ARC Review: The Score (Off-Campus #3) by Elle Kennedy

» 27 December, 2015 » A Reviews, Elle Kennedy, Reviews » 2 comments

27252717Title: The Score
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #3
Genre: NA Romance
Pre-Order Links: Amazon | iBooks
Rating: A

He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

My Review

The funniest, most irreverent and emotional book in the series by far. My friends know how much I loved The Deal, and I love it still. I really do but this book…gah! This book made me laugh and it also made me cry. Yes, cried because apparently, Elle Kennedy had a few surprises up her sleeves which totally broke my heart.

The Score is the third book from Kennedy’s wildly popular NA sports romance series, Off Campus. This time, the story centers on Dean, the unapologetic and self-proclaimed manwhore of the team. Dean has had it easy. He’s good-looking, rich and doesn’t lack for any female or male adulation. But Dean’s life became a lot more interesting when Allie Hayes, Hannah’s best friend, came to stay over at their house one night to avoid her ex-boyfriend who want to get back with her. Dean being Dean, he put on the moves on Allie despite warnings from Hannah and Garrett.

Unfortunately, Allie was unimpressed. She knows Dean’s reputation and she doesn’t want to be just another notch on her bedpost. She knows who she is: a girl who is prefers relationship over casual sex. And Dean is the epitome of casual. Besides, Allie just broke up with her on-and-off boyfriend of three years. But Dean was persistent and he managed to convince Allie to ditch her no casual sex rule in favor of some hot rebound sexy times.

I personally cannot blame Allie for capitulating because when Dean wants something, he is tenacious and he can turn on that Di-Laurentis charm like nobody’s business. Allie didn’t stand a chance. Heck, I didn’t stand a chance. I was swept right along with Allie.

I love reading this aspect of the book. We all know by now that Elle Kennedy is a master at banter, and that’s never been more apparent than in this book. I could not contain my chuckles and my grins while reading. My husband had to shush me because I could not hold my laughter in. It’s simply impossible not to laugh at some of the things that happened or at some of the dialogue in this book. I thought The Deal and the Mistake were funny, but the Score took it to the next level because Dean was a natural comedian. Same with Allie, too. She can go toe to toe with Dean with no problem at all.

I know there were a few readers who were disappointed that Sabrina wasn’t the heroine for Dean but let me tell right now, I’m not sorry it wasn’t Sabrina because Allie totally owned my heart from the get go. She’s feisty, funny and like I said, she’s unimpressed with Dean and she made him work for it. Dean and Allie simply worked together. Sure, Allie had her moments of guilt and indecision but the author explained those very well I sympathized with her. I knew where she was coming from and I could understand why she would feel that way.

But the best thing about this book is how you get to see Dean and Allie fall for each other. It’s so rare to read a book that actually shows the hero and heroine fall for one another in a series of moments instead of just being told that they are in love. There’s no insta-love here. NONE. And I LOVED that because even though Dean and Allie were physically intimate with each other and are crazy attracted to each other, they didn’t fall in love immediately. It took time for them to fully trust one another. But the moment they did, oh man, it was well worth the wait. Seriously, Elle Kennedy should conduct a workshop on this non-insta love thing because I much prefer my romance like that.

Apart from the romance, there were other layers to this story. We see Dean change and grow as a character. We read about Allie deal with her limited career choices. We see the gang worry about life beyond college, about whether or not they’re going to still be friends with each other or lose touch. Dean and Allie also had to deal with disappointments and tragedy. There were so many things in this book that rang true for me based on my own experiences in college.

I also loved that there were no slut-shaming in the book. My usual complain about NA and sometimes with contemporary romance is that when you have a manwhore hero, we usually get the whole “all the other girls are sluts except the heroine and her friends” shtick. The characters had to own up or gets called out on heir prejudice about sex and hook ups, and it’s perfect. I could not hate Dean or feel bad for the girls who chose to have sex with him simply because they were written as characters with agency. And there were some things from Dean’s past that should’ve raised my hackles, usually, but it didn’t because again, Elle Kennedy treated it with sensitivity and it worked perfectly with Dean’s character arc.

I really can’t find anything to complain about this book. I finished it with a huge smile on face because it met all my expectations, and I hope it will meet yours, too!

I refrained from posting some quotes because you guys should experience all the funnies yourself. And trust me, if you loved the previous books in the series, you will undoubtedly love this one as well.

The Deal | My Review | Amazon | iBooks
The Mistake | My Review | Amazon | iBooks

 


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