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BOOK REVIEW: The Chase (Briar U #1) by Elle Kennedy

BOOK REVIEW: The Chase (Briar U #1) by Elle KennedyThe Chase (Briar U #1)
by Elle Kennedy
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

I’m gone for this girl. So gone.

Imagine my surprise as I was browsing GR the other day and saw that one of my friends had started reading this book. I’m not even kidding, the last time I looked it up (I would check pretty often, honestly) it didn’t even have a date for when it was going to be published. I went and bought it IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!! You see, ever since I stumbled upon The Deal a few years ago, Elle Kennedy has been my #1 favorite and go-to author when it comes to NA/sports/romance books. I can’t fathom why more people haven’t read these books… I watch her upcoming due dates like a freaking hawk, waiting to snatch up the newest book as soon as it hits the shelf. I finished this thing as soon as my busy work and four-month-old baby schedule would allow.

“Is he a good kisser? What’s our penis situation like? Did he go down on you? Did you sleep with him? Why did you do this? Is he annoying in bed? Do you regret it? Is he—” 

First things first, I was really excited when I found out that this book was going to be about Summer. Her older brother, Dean, is the star of the third book in Kennedy’s other series based around Briarwood, called The Score (which was my second favorite of the four) and was friggen hilarious. I just knew that this book wouldn’t disappoint, and for the most part it didn’t! Summer’s character was a refreshing one. Her family may be filthy rich but you can tell that everyone in her family is a hard worker and doesn’t just coast by because they can. She is a great friend, has girl power written all over her, and even has ADHD which is a pretty major part of this book (which isn’t very common!). Even though she is clearly very intelligent, she has problems writing and has struggled all throughout school. Throughout this book you can see how this really has a serious impact on her sense of self-worth and it makes her incredibly self-conscious at different times.

And I’m still debating it when Fitz enters my bedroom without knocking and levels me with two husky words. “Don’t go.”

Luckily for her, her male counterpart in this book, Fitz, helps her to see that her learning disability doesn’t make her any less of a person and that she shouldn’t be ashamed just because she can’t write an essay. Colin Fitzgerald isn’t perfect either. The guy is incapable of sharing his emotions for about 70% of the book and BOY did it frustrate me until you find out why that is. I was actually pretty interested in seeing what his character was going to be like. He is mentioned all throughout the other series as he is on the hockey team with Garrett, Logan, Dean, and Tuck but for some reason I had this completely different perception of who he was (basically that he was just this quiet nerd- and I say that lovingly- because all we really hear about him is that he’s a great gamer).  It was great getting to know him though and I think he was the perfect pairing to Summer because of his level headedness and how he built her up when she was feeling low about her learning disability and stuck up for her when she was being insulted. 

“Nieces and nephews plural? How many kids you planning on having?” 
“A lot!”
“You’re not allowed to get pregnant until you’re at least thirty. I’m not ready to be an uncle.” 
“Oh my God. Life isn’t always about you!”
 They stand there bickering as if I’m not bent in half on the marble floor, gasping for air. 
“I’m not having kids with you,” I wheeze at Summer. “I don’t want to be part of your insane family.” 
“Oh hush, sweetie. It’s too late. I’ve become attached.”

Hm let’s see, what else did I like about this book? Well, probably my favorite thing was the bromance (girlmance?) between Summer and Coach Jensen’s daughter, Brenna. Good lord she was hilarious and tough and I CAN’T WAIT for her book. I swear she better end up with Connelly—how steamy would that book be?! I also loved the humor and pop culture references in this book (all her books). They make reading them all so enjoyable. Football players who watch project runway, Summer likening one of her professors to Gilderoy Lockhart, and numerous others. 

Kennedy’s books are also great because they feature real, important things. This one in particular was full of them; learning disabilities, comments on rape culture (and how horrible/real it can be in college), body shaming, abuse in its many forms, and on and on. It’s not just all frivolous smut (though let’s be real, she write the best smutty scenes out there in my opinion lol) like some NA.

For the first time ever, I truly feel like I’m living life instead of hiding in the shadows.

Basically I am so happy to be in the sphere of people again and I seriously can’t wait for Brenna’s book. The only thing that had me a little unsatisfied was that this was a *serious* slow burn. Like the reader is basically left hanging until about 70%. Even though that is super sexy sometimes, in this book I started to become disconnected to the characters and started to get really pissed off with Fitz until he explained himself to Summer. Even then though I felt like I needed a little more from the both of them together and I ended up feeling super bummed for Hunter. I really hope he gets his own book, too! Despite all that though I HIGHLY recommend this book and her other series set at Briarwood if you love or even like sports centered NA.

BOOK REVIEW: The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

BOOK REVIEW: The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle KennedyThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.

Once upon a time….No, seriously. This book had all the elements of a childhood fairy-tale where the hero comes to save the damsel in distress-except, get this-the damsel isn’t in distress. She doesn’t need some random dude entering her life when everything seems to be going well for her. It’s a modern day type fairy-tale where the prince is a jock who is cocky as fuck, but somehow is sweet as can be. And the girl is an intelligent, independent student with a blossoming music career that will take her all the places she’s ever wanted to go. But while this fairy-tale type story seems perfect as can be on the surface, because it almost was, there’s a tremulous storm brewing underneath. These two characters are broken. They hurt. They have secrets. Secrets they’ve never told anybody….and it’s time they unraveled them-Together.

