I have said it many times, I’m not a massive fan of ‘real-life’ books. I typically need some element of fantasy or sci-fi. Though the occasional mafia or gang book will sneak their way in as that’s so outside of my daily life that I find them enjoyable. But college or sports romance is usually within that realm of books I avoid. But when the first book of the Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy was on sale for Kindle at the great low price of free, I said heck it. I remembered Angelika Oles mentioning it on her book channel during her book tour, so I thought I would give it a try.
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.
- Published: February 24, 2015
- Page Count: 342 pages
- Rating: 3.5 stars
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.
- Published: April 28, 2015
- Page Count: 296 pages
- Rating: 3.5 stars
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.
- Published: January 11, 2016
- Page Count: 361 pages
- Rating: 3.5 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.
- Published: September 26, 2016
- Page Count: 350 pages
- Rating: 3.5 stars
Four stories. Four couples. Three years of real life after graduation…
And a surprise pregnancy.
Life after college for Garrett and Hannah, Logan and Grace, Dean and Allie, and Tucker and Sabrina, isn’t quite what they imagined it would be. Sure, they have each other, but they also have real-life problems that four years at Briar U didn’t exactly prepare them for. And it turns out, for these four couples, love is the easy part. Growing up is a whole lot harder.
Catch up with your favorite Off-Campus characters as they navigate the changes that come with growing up and discover that big decisions can have big consequences…and if they’re lucky, big rewards.
- Published: September 21, 2021
- Page Count: 348 pages
- Rating: 3.25 stars
Thoughts on the Off-Campus Series
As I mentioned, I’m usually not a college or sports romance type of person. Or hell anything that takes place in the real world, but this series caught me by surprise. And honestly, I’ll probably read the spin-off series Briar U at some point in the near future. I got a few other books to read first.
This series follows four hockey roommates, and the girls they end up falling in love with. Each of them has a different relationship trope: fake dating, virgin and second chance (Logan screws up a bunch so he always has to make grand gestures to win Grace back), forbidden/secret romance, and surprise pregnancy (though it’s not so much of a surprise going in as it’s revealed at the end of the previous book).
Each of the books had its charm. I was giggling like crazy during Grace and Logan’s book, while also seeing way too many things that reminded me of my childhood with Logan’s father. I was bawling during Dean and Allie’s book, and rooting for Dean to realize that he loved coaching. And I was hoping like hell in Garrett’s book that he would call his father out on his abuse. He did get away from his father financially, but he didn’t call him out publically until the end of the flash forward book. Wish we could’ve seen the fallout from that and more about what happens in the future with the group. But it was good to see a taste of what happens with each couple. I won’t reveal from the book description which couple pairs with each topic, but it’s extremely fitting for each pair.
I thought I wouldn’t be into Tucker’s book because of the whole surprise pregnancy thing, but I enjoyed every minute of it. He’s a sweetheart that believes in love at first sight, has the patience of a saint, and is supportive as all hell. Even when Sabrina is skittish and doesn’t admit her true feelings for the majority of the book. I wanted to knock her on the head and say ‘just admit you love him, dummy.’ Plus, I find it funny how they are so stubborn about the name thing. Neither of them could agree on whose last name to use so they ended up naming their daughter James Tucker (Jamie as a nickname). Which is literally both of their last names, as Sabrina at the time couldn’t admit she loved Tucker nor would really let him take the majority of the responsibility even when he wanted to. Later, he gives her no choice and moves her and their daughter into his new place as it’s a hell of a lot better than where she was before.
I love how each of their stories went. They all achieved their dreams and stayed close as a friend group even after college ended. Logan and Garrett ended up playing professional hockey together, Dean discovered his passion for coaching, and Tucker starts his own bar franchise while being the most supportive boyfriend/father. The girls also, we learn in the flash forward novella, have a group chat they regularly talk on, which reminds me so much of my mom with her high school/college friends. It’s amazing to see how supportive they are of each other even after all these years. And that they each found success in the path that they chose. Not just for the guys but the girls too. It was a cute series.
What are some of your favorite sports or college romance series? Or quick read books, I’m thinking of reading some more and would love recommendations!
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