Review || Excerpt
The Deal by Elle Kennedy

March 2, 2015 Author Bio, Review 0 ★★★★★

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review || Excerpt The Deal by Elle KennedyThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Published by Self-Published on 24th February 2015
Genres: Abuse, Contemporary, Issues, Mature New Adult
Pages: 358
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon USBuy on Amazon UK

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.

reviewReviewed by Shannon

*An E-ARC was supplied to me in exchange for review*

Oh God. I’ve stumbled onto a penis convention. Big penises and small penises and fat pensies and penis-shaped penises. It doesn’t matter which direction I move my head because everywhere I look I see penises.

When New Adult books started to first get big a few years ago I was all about it. I had been out of college for a while already but I liked being back in that atmosphere and being close in age to the characters. I soaked up those books for a while but the more I read of them the less interested I became in the genre. So after a while I stopped reading them and focused on other genres I was still interested in. Imagine my surprise when I got the email for new reviews and was intrigued by the blurb for The Deal. I figured I haven’t read a New Adult book in a while so why not. And boy am I glad I did!

The Deal is about Hannah and Garrett, two very different college juniors, who strike a deal. Hannah is a performing arts major who is trying to attract the attention of a football star. Garrett is a hockey star who is failing an ethics class and needs to get his grade up fast before he gets suspended from the team. Together they strike a deal. Hannah tutors Garrett and Garrett will help Hannah get her football star. What Garrett doesn’t expect are the feelings he develops for Hannah and what ensues from there.

Man oh man this book was just awesome! I absolutely loved Hannah and Garrett! Their banter and their dislike for each other was great. I’m not a fan of insta love and this had none of that…thank god! I mean Hannah didn’t even like Garrett when she met him. Garrett found Hannah attractive and refreshing since she didn’t fall for his antics but he cared more about passing ethics than he did about getting in her pants. Without the insta love, their interactions were great. They were truthful with each other and had great banter. Plus, Garrett’s tips to Hannah to attract her crush were hilarious.

I will have to say my favorite thing about this book was the fact that for the most part the characters didn’t make stupid decisions. Part of the reason I stopped reading New Adult books was that I got tired of the character’s antics. For once, it was nice having more mature characters…well at least for the most part. Garrett was questionable in that regard haha. But I will say that I liked that the characters were smart and didn’t do anything too stupid that had me rolling my eyes.

Towards the end I was getting a little nervous about how events were going to play out since it seemed like what I thought would be the end of the book came a lot earlier than I anticipated. So that basically meant that I was a nervous wreck trying to figure out what exactly would happen. While it did make me nervous I will say that I enjoyed it and how everything played out.

Thanks to this book, my love of New Adult books may be returning or at least it will for the rest of the Off-Campus series. I just absolutely loved this book and that’s why it is the first book of 2015 that I have given 5 stars to. It just had everything I love about a book…a good story, great characters and awesome banter! Loved it and can’t wait for the next book! I’m really hoping it’s about one of Garrett’s roommates.


“Diet Coke?”
“What do I look like, a pansy? Regular Coke, thank you very much.”

“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?”

“It’s too baggy. I thought we talked about how you need to show off your stripper tits.”
A strangled cough comes from behind him. “Stripper tits?” Allie echoes as she steps into the room.
“Ignore him,” I tell her. “He’s a chauvinist.”
“No, I’m a guy,” he corrects, then proceeds to flash his trademark grin. “I want to see some cleavage.”


Thirty minutes before my shift ends, I find Garrett Graham in one of my booths.


Does this guy ever give up?

I have no desire to go over there and serve him, but I don’t have much of a choice. Lisa, the other waitress on duty, is busy tending to a group of faculty members at a table across the room, and my boss Della is behind the baby-blue Formica counter dishing out slices of pecan pie to three freshman girls sitting on the tall swivel stools.

I set my jaw and march up to Garrett, making my displeasure obvious as I meet his twinkling gray eyes. He runs a hand through his cropped dark hair and flashes a lopsided grin.

“Hey there, Hannah. Fancy meeting you here.”

“Yeah, fancy,” I mutter, yanking my order pad out of my apron pocket. “What can I get you?”

“A tutor.”

“Sorry, that’s not on the menu.” I smile sweetly. “We serve really good pecan pie, though.”

“You know what I did last night?” he says without acknowledging the sarcasm.

“Yep. You were text stalking me.”

He rolls his eyes. “Before that, I mean.”

I pretend to think it over. “Um…you hooked up with a cheerleader? No, you hooked up with the girls’ hockey team. No, wait, they’re probably not ditzy enough for you. I stick with my original guess—cheerleader.”

