished that to happen to them).

“The funny thing is, Ivy, falling in love with you was as easy as breathing. The best time of my life.”

I loved The Friend Zone just as much as I did The Hook-Up, even if it’s for different reasons and Gray and Ivy’s story has a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf.

The Mistake (Off-Campus #2), by Elle Kennedy

The Mistake______________________________________________
He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.
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After reading (and loving the shit out of) The Deal, there was no way I wasn’t going to through myself into this book the moment it came out! I didn’t even know what it was about, just that it would be about Logan’s since he had a huge crush on Garret’s girlfriend in book #1. So I went into it sort of blind and it had all the ingredients to make a great book: a sexy bad boy, a sassy, witted heroine, awesome and funny characters, not too much drama and some good groveling and there you have it.

“He absolutely makes me nervous. He’s John fucking Logan, one of the most popular guys at this college. And I’m Grace fucking Ivers, one of thousand of girls who are crushing on him.”

To be honest, I was a little worried about Logan’s story since the book started out right in the middle of his “crush” on Hannah. I was worried for the state of his friendship with Garret and also for the state of his budding relationship with Grace and its motivations, that he might be “settling” for her instead of Hannah, but it was never the case and I loved how Elle managed and dealt with this subject and I loved the scene between Hannah and Logan.

“I’ve given handjobs before, plus a few blowjobs that I know were a huge success because…well, semen and all that. but I don’t have enough experience to consider myself an expert penis-wrangler or anything.”

This book was just the right balance of serious and fun. Grace’s character was cute and quirky and awkward and I love it. She made me laugh so hard with her rambling about Ted Bundy and her blushing and her inner monologues never failed to make me smile but I loved seeing the change in her and how she became more sure of herself and confident. I loved seeing her rebel. It felt really good to see her become more assertive and I loved it when she decided she’d had enough of people using her.

“Trust me, baby, you’re the only woman I want. The only one who gets me going.”

Logan was funny too but I guess to me he was the one I associated the most with the seriousness of the book. He’s the one with the secrets, the regrets and the hurt and he’s also the one who fucks up because of it too. I loved this vulnerability about him. Yes he was handsome and sure of himself and a little cocky, etc, but his vulnerability and his fears made him more real to me. He almost screwed up again because of it but he really makes up for it and I loved those parts of the book.

“I’m a total fucking mess.”

It’s funny how the book started out with Grace in the role of a insecure and not self-assured person that needs a little push and Logan the cocky, self-assured athlete never questioning where his life is going and that it then shifted and Logan became the one needing help to figure things out and Grace was more confident and had grown into her own.

“And just in case my reaction to your idiocy didn’t make it clear where I stand with us, then let me spell it out for you.” I whirl around to scowl at him. “I love you, you stupid jackass.”

There was really to parts to this book. The pre- fuck up and the post- fuck up. I liked both parts equally because in drew two very different aspect of Grace and Logan’s relationship while keeping it’s core. It wasn’t as if I was reading two different stories but I could see an actual evolution in the characters and for the better. I liked Grace and Logan pre- fuck up and I loved them post- fuck up.

“Go away, G. I’m wooing.”

But I loved their relationship. I loved it when Grace decided to make Logan work for it and that he never hesitated and complained about it. I loved that he actually relished having to work for her trust and forgiveness. And I loved how he made it so that Grace couldn’t not fall for him. He was just so charming and funny and even when you’re mad at him, he does something that will make you laugh and make you forget you were mad in the first place.

“What are you doing?” I whisper.
“Well, you were looking at me like you wanted me to kiss you.” His blue eyes become heavy-lidded. “So I was thinking I might do that.”

And this book wouldn’t be the same without its secondary characters. I loved the banter and the humor between the guys. Their complicity is one of the things that makes this book what it is.

“Just out of curiosity, what constitutes a ‘nice cock shot’? I mean, is it the lighting? The pose?”
“Well, the trick is, you’ve gotta keep the balls out of it.”
“Seriously,” Dean insists. “Balls aren’t photogenic. Women don’t want to see them.”

There were one “friend” though that I didn’t like: Ramona. From the start she annoyed me. She felt off to me from the beginning and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why Grace would be friends with her and stand her for so long. I was sorry for Ramona more than once in the book (especially for what almost happened to her) but I was glad Grace and Ramona’s relationship changed from what it was at the beginning and the Grace stopped being such a pushover.

I really want to say that I loved The Mistake just as much, if not more than The Deal, but the truth is, The Deal had a spark that I didn’t find in this book, even though I loved it. But I had a great time reading it and I would recommend it any day. And now I’m really looking forward to book #3, hoping it’ll be Dean (our beloved manwhore)! I can’t wait to see who’s going to pussy-whip him 😉

“Look at these abs, Wellsy. Actually, touch them. Seriously. It will change your life.”

The Deal (Off-Campus #1), by Elle Kennedy

The Deal______________________________________________

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.
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“Tiny butterflies of happiness take flight in my stomach and dance around my heart.”

