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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2015)
An alternative cover edition can be found here.

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.

342 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 24, 2015

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About the author

Elle Kennedy

208 books57.5k followers
A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling 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 writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews13.9k followers
September 3, 2018
Updated my review because it was very long and I criticized things that in hindsight aren't as big a deal

1.5 stars

TW: Rape (mentions throughout + flashback scene), domestic violence/abuse

Let me disclaim that there was MASSIVE potential here for a good book, but it had so many problems. I began highlighting lines that said problematic things, and I ended up having 147 notes of things that made me cringe or things that made me uncomfortable. If this book went under rigorous editing it could be the feminist read I think it's trying to be, but there's way too much perpetuation of gender stereotypes/roles, slut shaming, internalized misogyny, and overused/toxic tropes occurring.

To set the mood for this review, read this real line in this book:
(girl speaking) “You know what I think?”
(male love interest speaking) “Women aren’t supposed to think, Wellsy. That’s why your brains are smaller. Science proves it.”

Wooowwwww. Even if that’s a joke, fuck off.

People reviewed this saying things like “Garrett is sooo different than other guys in NA!” And in one way, I can see it, but he’s not nearly good enough to be considered a "good" guy, in my opinion. It begins with him relentlessly asking the main character to tutor him. For chapters. And chapters. She says no to him EVERY TIME and yet he still corners her at parties and after class and is like ‘hey! when are we studying!’ I don't like how disrespectful he was of her space and her time from page one.

One of the first times the two main characters see each other, they’re at a party and Hannah is eyeing the guy she has a crush on. Garrett is SUPER creepy because he catches her looking and is like “do you want to fuck him?” Which is 1) a disturbing question and 2) noNE OF YA GODDAMN BUSINESS. and even though it's uncomfy I just shook it off, but then he proceeds to tell her, “You’re not his type.” And she’s really wounded by this, yet he’s grinning and smirking like he’s proud of himself as he makes fun of her for liking him. HE LITERALLY CALLS HER A PUSSY FOR LIKING HIM AND NOT TELLING HIM, AND HE ALSO MAKES FUN OF HER FOR HAVING A CRUSH ON HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE.
When Hannah finally agrees to tutor him (after some coercion), he says, “I managed to wear her down.” This is just so degrading. She couldn’t even agree to it willingly—he practically forced her to because he wouldn’t leave her alone about it and she was beginning to see him everywhere and just wanted him to shut up.

FURTHERMORE, He coerces her into a relationship because he tells her “hey! if you go out with me, it will make you look like you have a higher status, he’ll notice you, and you can finally be up to his standards so that he’ll date you!” How….. is this normal. How is this supportable. I’m just appalled. This entire book perpetuated the concept of—and Garrett says this himself— “guys only want girls who give them a chase, and they want a woman who’s out of reach because guys want what they can’t have.” gross gross gross gross why can’t we just have 2 people falling in love? EVER? why does it have to be some slimy shit like this???

Later on in the book Hannah explains to Garrett why she doesn’t drink (she’s scared of getting drugged due to past sexual assault) and he gets really serious and is like “I want you to drink. I think you should drink. I’d never let anyone hurt you” and she’s kind of pushed into it? During that same scene when she drinks with him for the first time, he stands by passively as she has 3 drinks (gulping down the first one), and then watches and laughs as she’s on stage stumbling through karaoke. He acts like “Oh, I’ll protect you! Don’t be afraid of drinking!” but then doesn’t even promote healthy drinking, or keep her from embarrassing situations. In fact, as she’s on stage singing, all he’s thinking is “I want to kiss her right now” and “im hard as a rock in the middle of this bar.” He later notices how drunk she is and says, I quote, “I love being the one who got her to this point." at the end of the night they both end up wasted and Garrett, just in his boxers, crawls into bed with Hannah, who's only in a T-shirt. he’s taken five shots and makes a comment that’s like, “even if I wanted to take advantage of her right now I wouldn’t be able to,” referring to his limp dick, but he basically just implied raping her???? byeeee!!! They start making out and in his drunken state he thinks, “I know this is bad but I’m too drunk to care.” Ew.

Also, there was slut shaming in this book. The main character constantly refers to the women that have sex with athletes as girls who don’t know any better. Girls who are stupid. She constantly places herself above all the girls that Garrett usually has sex with because she assumes that she’s better and smarter than them for not falling for his tricks. Additionally, there's a lot of pitching women against each other and comparing body types/beauty, so this isn't really the prime feminist literature that it wants to be. It’s just a constant narrative of “i’m better than some girls!!” which sucks. In this vein, Garrett calls the MC a "total pig compared to other girls i know" for eating 4 slices of pizza. this scene is punctuated by him saying "there's nothing attractive about a girl who's skin and bones. i prefer them curvy." barf gag. bye no thank u

This was cheesy. So bad. It read like fanfiction, or a wattpad smut. Totally cookie-cutter characters with predictable actions. Take a shot every time Hannah rolls her eyes, bites her lip, clenches her thighs, or sighs (you’d be in the hospital by page 5. Seriously. This girl rolls her eyes like twice a page). Completely unoriginal. The dialogue was so cringe-worthy I literally had to put down the book at a few points:
“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.”

NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT!!!! NOBODY!!!!! oh my god i’m so heated about this. I’m a college junior, the same age as the characters in this book, and i would r u n if someone started talking to me like this. Automatic no.

Soooo I have a preconceived notion of male student athletes. They’re more prone to being rapists. They’re reckless. They eat all the food in the dining hall right before I get there. I’ve never read a great book or interacted enough with male student athletes to prove this wrong, but this book certainly doesn’t help. Every guy is sex-obsessed and calls girls “baby girl” and makes crude jokes. Maybe it’s realistic, maybe it’s not. But this book does nothing to disband my belief that athletes are the worst. So was I excited about Garrett and wanting to date him because he’s ~so nice~ and ~so respectful toward women~? No. And the way that Hannah reacts to all these sexist comments is really off-putting. Everytime, without fail, all she does is roll her eyes and go, “Ugh, boys! What can you do!” For me to take a standing ovation to this, she would have needed to threaten their asses and call them out for their sexist and uncalled for comments. Instead, she just treats it like it’s annoying rather than something harmful and disturbing. I think it’s strange that she’s a rape victim, and yet she finds their comments more annoying than threatening. At one point, one of Garrett’s roommates actually threatens her to tutor him:
“I’ll be very, very upset.” His sultry gaze does a slow and deliberate sweep of my body, lingering on my chest before traveling back up. “You don’t want to upset me, do you, gorgeous?”
And instead of Garrett being like, “Hey man, that’s shitty, treat her with some respect,” he instead SNORTS and says, “Don’t waste your time, man. She’s immune to flirting. Trust me. I’ve tried.”
At one point Garrett is trying to convince her to sing for him (btw, she's a music major lol) and she says, “I know Garrett will harass me all night if I don’t agree.” She even uses the word harassment!!! She knows she’s being mistreated and coerced, and yet she just acquiesces every time. I’m so tired. The problem with this is this whole book promotes the “boys will be boys” attitude. Any time an athlete says something gross, the MC just rolls her eyes. And despite that, she’s like “Garrett protects me from bad things!” and yet Garrett doesn’t do a fucking thing except feel jealous any time that someone makes an uncomfortable advance on her or teases her about something inappropriate or asks her a gross, flirtatious question. This all needed to have been challenged in the book, but it isn’t. It’s just brushed away as “hahaha these boys are the worst, they’re athletes, but what can you do?!?!?!” It’s infuriating.

this book is also one of many that use the trope "well ive been with boys before but i've never orgasmed or enjoyed sex so i think im broken" and Mr. Right comes along and suddenly she's a sexual goddess!!! i think it's just another version of the guy-fixes-girl trope, and i think it's really annoying. you can have orgasms and special connections with each of your partners; it doesn't all have to suddenly be "aND HE WAS PERFECT FOR ME BECAUSE I CAME 10 TIMES!!! OUR LOVE IS LEGITIMIZED!!!!!" At the most frustrating part of this book, she LITERALLY tells him, “I’m broken and I want you to fix me.” Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a compelling motivation there because she feels after being raped that she can never have normal, enjoyable sex. But that’s a problem to talk about with a therapist, not to assign to a random dude, or even a boyfriend. It’s just so wrong. She wants to use him to “reprogram her body to respond.” This just falls into the category of books I hate where I just want to scream GET HELP, NOT A BOYFRIEND.