“Sorority sister, actually,” he says smugly. “But I’m talking about what I did before that.”

He raises one dark eyebrow. “But I’m very intrigued by your interest in my sex life. I can give you details about that another time if you want.”

“I don’t.”

“Another time,” he echoes in a dismissive tone, folding his hands on the blue-and-white-checkered tablecloth.

He’s got big hands with long fingers, short nails, and knuckles that are slightly red and cracked. I wonder if he’s been in a fight recently, but then I realize the busted-up knuckles are probably a hockey player thing.

“I was at study group yesterday,” he informs me. “There were eight other people there, and you know what the highest mark in the group was?” He blurts out the answer before I can hazard a guess. “C-plus. And our combined average was a D. How am I supposed to pass this makeup if I’m studying with people who are as dumb as I am? I need you, Wellsy.”

Wellsy? Is that a nickname? And how on earth does he know that my last name is Wells?

I never told—argh. Damn sign-up sheet.

Garrett notices my surprised look and cocks his brows again. “I learned a lot about you in study group. Got your number, your full name, even found out where you work.”

“Congratulations, you really are a stalker.”

“Nope, just thorough. I like to know what I’m up against.”

“Jesus Harold Christ! I’m not tutoring you, okay? Go bug somebody else.” I point at the menu in front of him. “Are you ordering? Because if not, then please go away and let me do my job in peace.”

“Jesus Harold Christ?” Garrett snickers before picking up the laminated menu and giving it a cursory glance. “I’ll have a turkey club.” He sets the menu down, then reaches for it again.

“And a bacon double cheeseburger. Just the burger, no fries. Actually, I changed my mind—yes to the fries. Oh, and a side order of onion rings.”

My jaw almost hits the floor. “You’re seriously going to eat all that?”

He grins. “Of course. I’m a growing boy.”

Boy? Nuh-uh. I’m only noticing it now—probably because I’ve been too distracted by how insufferable he is—but Garrett Graham is all man. There’s nothing boyish about him, not his chiseled good looks or his tall frame or that ripped chest of his, which suddenly flashes to mind as I remember the picture he sent me.

“I’ll also take a slice of that pecan pie and a Dr. Pepper to drink. Oh, and some tutoring.”

“Not on the menu,” I say cheerfully. “But the rest is coming right up.”

Before he can argue, I abandon his booth and head to the back counter to place his order with Julio, our night cook. A nanosecond later, Lisa rushes over and addresses me in a hushed voice.

“Oh my God. You know who that is, right?”


“It’s Garrett Graham.”

“I know,” I answer dryly. “That’s why I said yep.”

Lisa looks outraged. “What is wrong with you? Why aren’t you freaking out right now? Garrett Graham is sitting in your booth. He talked to you.”

“Holy shit, he did? I mean, his lips were moving, but I didn’t realize he was talking.”

I roll my eyes and walk over to the drink station to pour Garrett’s drink. I don’t look his way, but I can feel those smoky gray eyes following my every movement. He’s probably sending ​t​elepathic orders for me to tutor him. Well, too bad for him. There’s no way I’m wasting the little spare time I have on a college hockey player who thinks he’s a rock star.

Lisa trails after me, oblivious to my sarcasm and still gushing about Graham. “He’s so gorgeous. Like unbelievably gorgeous.” Her voice lowers to a whisper. “And I hear he’s
amazing in bed.”

I snort. “He probably started that rumor himself.”

“No, Samantha Richardson told me. She hooked up with him last year at the Theta kegger. Said it was the best sex of her life.”

I have no response, because I couldn’t care less about the sex life of some girl I don’t even know. Instead, I shrug and hold out the Dr. Pepper. “You know what? Why don’t you take his booth?”

The way Lisa gasps, you’d think I just handed her a check for five million dollars. “Are you sure?”

“Yep. He’s all yours.”

“Oh my God.” She takes a step forward as if she’s going to hug me, but then her gaze darts to Garrett and she appears to have second thoughts about broadcasting her terribly unwarranted joy. “I owe you so big for this, Han.”

I want to tell her that she’s actually doing me the favor, but she’s already dashing toward the booth to wait on her prince. I watch in amusement as Garrett’s expression clouds over at Lisa’s approach. He picks up the glass she sets in front of him, then meets my gaze and slants his head. As if to say, you’re not getting rid of me that easily.

About Elle Kennedy

A RITA-award nominated author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently publishes with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Harlequin Blaze, Samhain Publishing, and NAL. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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