Author: Elle Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Why the hype? Don’t get me wrong I liked this book; I gave it 4 Stars after all (though I feel like I was a little bit too generous). I just don’t get this buzz surrounding this book. Recently it seems that everywhere I turn someone praises The Deal. Yes, The Deal is very entertaining and addictive. I couldn’t put it down, the characters were likable and the romance was great, but at the core The Deal was the usual average NA with many tropes.
At age fifteen Hannah was raped (it’s not a spoiler since we’re told about it on the first page). Now she’s a junior in college and after years of therapy she is ready to leave it all in the past. She wants to date. One big problem: a guy she has a crush on doesn’t notice her. So she needs to do something to draw attention to her. Enter Garrett. He is a captain of the hockey team and a big player on hockey field and off it. Garrett has a problem. He needs to keep his grades high in order to stay on the team, but he failed his Ethics. So he needs someone who can tutor him as soon as possible. When he finds out that Hannah has A in this class he is very persistent. Finally these two make a deal. Hannah tutor Garret and in exchange he fake-dates her to make the other guy notice her.
Like I said before The Deal is very addictive. If I had more time I would read it in one day. I really liked the romance. Hannah and Garrett’s relationship progressed gradually from acquaintances to friends to lovers. It was slow and oh so amazing. There was a great chemistry between the main characters, and a lot of steam is waiting for you.
I loved main characters. Hanna is such a wonderful heroine. She is a strong intelligent girl with a great sense of humor. I also liked the author’s approach to the topic of survivor of sexual assault. Hannah portrayed in very optimistic way. She had therapy, she had time to cope; now she dates and wants a relationship. Yes, she has some issues but she looks forward positively. Nowadays NA authors often make the heroine a broken victim and use it to add more drama and angst and I’m glad this is not a case here.
Garrett. What can I say? He totally won me over. When we first met him he came as a cocky arrogant womanizer. But he is actually kind, caring, smart and funny guy.
I loved funny banters between Hannah and Garrett. Their teasing made me smile and there were moments when I laughed out loud. The scene where Hannah stormed in the locker room was hilarious.
The story was told in dual POV and there was something that annoyed me. When we switched to Garrett’s POV I had a feeling that the author intentionally added swearing to emphasize Garrett’s manliness. It’s not swearing itself that bugs me. It seems like many NA authors thinks that if they throw several F*ck words they would have a distinct male voice. Oh, also the guy should think a lot of sex. The first author who comes to my mind is Abby Glines. Her typical hero portrayed the same way. Do real guys think in such manner? Maybe I’m just getting too old and know nothing about college boys.
The other thing that annoyed me was the line with Justin.
[su_spoiler title=”Show spoiler”]From the first time he appears in the book I had the feeling that something was wrong with him. The author gave the readers the little signs that he was the bad guy. I was expecting the usual scene “the bad guy tries to rape our heroine and the hero saves her” at any moment. But at the end Justin ended up as a normal guy, he actually became Hannah’s friend. I’m really curious if anyone else noticed this or it’s just me being ridiculous.[/su_spoiler]
Also I tired of main characters broken by their awful past. I want something new. Maybe I just need a break from NA for a while.
Despite my complaints I really liked The Deal. When I read this kind of books my main focus is on the romance. If the romance works for me I can look past many flaws. So if you’re like me I wholeheartedly recommend The Deal to you.