The few good parts about this book that I wish could have made it better:
-When Hannah asks Garrett for the first time if he wants to have sex, it’s done really assertively and transparently. I like that she felt confident enough to be direct, and when he asked her why, she had no problem saying, “Because I want to.” That was a powerful moment for me. (Even though the scene ended by her saying ‘im broken, fix me.” it was nice while it lasted)
-Garrett is SO much more attentive to her after he finds out she was raped. Almost to the point that I’d wished she told him sooner so that he could quit being an asshole. Still, he’s over-protective and their relationship and dialogue and descriptions fits every gender stereotype, so there��s a long way to go.
-The sex scenes are really, really slow-going and consensual. Not entirely sexy and flawless, but not unbearable.
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
March 2, 2015

SQUEEE!!!! I loooooved this book!! I was hooked from the very first page and spent the rest of my afternoon laughing out loud, swooning, fanning myself, and highlighting awesome and hilarious quotes non-stop!

So it's about this girl, Hannah, who is crushing hard on a football player. She's not one to usually get this mushy over a guy, but he's caught her eye and she wishes she was on his radar.

The hero is a a guy named Garrett. He's a bad boy hockey player with a bit of a manwhoring reputation around campus who is in one of her classes and borderline failing. He's a smart guy, but this class just isn't his forte. Lucky for him, she's acing it... and he makes it his mission to get her to tutor him. Unfortunately for him though, she's not remotely interested in anything he has to offer in exchange.

“How about a date?” I offer.

That gets her attention. She straightens up like someone shoved a metal rod up her spine, then swivels her head in astonishment. “What?”

“Ah. I’ve got your attention.”

“No, you’ve got my disgust. You actually think I want to go out with you?”

“Everyone wants to go out with me.”

She bursts out laughing…

“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.. “I kiss each one of my biceps and then point to the ceiling and thank the big man upstairs for creating such a perfect male specimen.”

She snorts. “Uh-huh. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, Mr. Perfect, but I’m not interested in dating you."

After a few days of trying his best to wear her down, he finally comes up with an idea: he'll help elevate her social status by pretending to date her -- thus making her more likely to catch the eye of her crush IF she'll tutor him. She finally relents and the deal is formed.

But the more time they spend together, the closer they get... and even though Garrett swore he didn't want a girlfriend, he falls for her... and makes it his mission to show her that he's actually the guy she wants.

I have to say, this is the first time a girl’s been worried about getting caught in my bedroom. Normally they strut out like they’ve just bagged Brad Pitt.

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?”

She glowers.

I loved the way their relationship developed almost by accident. Neither of them meant for it to happen. They just began hanging out, spending time together, and one thing naturally led to another. (Side note: after reading about them watching Breaking Bad together, I kinda want to watch the show too!)

Just to clear up a question I've been asked by several readers: there is NO cheating and no triangle in this story. He does hook up with two girls (literally just meaningless one-night stands) before he and Hannah become a couple. But once they're together, all that ends. So don't worry!

This book had the ability to make me swoon one minute, put my heart in my throat the next, then literally make me burst right out laughing out of the blue. Here, I just have to share this one scene...

The guy protests… “I don’t think you should go in th—“

I burst into the locker room and —


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.

My mortified gasp draws the attention of every penis — er, guy, in the room. In a heartbeat, towels snap up and hands cover junk and bodies shuffle around, while I stand in the front of the room blushing like a tomato.

Teeheeeeee!!!! C'mon, doesn't that make you want to read the book?? :D

You'll swoon hard over Garrett, wish Hannah was your BFF, and totally get caught up in their story. It's fun, sexy, but with just enough 'seriousness' mixed in to ground the story as well. I really loved it!

This was one of the best college romance I've read. It had epic banter, sexy romance, and fantastic writing!! I laughed, I swooned, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!!

Rating: 5 stars. Standalone NA romance.

PS: This is the first standalone in a series of standalones. The next book will be a different couple.


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Profile Image for Christy.
3,912 reviews33k followers
June 17, 2021
5 stars!

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What can I say about The Deal that hasn’t been said in hundreds of other reviews… Well, I can say I regret being so late to the party on this one. I had a friend recommend this to me when she read it back in February and every few weeks I would get a message from her asking if I’d read it yet (thanks for pushing, Jen!) I can’t say why I waited to read this, I just got busy with other books. One things for sure though, I’ll be reading book 2 in this series very soon! No more waiting for me.

Hannah Wells is a smart woman. She is so smart in fact, she’s one of the only people doing well in a certain class she’s in. Garrett is having trouble with this class and it’s bringing down his entire GPA, which he can’t have being a star hockey player and all. So there is one solution. Get Hannah to tutor him. There is also one problem, Hannah is resistant to Garrett’s charms. When she finally agrees, they strike a DEAL. They become friends, then they kiss. And everything changes.

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Hannah and Garrett were perfect together. I loved their banter and friendship. I loved even more when it developed. They had such fantastic chemistry. And it wasn’t just about the sex between them. Those weeks of friendship made them really care about one another and get to know each other.

I can say with absolute certainty that there wasn’t one thing I didn’t love about this book. And as much as I love books and love to read, that doesn’t happen very often. I wouldn’t change a thing about this read. If you’re like me and haven't read this one yet, I encourage you to make it your next read. You won’t regret it!!!

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Profile Image for Ayman.
209 reviews84.7k followers
July 29, 2021
3.5 ok ok ok ok i get it now. this ain’t no literary masterpiece in anyway shape or form, let’s get that out of the way. don’t ever expect me to go into books like these using my critical thinking skills.
it’s very trope-y but damn lord have murthy...why would i lay my life down for this white man? this was such a feel good book and i kinda enjoy pasty white people going to the ends of the earth for one another
Profile Image for elena ❀ .
301 reviews3,158 followers
March 30, 2022
hannah: i’m broken bc i can't have an orgasm with a guy 😢
me, an asexual: welp i guess that makes two of us huh? 🤪🤪🤪🤪
Profile Image for Kristen.
834 reviews4,768 followers
March 10, 2015
5–Made My Heart Pitter Patter–Stars


Holy smokes! I LOVED this book hard! It's by far my favorite New Adult romance.

I'm not sure what more I can say that hasn't already been said about this delightful and entertaining book; therefore, I'll simply end with a quote from the story that captured my feelings perfectly.

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

Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,062 followers
February 28, 2015
5 stars!

See this face?

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That's my face while reading this book. Yup. This book made me happy. Throughout the whole thing I was either giggling, laughing, sniffling, blushing, and then smiling and laughing some more.

And I'm not even sorry because heck, with so much shit happening in the world right now, it's nice to find a book that you can unabashedly get yourself lost in.

The Deal was another one of those unexpected reads. Unexpected because despite its simple plot, this book succeeded in taking over my heart and my mind. Always a good sign for a reader.

Like what I said, the plot for this book is simple. Hannah is college girl with a lot of baggage especially when it comes to sex, so when she finally found someone who makes her feel tingly, she was out of her depth especially when he seems to be unaware of her existence. But then solution comes in the form of cocky player Garrett Graham. Garrett's life revolve around hockey, so when he failed in one of his subjects, he needed a tutor or else he'll be dropped by the team.

When Garrett noticed that Hannah got an A on the same subject, he needled her into agreeing to his tutor. Hannah initially refused but Garrett was persistent. When Garrett found out about her dilemma, he offered a solution: he'll help her land the guy in exchange for a tutoring session. And thus begin their unlikely friendship.

