ARC Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

★★★★★5 stars!!!

This was just an awesome read with one of the best closing lines, ever! Elle Kennedy gave this story so much meat, the epilogue was simply the second cherry on top of an already-huge dollop of frosting topping the most delicious cake.

Pardon if it sounds like I'm laying it on thick, but I'm just pleasantly surprised by hoe much I enjoyed Tucker and Sabrina's story. To be honest, Tucker didn't make much of an impression on me when I read the earlier books (not as much impression as Dean left, the manwhore that he is, for example). I knew a few things about him: he's steady, chill, and has no problem doing the "mom duties" in a house full of testosterone-ridden college athletes. As for Sabrina, we only ever saw her through Dean's eyes, and she came across as a bitch. Extremely smart, yes, but still a bitch.

Well, THE GOAL brought these characters to the spotlight and we get to see beyond their "steady" and "bitch" veneers.

It was first hinted in the third book, The Score, that Tucker had somehow gotten involved with Sabrina. It was surprising to me; I wouldn't immediately think if pairing these two, if given the chance. Elle Kennedy does an excellent job of convincing skeptical readers like me, though! Tucker and Sabrina are like puzzle pieces. They are very different in upbringing, temperament, inclinations, how they perceive situations, and how they respond to problems as they arise... and yet, the author makes it very believable and probable that they still inevitably end up working things out together.

This is where Tucker really shone for me! He's just a really, really, really good man. Not the meek, in-your-face "good guy" anti-thesis of the "bad boy" stereotype, but a guy who's screwed on right, know what I mean? He is patient without coming across as an annoying martyr. He gives space whenever Sabrina needs it, doesn't smother her with affection but neither does he make her feel that she's forgotten. Tucker is now my second favorite hero in this series next to Garett! (read Garett's story in book 1, The Deal)

With Sabrina, I did not immediately love her, but neither did I become extremely annoyed with her. This happens a lot with strong, independent heroines I read about who wind up making stupid, narrow-minded decisions about the people they love. I'm sure many of you have encountered a character like this before! Sabrina very nearly crossed that line with me, but it must be with the way Elle Kennedy wrote her that I understood her more than I disagreed with her. Yes she is a strong woman, she's a Superwoman to tell the truth (juggling a full load at Harvard Law, plus working two jobs on the side?? On top of other things? That's admirably unbelievable!)... but she's also vulnerable. She's not a goody-two-shoes either. She is outspoken about her sexuality, knows her appeal to men, and she can definitely hold her own against athletes and foul-mouthed men that she's forced to mingle with. She's the ultimate femme fatale. You very quickly realize that she is indeed the perfect match for Tucker.

I can't recommend this book enough! THE GOAL is a perfect weekend read. Oh, and it's pretty long, this book. Definitely read this on a Saturday so that in case you don't finish in one sitting, you still have the rest of the weekend to savor it.

Oh, and one last thing! The Goal's closing line is one of the best, and one of my favorites--ever!
" is the ultimate goal. It's not the one I had strived for, but I was lucky enough, so damn lucky, to achieve it."

Buy Links:

Note on the cover: The Off-Campus Series has a new set of covers! The "abs covers", as I like to refer to them, are being replaced with the pretty lady covers, which I love! Check them out:

My sincerest thanks to Elle Kennedy, the publisher and Nina Bocci PR for the ARC copy via Netgalley!



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