March 14, 2016

Light the Lamp

I have no idea why in the world I didn't read The Deal as soon as Kelly convinced me to buy it and it appeared on my Kindle. Because I wasted months not reading it, when I could have been swooning and talking up this amazing new adult series to other readers! Happily, I read all the books currently out in this series during the month of February - and was blown away by every single one of them. I had lots of thoughts on each particular novel (and I refuse to pick a favorite - story, girl or guy), but I can basically tell you that they're funny and romantic and smart, and I love this series so, so much.

The Deal book cover
The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #1
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: Bought the Kindle e-book

I’ve officially found my favorite new adult novel ever. You all know I don’t say that lightly, because I’m a bit picky about the new adult I read. But I have to say it, because The Deal warrants that sort of declaration from me. It’s about Hannah, a girl crushing on a jock in her class, and the deal she makes with Garrett, another jock in the same class, to tutor him in exchange for a date (so that she can draw other dude’s attention). Simple enough plot, but Elle Kennedy turns it into something magnificent by integrating personal nuances to both of the main characters. I fell in love with Hannah. The girl’s got brains, and is stubborn as hell, and just seems like someone I’d really get on well with in real life. And Garrett, oh Garrett, just completely stole my heart away with his sly sense of humor, the quiet thoughtfulness and attention to detail and his sense of independence. Separately, these two are already amazing, so can you imagine how much my mind was blown by their chemistry and banter and friendship and romance? (It was insane.) I enjoyed swooning over their romance, laughing over their sillier encounters, sighing over some sweet bits, getting angry when other people interfered – in other words, I was very reactive when I read this one. (That’s a good thing, if it isn’t obvious.) Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of Kennedy’s ability to write a romance, and I loved this book so damn much!

The Mistake book cover
The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #2
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Source: Bought the Kindle e-book with gift card

If I thought that the Elle Kennedy magic would only show up in one book, I was totally wrong. I loved The Mistake nearly as much as I adored its predecessor! This novel has the plot most similar to a romance film of the entire series, at least in my humble opinion. Main guy John Logan has always had an easy time getting the girls, but behind his easygoing nature and quick charm is despair at what lies ahead in his future. Main gal Grace Ivers is a quiet girl, one who works hard and dreams big and is really trying to figure out what the hell she wants out of life. Cue the fireworks when these two have an accidental meet cute - and then cue the rain that puts out the sparks when Logan makes a stupid mistake, and has to figure out how to win Grace back before it's too late. You guys, I totally loved Logan and Grace. Logan was such a wonderful, charming character, and I felt for him as he experienced total confusion over what he wanted and despair for what he saw as his future. Grace, on the other hand, reminded me of myself way back in high school and perhaps even at the start of my college life - quiet yet strong, determined to figure things out for herself and be smart. I just loved these two individually, so bringing them together and having the sparks fly was absolutely wonderful. My heart went through the ringer with their story, from heartbreak to hope to happiness, and I love it. Not only do we get to fall in love with Logan and Grace, but we also get glimpses at other characters we already know and love too! Just thinking about this book makes me want to thank Elle Kennedy for sharing these stories with us, because her skill at combining heart and humor is totally undeniable. I obviously loved this book, and would also recommend reading it.

The Score book cover
The Score by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #3
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: January 11, 2016
Source: Bought the Kindle e-book with gift card

I didn't know how I was going to feel about The Score, seeing as how it was about Dean and I didn't necessarily have the most favorable impression of him based on his appearances in the previous stories. So, obviously, I was totally shocked when I found that his story blew me away! I liked getting an in-depth look at who Dean is, past the facade of rich playboy who is fond of having sex in public places in their shared home. He's smart and he's funny; he's thoughtful and he's sweet. And he reads, y'all. And he's good with kids. Needless to say, I definitely had a crush on Dean the more I got to know him! Ahem. And of course, someone with as big a personality as Dean needed someone who could dish it right back to him when needed, and Allie (Hannah's best friend) is perfect for that. I love that Allie knew exactly what she wanted out of life, and that she pursued it doggedly. It's also really cool that she knows her own mind when it comes to her sexuality, and that she's not afraid to let her emotions take over when they're on the extreme side. Her ability to whip out a smart retort or a sultry aside was really awesome, and I definitely thought she was the perfect combination of sweet and smart and sexy. (And so did Dean, obviously.) Their relationship begins with a one night stand, and slowly but surely turns into something more over the course of the novel. It was really lovely to witness how their feelings changed right under their noses, up until they finally realized how they really felt about each other. (I'm seriously swooning thinking about it.) They do go through a fair bit of drama, but what relationship doesn't really? Again, I definitely applaud Elle Kennedy's ability to write a love story, and would recommend reading this one too.


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