That’s pretty much how I felt when I finished reading this book. It made me think a lot of The Hook-Up by Kristen Callihan. I loved this book so much. It was awesome and I had such a blast reading it.

“Hannah takes a breath. “We studied. We watched TV. I went home late. That’s what happened. Got it?”
I fight back laughter. “As you wish.”
“Did you really just
Princess Bride me?
“Did you really just use
Princess Bride as a verb?”

I loved this story. It was funny, it caught my attention from the first page until the last and it was incredibly sexy. I loved the plot, the characters main and secondary. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of anything from this book. Just your regular college and sport romance. But in the end, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. And yes it’s a bit cliché but I really enjoyed the hot-hockey-player-falls-for-geeky-girl romance. I mean, admit it, it has its charm.

“Yes, Hannah and I are friends. In fact, she’s the only female friend I’ve ever had. And yes, I want to keep being Hannah’s friend. But…I also want to sleep with her.”

First things first: I’m a complete sucker for fake relationships even though it is the farthest thing from an original plot line. But what can I say, seeing Hannah and Garret slowly falling for each other was so sweet and it brought a silly smile to my face. And a big bonus here is that there’s no insta-love or insta-lust in this story. The banter and sarcasm between those two was just hilarious. I think that’s what got me so into their relationship.

“Just out of curiosity,” she says, “after you wake up in the morning, do you admire yourself in the mirror for one hour or two?”
“Two,” I reply cheerfully.
“Do you high five yourself?”
“Of course not.” I smirk. “I kiss each of my biceps and then point to the ceiling and thank the big man upstairs for creating such a perfect male specimen.”

I loved Garret. Okay, I know I say that about pretty much every male character in the books I read so I guess this comment about Garret doesn’t hold much weight here. But this guy really has a something special to him that makes him…. I don’t know, special (I know, I’m being amazingly eloquent here. I swear I’m trying, but Garret has my brain cells completely fried right now).

“Ha! I knew you were into him! Oh my God! Hold my juice—I think I need to break out in a happy dance! Do you know how to do the running man? If so, can you teach me right now?”

He was funny and swoony and witty and so caring and, even though he was a bit of a manwhore toward the beginning of the book, once he realized he was falling for Hannah, he was so loyal to her. From that point on, he never once looked at another girl and I found that quite refreshing and so sweet. I loved how protective of Hannah he was and how he would just drop everything for her.

“I never expected her. Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived with them. How you went about your day and hung out with your friends and fucked other people without having this one important person in your life.”

But what I loved most was the fact that throughout the whole book and even when they were together, they were best friends above all. I loved the banter between them and that they were dorky and sarcastic even when they realized their feelings for each other. Every moment they were together was better than the last and I couldn’t help but falling for their relationship and the bond between them.

“For almost two months, Hannah. I went two months without knowing your name.”
“Well, we didn’t know each other.”
“You knew my name.”
I sigh. “Everyone knows your name.”
“How did I go so long without noticing you, damn it? Why did it take seeing a stupid A on your midterm to make me notice?”

I liked Hannah’s character a lot too. I liked that she wasn’t impressed by Garret’s status and that she challenged him so much. I liked how natural things were between the two of them and how in denial of her attraction to him she was. And I really liked that she wasn’t you’re regular seductress when they got involved. She was so good at being a mood-killer it was hilarious.

“You’re not talking.”
“I don’t want to scare you off.”
“Dude, you’re standing there naked in front of me with your dick in your hand. If that doesn’t scare me, I doubt anything you say will.”

Now I know so far this review paint a picture of The Deal as a completely and totally fluffy book, and in some ways, it felt that way sometimes. But both Garret and Hannah have and are still dealing with some serious stuff that happened in their past and even though some will roll their eyes at what they went through, I still though it made them feel more real and human. And the way they talked about what had happened to them and how they dealt with it was, in my opinion, well done.

“Living well and being happy is how we get over the shit in our past.”

But the only thing that put a little damper in my enthusiasm with the book was the teeny tiny bit of micro (useless) drama Hannah created. You know, I actually thought this book was going to be part of those stories that avoid the useless and avoidable drama. To the point where I was constantly counting the percent before I reached the end of the book. And then it happened. Hannah created a mess (not big but a mess nonetheless) that could have been avoided by a tiny little discussion between her and Garret that would have spared them the unnecessary hurt and heartache they went through. But fear not, because this tiny slip on Hannah’s part is quickly solved. It certainly didn’t make me like the story less.

“Other women don’t entertain me as much as she does. I suddenly wonder how I ever made it through life without Hannah Wells’ sarcastic barbs and annoyed grumbles.
“Stop grinning,” she snaps.
I’m grinning? Didn’t even realize it.”

I really enjoyed this book, to the point where I had to buy the paperback version so it could join the other books on my shelves. It’s not often I enjoy a book to the point when I want to re-read it right after finishing it. And I’m really looking forward to Logan’s story after seeing him struggle with his crush in The Deal.

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