Author: Elle Kennedy

Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

Posted September 6, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Chase by Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly
The Chase (Briar U, #1) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 6, 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 377
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Goodreads
three-stars

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

The Chase is the latest contemporary new adult release by Elle Kennedy. I’ve been dying for Elle Kennedy to return to this world. I loved the Off-Campus series and I was so excited when I saw she was releasing Summer and Fitzy’s book. Although we met Fitzy in the Off-Campus series, this stands alone just fine.

Summer has been crushing on Collin Fitzgerald for a few months. A New Years Eve party gives her the perfect chance to see if their chemistry is everything she thinks it’ll be. When things go awry, she ends up kissing another hockey player, Hunter, instead. Her living plans fall through a couple weeks before she’s supposed to start at Briar U, and she ends up rooming with Fitzy, Hunter and one other guy, so things get pretty complicated. She and Fitzy are still dancing around each other, but Hunter makes it clear he’s interested..and how. Summer wants to like Hunter, but unfortunately it’s Fitz who has her attention.

Fitzy really wants Summer, but he doesn’t want to want her. He’s a quiet introvert, and someone like Summer who is always in the spotlight just isn’t for him. He keeps saying and doing the wrong thing with her, but somehow he can’t seem to stay away. When push comes to shove, can he stand his ground and be with someone like Summer? Or is it too late for them?

I really wanted to like this story. I went into it with high expectations, but in the end I was left feeling like the book was unfinished. There were too many open threads and unresolved plot-lines. More, I really disliked the love-triangle between Hunter, Summer and Fitz. I feel like Summer spent the majority of the book leading Hunter on, while Fitz lied about how the way was clear because he didn’t want her. The first time I read the book, I was glad Summer and Fitz got together, but I read it a second time and I couldn’t get over how poorly they both treated Hunter. As a friend, teammate and roommate, he deserved more from them.

I also felt like the sleazy professor bit was unfinished. Or maybe the final resolution was just unsatisfactory. I wish we’d seen the fallout of that on page. I also wish we’d seen more than just a lame apology from her adviser.

In terms of the romance, I really enjoyed Summer and Fitz together. The push-pull of their relationship was wonderfully done. I loved how different they were, yet how compatible for all that. I really liked that Fitz was a nerdy introvert. I also really liked Summer. Her ADHD was explained well, and I loved that she and her family were so close. The conversations between her and her parents had me cracking up. My heart also broke for her as she struggled with her self-confidence about her smarts. She was a confident woman in many aspects of her life, but the inferiority she felt because of her ADHD came across so well, my heart really went out to her. There’s so great humor in this book, too. Fitz and Summer kept getting interrupted during sex and I laughed out loud a couple times over it.

While I loved parts Fitz and Summer’s romance, the way they handled things with Hunter, coupled with the unfinished feel of other parts, sullied the story overall. Without that, I’d probably have given it a 4. As it is, I have to go with:

3.0 out of 5

Even so, I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Briar U

three-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Posted August 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Deal by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
The Deal (Off-Campus, #1) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #1
Also in this series: The Deal (Off-Campus, #1), The Deal (Off-Campus, #1), The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2), The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2), The Score (Off-Campus, #3), The Score (Off-Campus, #3), The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2015
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
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Goodreads
five-stars

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.

This book was fucking amazing. Ah-maze-ing. That’s right. Amazing.

I didn’t have high hopes after reading The Year We Hid Away. I should have had faith in Elle Kennedy though. Why? Because she’s Elle Fucking Kennedy. That woman knows how to write a book. I’m not usually into this “New Adult” crap, but after reading this book, I plan to continue to read every single thing that she has written thus far.

Garrett Graham is a star hockey player. He’s also misunderstood. No, he really is. Everyone sees him as the son of a Stanley Cup winner. They don’t understand how much his abusive childhood has affected him. Hell, even Garrett doesn’t fully understand how it has affected his every day life. That is until Hannah Wells comes into his life.

Garrett only needs Hannah to tutor him. If he doesn’t pull up his grade in Ethics, he will be suspended from the hockey team. Only Hannah tells him no, which shocks Garrett to no end. She isn’t impressed by him, him status or, well, him. At all. So he makes her a deal. He will help her get the guy she’s crushing on if she helps him bring his grade up. Win-win. Until he starts falling for her.

Hannah has her own demons. When she was fifteen, she was drugged and raped at a party. What came after is only the stuff of nightmares. She’s mostly dealt with everything, but she still has a little problem when it comes to sex. She can’t have an orgasm. After a few weeks of studying with Garrett and a seriously hot kiss, Hannah propositions Garrett. Which sounds sleazy, but it was anything but.