Despite the straightforward plot, this won me over just by the strength of Elle Kennedy's writing, flawed yet ,b>relatable and likable characters and by its sheer readability. I could not put this book down. I devoured it from beginning to end. And the dialogue just sparkled.

Hannah and Garrett despite being opposites on paper (he's a jock while she's a music major) have a lot more in common. They were at odds at first, with Hannah being unimpressed by Garrett, but Garrett proved to be not only charming but truly a real nice guy. And he slowly but surely demolished the walls Hannah had put up to protect herself.

I know what you're thinking, "Oh another heroine with issues." And she does. A mile wide, in fact. Hannah's back story was heartbreaking as was Garrett's. But despite that, their characters weren't overburdened by it. Both Hannah and Garrett have already overcome their issues. They have goals and dreams apart from each other, which was refreshing to read.

Most of the time, in this genre, the story often get drowned out by its characters personal tragedies. With this book, while it was an integral part of the plot, it didn't suffocate the story. It helped to enrich it, giving readers an insight into the characters but their issue wasn't treated as another plot device.

I just loved Garrett and Hannah. Their chemistry jumps off the page. Even when they were snipping and goading each other, you feel it. I loved that after their initial introduction to each other, they took their time to be friends first. Then their awareness for each grew and holy freakin' hell, the slow burn was wonderful to behold.

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^^Me aw-awwing at the Garrett and Hannah banter

Seriously, I cannot wait for you guys to meet Garrett. He is one of the best heroes I've read so far. He's definitely arrogant and can be quite a handful but he's also the sweetest and the most loyal hero ever. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful this character is. Truly a standout hero in my opinion.

Overall, while The Deal didn’t break any new ground in the NA genre, it perfectly pulled some of its familiar tropes and made it work. And it's a testament to Elle Kennedy’s skill as an author. It also proves that you don’t have to break the rules to write an engaging and well-thought of story. All it really takes a familiar plot but well-developed plot, add some flawed but relatable characters, unforgettable dialogue and the end result will be on unputdownable book.

ARC courtesy of Elle Kennedy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,696 followers
February 25, 2015
4.5 stars!!


If only there were more NA romances like this one! This book completely charmed me, and is probably one of the best college romances I’ve read in a while now. While the premise isn’t anything I haven’t read before, I felt like the author took the idea and shaped it into her own unique tale, so trust me when I say it’s not your typical NA romance riddled with common clichés. This book was definitely one of those unexpected gems: the more I read, the more I fell in love with the delightful main characters, the witty banter, and the steamy and impassioned romance. Elle Kennedy, you’ve got yourself a new fan!


A big reason to why this book was such a winner for me was the hero Garrett. It may be just me, but I’m a little tired of heroes who are bad boys and jerks...I mean, give me a guy who’ll actually live up to the title of ‘hero’ you know? And Garrett really did. He’s a sports jock who’s not only dedicated to playing hockey, but also in getting his grades up as well and has such a fun-loving, caring personality. It’s really hard not to fall for him! When his grades drop though, and his hockey-playing goal is in jeopardy, he finds the class smartie to tutor him, leading him right to the heroine Hannah.


Studious and practical, Hannah is pursuing her goals as a songwriter/singer and is pretty confident in all areas of her life, except her sex life that is. She’s finally found one guy who catches her interest but with absolutely zero seduction skills she’s at a loss. When Garrett barges into her life asking for her to tutor him, they agree on a deal: she’ll tutor him so he can bring up his grades and be able to keep playing hockey, and in exchange he’ll pretend-date her to catch her crush’s attention.

I LOVE that there’s no insta-love, and heck, the attraction didn’t settle in until later too. Hannah and Garrett’s relationship is very much a gradual build, going from barely acquaintances to tentative friends to an explosive couple. But I’ll also admit that in the very beginning of this book, I wasn’t fully into the story and the characters until later. I didn’t like how judgmental Hannah was towards Garrett in the start, partially because her crush was in the same position (both sports players) as him and she chose to stereotype Garrett while glorifying the other guy, even when Garrett’s actions were always honorable and meant well. But as I read on, my dislike for Hannah thawed out and I ended up really loving her character. I liked that despite her very strong personality, she had this layer of vulnerability and her backstory (actually, both hers and Garrett’s) hurt to read. And of course, I loved Garrett’s patience and understanding with her, and how he propelled their relationship forward one step at a time.


I also appreciated that there wasn’t any contrived drama, which almost always exists in the NA books I read. Any and all conflict in this story was handled well, very thought-out and dare I say, practical too. I love that the author doesn’t follow the norm and to balance out the angst, she’s got a wonderful sense of humor that’s evident in the story. Almost everything I highlighted in the book were passages of snarky/witty/laugh out loud hilarious banter that made me laugh the entire time I read. And the locker scene near the end of the book? Freaking EPIC I tell you!


Much like the way Hannah and Garrett surprised each other and everyone else when they fell in love, this book also surprised me in the best of ways.

Love NA romance? You’ll hit gold with this book.
Not a fan of NA romance? Take a chance and let this book work its charm on you too.

The Deal is a NA romance standalone and the first book in the Off-Campus series. Consecutive books will be about side characters.
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,410 reviews4,662 followers
November 14, 2021


What an enjoyable read that seriously didn’t bring anything crazy original to this genre but somewhere between the fantastic characters, the banter, and the delivery, this story was a huge winner for me. My swooning and laughing while being totally engrossed along the pages of this story has to go to the fantastic writing of a truly talented writer. I need to check out her other books because it seems I’ve been totally missing out!

I loved the plot of our hockey jock, Garrett Graham harassing the musician, Hannah Wells for tutoring help in their shared class so he doesn’t lose ice time. When these two eventually settle on a deal for an exchange of her tutoring services for Garrett’s popularity in gaining her the attention of the newly transferred football star, Hannah can’t resist.

”The make up is next Friday, which gives us a week and a half to study. I’ll write the exam, and then on Saturday night we’ll go to Maxwell’s party and show Loverboy how sexy and desirable you are. He won’t be able to resist, trust me.”

Every single interaction between Hannah and Garrett was perfection. They slowly form a friendship and fall into so much more.

”How do you feel about Lynyrd Skynyrd? Or do you only like bands where the guys coordinate their outfits?”

Garrett was a perfectly imperfect hero. He was hilarious, sarcastic and so very sexy. Every girl reading this book will wish they were Hannah. He struggles with being in his famous father’s shadow while continuing to survive his wrath. I must mention that I also loved all his roommates and am excited that they will follow with their own stories.

”Except…am I competing? I’m still not sure what I even want from her. I mean fine, I want sex. I want it very, very badly. But if by some miracle she decides to give it to me, what then? What happens after? Do I stick a flag in the ground and claim her as my girlfriend?”

Hannah has survived rape in her past and is a witty, resilient and strong heroine. Remnants of the rape have left her insecure in certain areas. I truly loved how she slowly begins to trust her friendship with Garrett and embracing what they find in one another. Hannah was bold and I think their combined personalities is one of the things that made me fall for them as a couple so very hard.


Also, it must be mentioned that the intensity of their sex scenes was completely palpable and electric.

”Show me what you do to yourself when you’re alone,” he coaxes. “I…” The lump in my throat is too big to speak past. His voice grows hoarse and seductive. “Show me, and I’ll show you.”

I can’t think of one negative thing about this story except perhaps if it was possible for a story to never end I would have been the perfectly happy day after day reading on and on about Garrett and Hannah.
Profile Image for Mysza.
476 reviews396 followers
May 30, 2017

Well... I was the lucky one who made it past 4th paragrapgh... And oh boy, am I glad I did, because this book... this book... was Freaking. Awesome!!! This is how NA should be done!!! For realz, I'm gonna do my happy dance here...

- college setting - check
- sport theme - check
- mega! hottie - check, check, check
- very likeable heroine - check
- great plot - check
- enemies to friends to lovers - check
- almost non drama relationship - check
- sexy sexy sexy bedroom times- check
- witty bickering and dialogue - check
- 2 delicate subplot matters very well executed
- sweet love story - check

What else could you possible want? Nothing, I'm telling you nothing else is needed here.

