New Release Review | The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Title: The Goal
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, #4
Genre: New Adult | Sports Romance | Hockey
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Pages: 350
Format: eARC
Source: Bocci PR

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

Another stellar addition to the already fabulous Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy. This book can be read as a standalone, but I HIGHLY recommend reading this entire series, in order of course. Every book has some similar ingredients, but each one is unique in its own way. The Goal veered off in a different direction for obvious reasons. This novel has more maturity than any of the others in my honest opinion.

The timeline coincides with some of the other books, so if you’ve read the others, you’ll be getting a different perspective of events that you’ve already seen happen. I quite liked this because it fed my nostalgia for my favorite Briar hockey boys. Although I knew Tucker and Sabrina’s future up to a certain point from the previous book, it was still exciting to see how they got there. 

Sabrina was a bit of an unknown in prior books and at the start of this one. The only real glimpse we get of her is from Dean’s negative perspective. That being said, I wasn’t sure what to expect from her, but I knew she had to be worthy if sweet Tucker took notice of her.
She was an admirable and bright young woman with her determined, hardworking attitude. She had her plans set in motion to get into Harvard Law School and escape from her hellhole of a home. That in itself was an ambitious feat and served to give the character depth and likability in my eyes.

Oh, remember how I deemed Tucker sweet? Yeah, that doesn’t even come close to describing how kind and giving he is. But wait a minute! Not only is hea  generously caring person, he’s sexy and dirty to boot. He is one helluva dirty talker. I was in shock and awe all at once. He is the complete package with those qualities and his romantic and loyal nature. His player lifestyle was nothing more than a young man living life, but he’s the kind of guy that once he sees someone he truly wants, he goes at her full force. And that is most definitely what he did when he laid eyes on Sabrina. 

The heart of this book was the two main characters. There was no other drama, hockey subplots, or fanfare really. At the core was this couple sorting out their feelings and lives both together and individually. 

It started off slowly as it set up their story and beginning interactions. The mild tension steadily increases, but no angst hangs on the coattails. The story as a whole is calmer in that sense, but there are still ups and downs and questioning of the future. Because of this particular vibe, I think in some cases, a reader who is already attached to this group of characters will appreciate and connect to the story better than someone who is just starting off with this book. But in no way should that discourage you from reading this book. You’d be missing out on some quality writing. 

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.

He’s a player in more ways than one…

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.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, 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. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

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.

A USA Today 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 currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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