Publish Date: September 25th, 2016
Number of Pages: 354 Pages
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Romance
***Warning!!! This Review may contain spoilers from the previous books in this series, continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!!!***
To see my review of book #1 – The Deal – Click HERE
To see my review of book #2 – The Mistake – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
‘You know, I don’t think we’re dealing with a Bella’s-magical-blood situation here.’
‘No. I think you’ve imprinted on this girl’s pussy.’
… ‘What do you mean?’
‘I mean you’re facing a Jacob quandary. You imprinted on her pussy, and now it’s the only pussy you can think about. You exist solely for this pussy. Like Jacob and that weird mutant baby.’– Elle Kennedy, “The Score”
I mean, what else is there to say that I haven’t said before about this NA Romance series? It’s definitely up there in terms of high quality and utterly binge-worthy reads. They’re the perfect balance of humor and sexy and heartfelt. They’re so easy to get into and become absorbed by if they’re the type of book you want to read.
It’s been fun to read how each boy living in the house who we met all the way back in The Deal starring Garrett and Hannah are getting their own story, and this time it’s the blond, ultra rich lothario on the hockey team: Dean Di Laurentis. Something about him has made me interested when he’d get the spotlight, so I was so happy to finally get his after Garrett and Logan both got the spotlight for their bit. I was also happy to see that his love interest turned out to be Hannah’s roommate and best friend: Allie Hayes. The two of them have never really interacted up until this point, and I personally thought Sabrina was going to be his love interest based off their history, so I was curious as to how the author was going to bring them together, and I can definitely say she didn’t disappoint! Allie and Dean had some wicked chemistry that scorched the pages in all honesty.
The story itself flows pretty smoothly with it feeling like you could stop right at about the 50% mark and call it good there, and that’s just because right then and there everything seems to be going smoothly for the two main characters, so why read on and see it all fall apart, right? By that point, I was head over heels for both characters, and I was convinced this was my favorite book out of the bunch.
‘I’m adorable, first off. My sense of humor is stellar—obvs.’
‘Obvs,’ she echoes dryly.
‘I’m extraordinarily skilled in the art of conversation.’
She nods. ‘When it’s about yourself, of course.’
‘Of course.’ I pretend to think it over some more. ‘Oh, and I’m a mind reader. No lie. I always know what the other person is thinking.’
‘Yeah? What am I thinking right now?’ Allie challenges.
‘That you want me to shut up and fuck you again.’
She shakes her head in dismay. ‘Goddamn it. That’s actually what I was thinking.’
I smirk at her and tap my forehead. ‘Told ya. Mind reader.’– Elle Kennedy, “The Score”
Sure, the formula isn’t the most original, but we readers can all attest that a book doesn’t need to be immensely unique and a totally unheard of idea in order to be successful story! For this, we have the playboy jock who meets the sassy girl next door that knocks the guy on his ass unexpectedly, and (surprise) he’s the one who ends up pursuing her. Eventually, she caves in because he’s, like, sooooo hawt and BANG! Friends with Benefits, cuz that always works out… Inbetween hot sex sessions, they both realize there’s more to the other person and deny how they’re seriously falling for them. Outside forces, or their own inner insecurities come between them and for a while they’re convinced they’re better off without each other, but then get their heads out of their asses and realize that’s whack, so que HEA moment! It’s predictable, it’s familiar, but goddam does Elle Kennedy still somehow make a great story out of it!
This time around, the issues that the characters both face felt more realistic than the past books, and I felt they were also just handled a little better with more care too. You don’t have to have someone be a sexual assault victim in order to garner sympathy for them, so it’s great to see the writing get even better in that regard. The author is able to add a lot of depth to her characters in this regard and makes it feel like they’re actual people in your life that you’re experiencing everything happening with them.
Besides the romance, I love that this books also included more scenes about friendship, especially amongst all the male main characters who all live together. They tease each other, they get into actual fights, but at the end of the day they all know they have each other’s backs and know they’ll be there for each other when life gets incredibly heavy.
What It’s About:
The Official Blurb:
He knows how to score, on and off the ice…
Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean DiLaurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.
It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over…
Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls… he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world-and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.
What I Liked:
- Dean’s Douchebagery! Yeah I know…It seems weird that I’d put this under the “like” section, and to be honest I’d probably hate Dean in real life if I ever met him, but I have to give it to him that he owns up to it. He’s not a complete douchebag, I’d say he just more has douchebag tendencies. He’s got confidence and cockiness galore—which isn’t always a bad thing—he’s rich AF, and pretty much an Abercrombie/Hollister model straight out of the catalog, BUT at least he doesn’t use his looks or money to put others down or be a bully in any way. He’s not the greatest when it comes to women, but he is at least honest and upfront about his expectations going in, so you can’t exactly knock him for that either. At first he appears like the typical blond, rich player type, and he still kind of is, but there’s more below the surface and he never apologizes for who he is.
- Dean and Allie’s Chemistry! Elle Kennedy always is able to nail the romantic chemistry for her main characters, and this pairing was one I absolutely did not see coming until I started reading the book. While I was blind to it going in, very quickly was I all about the dynamic that develops between them. They’re thrown together in an odd situation, and then it ends up being Dean pursuing her, and Allie really makes him work for it before she gives into temptation. While it was hot and steamy, their relationship really went through a lot and they really become close as they glimpse into each other’s lives and accept each other for even the less than stellar moments. It was the perfect mix of humor. steam, and heart.
- The Scene in the Bathtub! In typical Elle Kennedy fashion, there’s a hilarious ongoing joke that happens in this book involving Dean in the bathtub. Can’t give too much away, but I absolutely howled when I first read this glorious scene, and loved all the crap Dean’s friends gave him because of it.
- The Realistic Inner and Outer Conflicts! Both characters felt so fleshed out in the issues they both dealt with while exploring their newfound relationship. Dean has always been dead set on going to Harvard to get a Master’s in Law because that’s just been the family expectation but begins to question what he really wants when he’s pulled into coaching a junior level kids team in his free time. Allie wants to become an actress and is trying to secure something past graduation all while getting over her ex of three years. One thing I also love was the inner dilemma of when the two main characters are worried about their real lives causing separation between them so they wonder how things will work out, but of course figure out some solution in the end!
What I Didn’t Like:
- Character Death…It’s not that it was a poor idea or horrible addition to the book itself, it was more just how sad it was! Someone dies in this book, and it truly shakes some of the cast to their core.
‘You’re lucky I love you, babe. If any other girl had done this to me –“
‘You love me? You just said it.’
‘I … Well, damn. I guess I did.’
‘Did you mean it? I want to hear it again.’
‘Aw shit, babe. Don’t make me say it again. It’s bad enough I said it first.’– Elle Kennedy, “The Score”
Another amazing addition to an amazing NA Romance series that I’m so glad I discovered when doing research on books similar to my current WIP. I definitely need to take tips from how Elle Kennedy writes romance, because I consider her to be top notch!
Now that Dean and Allie’s story has been told, it’s now officially onto the next and final book in this book series: Tuck. He’s the quiet ginger-haired chef of the house with southern charm to spare, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for him!
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell