Reviewed by Mandi
When I think of Elle Kennedy I think of hot Navy SEALs and broody men that own night clubs. But now, all I can think of is adorable new adult hockey romance that made me smile, and smile, and feel angst and smile some more. She has written an absolutely fabulous romance with two protagonists that are a joy to read.
Hannah Wells is in lust with a new transfer to her college named Justin. They take an ethics course together. Justin is on the football team but Hannah is pretty sure he isn’t your normal jock and that he has an intellectual side that might match hers. Hannah is pretty sure Justin doesn’t know she exists, but she has fun staring at him. What is not fun is the stubborn Garrett Graham. Captain of the hockey team, Hannah is sure that Graham is all jock and known for having women visit his bed all the time and living in a frat house with his teammates.
Fact: When you’re captain of a Division I hockey team that’s won two consecutive national titles, people know who you are. And women want to fuck you.
Garrett, a good student, has received an F on his most recent ethics test. That grade could jeopardize his GPA, meaning he would be benched for hockey, and his life would be a disaster. He knows Hannah got an A, and he wants to know how. He asks her to tutor him just for a week or two so he can retake the test and get a good grade. But she says no. So he asks again. And guess what? She says no. Not a lot of women have said no to Garrett.
“For the love of God, I’m not tutoring you.”
“Sure you are.” I shrug. “I just need to figure out what you want in return.”
“I want to not tutor you. That’s what I want.”
This goes on for a long time in the book and it made me giggle. Garrett has a wicked smart-ass mouth. He knows exactly what to say to Hannah to get under her skin, and he is relentless. But he isn’t a jerk or rude. He is just goofy and silly and he totally exasperates Hannah and it’s adorable and cute and I fell in love with them immediately. Garrett finally figures out the one thing Hannah wants – Justin (the football player). Garrett is NOT a fan of Justin, but he knows that if Hannah is seen on a date with him, Justin will notice her, and pursue her. He tries to tell Hannah this is the kind of guy Justin is, but she has it in her head he is an upstanding gentleman. So Garrett makes a deal – she tutors him for a week so he can pass his test, and he will take her on a date to a big party where Justin will be. She reluctantly agrees.
One thing I love about this book is that Garrett and Hannah are truly just friends for a while. Hannah really does have lustful feelings towards Justin and wants to pursue him. Hannah truly thinks Garrett is a dumb jock with dumb jock friends at the beginning – but she isn’t snobby. At all. She just wants to focus on her music major classes and prepare for a big vocal performance coming up. And while Garrett isn’t a big dumb jock, he still is a dude. *wink*
She continues to chatter my ear off as we go back to the living, but I don’t hear a single word. I’m too busy dealing with the truth bomb that’s just been dropped on my head.
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.
I also want to sleep with her.
Hannah honestly doesn’t have that much time to help tutor Garrett – but when he dangles Justin in front of her she agrees. And they start to meet to study. They realize they have a lot in common. They start to hang out and watch television and eat together and all of a sudden, true feelings start to develop – a surprise to them both.
You can say a lot of things about Garrett Graham, but he’s definitely a man of his word. He’s been glued to my side all night, guarding my drinks, waiting outside the bathroom for me, making sure I don’t get harassed by his friends or the locals we’ve met. He’s totally had my back, and because of him, I was able to lower my guard for the first time in a very long time.
God. I can’t believe I ever thought he wasn’t a good guy.
I haven’t even mentioned the dark pasts they both have! Oh yeah – we have dark pasts. Hannah was raped at the age of fifteen. While she has been in therapy and has started dating guys again and having sex, she has trouble fully letting go when having sex. Garrett’s father physically abused him and he still must deal with his presence after every hockey game. As the bond of friendship and love grow between Garrett and Hannah, so does the trust and the secrets start to come out. It’s not overly dramatic or overly angsty. Their dark pasts don’t completely steer their present day lives. They fight for that light they can share together, and the make it work.
She tries to take a step down the hall, but I tug on her hand and hiss her again, and this time it’s not a peck. 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 fiends and fucked other people without having this one important person in your life.
These two are just adorable together. They make me laugh. Their friends are an excellent part of this story. And when the romance does start, oh my , my , my. It’s soooooo sexy. One of the best romances I’ve read in a long time. I’m impressed Elle Kennedy. Super impressed.