Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, Book 2
Publisher: Elle Kennedy
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance The Mistake Cover
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

He’s a player in more ways than one…
College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…
After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

There is NO sophomore slump for Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. The Mistake is by turns sexy, snappy, heartbreaking, and swoon-worthy. Grace and Logan will grab your heart from the first and not let go, so be prepared to read The Mistake in one sitting because you won’t want to put the book down.

Grace is a smart, funny heroine with a propensity for babbling that I adored. She’s been living in her best friend’s shadow at the beginning of The Mistake, but her first few encounters with Logan are, in many ways, the catalyst for her change. Watching her come out of her shell and take charge of more than her academics was incredibly entertaining. Grace is a heroine you can relate to, and when you add that to her innate likeability there’s no doubt that you’re rooting for her to find happiness with Logan. And speaking of the gorgeous hockey player, when we last left Logan in The Deal, he was obviously longing for Hannah, his best friend’s girlfriend. I’ll admit up front that heroes in love with their best friend’s significant other is one of my least favorite romance tropes. I’m a big fan of Ms. Kennedy’s, so though I was wary, I started the book hoping she’d blow my doubts over Logan as a hero out of the water. And boy, does she ever. Ms. Kennedy takes what could have been a tired (and often unsatisfying) trope and shatters all expectations of Logan’s reasoning. I loved watching Logan (with the help of Garrett and Hannah) sort out a problem that was obviously causing him pain. Logan is a great guy and a loveable hero, but he’s also undeniably mixed up for a number of reasons in the beginning of the story. It’s because he’s trying his best to be a good person in the midst of his confusion that he hurts Grace. Though my heart broke for her at the time and I understood her reticence to give Logan a second chance, I really liked that Ms. Kennedy also made me understand why Logan screwed up so that I was cheering for him to win her back.

When the new school year starts and Logan sets out to make things right with Grace, The Mistake goes from incredibly entertaining to utterly fabulous. I can’t count the number of times I grinned or outright laughed over Logan’s determined wooing of Grace, or the help/teasing he got from his best friends. As a couple, Logan and Grace are dynamite. They’re mature, but in a way that is consistent with their age, and it’s easy to be swept away by their hot, heartfelt love story. But the second half of The Mistake isn’t all sexy, fun, romance – though there’s plenty of all of that which is why the book is insanely addictive. There’s also the painful reality of what Logan will face once he graduates. Logan dreams of going pro, but can’t see hockey in his future with a family that needs him back at home after graduation. Love, duty, and dread are all warring inside him, a realistic and heartbreaking look at giving up your dreams because you’re needed. By the end of the story I was glued to the book not only because of the love story, but because I needed to see how Logan’s life would work out. I won’t reveal what happens, but suffice it to say that Ms. Kennedy makes the resolution satisfying and organic to the story.

The Mistake is the second book in the Off-Campus series, but you don’t have to have read The Deal to follow along. That being said, Garrett and Hannah, along with Logan’s other roommates, Dean and Tucker, are all strong supporting characters who provide lots of laughs and genuine support. All the major players in the Off-Campus series have bright personalities, but though they stood out, they never took the spotlight from Logan and Grace.

Elle Kennedy has a singular talent for writing books with off-the-charts heat, sarcastic humor, and truly memorable characters. The Mistake has all that and more and I cannot wait to see what’s next for the beloved Briar hockey players!

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.