Now I want Logan, Tucker and Dean. I don't care which one will be first, I'll take them all! So please hurry Elle Kennedy and give us those boys already ;)

Buddy read with my fabulous Nikki!!! <3
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,862 reviews30.1k followers
March 5, 2015
Update added at end of review...

4 Sexy Sweet Stars

So I'm gonna preface this shit show of a review with a tangent.

Yesterday I started this detox thing that does not allow me to have coffee.

Which means I have not had ANY caffeine in my system for over 24 hours for the first time since junior high school.

Being that my typical daily intake of caffeine includes 3 cups of black regular, a mid-morning Americano with 4 espresso shots, and an afternoon quad latte...I am hurting like a bitch.

And my brain is in..."rarer" form than normal.


For serious though.

I caught myself singing Back in Black this morning like I was the lead singer of AC/DC.

So keep that in mind when reading this train wreck review.


This was my first Elle Kennedy and I really enjoyed it. The writing was good and there was enough drama for me without it being too angsty.

For my angst whores out there, I don't know if this would be enough for you...but for those of us who aren't always in the mood to feel nauseous when reading, this is a great option when you need an angst break.

Hannah was a good lead. She was smart and confident and pretty much had her shit together.

Garrett was the typical manwhore...


...because...romance novel...

...And also because - as a former college athlete who had a lot of college male athlete friends - they really are manwhores in real life.

And they really do have sorority groupie girls who throw themselves at them on the regular.

Seriously, I knew a girl who slept her way through half the basketball team and the majority of the soccer team.


Man, I was really tired that year.



Seriously, I kid.



I wasn't in a sorority.

And I preferred baseball players.


But I digress.


Hannah and Garrett were really cute together.

And I am always a sucker for the "let's pretend to be together and then oops we fall for each other" trope, which I thought was really well done here.

I will definitely read more from this author.


24 hours after writing this review...

Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,527 followers
February 25, 2015


“The Deal” was not my first book by Elle Kennedy, but for sure was the one that I loved the most. It was such an enjoyable read and from the start I couldn’t put it down. It was sweet, sexy and funny and even a little emotional at times and it just made me smile.

Despite the simple, not so original plot it was a refreshing read. Even if at first sight it's very similar with other college romances, “The Deal” was a captivating story from the start. Written in dual POV, which I really, really enjoyed, this NA is about two people, Hannah and Garrett who apparently are very different from each other, but as the story progresses they will find they are more compatible they have thought. In more ways than one.


Hannah Wells is a 20 years old girl who's not very popular. She has some good friends and a supporting, loving family. Not many of her friends know about what happened to her five years ago. Despite her past, Hannah is not a broken girl. She wants to be ‘normal’, she has people in her life who care deeply for her, she has dreams. In most of the areas she’s a confident girl, but when it comes to relationships, sex and seduction she’s not the most experienced girl. Too bad since she has a crush on one of the football players.

Garrett Graham is the captain of the hockey team. He’s very good looking, he’s popular and every female in the campus wants to be with him. He’s not popular only because of all that, but also because his father is a legend in hockey world. What no one knows is that Phil Graham is not as perfect everyone wants to believe.


When Garrett gets an F at one of his courses he’s desperate to find a tutor. If he doesn’t pass the course he’ll be dropped by the team. When he finds out that Hanna got an A he proposes her a deal – she will tutor him in exchange for some helping regarding her crush. Hannah doesn’t want to have anything to do with this annoying cocky player, at least at first.

“I’ve never met anyone who’s so repulsed by my popularity, and I have no idea what to make of it. I think I might like it.”

Garrett knows that Hannah is the only one who can help him so he’s very, very persistent. They become some kind of friends, but one kiss changes everything between them.

“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.”


What a breath of fresh air this one was! I really, really enjoyed it! I read many college romances and for me this was one of the best. Evn if the storyline is predictable, I enjoyed it. Both Hannah and Garrett were such endearing and relatable characters. They were not perfect. They have fears and insecurities and they felt real. Hannah is a great heroine. She’s smart, beautiful and sassy. Despite her past she’s a strong girl. She wants to have a normal, heathy relationship and she’s not as damaged as I expected her to be. I liked the fact that she wasn’t shy. She speaks her mind, she’s honest and she's caring. I found her a little annoying at times (in the beginning), but overall she was a great heroine.

While I only liked Hannah, I loved Garrett. He made me smile and swoon. He was simply adorable! He’s cocky and arrogant, but he’s charming and loyal as well and I couldn’t stop falling for him. He’s sweet, caring and protective and he’s the perfect boyfriend. I loved the way he talks with Hannah and the way he is with her. And I also loved how ambitious he is.


I absolutely loved their chemistry. To say that it was off the charts hot will be an understatement. You can really feel it from the beginning. Their slow-build relationship was very well done in my opinion. I just loved how everything progressed between them.

I adored the banter between them and I loved all the sexual innuendos between them. They were so good together and perfect for each other. The witty dialogue was absolutely fabulous. I simply loved all their interactions.

The side characters are pretty great too. And I’m talking about Hannah and Garrett’s friends. There’s some angst and drama, but don’t worry, they are low.

The writing was flawless and engaging and the story was told in such a way that will make you be invested in this story from the start.

All in all, “The Deal” was a fantastic read with two lovable well developed characters, captivating storyline and great writing. If you're a fan of college romances I totally recommend it!


Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
September 28, 2016
First read: May 2015
Reaction: It was ok, nothing special.
Second read: February 2016

Dear Garrett Graham,
I am so, so sorry for not appreciating your perfection the first time I read The Deal. I strongly suspect that I was not ready to comprehend your otherwordly beauty, kindness and hotness. Perhaps the aforementioned hotness roasted my pathetic excuse of a brain. My heart, my body and my soul are yours. Please forgive me.

It's true guys. After reading Dean and Logan's stories, I kept wondering why on God's green Earth I wasn't as excited about The Deal as the rest of the world, why I thought it was just an average read and not a great NA romance so I decided to give it a second chance (yes yes I was supposed to be studying you don't have to remind me of that jeez). And I am glad I did. Because now I see. I see the light, I hear the birds sing, I smell the flowers, I feel the butterflies thumping in my stomach. And that's Garrett and Hannah's work.
“Unbelievable. Every girl at this college would cut her frickin’ arm off to help me out. But this one? Runs away like I just asked her to murder a cat so we could sacrifice it to Satan.”

I LOVE the Off-Campus boys. While Dean's story was the sexiest and Logan's the funniest, I think Garrett's was the most heartwarming! Because there is not animal attraction or insta-lust that connects Garrett and Hannah at first. It's a deal, it's business that turns into friendship that turns into unconditional trust that turns into love and a parade of unicorns that shit strawberries and candy bars! Both of them are broken in their own way, they're damaged but together they salve their raw wounds, they find the strength to get out of their comfort zones and fight the nightmares that hold them back. Of course there isn't drama overdose and it's actually an amusing and steamy story, but I really appreciated the depth in them and understood the way their backround defined them.
“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?”
He sounds so genuinely upset that I scoot closer and kiss him. “It doesn’t matter. You know me now.”
“I do,” he says fiercely.”

Using Elle Kennedy's words, Garrett turned me into a mindless pile of mush! I giggled, I blushed, I sighed, I dreamed, I swooned, in other words I experienced every single fangirl symptom because of him! I liked Hannah very much, even though some of her decisions made my blood boil in a not particularly pleasant way and she broke my heart, but the general awesomeness of this book didn't let me stay mad at her for long! The way Hannah and Garrett bickered had me laughing my ass off, and their smexy scenes made me drool!
“Fuck, I want to kiss her again. I want to feel her lips on mine. I want to hear that throaty noise she made the first time I sucked on her tongue.”

