Elle Kennedy – The Goal (Off-campus #4)

28262024First thoughts after reading: this story just blew me away

I was so excited when I found out that Tucker is getting his book. However, I was surprised that his heroine will be Sabrina. She didn’t leave the best first impression in the second book so I was pretty curious. What I got really shocked me. I wasn’t expecting this.

The Goal is the fourth installment in the Off-campus series by the American author Elle Kennedy. In the previous books, we didn’t get to know Tucker very much. He was just a friend. But deep down, I knew that there is something more to him. And – oh my god – was I right.

Figures I’d have a one-night stand with the last remaining gentleman on this planet.

hockeyAt first I was a little suspicious of Sabrina. I didn’t know anything about her. She was just a girl who managed to catch Tucker’s eye. I thought that I won’t like her. But she proved me wrong. Yes, she is the type of character you either love or hate – nothing in between. When I first met her in the series I thought she was a total bitch. But that was just because I didn’t know her at all. And now after The Goal I understand her. There were some of her decisions I didn’t relate to, but under those circumstances they are understandable. But I would try to do something else. Sabrina’s life is no piece of cake. Her only goal? Get to Harvard and be the best lawyer. But not all dreams and wishes come true. Something unexpected happens and she is put before the hardest decision of her life. Not to mention that guy called John Tucker is invading her thoughts too often… One passionate night leaves Sabrina pregnant. None of them is ready to raise a child. But the child is here. And a decision has to be made.

It doesn’t matter how thin or thick anyone’s wallet is. We all hurt. We all love. We’re the same. And your past, who you live with, where you came from, it doesn’t have to matter. You’re creating your own future, and I want to see where the road forward takes you.

I loved almost everything about this book. The main couple, the supporting characters, the humor, the emotional side of the story and like a cherry on the top there is Elle’s amazingly captivating writing style. I really couldn’t put it down. Nevertheless, there were some parts during which/when I wanted to jump. I didn’t like Sabrina’s best friends. For some reason they didn’t click with me. There was this one scene where I just rolled my eyes because of their behavior. I was like: “Come on, Sabrina needs your support not your judgement!” I pretty much think that Elle likes to torture her readers. Makes them relive certain passages from her story over and over again. I knew when the book takes place, but I didn’t realize one thing! How heartbroken I would be. In that very moment, I needed to put the book down because I was unable to read through my tears. This scene is so beautifully written it touched me so much. I truly enjoyed the story. I loved the tension between Tuck and Sabrina. The realization that not everything is supposed to stay the same. That people should welcome changes.

And he’s not the distraction I thought he would be. When I need quiet, he gives it to me. When I need fun, he’s there with a ready smile.

1b6b3ae1fa9ba164ea04bf3d057c05b9Some might think that Sabrina is coldhearted. At first she appeared like that to me too. But then I got to know what is behind her façade. Her life is not a walk through a rose garden. She worked too hard to be where she is. I just knew that under her mask there is a loving and caring person. She is just too scared to show her feelings. Sometimes I just wanted to shake her, so she would come to her senses. It is a really slow process, but she gets there eventually.  I If I have to be honest, I kind of hated her. But she redeemed herself. On the outside, she might look cold and distant, but on the inside she is different. I really understand her fear of commitment and feelings and all that stuff. She didn’t grow up in a very pleasant environment. Such things leave marks on person. Sabrina changed a lot through the story. She learned many things and in the end she managed to accept them.

To Sabrina, tears are a sign of weakness, and she can’t stand being viewed as anything less than Amazonian.

It doesn’t happen a lot that I absolutely hate a character. I try to find some good in everyone, but this one just doesn’t have a nice side. Ray – Sabrina’s stepfather – is such an asshole. And that’s the nicest word I could come up with.  Every time he appeared in the story I just wanted to punch him, for his rudeness, for the way he treated people, for his coldheartedness, for his selfishness. That man is just ugh.

But the one thing I know about Sabrina – pushing her gets you the opposite result of what you’re hoping for. I get it, though. She’s been on her own all her life.

I wish that Garrett and co. would be in the book more. I just love the whole gang. They are so grown up, preparing for the future. I like that I got the chance to see them mature. It’s not just about fun and girls and hockey anymore. It’s about finding their way in life, preparing for the life after college. And to top it all, I got to know Fitzy a little more. Colin Fitzgerald is one of those guys that you fall for immediately. I still want to know more about him.

You’re the only one for me. My sun rises and sets on your smile. My heart beats because yours does.

key-to-courageAnd the absolutely best part of the book, the highlight, is John Tucker. That guy is just amazing. You know that saying: “It’s always the silent ones.” In the previous books I didn’t get to know Tucker much. I assumed some things, but they were still assumptions. But in his book I got all the answers I needed. From the very beginning to the very end I was literally swooning. Tuck is simply every woman’s dream come true. The thing I love about him the most is his gentlemanliness. He is such a caring sweetheart. He treats Sabrina like a queen, his queen. I envied her so much. He is by her side no matter what. No matter how often she tried to push him away, he stayed and showed her that she can rely on him. This is the type of guy Tucker is. As he says: “That’s how my momma raised me.” He has his own dreams. And when the circumstances get harder, he tries to make everything work. Tuck is my favorite from the guys. I liked him before, but in this book I fell for him completely. He has to work hard to win Sabrina, but he doesn’t give up. It’s not like he is stalking her. He takes his time to convince her that what he feels for her is real.

This isn’t how I planned my life to be, at least not this soon, but I wouldn’t give it up for all the gold in the world.

img_1314The Goal is similar to the previous books in so many things but at the same time it’s so different. The guys are off college living their own lives. And despite the fact that they live in different parts of the country they still manage to stay close friends. That is another thing I love about this story, the friendship. No matter how bad the things are, they manage to work it out and stand by each other’s sides.

My goal, once upon a time, was to succeed. I didn’t realize that success wasn’t grades or scholarships or achievements, but the people I was lucky enough to have in my life.

the-goal-new-cover-elle-kennedy-off-campus-series-editThe Goal is about embracing the unexpected and learning to live with it. To learn to trust people and open up to them. It is about realizing, that you can have your goals figured out but the destiny has something else in mind for you. During reading I laughed, I cried, I blushed, because the intimate scenes are so hot. This is that kind of book you don’t want your parents to know about. I so hope this is not the last Off-campus book. There is a little hint in the story, but I can’t be certain. We will see. For now I will just remember the awesomeness that is this book.

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

owls

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