Monday, February 26, 2024

REVIEW: The Graham Effect by Elle Kennedy


 I haven't read all of the Briar U or Off Campus books but that didn't stop me from enjoying The Graham Effect. I'm sure I missed some of the references to past stories and characters, ultimately I didn't need to know all of these to have fun with Gigi and Ryder. I loved that this romance featured two hockey players--I'm not sure I've read a romance where both athletes play the same sport and therefore understand each other on a whole other level because of it. I enjoyed how strong both of these characters were and that their conflict wasn't really with each other at all, though they enjoyed snarking at each other for a while, and that the conflicts that existed seemed appropriately tense but not over the top. Gigi had a strong sense of herself and her goals and that allowed her to be the lead in how to 'do' this relationship. She showed Ryder how to open up and be there in ways he hadn't really been able to be there for others. And Ryder's trusting her gave her something she didn't know she needed either.

While The Graham Effect started a smidge slow for me, by the time I was hooked, I was hooked. I was laughing at some of the foolishness happening with Ryder's roommates and teammates and turning the pages, knowing that their happily ever after would be so good. It was. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, while grabbing the backlist of these older series to catch up with the first generation of these characters.



The first book in the delicious, icy-hot Campus Diaries series, a spinoff of BookTok sensations Off-Campus and Briar U, by New York Times bestselling author Elle Kennedy.

Gigi Graham has exactly three goals: qualify for the women’s national hockey team, win Olympic gold, and step out of her famous father’s shadow. So far, so good, except for two little things. Fine–a little thing and a big, grumpy thing. She needs to improve her game behind the net, and she needs help from Luke Ryder.

Ryder is six-foot five, built, opinionated, rude…and sexy as hell. But he’s still the enemy.

Briar’s new hockey co-captain has his reasons, though. The men’s team just merged with a rival program, leaving Ryder with an angry roster where everyone hates one another’s guts. To make matters worse, the summer coaching spot he’s angling for with the legendary Garrett Graham is out of reach after he makes the worst possible first impression on his hero. So, really, this compromise with Gigi is win-win. He helps her make the national team, she puts in a good word
with her dad.

The only potential snag? This bone-deep, body-numbing, mind-spinning chemistry they’re trying to ignore. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing, but the risks just might be worth it.

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