Series: Briar U

Review: The Play by Elle Kennedy

Posted October 23, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Play by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
The Play by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #3
Also in this series: The Chase (Briar U, #1), The Risk (Briar U #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »

Genres: New Adult
Pages: 422
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A brand-new standalone novel in the New York Times bestselling Briar U series!

What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.

The Play is the third book in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series. We’re finally getting Hunter’s book. If you read the previous books in this series then you’ll remember Hunter. He got his heart broken by Summer in the first book and then he turned into a little playboy that pissed off the wrong guy and got his wrist broken in the second book but now he’s back and he’s finally getting his own person in the third book. I’m going to be honest and tell you guys that Hunter was not my favorite person in the last book, hell, even in the first book. He was super immature and I just wasn’t a fan but holy cow did he win me over in this book. I freaking adored him and I loved his friendship with Demi. I also really enjoyed the banter between Hunter and Demi and Hunter’s nickname for her. I cracked up every single time that he called her Semi.

That was the thing with this book that I just completely adored. The dialogue. I read a lot and not a lot of people can write realistic and really good dialogue between every character in their stories. Elle Kennedy can. I fall into whatever conversation happens in her books and that’s why I continue to love the hell out of them. This book is no different. Hunter and Demi were fabulous characters on their own but they were even better together and I really dug that.

Hunter’s character really came around for me. Like I said, I was not a big Hunter fan in the previous books but Elle turned things around for me where Hunter was concerned and I was here for all of his shenanigans. The whole celibacy thing cracked me up because it was SO extra but I really loved seeing Hunter have his teammates back, I loved seeing him care for Pablo and seeing him get closer with Demi. The whole psychology project that they were working on together was interesting and I enjoyed seeing Hunter play his role.

Demi was everything that I like in a New Adult heroine. She was strong, smart, and sexy without being boring and bitchy so I really appreciated Elle Kennedy’s efforts where Demi was concerned. I also liked that Demi was part Latina but an Americanized Latina. I know a lot of girls who come from diverse backgrounds but grew up in America so they don’t speak their native tongue as much anymore or they just never learned the language so I didn’t mind that we got a diverse heroine who was still pretty American. Demi could have been me, just Cuban instead of Samoan. I’m as brown as brown can be but I don’t speak Samoan often so I’m not exactly fluent in Samoan anymore.

There were two things that drove me crazy with this book and they were Demi’s parents and Demi’s ex-boyfriend. Actually, it was more Demi’s father than her mother but when he completely disregarded her feelings about sharing their family holiday with her cheating ex-boyfriend’s family, it pissed me off. Then when he shows up at school to tell Hunter off, that pissed me off too. I’m really glad that Hunter was able to get through to the father and make him see things from Demi’s point-of-view because I wanted to push Demi’s dad right off the roof. Don’t even get me started on Nico, the cheating ex-boyfriend. I just found him to be so miserably blah. I didn’t care for his character at all so when Demi was finally done with him, I was glad.

Overall, this book was a good one. It definitely engaged all of my feelings. My heart hurt for Hunter and finding out about his parents and home life. I was mad at Demi for her part in the shenanigans with Hunter’s celibacy. I was pissed to high heaven that Nico and his friends jumped Hunter and everything that happened with Nico but I rejoiced like crazy when they finally admitted to each other that they loved each other and I really loved when Demi became a part of the off-campus apartment dynamic. I enjoyed this one a lot though The Risk is still my favorite of the bunch. Still, if you’re a fan of Elle Kennedy’s books, a fan of the off-campus and Briar U series then you should definitely read this one. It’s good, I promise!

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Briar U

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: The Play by Elle Kennedy

Posted October 13, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Elle Kennedy writes such smart romances. I love the witty banter and smart women. I always get sucked right in. But I’ll be honest. I didn’t love how my boy Hunter was treated in the first book. I’m so excited to see him get his story.

Sunday Spotlight: The Play by Elle KennedyThe Play by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #3
Also in this series: The Chase (Briar U, #1), The Risk (Briar U #2), The Play
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 7, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 422
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

A brand-new standalone in the New York Times bestselling Briar U series!

She’s the player he never saw coming…

What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.

Excerpt

He’s obviously hiding something as he presses a few buttons on the machine to trigger the cool-down setting. When he glances at me again, his expression is sheepish. “I have a confession to make, but you have to promise not to be mad.”

“I will never promise that. Ever.”

“Seriously?

“Seriously. Tell me at your own peril.”

“Fine. I jerked off the other night—”

“Congratulations. Did your penis tingle when you came?”

“I wasn’t finished.”

“So you didn’t come?”

“I meant I wasn’t finished speaking,” he growls. “I jerked off the other night…fantasizing about you.”