Yum-my! *fans herself* Can you blame me for dreaming of hot hockey players? Can you blame me for not being able to focus on studying? (don't answer that!) Can you blame me for wanting a Garrett Graham?
I'm so going to die alone.
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
May 28, 2016
No suelo leer este género (New Adult), pero gracias a este libro, lo empezará a hacer.

En la primera parte de la saga #KissMe, Prohibido enamorarse nos encontramos la historia de Hannah y Garrett, cada cual con su pasado oscuro y sus metas en la vida. Personajes bien construidos, bien desarrollados y con los que consigues conectar gracias a páginas y páginas de monólogos internos, conversaciones sobre sus sentimientos y decenas de situaciones más. He agradecido muchísimo que la autora se tomase el tiempo necesario para introducirnos los personajes y desarrollarlos en condiciones.

Hay cosas que no me han gustado porque personalmente no las comparto, y supongo que es lo que ha hecho que las cinco estrellas no cuajen. De todos modos, no veo que esas cosas destaquen tan negativamente en este libro como en otros, pues hay ciertos mensajes muy positivos que jamás he visto en novelas juveniles, y eso es un paso muy grande.

El sexo es una parte MUY importante de la novela. Hay muchas escenas de sexo durante todo el libro y están narradas al detalle: problemas para tragar el semen, de tamaños de órganos sexuales, complicaciones a la hora de la penetración... Es decir, detalles que se dan en la vida real contados con pelos y señales. ¡Gracias, Elle Kennedy! Además, algo que me ha gustado mucho también es la importancia que el sexo tiene en la historia. No es un sexo injustificado, sino que forma parte de la trama y de las relaciones entre personajes.

No soy fan de las películas, series o libros que se centren en deportes, y pensaba que esta novela iba a hablar demasiado del hockey... Pero no. Ni de coña. Se habla del deporte pero cuando hay partidos se comentan de pasada. (De nuevo, gracias.) La vida de Hannah era más interesante que la de Garrett porque se dedica a la música, y obviamente, me tira más.

Otra cosa que me ha encantado es que cada uno de los protagonistas tiene su trama aparte del romance, es decir, que el romance no es LA trama de la novela. Garrett tiene sus conflictos familiares, sus problemas por ser el capitán del equipo, los estudios... Y Hannah tiene conflictos con los ensayos de música, problemas familiares económicos... Y todo eso aderezado con escenas con sus amigos y de su día a día, han conseguido que Prohibido enamorarse sea una novela muchísimo más profunda de lo que aparenta.

Repito: no consumo NA. No pensaba que me iba a gustar, y aquí estoy, DESEANDO leer el siguiente libro. Cada uno nos narra una relación del grupo de amigos de Garrett, y el siguiente libro es Logan. ¡Logan! Tengo muchas ganas de ver qué ocurre...

Me ha gustado muchísimo, muchísimo. Lo he leído muy rápido pese a la edición que tiene. El dinamismo que proporciona el que se narre desde los dos puntos de vista es maravilloso, y te da una sensación de conexión con los personajes increíble. Es una historia que engancha, una novela que te hace emocionarte y que te mantiene en vilo todo el rato. SUPER MEGA RECOMENDABLE.
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,996 followers
February 9, 2017
*****FIVE++++++++ STARS*****
{BR with Mel, Dee, and Sharon}


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This book was freaking AMAZEBALLS, with a heaping side of AWESOMESAUCE!!!! I don't think there are enough words in the English Dictionary to really express just how OVER THE MOON IN LOVE I am with this story!! This was utterly UNPUTDOWNABLE! I usually take days to finish a book, but this one grabbed on to me so tight and wouldn't let go. It is the best of 2015 so far, for me. All I wanted to do was to find a way to dive into this book and live with all these amazing characters that Elle Kennedy created. Well, I'd like to specifically take the place of Hannah so that I can have Garrett all to myself!!! Yes, my friends, I fell extremely hard for this man and he is going on my TOP TEN BBF list!! I might have to add him to my GR name as well!!

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Hannah Wells and Garrett Graham both attend Briar University in Massachusetts. They are in the same Ethics class where Hannah was the only one to get an A- on the mid term, while almost 90% of the class, including Garrett, failed. Garrett has the chance to retake the mid term and must ace it in order to bring his GPA up, or he's off the Hockey team. Up until this point, neither of them have ever said one word to each other. Now Garrett is begging Hannah to tutor him. She is not like any of the other girls at school, because she's not falling all over herself to be near Garrett. He is "THE IT GUY" on campus as he's the Captain of the Hockey team and drool inducing HOT!! But, Hannah has eyes for another guy in school and when Garrett finds out, he offers to strike up a "deal". He'll pretend to be her boyfriend for a week, which will build up her reputation and land her the man of her dreams. In return, Hannah will have to tutor him so that he can get a better grade on the mid-term and remain on the hockey team. And later on a second "Deal" is in place between these two that will have your panties melting!!!

So here is another story about a popular Jock getting involved with the shy and slightly nerdy girl at school. Both have issues from their past that are pretty serious but somehow they find that love they so desperately need from each other. Yea, I do believe I have read a few books like this, BUT, it didn't make me LOVE this story any less.

I kiss her hard, losing myself in her taste and her heat and every damn thing about her. I never expected her. Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don't know how you ever lived without 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.

Garrett is INCREDIBLE!! The moment he was introduced in the story, I was a goner for him!! His quick and snarky comebacks to Hannah were hysterical. I lost count on the amount of times I cracked up due to the banter between the two of them. Not only was this super funny, it had angst, it made me shed some tears, and there were many times I felt I needed to douse myself with an ice bucket!! I absolutely loved when Hannah literally gets a PENIS SMORGASBORD towards the end of the book. I only wish that something like that would happen to me. I would be thinking I died and went to heaven. WHAT A WAY TO GO!!!!

I know I'm pretty late in the game with this book, but if any of my friends have not read this yet, I urge you to read it!! I really haven't felt this good after reading a book in a while. I do believe this is the first book released in 2015 that has made me a gushing fool!! Since I love my friends on here, I just want to share the feels with you all!!

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Profile Image for Ishika .
198 reviews539 followers
April 10, 2022
After reading this book I feel like I should stop reading books from the romance genre because I hate how similar the main male characters are represented in every single book. They are either too cheery or they are the brooding type. But the thing that connects both of these type of characters are their alpha male energy whose cells (I suck at biology so it might not make sense) are covered with a special layer of overconfidence and arrogance so you can't ever expect them to lose their confidence.

And don't even get me started on the female characters. They are not like other girls obviously. They might not be very social, but there has to be one boy (who's obviously the main male character) whom they hate for no reasons. Oh no I know the reason. They hate them because well if we are talking specifically about a sports romance then who doesn't like stereotyping every single male who plays some sport? He plays hockey? Well then he HAS to be an asshole just like all of his teammates are.

And the greatest question of all time - Why the fuck is every person who plays sport in this book described like only handsome people play sports. Why don't we have a cinnamon roll type of character who plays sports? Introverts can play sports too right? There's a scene where furious Hannah barges inside the locker room and every single person is NAKED? Am I the only person who found it weird or does these things really happen irl? (I have basically 0 knowledge about sports so I could be wrong but I was really weirded out after reading this)

Garrett is a walking red flag for fuck's sake. I hate him so much. This dude takes no hint and thinks that just because he's the hockey team's leader and has a good body, he owns everyone on this earth. Like hell no p-uh-lease.

So the story goes like- Garrett fails a test and his average goes down so he needs to do well in the retest or her won't be able to play hockey. Then he accidentally sees Hannah's (the female lead) grade (she aces the test) and asks her to tutor him. She says no because she's busy. But this guy here keeps on pestering her.

Garrett's thought process throughout the book:

I want to check out her ass again, because it’s a damn sexy ass, and now that I’ve seen it I wouldn’t mind another look.

Because…again…I’m a guy.

Like fuck off. I know you are a guy. You don't have to say that again and again to prove the assholeness filled in your brain.

