***Warning, this may contain spoilers from the previous title in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my full review of book #1 – The Deal – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4 Stars
I’m quite happy I found these books to read when I was researching novels that take place on a college campus. Back in early 2018, when I’d begun planning out my WIP Story “When In Doubt” (check it out on the menu bar above), and this series came up as something to look into. It wasn’t well known, but anyone who’d read them said they were perfectly filled with fun & entertaining characters, plenty of hilarious & witty banter that makes you grin from ear to ear, and also plenty of steam mixed in together with sweet tenderness to make you believe in finding that special someone.
Now, they’re not the most progressive or original pieces of literature, but then again, a whole of other books aren’t either. For what they are, they’re some fun, lighthearted, sexy reads that fans of the New Adult Romance genre can enjoy!
They kind of popped up some memories of my own from my not too long ago college days, and being able to connect them with books like these was exactly what I was looking for concerning “research” for my own story. I swear, I read it for academic purposes, not just to drool over hot college hockey players ; )
What It’s About:
Continuing after the events of the previous title of the Off-Campus new adult romance series, this title revolves around college junior hockey player, John Logan, who we met as one of Garrett Graham’s housemates, teammates, and best friends. We meet a new character (among a few others) in Grace Ivers, a shy freshmen who has a hot and steamy encounter with John (aka: “Logan” because bro’s are nicknamed by their last names).
Logan is another big man on campus; everyone wants to be his best bud, and all the girls just want him, including some of the guys, and has never had a problem when it comes to finding a party. All the swagger and hookups hide the dread of the dead-end future he’s unfortunately come to accept once he eventually makes that walk to grab his diploma. He’s also dealing with the fact that he may be in love with his best friend’s girlfriend and doesn’t know what to do about it. He meets Grace completely by mistake (ayyyyyy) by literally stumbling into her dorm one night after a party, and from there starts a fun, sexy, but most importantly distracting fling that ends with a careless mistake that left them both surprisingly more affected than they both cared to admit.
The next fall when the new semester starts, they both return to campus as different people that both learned from their past mistakes. Logan, realizing he really has serious feelings for Grace, tries to win her back in almost every way possible. Grace, no longer the quiet and shy little freshmen out of her element, isn’t going to let the cocky and arrogant hockey player off that easy and plans to make him work for it if he’s serious about giving them another shot.
What I Liked:
- Logan’s side-story was more realistic! In this title, Logan has a bad home situation that he has come to accept as his inevitable future once he graduates, and I for one thought it was much more realistic conflict than in the previous book. Garrett had the manipulative/abusive father and Hannah was a sexual assault victim, and I’m not saying those aren’t real world struggles, but that they could’ve been handled better than the way they were. What I also liked about Logan and his character arc was how even though he felt he had this guillotine hovering above his head, waiting for it to drop, he still remained a stand up guy who had a few moments that truly make you laugh!
- Grace Gets Brave! Grace starts off as the shy, introverted, wallflower type girl who stutters and blushes anytime she’s near a cute guy, and of course has the sexy party girl as a (shitty) BFF. She was a little annoying at first, mainly because people gave her such obvious red-flags in their relationship with her and she was too blind to see. Luckily, a silver lining of the events that split her and Logan up the first time causes Grace to see what’s truly in front of her, and cause her to gain some attitude and be able to stand up for herself. She goes on vacation and comes back a new woman, and I really enjoyed that aspect of her development throughout the story.
- More Witty Banter! Elle Kennedy is becoming a favorite of mine when it comes to dynamics between characters and the way they interact with each other. The banter is hilarious as ever and can go from fun and carefree to hot and steamy the next and maybe even to sweet and tender afterwards. Its fresh, engaging and the author really knows how these college students talk, as one that graduated just back in May 2017, I can say it’s pretty spot on!
What I Didn’t Like:
- Plays Up The Stereotypes Too Much…Grace as the naive wallflower and Logan as the arrogant jock; yeah…..nothing too original. One things I can criticize is that the characters play arcs we’ve all seen dozens of times before, and probably will again in future titles. Another example was Grace’s incredibly extroverted friend; she served no huge purpose to the story other than plot convenience. This book is in the romance genre though, so take this criticism with a grain of salt; clichés come with the territory.
- Grace Doesn’t Have A Compelling Backstory…One thing Garrett and Hannah had in common was they both had some prior baggage that affected who they were as a person, Logan included with his home situation. Grace didn’t have anything like that. It made her feel less developed in a way compared to the other main characters, despite her growth in confidence and self awareness she gains.
Another great addition towards the series; it’s become a favorite of mine! It’s nothing to take too seriously, just another fun new adult romance that may make you roll your eyes a couple times but still enjoy nonetheless.
Both the main characters are easy to get behind and read about, and they have a sweet story here. It makes me look forward to see how the series will keep going, and who will end up with each other in the end; will characters we already know and have been around for some time be in the forefront, or will we get another character like Grace where they make their grand appearance for the debut of a new story? I still recommend this to anyone looking for a steamy, sweet, and hilarious romance novel that takes place on a College campus!
Thanks For Reading!
— Nick Goodsell