Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

goalReviewed by Joanna

Big series fan right here, and I’ve been hotly anticipating the latest NA installment of sexy ice hockey players and the strong ladies who claim them. In this case, featuring an accidental pregnancy.

The protagonists of this story are college students Sabrina and Tucker. She’s highly ambitious, intending to get into Harvard Law. He’s an ice-hockey player. Or in Sabrina’s eyes, just one step up from a dildo. Albeit an attractive one.

We’ve met our hero and heroine in previous books (no issue with this as standalone). I wasn’t sure I was going to like Sabrina all that much – she came across as being very removed. Once in her perspective, she was more sympathetic than I expected, but she isn’t top of my heroines-I-love list.

As well as pushing herself academically, our girl works two jobs to get by. She’s doing everything she can to drag herself from the gutter, as she sees it. With her targets set as high as they are, she needs no distractions. Famous. Last. Words.

Tucker is a business admin student as well as a hockey player. (Though hockey doesn’t feature so much in this book as it did in the others.) He’s a southern gentleman, and as with all Kennedy’s heroes, he’s one hot MF-er. Auburn hair, muscles that won’t quit, and a sexy drawl to his voice. Oh. Yeah. Baby. And he’s got a sensitive, careful manner about him which he’ll need to win the girl who declared no more after their hot hot hot one night stand (in the front seat of his car – it was good).

Sabrina pushes Tucker away at every opportunity. Even when the crux of the story – her pregnancy – means she’s tied to the guy whether she likes it or not. She sees no place for a boyfriend in her life, and at times I wondered if she had real issues with love.  Beyond the usual cautious-heroine reasons.

This book felt different from the rest of the series. More serious, which it would have to be, given the very adult situation the couple find themselves in. There were still fun moments, mostly featuring side characters, but Sabrina was very rigid and fixed in her ways. She controlled her actions more than anyone I’ve ever met (or read about) and god did I want to shake her. I wanted the girl to break, let her emotions flow and show her humanity.

Tuck, I liked, but I also got frustrated at. He was constant, but sometimes too passive for me. It was hard to see how this couple would have anything more than a familiar sort of love at best. I like passion to drive the story and that didn’t happen here. And not because of the baby-stuff, because that didn’t stop the sex, but because of Sabrina’s unbending temperament.

That said, it was an enjoyable read and very professionally written. Not my favourite of the series but still a damn sight better than many other books I’ve read this year.

One thing I was interested in is how the series could continue – the focus of the first four books was on the  hockey-playing guys of one house share. Now they’ve all graduated, it means a sidestep or shift to a new cast. Fortunately team mates, Fitzy (hooking up with Summer, one assumes) and Hunter (lady unknown) have books to be written, the author’s schedule permitting. So I’m resting assured there’s more to come.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Goal
by Elle Kennedy
Release Date: September 26, 2016

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