Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

The Score by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, Book 3
Publisher: Elle Kennedy
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 11, 2016
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

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 Di-Laurentis 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.

Like its hero, The Score should come with a warning: too sexy for words. Elle Kennedy has pulled off a hat trick – this third Off-Campus novel is as swoon-worthy, funny, and utterly addictive as The Deal and The Mistake.

I’ll be honest, going into The Score I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Dean. I knew from the first two Off-Campus books that he was cocky, brazenly sexual, and fun to read about, but I wondered if he had the makings of a good hero. I shouldn’t have doubted Ms. Kennedy for a second. Dean isn’t just a good hero, he’s a great one. The first two books in the series only show the tip of the iceberg, the face Dean shows to the world. He is shameless, loves sex, is funny, and “Confidence” could be one of his middle names. But he’s also extremely smart, self-aware, honest, and has an incredibly big heart. He has a liveliness that simply springs off the page and yes, he practically oozes sensuality, but it’s the way he wholeheartedly cares for people – and how he shows he cares without even seeming to realize it – that sealed the deal for me.

It takes a strong heroine to hold her own on the page when the hero is Dean, and Allie is definitely up to the task. She’s incredibly talented, hardworking, and funny – the kind of heroine you would love to be friends with. She’s at a crossroads in her life when she first hooks up with Dean, and I loved watching her find her way and grab hold of her future over the course of the story. It may be a spur-of-the-moment hookup that brings Dean and Allie together, but it’s clear from the start (to readers, if not to the characters themselves) that these two have the potential to go the distance. Their chemistry, banter, and emotional connection made the pages of the story fly by. And watching Allie and Dean bring out the best in each other and grow both as individuals and as a couple was fantastic. As a pair, they’re by turns sweet, hilarious, and heartwarming. It also would be an absolute crime not to mention their erotic connection. Because The Score is off-the-charts hot, with Dean and Allie steaming up the page right and left like nobody’s business.

The Score is both a sexy-as-sin romance and story about growing up, and the two elements blend seamlessly thanks to Ms. Kennedy’s talent. Dean and Allie face serious obstacles and real life issues that aren’t easy to handle. What makes the story work is that they don’t always handle things perfectly. Allie and Dean are flawed, and they recognize that, which makes them endearing and interesting. I can’t say more without spoiling the story, so suffice it to say that there’s not a storyline in this book that isn’t compelling. On a lighter note, it would be remiss of me not to mention Dean’s roommates, Garrett, Logan, and Tucker, along with Allie’s best friend, Hannah. The secondary characters light up the page even more, adding more heart and a number of moments that made me grin. I dare fans of the series old and new not to be charmed by our favorite Briar students. Add in a curveball involving Tucker that I did not see coming and it’s a guarantee that I’m not going to be the only reader who can’t wait to read the next Off-Campus book. While I wait, I’m more than happy to fall in love with Allie and Dean all over again with multiple re-reads of The Score.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.