Book Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Garrett Graham is the captain of the hockey team at Briar University. He also just flunked his Philosophy Ethics midterm. He needs to maintain a C+ average to keep playing. Luckily, his professor is allowing students to take a makeup exam.

Hannah Wells is a singer/songwriter at the same Ivy League School. She just aced her midterm.

Their meet-cute happens when Garrett helps Hannah gather her items after she stumbles outside of the classroom. He spots her grade on the exam and tries to charm her into tutoring him.

“C’mon, do me a solid. If I fail this makeup, my GPA will implode. Please?” I flash a smile, the one that makes my dimples pop out and never fails to make girls melt.
“Does that usually work?” she asks curiously.
“What?”
“The aw-shucks little boy grin…Does it help you get your way?”
“Always,” I answer without hesitation.

Well, it doesn’t work on Hannah. But Garrett doesn’t give up. He comes into her workplace and again tries to charm her into tutoring him. When that fails, he texts her. There’s a cute exchange between them which involves Garrett sending her a pic of his chest. Yet again, she declines to help him.

They meet again at a frat party. Garrett figures out that she has a crush on Justin Kohl, wide receiver for the football team. He doesn’t think Hannah has a chance with Justin because she doesn’t have social status. Of course, Garrett offers to help change that.
He takes her to huge bash and she to tutor him. She reluctantly agrees.

Through the tutoring sessions, they get to know each other and a friendship builds along with a growing attraction. One of Hannah’s secrets is that she was raped in high school and can’t obtain an orgasm. Garrett helps her with this, in stages. Which she doesn’t like.

“Let’s have sex,” she announces.
“No.”
“What do you mean, no?” she demand.
“Tonight was a big step for you, but I think that’s how we need to handle it from now on. In steps.”

Garrett also has secrets of his own which involve his father. He has told no one but eventually opens up to Hannah about it.

This book may sound like many of the NA books out there, but what makes this book shine how Elle Kennedy writes it. There is cute, funny banter between Garrett and Wellsy (the nickname that Garrett gives her.) Yes, they have tragic pasts, but they don’t allow it to rule who they are. It’s also very sweet and heartbreaking as Garrett and Wellsy try to decide if what they feel for each other is just an intense sexual attraction or possibly something more.

There are so many great scenes in this book, from the interactions with Hannah and Garrett’s friends, to Garrett Googling how to help Hannah with her first orgasm to the penis locker room.

I was charmed by Wellsy and Garrett’s story and smiled and chuckled through most of it. Fortunately, this is the start of series and I can’t wait for the the next book.

4.5/ 5 stars

ARC provided by author.

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