THE DEAL by Elle Kennedy: Book Tour, Giveaway & Review

unnamedOff-Campus Book #1

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.

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Lovers. This hasn’t happened to me in a while. I am legit nervous about writing this review. All week, I have been telling my friends to read this book. And raving about it and gushing about how much I love it. But now that review time is here- I don’t know what to even say because I want you all to love this book. I want to make sure you read this review and run out and buy this book.

Because this book is amazing. I’m calling it my favorite read of 2015 so far. But I don’t know if it’s going to get knocked down because I love it so damn much.

Clearly by now you’re asking- Why, Michelle? Why do you love it?

I’ll tell you.

Let’s start with the writing itself. It was perfection. Flawless. From page one- I was hooked. I wanted to know every bit of this story. It was so well written. This is what good editing will get you- rave reviews. But beyond the grammar, the story itself was captivating. The dialogue was fluid and natural and flowed off the page. And the banter had me in stitches, in tears or simply grinning like an idiot as these two characters went back and forth with one another.

In many ways- this is a friends to lovers story. It’s not a new story per say. I have read books about the cool guy helping the less cool girl out and falling in love which is essentially what you have here. But the thing is, our heroine, Hannah, isn’t uncool. She has a life and friends and she’s smart. She’s pretty and she carries herself with confidence. BUT the guy she wants is the new star of the football team. And while he seems like a nice guy- he’s been known to go after the cheerleader/sorority types that have a certain social standing.

So it’s armed with this information that our hero- Garrett- is able to convince Hannah to be his personal tutor. Garrett. You are going to fall in love with Garrett. And that is totally fine- but you can’t have him. He belongs to me.

Garrett is the star of the hockey team so he’s a big deal. But he’s not a dumb jock. He’s actually smart- just needs help in one class or else he might get suspended from the season. So he enlists Hannah but the thing is- Hannah is NOT interested. Until he dangles the perfect temptation of making her irresistible to her crush.

And so it begins. What I love about this is that Hannah and Garrett really do form a friendship. A few blurred lines turn into a total crossover of feelings. BUT it’s not an insta-love thing. In fact- desires stay physical just a bit longer and then…not so much.

And when the switch is flipped, I promise you are going to fall in love.

I feel like I’ve gone on for days by now so I’ll leave you with this. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is this. Both Hannah and Garrett have lived through some harsh trauma. Their stories are sad but instead of getting real and true closure- Elle Kennedy chooses to let our characters sort of live knowing that sometimes- things don’t get totally cleaned up. And that’s ok. Because no matter what happens to you- you can still chose to rise above it and move and. And life can still be beautiful.

Ok- I’m done. I promise I’ll return to my goofy self soon enough but for now- go read this book. Do it. I promise you will not regret it.



Thirty minutes before my shift ends, I find Garrett Graham in one of my booths.Seriously.

Does this guy ever give up?

I have no desire to go over there and serve him, but I don’t have much of a choice. Lisa,

the other waitress on duty, is busy tending to a group of faculty members at a table across the room, and my boss Della is behind the baby-blue Formica counter dishing out slices of pecan pie to three freshman girls sitting on the tall swivel stools.

I set my jaw and march up to Garrett, making my displeasure obvious as I meet his
twinkling gray eyes. He runs a hand through his cropped dark hair and flashes a lopsided grin.

“Hey there, Hannah. Fancy meeting you here.”

“Yeah, fancy,” I mutter, yanking my order pad out of my apron pocket. “What can I get

“A tutor.”

“Sorry, that’s not on the menu.” I smile sweetly. “We serve really good pecan pie,


“You know what I did last night?” he says without acknowledging the sarcasm.

“Yep. You were text stalking me.”

He rolls his eyes. “Before that, I mean.”

I pretend to think it over. “Um…you hooked up with a cheerleader? No, you hooked up

with the girls’ hockey team. No, wait, they’re probably not ditzy enough for you. I stick with my original guess—cheerleader.”

“Sorority sister, actually,” he says smugly. “But I’m talking about what I did before that.”

He raises one dark eyebrow. “But I’m very intrigued by your interest in my sex life. I can give you details about that another time if you want.”

“I don’t.”