These two were just made for each other. Garrett comes to the realization that hockey isn’t everything. Hannah realizes how wrong she was about Garrett. He’s not just some dumb jock. This book is so damn funny. I was sitting on the beach, literally laughing my ass off and people were looking at me like I was insane. I didn’t care. I was enjoying the book too much. Any author that can make me laugh like that is a keeper in my book. So thank you, Elle Kennedy. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Off-Campus

five-stars


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Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Posted January 2, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly
Good Boy (WAGs, #1) by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGs #1
Also in this series: Stay
Publisher: Rennie Road Books, Self-Published
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 269
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody - absolutely nobody! - can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor, and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

I somehow missed this series when it was first released. I ended up reading Stay first, then picking this one up recently when it was on sale (along with the audio) for the Kindle. I’m so sorry I skipped this one the first time around. Blake was hilarious. I loved him. I liked Jess, too, but Blake really stole the show. I thought, based on the way he acted in Stay, that he’d be manic and annoying. That wasn’t the case, though. He was just a big, lovable guy.

Blake and Jesse hooked up while they were taking care of Jess’s sick brother. Blake is anxious for a repeat, but Jess isn’t about it. Which just means he has to convince her. Since she’s maid of honor and he’s best man at her brother’s wedding, he has plenty of time.

Jess has always felt like the underachiever in her family. So telling them she wants to change careers – again – isn’t high on her list of favorite things to do. But she’s finally settled on nursing school and she’s feeling really good about it. Blake is a distraction she doesn’t need. When they’re living in the same city and she doesn’t know many people, it’s hard to avoid him. And let’s be honest..she doesn’t really want to.

This book was so good. As I said, I adored Blake. He was such a sweetheart. For all his talk of being a player, at his core he was a stand-up kind of guy. He’d do anything for his friends and often sacrificed his own happiness for those around him. Jess always felt inadequate next to her overachieving family. I liked how she came into her own. She gained confidence in herself and stopped worrying so much about measuring up to her family. Together they were wonderful. Great chemistry and a solid foundation. I couldn’t get enough of them.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted July 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Joint Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Stay by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGS #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 295
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Goodreads
four-stars

Can you fall in love with someone you've never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch--an anonymous virtual assistant service--is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it's against the rules for her to check his file, she's 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting...until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He's still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth--that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won't show her pretty face.

But it's nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can't fix. Hailey can't resist the offer. Matt can't resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn't have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Rowena: This month, Holly and I are reviewing Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. Stay is the second book in their WAGS series and it features Matty Cakes Eriksson and Hailey Taylor Emery.

Hailey is a total hockey fan. She’s loyal to her team and has the biggest crush on Matt Eriksson. She also runs a virtual assistant business and one of her biggest clients is Matt Eriksson. At least she thinks he is. She doesn’t know for sure because he marked the privacy box on his initial form but she’s pretty sure Sniper87 is Matthew Eriksson, the star of all of her fantasies.

Matt is divorced and with the help of his virtual assistant, he’s building a home that his kids will feel comfortable in when they come to stay with him. He couldn’t do half of what he’s doing without his virtual assistant, HTE and he’s developed his own crush on her. He finds himself flirting with her and wanting to meet her. Whether it’s a good idea or not is the question…

What did you think of the book, Holly?

Holly: I really liked it. Somehow I skipped the first book in the series, so this is my first taste of the WAGs. I really liked how well-blanaced the story was. Sometimes we were dealing with Hailey’s baggage, sometimes Matt’s. Sometimes it was the trials and tribulations of Hailey running her own company, sometimes Matt’s hockey schedule.

I thought it was cute how they both sort of anonymously developed crushes on each other.

Rowena: I read the first book and think you should go back and read it. It was just a great as this book. It’s Blake and Jess’ book so seriously, go back and read it. 🙂

I agree with you on how well balanced this book was. I appreciated the hell out of that because I wasn’t left wanting more from either of the main characters so that was good. I really enjoyed getting to know both Matt and Hailey and thought they were too cute together.

What did you think about Matt’s ex-wife?

Holly: Honestly I don’t know what I think about her. On the one hand she was terrible to Matt, but on the other hand she apologized in the end and seemed to come around. I don’t know if I fully buy into how easy it was, though. One confrontation and all is well?

I thought Hailey’s relationship with her ex was more complicated and more ..real? I liked that it wasn’t easy for her to run the company with her ex, but they both worked hard to come to a good place together both personally and professionally, if that makes sense?

Rowena: I liked that Matt finally told her where to put her stupid judgments of the way that he fathers their girls but like you, I didn’t completely buy it. I think on Matt’s part, he said what he had to say and while he didn’t completely forgive her, he was done with her and her new boo. He had Hailey and the girls and that was enough for him.

Yeah, I liked reading about Hailey’s complicated life working with her ex-husband and when she opened his sex box, I laughed out loud. Because…damn.

