Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

By Cora Kenborn

BOOK REVIEW: The Deal: An Off-Campus Novel #1By Elle Kennedy

Let me be the first to admit I’m not one to run out and buy the first college scene new adult based book to hit the market. The genre and I have always had a love/hate relationship. It loves to hate me. Like a lot of the swoony nerdiac book co-eds, just hoping for the hunky jock’s attention, I get let down. I’m not saying that particular trope doesn’t see use in other contemporary romance novels, but it seems to fester, blister and spread like a bad infectious rash in this setting.

Yeah, I just grossed my own self out there.

Back on topic. I searched for a new RomCom book to review for this week online. I’m one to enjoy the tried and true, so when ran across “The Deal” by Elle Kennedy, I was immediately intrigued by the insane (and when I say insane, I mean my-eighteen-year-old-daughter-dragging-out-the-word-with-thirteen-syllable-insane) amount of five star reviews. I had to read it. It called to me. I one-clicked before I could stop myself.

Hi. I’m Cora and I’m a habitual one-clicker.

Even though it’s a series, there’s no cliffhanger! That’s right, kids. Kennedy wrapped up this storyline in a nice little bow, just like I like all my presents. Winner, winner, wine and book dinner.

Now this book got me from hello, just for the simple fact that it’s set at a college in Massachusetts. My college roomie hailed from the Bay state. It already had a plus from me going in.

Hannah Wells isn’t what you’d call a popular girl. She’s your everyday college junior music major. The outside world would never know Hannah lived through a horror at age fifteen she’s never gotten over. However, she’s a strong heroine. She doesn’t let one unthinkable act define her. Her one weakness is her insatiable crush on the star wide receiver on the football team.

Then another jock gives her the offer of a lifetime.

Garrett Graham is the captain of the hockey team and a panty-raiding, walking body condom. He carries the title right up until he meets the one girl on campus who won’t drop hers just because of his mere presence. Garrett has to pass ethics or risk losing his sports career. He meets Hannah and strikes up his own deal with her: she agrees to tutor him in exchange for his ensuring that her own personal “Mr. Big” notices her.

Their “frenemies” style snarkastic, rapid fire banter soon turns the tables on both of them with one kiss.

Stop right there! Stop what you’re thinking. I know. Cliché. Cliché. Bad boy woos nerdy, innocent girl to bed and rocks her introverted world.


Garrett’s world gets rocked by said nerdy girl. But, there are other factors at play. Garrett has secrets of his own. He’s been hurt and hurt bad. Unexpectedly, the two become each other’s safe haven.

I’ll go ahead and admit it. This book is just plain hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud at parts of the dialogue and it’s hard to make me laugh more than a snicker. It’s also realistic. I’ve done college –been there, done that, have the crappy GPA my first semester to prove it. Not once did I get kidnapped, or impersonated, or inhabited by a demon. This is the story of two normal people with two crappy pasts finding out they need each other to deal with life.

Oh? Did I mention they are freaking hysterical?

“You’re not talking.”

“I don’t want to scare you off.”

Dude, you’re standing there naked in front of me with your d**k in your hand. If that doesn’t scare me, I doubt anything you say will.”

I loved this book. I more than loved it. I FLOVED it.

It’s more than “coming-of-age.”

It’s more than “bad boy and good girl.”

It’s more than “arrangement-to-love.”

It sealed The Deal for me and New Adult from on.

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