“Another time,” he echoes in a dismissive tone, folding his hands on the blue-and-white-
checkered tablecloth.

He’s got big hands with long fingers, short nails, and knuckles that are slightly red and
cracked. I wonder if he’s been in a fight recently, but then I realize the busted-up knuckles are probably a hockey player thing.

“I was at study group yesterday,” he informs me. “There were eight other people there,
and you know what the highest mark in the group was?” He blurts out the answer before I can hazard a guess. “C-plus. And our combined average was a D. How am I supposed to pass this makeup if I’m studying with people who are as dumb as I am? I need you, Wellsy.”

Wellsy? Is that a nickname? And how on earth does he know that my last name is Wells?

I never told—argh. Damn sign-up sheet.

Garrett notices my surprised look and cocks his brows again. “I learned a lot about you in study group. Got your number, your full name, even found out where you work.”

“Congratulations, you really are a stalker.”

“Nope, just thorough. I like to know what I’m up against.”

“Jesus Harold Christ! I’m not tutoring you, okay? Go bug somebody else.” I point at the
menu in front of him. “Are you ordering? Because if not, then please go away and let me do my job in peace.”

“Jesus Harold Christ?” Garrett snickers before picking up the laminated menu and giving it a cursory glance. “I’ll have a turkey club.” He sets the menu down, then reaches for it again.

“And a bacon double cheeseburger. Just the burger, no fries. Actually, I changed my mind—yes to the fries. Oh, and a side order of onion rings.”

My jaw almost hits the floor. “You’re seriously going to eat all that?”

He grins. “Of course. I’m a growing boy.”

Boy? Nuh-uh. I’m only noticing it now—probably because I’ve been too distracted by
how insufferable he is—but Garrett Graham is all man. There’s nothing boyish about him, not his chiseled good looks or his tall frame or that ripped chest of his, which suddenly flashes to mind as I remember the picture he sent me.

“I’ll also take a slice of that pecan pie and a Dr. Pepper to drink. Oh, and some tutoring.”

“Not on the menu,” I say cheerfully. “But the rest is coming right up.”

Before he can argue, I abandon his booth and head to the back counter to place his order with Julio, our night cook. A nanosecond later, Lisa rushes over and addresses me in a hushed

“Oh my God. You know who that is, right?”


“It’s Garrett Graham.”

“I know,” I answer dryly. “That’s why I said yep.”

Lisa looks outraged. “What is wrong with you? Why aren’t you freaking out right now?

Garrett Graham is sitting in your booth. He talked to you.”

“Holy shit, he did? I mean, his lips were moving, but I didn’t realize he was talking.”

I roll my eyes and walk over to the drink station to pour Garrett’s drink. I don’t look his
way, but I can feel those smoky gray eyes following my every movement. He’s probably sending ​t​elepathic orders for me to tutor him. Well, too bad for him. There’s no way I’m wasting the little spare time I have on a college hockey player who thinks he’s a rock star.

Lisa trails after me, oblivious to my sarcasm and still gushing about Graham. “He’s so
gorgeous. Like unbelievably gorgeous.” Her voice lowers to a whisper. “And I hear he’s
amazing in bed.”

I snort. “He probably started that rumor himself.”

“No, Samantha Richardson told me. She hooked up with him last year at the Theta
kegger. Said it was the best sex of her life.”

I have no response, because I couldn’t care less about the sex life of some girl I don’t
even know. Instead, I shrug and hold out the Dr. Pepper. “You know what? Why don’t you take his booth?”

The way Lisa gasps, you’d think I just handed her a check for five million dollars. “Are
you sure?”

“Yep. He’s all yours.”

“Oh my God.” She takes a step forward as if she’s going to hug me, but then her gaze
darts to Garrett and she appears to have second thoughts about broadcasting her terribly unwarranted joy. “I owe you so big for this, Han.”

I want to tell her that she’s actually doing me the favor, but she’s already dashing toward
the booth to wait on her prince. I watch in amusement as Garrett’s expression clouds over at

Lisa’s approach. He picks up the glass she sets in front of him, then meets my gaze and slants his

As if to say, you’re not getting rid of me that easily.



A RITA-award nominated 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 publishes with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Harlequin Blaze, Samhain Publishing, and NAL. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!


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