My jaw drops.

Um. What?

“Oh. My. God.” I stare at him in utter disbelief. “Why would you ever tell me that?”

“Because I felt guilty about it. Like I needed to go to church and confess.”

I can feel myself blushing, and I suspect I’m redder than a tomato. Yes, I have many male friends, but this is the first time one of them has confessed to pleasuring themselves while fantasizing about me. I mean…it’s flattering, I guess? If TJ or Darius or—
I shudder at the mere thought of it.

Okay. Interesting response. The idea of my other guy friends masturbating to me is extremely unappealing. But the idea of Hunter stroking his cock and fantasizing about me is…

My thighs actually clench together at the dirty image.

Oh my God.

No.

Nope.

In. Ap. Propriate.

Hunter heaves a big sigh. “I feel so much better now that I got that off my chest.”

“Well, I don’t!” I can’t get the image out of my mind now, and that is so, so wrong.

His dark eyes twinkle. “Take it as a compliment.”

“No, thanks.”

He uses the hem of his shirt to mop up the sweat on his brow, which means he literally just flashed his entire chest to me and the rest of the gym. His washboard abs are glistening.

“Anyway, aside from the teeny little hiccup of me yanking it with you in mind, I’m truly digging this thing we have.” He gestures between us. “Promise me this will never change.”

“That what will never change?”

“That you’ll never want to sleep with me,” he says dramatically.

The sheer arrogance… I release a sigh of my own and reach over to pat his stupidly muscular arm. “I promise I will never want to sleep with you, Hunter.”

BONUS! Want more story? Get the bonus epilogue for The Play here.

Briar U

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: October 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!


Tagged: , , , , ,

Review: The Risk by Elle Kennedy

Posted February 18, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Risk by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #2
Also in this series: The Chase (Briar U, #1), The Play
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 18, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating First

Genres: New Adult
Pages: 392
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy. THE RISK takes you back to the world of hot hockey players, feisty heroines, bro banter, and steamy scenes...

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

The Risk is the second book in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series and it features our favorite smart ass Brenna from The Chase and the enemy, Jake Connelly. I have been looking forward to reading Brenna’s story since we first met her in Summer and Fitz’ story. She has a sparkly personality that I wanted to know more and Jake was just as wonderfully charming as I hoped he would be.

Brenna’s Dad is the coach for the Briar University’s hockey team. Jake Connelly is the star player for the Harvard hockey team. They’re going to face each other in their conference finals so tempers are high and the very last thing that Brenna needs is to get involved with Jake, of all people…but when an internship is on the line, she needs Jake to help her land this and so she asks him to do her a solid by going on a fake date with her and he agrees but only if she’ll go on a real date with him for every fake date they go on.

The chemistry was pretty strong between these two in The Chase so I was not at all surprised when we found out that Jake was Brenna’s hero. I thought that they would be pretty good together but I was wrong because they were freaking perfect for each other. I really loved seeing them battle wits and grow close with each passing page. I’m telling you guys, Elle Kennedy does great dialogue. The dialogue between her characters always feels natural and that’s something that I appreciate because not everyone can do it well and it takes me out of the story every time that I read bad dialogue. I was wrapped up in Brenna and Jake’s bubble from beginning to end. They had me laughing, sighing and just feeling all of the feels. I loved seeing them go from strangers attracted to each other to confiding their secret confidences with each other. Brenna didn’t trust easy and seeing her open up to Jake was just so rewarding for me. I loved it.

There was a part of the story where I wanted to knee Jake in the nuts but man does he make up for pissing me off and I was low key mad at Brenna for forgiving him so quickly but like Bren, I got over it and gosh, he was just…swoon I’m not even gonna lie, during the big Briar vs. Harvard game, I was low key Team Harvard…

Sorry, Briar folks but next book, I’ll definitely be Team Briar U again. LOL.

This book was everything I was hoping it would be. Elle Kennedy brought her A-Game with this one and I was so here for everything going on. I loved getting to know both Brenna and Jake. I loved seeing Brenna and her father work on their issues that they had with each other. I loved seeing Jake’s parents come out and support him, but also acknowledge that they should have supported him more. I wish we’d gotten more from Brenna’s other friends, Audrey and Elisa. I wanted to see more Hazel too until we got more Hazel and then I wanted her gone. LOL.

Overall, this bomb was the bomb. Elle Kennedy delivers a modern New Adult romance that will rock all of your socks, I just know it. Hell yes, you should read this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Briar U

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

Posted September 6, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Chase by Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly
The Chase (Briar U, #1) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Also in this series: The Risk (Briar U #2), The Play
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 6, 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating First

Genres: New Adult
Pages: 377
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy

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


Tagged: , , , , , , ,