“Yeah, that actually makes you a total pig compared to the girls I know. The most they ever eat is half a starter salad.”
“That’s because they need to stay rail-thin so guys like you will find them attractive.”
“There’s nothing attractive about a woman who’s all skin and bones.”

Should I even say anything? People like them are responsible for skinny people feeling insecure with their bodies.

“Women aren’t supposed to think, Wellsy. That’s why your brains are smaller. Science proves it.”

Hehe very funny. Nice joke Garrett. You nailed it.

“God, I can’t even be selfless without screwing it up.” He snickers. “It’s okay. At least you’re hot. And don’t get me started on your stripper tits.”

G R E A T.
I hate how girls in this book were represented. Like you HAVE to wear short clothes or show your boobs if you want a guy to like you.

Also who the fuck does he think he is? YOU DON'T OWN A GIRL IF SHE BREAKS UP WITH YOU (or even when you are in a relationship). He fucking told everyone to stay away from Hannah? Agh this pissed me off so much.

I liked Hannah but there were some things she said throughout the book which felt a little weird and insensitive. And before you say that I take things too seriously, all I would like to say is that internalized misogyny exists and I can't help but pointing it out.

I'm telling you this book could have been way better if the author tried not to insert humour in places where it wasn't necessary. I still enjoyed the plot but the representation and stereotyping characters pissed me off a lot.


Well fuck, the 1st book of this year turned out to be shit. But I'll try not to think about this jinxing the rest of my year.
Profile Image for Júlia.
219 reviews4,044 followers
August 24, 2022
I don't write reviews for books I DNF. However, this can't remain unsaid.

Why did Garret have to write a paper on philosophers who justified what happened in Nazi Germany? Why did you let your character say: "I finally got this Nazi thing down" when he finally aced his homework?

Any book that has the sentence: "in theory there is an argument to be made for genocide" (page 106) does not deserve to be published.

Why did you think you could/should/had to discuss something as heavy as Nazi Germany in a jock sports romance book for teenagers when you write at sixth grade level? The lack of sensitivity is INSANE.

Why did you give your female main character the trauma of being sexually abused if you were going to have Garret manipulate her into kissing him while she is thinking "Just do it, you don't even have to like it" the whole time?

Why did you have a character tell her, a girl trying to heal from sexual abuse, that the only way other guys will like her is if they SEE HER AS A CHALLENGE and think they have COMPETITION. I can't even...

Why do I keep reading books that are overhyped? I guess we will never know.

Am I going to continue with this series?

Nah. I'm good.

Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,974 followers
March 1, 2015
5 Amazing Stars.

Hannah is a simple girl who just wants her crush to finally notice her. Garret is the hot-shot, playboy, hockey player that needs help with one particular class he’s failing. He knows Hannah’s is the only who can help him, so they make a deal: she helps him pass the class, he helps her winning her crush’s attention by pretending to be interested in each other.
It seems the perfect deal, until things start to look very real and they can’t keep pretending anymore. The problem? Their pasts and their worlds that seems to complicate everything between them. And when their finally collide, can they make it through the crash?


First, let me thank you Elle Kennedy for letting me know that there’s a profession called “Fluffers” and what they do. (Seriously, I was probably the only person who had NO IDEA about that.)
For some time now, I’ve been taking my “NA fix” in small dosages, mainly because they all started to look the same for me and I got a little tired. So imagine my surprise when this book swept me off my feet! It is amazingly written, is funny, it’s sweet, it’s romantic, it has enough angst (not much) and drama to keep us entertained, and I loved the banter between the MC’s and the whole “friends-to-lovers” premise. It felt extremely real and I was able to completely connect with the story. Definitely one of the best NA books I’ve read in a while. You should try it!


Rating: 5 Stars.
Characters Development: I loved, LOVED Garret. He was sweet, and sexy and completely honest. He had no problem in saying what he needed and making his intentions clear. A great hero. Hannah was pretty good as well, I loved how she wasn’t an whinny and insecure heroine (and she had reason to, believe me), but instead she was sassy and went after what she wanted, I really liked her. Their friends (of both of them) were awesome, I can’t wait to read their books. Especially Logan’s.
Steam: Some hot moments.
Sensible Subjects:
Love Triangle:
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
June 16, 2019
the whole fake dating to real dating isnt my favourite trope. usually because it deals with childish games, playing 'hard to get,' and making people jealous. im not a fan of those kind of dating tactics (maybe thats why im single) but this pleasantly surprised me.

the highlight of this story is definitely the interactions and chemistry between hannah and garrett. their banter is relatable and i actually believed the feelings between them. it was so adorable to see how they grew into liking each other. i mean, the blurb doesnt do this story justice. i enjoyed how this went deeper than just fake dating - its actually a pretty solid story. maybe not the best writing out there, but quite entertaining.

im looking forward to eventually continuing the series because i guess hockey bros are now my thing? lol.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Mo.
1,362 reviews2 followers
February 28, 2015

Enjoyed this one.

It was smart, sexy, hot.
I adored Hannah, an ordinary girl who wasn't going to be bowled over by the He-man that was Garrett Graham. She was no pushover. She was no "puck bunny"!

“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.”

"Women aren't supposed to think, Wellsy. That's why your brains are smaller. Science proves it."

Garrett was an ass some of the time, a cocky bastard, but an adorable ass.

His friends were great. Wonder will we get a story about one of them? Or all of them?

I tend to stay away from the NA genre. I have an 18 year old son away in college. Don't want to be imagining all the shenanigans that he might be getting up to. But I have read a few good college books.

His father ... no comment.

Profile Image for Zoe.
331 reviews1,430 followers
May 14, 2022
{reread 1} istg if the captian of the hockey team fails his ethics class asks me to tutor him and then slowly but surely falls in love with me my life will not be complete

I dont know what the hell Elle Kennedy puts in these books because they are addicting as hell

I’ve read this book three times and want to read it a million times more because I love it that much.

These characters have my entire heart.

Garret Graham yall

He’s superior to anyone. I dare you to challenge me. You won't win.

He’s literally the most amazing fictional man out there.

Am I jealous of Han Han for having a guy in my life who tells me that my voice sounds like an angel? Quotes the princess bride and will take me to a party to look over me and get jealous when other guys hit on me? Who is also my own personal sweet talker? And on top of all of that is extremely fit because he is one of the best hockey players in the entire college?
Yes, yes I am. And I think you all are too.

I mean cmon look

“I fight back laughter.

“As you wish.”

"Did you really just Princess Bride me?”

“Did you really just use Princess Bride as a verb?”

“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.”

“Hey, come on, don’t cry,” he begs. “It breaks my fucking heart to hear you cry.”


And him and Hannah together. Literally soo cute, and I LOVE HANNAH SO SO MUCH. She went through so much but is still marching through life as the queen she is.

And I also am OBSESSED with the roommates. All their interactions had me in hysteria. Dean and Logan are literally so funny together and the banter that they have with Garrett had me in tears. Happy tears of course. And the fact that we get to see more of them in FOUR other books makes my heart burst with happiness. These books are my safe space.

I love them so much it hurts.

If you have not read this book, what the fuck are you doing with your life? Go and read it right now!!

Right om off to obsess with Garrett Graham some more
Bye bye for now my lovelies.
Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,795 followers
February 27, 2015

Title: The Deal
Series: Off Campus #1
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release Date: 24 February, 2015
Rating: 5 stars
Cliffhanger:. No

From time to time, I still have the pleasure to read what I call a perfect new adult novel; great blend of heart fluttering, blood pounding, charming, sexy and cute story with swoon worthy hero and likeable heroine. It’s rare, as more often than not I am let down, but when it finally happens I am over the moon.

The Deal is a real gem! If you are on a lookout for something with light-hearted humor, splendid storyline and charged with sexual chemistry, I strongly recommend reaching for it. It’ll be exactly what you need.

“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."

Garrett and Hannah’s story rocked my world. Even though the scenario seemed to be a cliché – the jock falling for the nerdy tutor, this novel was so flawlessly written and full of laugh out loud moments it’s impossible not to love it.