Sometimes I don’t feel half as cool as people think I am, and I’m pretty sure that if any of them took the time to actually get to know me, they’d probably change their opinion. It’s like that pond I skated on when I was a kid-from a distance, the ice looked so shiny and smooth, until you got close enough to it, and suddenly all the uneven edges and crisscrossed skate marks became visible. That’s me, I guess. Covered with skate marks that nobody ever seems to notice.
-Garret

No, this isn’t a fairy-tale, nor is it marketed as such. But don’t you ever just read the perfect book for your mood and it makes you all happy and giddy and excited and it gives you more butterflies than you’ve had in weeks? Well, this is that book (Yes, sigh, I know, Jennifer/Harriet…you guys told me). It was happy and sad and heartwarming and uplifting and no…it didn’t teach me any life lessons and it wasn’t any deeper than a puddle after the rain, but it worked for me. Sometimes books just work. Sometimes we need that little fluff on our pillow to finally get comfortable, and lemme tell ya-I had my lowest book rating week last week since, like, I’ve ever been on GR-a 1, a 3, and a 2. It was horrible, I felt horrible, and I needed a pick me up. Thank God for this little slice of adorable-ness.

“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?”

Let me get the fangirling out of the way, because I think it’s inevitable. Garret….Garret is….I just….


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Yeah, thanks, Dylan!! Exactly!!! I mean, yeah, I’ve fallen in love with so many guys I can’t even begin to count them, but there’s just something so so special about this guy. It’s been a while since a dude who calls a girl ‘baby’ has gotten my heart pumping, so it must mean something that I was able to overlook such a cheesy term of endearment. He’s sweet. He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s a hockey player. AND DESPITE BEING A TOTAL MANWHORE…..HE’S *gasp* LOYAL. Once he, inevitably (I mean, come on), fell for Hannah, he never once looked at another girl. I found this to be so refreshing and sweet and did I say refreshing?? He broke my heart with how protective he was over Hannah and how he would do anything for her at the drop of a hat. And, something you don’t always find in NA, they were best friends. Even when they were ‘together’, they were as dorky and sarcastic and bantered like any other time. Every moment where they were together was better than the last, and I couldn’t help but to get snared in their trap as the story progressed.

“I’m not other women.”
No she isn’t. Because 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.

*****

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 know a lot of people thought there were tons of cliches, but I really didn’t mind. If a story flows well and has good grammar and isn’t cheesy (Hallelujah), then that’s something I hold dear. Lol, oh, and I love how Hannah always calls him ‘Dude’…I sometimes slip and say it to my husband as well so I thought it was hilarious. It’s so few and far between that I enjoy a NA so strongly, so I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. There was adorable jealousy, self-sacrifices, confessions, protectiveness, and a possessive gleam any girl could get behind….Hell, can I just have Garret, please?? Please??


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While I didn’t fall head over heels right away for this story, it began to seep slowly into my pores as the story progressed and I couldn’t help but to fall in love. Of course the deal isn’t going to go perfectly as planned-then we wouldn’t have much of a romance, would we?? It wasn’t overdone and it had all the perfect amounts of cheese-I think anyone could like this, if they give it a chance.

Penises!
Sweet Jesus.
Penises everywhere.
Horror slams into me as I register what I’m seeing. Oh God. I’ve stumbled onto a penis convention. Big penises and small penises and fat penises and penis-shaped penises. It doesn’t matter which direction I move my head because everywhere I look I see penises.

^^Definitely one of my top favorite scenes lol^^

I laughed so hard and so frequently with this story it’s not even funny (ironically). The humor was absolute perfection. Sometimes I think we all need to put our pitch forks aside and go along for the ride…it’s nice to just stop and enjoy and not over think a book-in fact, I find it’s necessary sometimes. So, I will end my NA week on a VERY strong note…..I’m going back to my fantasy/dystopian/paranormal….boy have I missed it.

 

*************************

Buddy read with Sarah (AND MAYBE ANNA OH ANNA YOU BETTER YOU TURD (Do you feel guilty yet)) starting this weekend!! Woot! Let’s see what all the fuss is about 😀 ♥


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BOOK REVIEW – The Deal (Off Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

BOOK REVIEW – The Deal (Off Campus #1) by Elle KennedyThe Deal (Off Campus #1)
by Elle Kennedy
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

What do you mean by “You got the wrong book here?” Because I heard that confessions were fashionable these days. So let’s go, shall we?

Confession # 1 : I kinda liked it.

But don’t say anyone, you hear me?

I know, I KNOW. The fact is, if The Deal is by no means a perfect book, and if I had issues I will explain, I enjoyed my read more often than not. That’s something important to stress in a New Adult book, don’t you think? That’s what I thought.

Confession # 2 : I might have rolled my eyes a few times here. ░

Who am I kidding? I totally did.

► First things first, let me tell you that the beginning was cliché as hell. Let’s look at it, shall we?

Through the first 20%, we see – WAIT FOR IT –
✔ a college hockey player who happens to be 1) a manwhore, 2) rich, 3) with daddy issues
✔ a music-major MC who 1) is immune to manwhore mentioned above, 2) is sarcastic with him, 3) was previously raped
Hot chicks who only want to screw manwhore mentioned above because 1) he’s hot, DUH and 2) He has an enviable popular status which is nice to share
✔ a fake relationship aka the favorite twist of Harlequin

Yes that was violent and yes I was annoyed. Truth to be told, if friends who I trust hadn’t swear to me that the cliché hell would end, perhaps I would have stopped my read. Things being what they are, I continued on, and I don’t regret it at all. Continue reading

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