I like reading bad books. Every now and then, I pick up a book, sometime’s a whole series, knowing I’m probably not going to like it but I do it anyway because in their own way, bad books can be fun. My feelings can be summed up by the Iconic™ Kat Stratford:
The types of books I usually do this with are the typical All-American teen romances (like The Field Party series) . There’s just something about these books that I love to hate. I have so much fun rolling my eyes while reading and then ranting once I’ve finished. It also helps that they’re super quick so if I’m in the right mood I can fly through a whole series in like a week.
I thought that was going to be the same case with the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy but I was so wrong! This series was a lot of fun (in a good way not a “I had fun hating this”) and I’m gonna talk about them today.
The covers are bad, the e-books versions are even worse, but I swear that’s not a reflection on the inside.
My original plan was to review each of these books individually, thinking there’d be at least one I wouldn’t be a fan of or that I’d at least have a clear favourite, but no. I had a great time with every single one.
Reading these books was a total accident. I didn’t plan on reading even the first book, let alone the full series in four days, but after seeing The Deal all over Goodreads and then on Tik-Tok one random Tuesday I decided to check it out and when it was free on Kindle I took that as a sign and read it straight away. I’m really glad I did because these books were exactly what I needed: a bit of fun after a stressful few weeks of exams.
On a whole the series is set at Briar University, each book follows a different member of the hockey team and their romance. Despite the fact that each book revolves around different characters I do recommend reading them in order because you will be spoiled for the outcome of the previous novels and you will miss out on some inside jokes and such.
Unlike other companion romance series I’ve read, I feel like this did a great job keeping each book fresh and unique when it came to the plot so you didn’t feel like you were reading the same story over and over again just with different characters.
Speaking of the characters, I loved them all and I especially loved their relationships with one another. I mean this both in terms of romantic and platonic relationships. There was so much chemistry between the four couples but also between the four male characters, all of whom are best friends and roommates.
When it came to the guys I appreciated how they weren’t written to be super “macho”. They showed emotion, they had meaningful friendships with other guys, they had a personality outside of being a jock and being a love interest. All of this is what made for such enjoyable characters.
The word “slut” is thrown around a lot and normally I’d be totally against this, however I’m not mad about it in this instance. To me personally it never felt slut-shamey. It was said between friends and if anything the guys were called slut’s just as much, if not more then the girls. Infact there’s whole paragraphs from the guys point of views which, to paraphrase, basically say “yeah this girl sleeps around a lot but so do I so who am I to judge” and that’s the type of feminism I subscribe to.
Like I said, reading these books were a total accident. After reading the first book I couldn’t help but pick up the rest they were just so goddamn addictive and if you’re looking for something sweet but steamy that will keep you entertained and invested, I highly recommend this series!!!
Trigger Warnings : (I forgot to take notes so I might be forgetting a few)
Mentions of sexual assault, drug use, alcoholism, child abuse, domestic abuse, fatal car accident.