Okay, am I the only person that thought Hailey’s pervy client was O’Connor? LOL.

Holly: OMG! I thought that too!! I just knew when they finally met him in person or was going to be O’Connor. I’m kind of disappointed it wasn’t. Haha

I think you’re right about the way Matt felt, I guess I’m more surprised that she was so quick to apologize after. Based on the way she acted throughout I fully expected her to continue to be a bitch.

I laughed out loud several times. The incident with her ex’s sex toys had me rolling.

I really loved Jenny and the friendship between her and Hailey. I’d love to see her get a book. Do you think O’Connor and the figure skater will be next?

Rowena: Haha, I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one. I mean, I get that O’Connor needs to be redeemed because I knew that he was going to get his own book, but it still would have been funny if that pervy client was him. I do think that the next book is going to be him and the figure skater.

Who else do you think is going to get a book? I can’t tell.

I really like Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy writing together. I hope they continue writing all of the books because I loved all of the books that I’ve read by them so far.

I liked Jenny too but who would she get with? Lemming? Was that his name? I forgot already. LOL.

Holly: I’m not sure who else will get book either. Definitely O’Connor and the figure skater. And I hope Jenny. Aside from that i have no clue.

You mean Lemur? Haha. That would be hilarious. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I really liked the friendships between the women (Jenny and Hailey, plus the WAGs) and the men (Matt with his teammates) and the romance. I liked how well balanced it was. I did think the situation with his ex-wife was resolved a little too easily, but that was a minor complaint.

I’m giving thus a 4 out of 5. You?

Do you think Jackson and Melinda will get a book?

Rowena: It’s got to be someone on the team because the series is called WAGS so whoever gets a book has to be a WAG, right? That’s why I don’t think Jackson and Melinda will get a book. Jackson isn’t a hockey player so he can’t make Melinda a WAG.

Yeah, Lemur or the guy that they call Lemur cause I know that’s not his name either.

Same. I think that Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy need to write books together forever. I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to more. I was talking with Nath the other day and she mentioned how similar this book was to Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen and I agree that the stories are pretty similar but it didn’t bother me. I enjoyed both books and thought that there were enough differences for both books to stand out for me.

For me, this book was a 4.25 out of 5 read. Good stuff!

Holly’s Grade: 4 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Posted April 25, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Midnight Target by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #8
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive, Midnight Target
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Score and Midnight Revenge...

Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.
As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first they have to make it home alive.

I’m really sad that this book marks the end of our Killers Instincts journey. It’s been a wild and bumpy ride and I adored every, well almost every minute of it. So many people in this world found their true love while blowing shit up and killing bad guys and at the end of the day, that’s pretty freaking fantastic.

This book follows two couples as they circle each other toward that elusive happy ending. These guys fought their feelings for so long that it was great to finally get somewhere where they were concerned. Cate and Ash’s romance is one that I low key struggled with in this book because for a huge chunk of the story, I wanted to kick Cate’s ass. She was a complete brat with a shitty attitude that pissed me off left and right in the beginning. I’m glad that she finally comes around and stops being a little shit but by that time, I was so over her and fully invested in everything else that was happening.

I struggled a bit with Ash’s devotion to Jim Morgan. I understood it but I wanted him to get over himself and tell Jim point blank that he wasn’t messing around with Cate. It was beyond obvious that he was in love with her, almost from the very beginning and I wish that he would have had a little faith in Jim…let Jim know where you stand as far as his daughter goes and stop being a little scaredy cat. As dumb as I thought Ash acted, he was still sexy as hell. Haha. I adored how alpha he was and how determined he was to protect his boo, even when she was being a freaking shit-head. Their romance wasn’t my favorite part of this book but I enjoyed everything else so I wasn’t too disappointed in that.

Liam and Sully have been circling each other for some time now and Liam’s got it pretty bad for the hottie Australian. Their story starts a few books before this one and I loved seeing Liam come as far as he did, where his sexuality was concerned. I loved how fully he owned himself and his feelings in the end when things fell into place for him and Sully.

Their romance was hot and it was passionate and I completely adored the both of them. I loved seeing Sully doing better than the last time I saw him. I loved seeing Liam struggle and then get things right in the end. I also really liked that Liam stood up for himself and didn’t let Sully ruin love for him.

The overall story regarding the shit going down in Guatana was pretty entertaining too. I mean, I loved seeing everyone come together to help Jim Morgan. Holy cow, my heart hurt for Isabel, Holden and everyone else who was shitted on during the whole mission. But, Elle Kennedy did a great job of bringing everyone together and showcasing just how super this team was when they worked together.

So while Cate drove me nuts for a good chunk of the book, everything else made up for my frustrations with her. I’m sad that this series has come to an end but I thought this book ended the story on a high note.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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