Elle Kennedy’s done amazing job! Her characters felt real. The plot made me invested in the story, and sexy banter between the main couple kept me on my toes. The sex was out of the charts too. I cannot wait for more.


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Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
546 reviews34.7k followers
April 29, 2020
"Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them."

A few weeks ago I was in dire need of a funny and sexy read and so I went to my adorable Gansey and asked her for a book recommendation!
This is what she came up with! *lol*

So let me say this before I continue with my review:

Gansey, I’m not disappointed!! XD
You did an amazing job and I’ll definitely consult you in the future! ;-P Thank you!!! =)
And now let’s move on before I get all emotional and actually start to cry. *lol*

This book was everything I wanted it to be and I found myself laughing out loud so much it was almost creepy! Well, okay I suppose it actually was creepy for the people who saw me reading it. *lol* But I just couldn’t help myself!
Hannah and Garret were just too much fun to read about and even though “The Deal” deals (no pun intended, I swear ;-P) with some serious topics as well, it was still a fluffy and nice read! XD This is definitely one of those books that make you giggle like a lunatic and cause you to roll your eyes like an angry bull!

“The second I encounter his erection, my jaw drops.
“Oh my God, are you kidding me?”
He looks startled. “What’s wrong?”
“Are you taking human growth hormones or something? I snatch my hand back, fighting another rush of nervousness. “There’s no way that huge man monster is fitting inside me!”
Garrett’s head abruptly drops in the crook of his arm as a shudder racks his body. At first I think he’s pissed off. Or maybe even crying. It takes several seconds before I realize what’s happening. He’s laughing. Scratch that – he’s in hysterics.”

Yes, there were a lot of clichés in this story but truth be told, that was its appeal! <3 Well, at least for me it was! ;-) Sometimes you just need a nice book to escape your own world and “The Deal” definitely delivered! XD
I could go on and on about how cocky and self-confident Garret was or how amazing and strong Hannah acted, but I think I’ll just leave it at that! ;-)

If you’re looking for a nice and witty romance that will make you laugh and give you some sexy shivers, this is exactly the right book for you! If you’re tired of clichés and prefer your boys without a taut and sexy six-pack (Who does?!) you better don’t read it though. *lol*

“The Deal” is book one of the “Off-Campus” series and I’m definitely going to read the other books as well. Because let’s face the truth: Some of Garret’s hot roomies have already captured my interest (Tucker!! You hot boy you!!) and I really can’t wait to read their individual stories! XD

Happy Reading!!! =)

“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.”
November 5, 2016
Update November 5th Adding warnings for my friends who expect not only faithful hero but 0% OW activity. Look my warnings at the end of my original review. This is important because this is a book that I recommend all the time to readers who like me hate cheating
4.5 solid stars, rounded because this is a great New adult read, FREE OF CHEATING, barely any slutshaming and the hero is just adorable. I've found a new book boyfriend!

Devin Paisley as Garrett!


Thank you so much my friends of the safety gang for giving me information of this book. I was about to pass on this one because the author is the same of that rape fest, disloyal hero fest, antiromantic sex-scenes called Paper princess. I can't believe this is from the same author. Where one book seems to be pro-rape, and is 100% inappropiate for a "YA romance" audience, this book was sexy, romantic, funny, smart (for the most part), realistic from the point of view of an abuse survivor and her strugles, full of anti-rape messages, (almost)free of slutshaming, mature but still addictive in spite of the lack of drama and it was definetely a joy to read. In short the word I'm really looking for to describe this book is AWESOME!

Garrett is the ideal book-boyfriend if you were looking for one. He manages to be a tortured soul, manwhore without being a cheater or a disgustingly abusive guy! He was so manly and sweet at the same time. And the best is that he had a very funny side. I laughed so much with his wit and his charm. I love him so much that I got pissed of at Hannah for taking a stupid decision later that hurt him so much, but other than that I didn't have problems with this book.


All starts when Hannah, an abuse survivor and an "almost-non-TSTL" heroine (TSTL=too stupid to live) agrees to tutor Garrett in exchange of him helping her to get the attention of her crush. I say almost non TSTL because what I noticed from the two Elle Kennedy books I've read is that her heroines are strong for the first part of the book and later they become obedient and go along with the crap others put on them. For 70% of the book I was like "This is going to be a 6 stars" and it wasn't until the end that I had problems with Hannah because but I still would prefer to root for Hannah 100000000 times over Ella, the heroine from the other Kennedy book I read. At least Hannah managed to be FUNNY, AND SMART FOR 80% of the book, she didn't slut-shame and she didn't let Garrett set the tone of the relationship or ordered her around. I love that in heroines.

Another thing that I love about this book is that sometimes you find adult fiction/erotica marketed as New adult reads, but there's barely any references to college life, to coming of age journeys and to trying to find your place while you're studying. Example of this would be At any price by Breana Audrey. It's labeled NA, but in reality it's more adult/erotica/romantic suspense. I love New adult, I love to see the struggles of people reaching adulthood but not quite there yet. This book is new adult featuring college life, full of college/coming of age situations and in my opinion a must read of the genre.

The romance builds slowly betweent these two, but it's not completely free of insta-love. I think it has the right rhythm for you to root for these two to be together, it's fast in a way but still you get to know them really well before anything happens. I enjoyed so much that. This book reminds me a lot of Beautiful disaster with the difference that Garrett never considers cheating throughout the customary separation of the couple that happens in all NA reads. Hannah considers cheating, though! But at the end nothing horrible happens and we get our HEA and closure. No cliffhanger here.

I'm recommending this to romance readers who like me hate TSTLness, cheating heroes, slut shamming and "adult" characters acting like teens. It's been a while since a contemporary romance impressed but The Deal surprised me in a good way, just when I was about to give up on the erotic romance genre.

There is OW activity twice. Once the same day H talks h for the first time and another when she's still crushing in another guy but she's slowly falling for hero. I didn't mind. My hard limit is when that happens after our couple kiss for the first time.
Profile Image for diana.
135 reviews208 followers
February 4, 2023
this is what internalized misogyny looks like
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
February 16, 2017
*Just about 4 Stars* — Great read!

The Deal is the perfect choice when you’re looking for something engaging, sexy, and light—with a lil' dose of depth to trigger your emotions.

YES, those who claim this book contains cliches aren’t kidding. There are certainly plenty of cliched one-liners to go around, but for some reason, I was able to glide right past them.

And… okay …so maybe just about everyone in this book is totally hot, and the storyline was often predictable…

Am I selling you on this book yet?

But, here’s where I think this story truly thrived :

It was so much freaking fun!

I laughed…
I swooned…
I wanted to be friends with the majority of the characters and drop-kick the rest!
I'd put the book down and couldn't wait to pick it back up again.

This story hooked me without the presence of a highly original plot, and I think there’s something major to be said about that.

It's simple, and doesn't try too hard or bombard us with a dozen over-the-top scenarios—and I really enjoyed that.

The characters are incredibly entertaining and allow you to warm up to them immediately. Their flaws are intense without feeling forced, and quickly become endearing.

This is one of those books that invites you to just sit back and enjoy the ride. And even though it’s not completely smooth sailing, the tension-filled angst wasn't overdone, and added much excitement.

A pinch of the plot, since the blurb in this case does its job well: Music major, Hannah, has been through a traumatic event—one that has basically crippled her love life, and for good reason.

But she forges ahead and soon her sights are set on the school’s star football player, Justin. Only, there’s no way Justin would ever notice someone with her lowly social status...

So when the very “popular”, very sexy, and very flirty lady’s man, Garret, offers to help Hannah gain the attention of her crush in exchange for some Ethics tutoring, “The Deal” is born…

The sexy trail of events that take place after are nothing short of awesome, and the perspectives alternating between hero and heroine are implemented with distinguishability, as well as believability.

Slight gripe:As much as I enjoyed this read, there was a certain “trigger” incorporated that I became a bit conflicted with. Click spoiler to see trigger:

On the one hand, this element was vital in explaining certain behavior, but there were times it seemed to lack a little conviction.

