Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Title: The Goal
Series: Off-Campus #4
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release date: September 26, 2016
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 3 stars


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.

This is very possibly my favorite New Adult series. If not in the top spot, it sits way up in the clouds of New Adult heaven. The delightful perfection of the banter, the entire group of friends that charm the pants off of you, make the Off-Campus books irresistible. With each book I seem to fall in little more in love with each couple and anticipate the next even more. But for the first time, I was missing a some of that magic I've always depended on finding. I wasn't fully onboard with the main characters together.

I won't go so far as to say that I hated the heroine, but she wasn't my favorite. I was hoping that I would warm up to her as the book wore on, but unfortunately that didn't end up happening. Having read the previous books in the series, I already knew that she wasn't everyone's favorite person. She seemed abrasive and standoffish, but that didn't bother me. I had faith that somehow I'd be introduced to her endearing side. Let me emphasize, I do understand where she is coming from. Her family treated her like an inconvenience, she never grew up with a positive example of love and healthy relationships.

I’m trashy. I live with trashy people. I belong in a trashy place. The question is, will I ever be able to rub off the stench of my past to belong at Harvard?

Her ambition and drive is admirable and it grew from her desperation to escape the miserable home she had no choice in living in. The careless insults and nasty words of discouragement were fuel that fed her need to improve herself and have independence. I could even understand her antagonism towards Dean and others in general that no one really understood in the past. Having to struggle so hard while seeing others have things handed to them has to cut deep.

My every accomplishment is stained with my blood, sweat and tears. Meanwhile, some asshole gets the world handed to him on a platter? Fuck. That.

I loved Tucker, every sweet and dirty ounce of him. When he and Sabrina throw sparks off of each other while out with friends, they seem like the most unlikely pair. He's very nurturing and open and engaging. He's the rare type of guy that welcomes relationships and the idea of finding love and building a family at that point in his life. Whereas she has walls a mile high and isn't looking for anything from men other than their ability to scratch an occasional itch. Her goal of becoming a lawyer is her main priority and there's no room in her life for emotional attachments with men. Who knew that her one taste with Tucker could leave her so hungry for more?

Oh sweet baby Jesus. Sex with Tucker is dirtier and hotter than I thought it would be. He doesn't look like he'd be this way, but isn't it always the quiet ones?

I loved spending more time with the whole gang, however they weren't as present in the book as was the case in the previous ones. Maybe I was missing some of the lightness that they always bring and the happy feels and that had a hand in contributing to my enthusiasm not being quite so high. But I think my main issue was Sabrina's total inability to show Tucker affection or show vulnerability to him. He was constantly bending over backwards to make her happy and help her in any way he could but even towards the very end (view spoiler) he was questioning if she had any feelings for him. I can certainly understand how a lot of people would love the heroine. She was tough, resilient, and an admirably strong woman. But when it came to Tucker and Sabrina's connection, her distance caused a disconnect for me.

I think many readers will like Tucker and Sabrina's book. They didn't have an easy road by any means. Life threw these two a curve ball when they least expected it, and they had to adjust and learn how to cope together. In short, this didn't score high like the other three books, but still enjoyable with plenty of sexy moments to tide me over until I get my next Off-Campus fix. I cannot wait for the next book, it looks like it's going to be Fitzy's turn and I'm dying to find out more about him.


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