Having tried both new adult and adult contemporary romance by Elle Kennedy, I definitely prefer the former. I will be purchasing the next book(s) in her Off Campus series as soon as they become available or I have less than 10 books in my To Be Read pile, whichever comes first.
Cheat From Amazon: 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. 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.
I am guessing that the study partner/jock trope in New Adult romance is the equivalent of an arranged marriage/rake trope in not-new adult romance, and it’s one I happen to really enjoy. Two people are plonked together and inevitably find their way to love. Garrett pursues Hannah quite diligently to be his tutor and then confidently to be her boyfriend.
The Deal is the book I am currently making a point of loaning to friends. Wading into the new adult romance genre, I’ve been zooming around Amazon trying to find good books. Kristin Callihan’s Game On series was a good start, (thanks, Malin) but Kennedy’s books are even better and the stellar reviews are warranted. The characters feel real, the story telling is sincere, and they’re a lot of fun.
The Mistake (Logan/Grace)
Cheat From Amazon: 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. 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.
This second book in Kennedy’s Off Campus series had both a lighter tone and a little more melodrama than The Deal; fortunately, it was balanced with a heavy dose of humour and a willingness to take time (ARE YOU LISTENING OTHER ROMANCE AUTHORS?) to build the relationship. Grace and Logan are thrown together and experience instant chemistry, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have issues to sort through first individually and then as a team. Logan was sweet and determined in his own cheeky way, while Grace always knew who she was, but learned to trust herself before being able to trust Logan. It’s not quite as good as The Deal, but it was worth reading and time will tell if I feel like revisiting it.
Next up in the Off Campus series is The Score about the guy who has spent the past two books getting busy with women in Logan and Garrett’s living room. He’s insouciant and louche and I was very curious to read his story and find out why he never actually brings women to his bedroom.