HOWEVER, that’s just this gal’s opinion, as I’m certain others will perceive this aspect quite differently.

In sum, I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who longs for a little fun in their romantic fiction. And for all you book-boyfriend collectors—this hero DOES NOT disappoint!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪  Genre/Category: Romance/New Adult
▪  Steam Caliber: Quite steamy
▪ Romance: Slow build. Enemies, to friends, to lovers.
▪  Characters: Well fleshed out and lovable.
▪  Plot: Hero makes a deal with heroine to help gain the attention of her crush. College setting.
▪ Writing: Simplistic and fun. Humorous.
▪ POV: 1st Person: Alternating perspectives between hero and heroine.
▪  Cliffhanger: Nope! Complete story.
▪  Next Installment: Spinoff (Logan)
▪  HEA?

Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,658 reviews3,254 followers
March 31, 2021
5 Face Palming, HardCore Loving Stars
* * * * * Spoiler Free OMG OMG OMG THIS IS FREE!!!!
Elle Kennedy has been a go-to author for me whenever I wanted something with an easy-to-follow plot and a very sensual, spicy, sexy man. The woman would be complete, not weak, focused, either on work, relationship... or lack thereof... and have friends to back her up. Real people... with love stories that were HOT! In all of her work I have read, I felt she had a very keen grasp on what worked for these stories. In other words, if I was reading a Kennedy... I knew I was in good hands.

Well, Ms. Kennedy has written one of the best New Adult "college" stories I have read. She has taken all of the normal conflicts...and then raised the bar. Because her characters are two complete, fully formed adults. They have purpose; they have attainable goals. They have experienced individually horrible situations and through their inner strength worked to be as Whole as they can. They do not whine; they do not play "the woe is me card"... and they would have every single reason to. No... they confronted their demons, worked to "get over" them, and are ready to get on with life.

Let's pause for a moment and give thanks... ok.

We have Hannah; from a small town with two loving, everyday parents.
They both work and support the career goals of their talented singer/songwriter daughter. They were middle class, worked hard to own a home and be part of a community. Due to a horrific event with Hannah... they lost everything... they lost their financial security, their standing in the community and church, and their freedom to leave due to the housing crisis. They cannot sell, so both parents are working low-end jobs and getting by.

With all of that, though, they stand behind their daughter... give her the emotional support she needs, and just are there for her even though they are miles away. It is with this type of love, Hannah is who she is. She is a girl who has been challenged like many... hurt like many, yet through counseling and fortitude, learned to do as she was guided... "Take Baby Steps". She is a very pretty, natural girl. Extremely talented in the musical arts and when she sings the world drops away. She is a junior in the music program at Briar University on full scholarship. This does not pay for her food, books, and other living expenses. She also waits tables at a 50's inspired diner not far from campus. She shares her dorm room with her friend who is always trying to get her out and to parties. They both look after each other.

Hannah has had some experience with guys but nothing has given her the feelings she is able to get on her own...it is like she is blocked... or in her words... broken. The only interest she has had lately in the opposite sex is this new Football player on Campus... he fights the usual image by letting it be known he loves Hemingway! Hannah has a class with him... stares at him from behind pages and gets tongue-tied whenever an opportunity should happen for her to talk with him.

She is in this daze when Garrett Graham knocks into her...UGH...he is the Big man on Campus... Captain of the Hockey team and gorgeous... pantie- dropping-I-want gorgeous. Every woman on campus wants him; whether as a Puck Bunny... because of the status of doing a player... or because he is beautiful man meat...and the status of doing him and what he will be in the future... Because he is on the fast track to Pro Hockey... at least he was until this friggin class with this sub teacher... A class that was supposed to be easy but now is going to ruin his GPA and keep him off the team.

Garrett comes from Hockey royalty... his father is famous..a record-breaking professional player with an image the public loves... too bad the public doesn't know about the private person; the controlling, abusive man who drilled Garrett day in and day out since he could hold a stick. For Garrett, he hates the man for what he has done to his mother, to him, and to the game...but the one saving grace is the ice and game... for his real family is his team. He is a senior and soon he will be on his way... able to fly on the ice, able to breathe finally away from the control of his dad... so he cannot let any F mess with the goals so close within reach.

With an F to makeup and the scattered mess he made of Hannah's stuff... he sees an A on her midterm paper. Garrett knows what must happen... he needs Hannah to tutor him for the makeup exam... and he is determined to have her do it. When he makes up his mind about anything... there is no end until he reaches his goal...

Hannah has no use for Garrett. She has no desire to be around him or help him. She has experienced with her arts/drama click how the "Jocks" treat them... no thank you. She has other things on her mind... like pursuing her football guy.

She shuts down Garrett as nicely as she can... and he is stunned... he uses the puppy dog-eyed look..nothing. He uses the sweet smile... not a budge... he will have to re-group. He goes to her diner and sits in her area. Damn... she has to wait on him... again... nothing he says is working... she won't take money, says she has no time because of her winter program contest with a $5,000 win...he is getting flustered...and then it hits him...

Mr. Football... He knows she is interested in this guy...and knows he has the bait... he will pretend to date her so she is seen as taken, popular, and out of reach... everything a guy sees and makes him interested. It takes some convincing but finally Hannah is on board. She will only tutor him for this one make-up mid-term...he will take her around to a frat party he knows this guy will be ... make it look like they are together and hook her up with a date with her goal guy. Easy peasy....

Except we all know what is coming... don't we...

Well, what happens next may follow the outline of these types of college stories... But really doesn't because what happens next is written with such humor, crass, fun, and then most importantly Grace... yes grace...

Because both these two have scar tissue to work through... hidden secrets which are revealed to each other... and in this getting to know one another...a true and authentic friendship develops over time. Joking and hanging out. Becoming friends with Garrett's team members. Garrett appreciating all the beauty and talent which is Hannah... no affectations... no hidden agendas, just an amazing woman who is honest and caring. Who see him not as just the hockey star but as the guy who is smart, loves history, and applies himself.

There are secondary issues addressed in this story besides the love story of these two... and they intertwine seamlessly. They address all of the ugly in the world; parental violence, domestic abuse, sexual violence, bullying, and drugging. All of these factors could have been overdone or felt like an add-on... but as I said earlier... this story had the deft hand of Kennedy and we were lead through all of this well.

I would be remiss if I did not mention how sensual, hot, and downright bookorgasmic the scenes were between Garrett and Hannah. This was not insta-lust... this was a slow build to real. Garrett was a dream man... and the care and instincts he used in handling what was presented to him by Hannah were perfect...and hot and steamy... and laundry inducing.

So what we have here is a New Adult book that treats its readers as if they are smart enough to follow a story without being manipulated unnecessarily. Is there some angst... yes. Is there some conflict... yes. BUT is it resolved without gut-wrenching long drawn out mindless crazy. It happens and then it is fixed.

The fantastic news is this is the first in a new series for Kennedy. All of the secondary characters here were interesting and have enough personalities to give us stories to come. I cannot wait.

The Deal (Off-Campus, #1) by Elle Kennedy The Deal (Off-Campus, #1)
The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2) by Elle Kennedy The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)
The Score (Off-Campus, #3) by Elle Kennedy The Score (Off-Campus, #3)
The Goal (Off-Campus, #4) by Elle Kennedy The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)
The Legacy (Off-Campus, #4.5) by Elle Kennedy The Legacy (Off-Campus, #4.5)

~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~
Do most NA books make you want to bang your head against a wall?

Do you get annoyed with male and female characters who should just know better and get a clue?

Well, I am here to announce Elle Kennedy has broken the barriers of the NA curse... She has written a smart, compelling, and real book about college seniors who you fall for hook, line, and sinker at the first meeting...

Oh... did I mention our guy is the captain of the Hockey team...and the gal... the best little singer/musician with wit, charm, and strength.

And meet them you will... closer to review time...

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

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