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The Risk - Arc Review

Title: The Risk (Briar U #2)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release Date: February 18, 2019
My Rating: ★★★★☆/★★★★
A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy. THE RISK takes you back to the world of hot hockey players, feisty heroines, bro banter, and steamy scenes... 

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

*I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review* 

Whenever I need my New Adult and sports romance fix I know for a fact that I can count on Elle Kennedy to deliver it and do it well. I know that I'll swoon for her hockey players, root for her heriones, and get some steamy times and laughs along the way. Reading The Risk was no different in terms of these expectations. I literally did the happiest of dances and squeals when I saw that I had received an early copy on my kindle haha. And then I had to make it through my work week before I allowed myself to binge to my heart away because #adultlife

The Risk is the second book in the Briar U series, and spin-off of my beloved Off Campus series. The later I have devoured consistently, which says a lot considering my track record with series lol. And it seems like I will now be continuing the love with the spin-off. Anyone who has read The Chase has been eagerly anticipating this book, we hoped and wished for our main couple and had to survive a bit before we got the confirmation we wished for. We saw glimpses of Brenna and Jake and knew that their book would be the stuff we could only hope for.

Brenna is the bad girl on campus and makes no apologies for it. She knows what she wants and has never been afraid to go after it. But she ends up asking Jake Connelly, the last person she should even be asking, for help. All he has to do is be her fake boyfriend, to which he agrees, but he wants a real date for every fake one they go on. What ensues is a mash up of some of my favorite tropes, enemies to lovers, and fake dating, and some A+ sexual tension and banter.

Brenna was a no nonsense, head strong heroine, which I feel like Elle always delivers on. I loved her from The Chase and knew that I needed a novel with her so that I could continue to dive into her head. I was not disappointed at all. In fact I think I fell even more in love with her character here!! I loved that she was determined to make her dreams come true despite the roadblocks that were thrown at her. But even though she was this tough girl that didn't take any bs she was still able to be vulnerable, which made for a great balance of emotions for her. And that's something I also love about Elle's writing, she's able to write these fierce female characters but still allow them to have great depth to them.

Jake was soooooooo swoon worthy!! As with all of Elle's male leads I was in love from the very first page. He was an alpha male without being a jerk, he had great depth and emotions, and he was the perfect math for Brenna. He challenged her without wanting to change her, and he respected her and her wishes. Seeing him interact with Brenna was such a joy, from their funny banter to seeing him be affectionate towards Brenna. He definitely lives up to my love for all the Briar hockey players!!

One of the things I love the most about this series and the one before is that no matter what, whenever I crack one of them open I just feel this intense nostalgia and comfort. I've been on this campus with these characters for so long that they've all come to hold such a special place in my heart. Not only do you read about the main couple in each book but you also read about the supporting characters. You start to love them just as much as the main couple, and feel the camaraderie and family that they all start to form while in school. They don't overshadow but they also don't just fade to oblivion. I love reading the banter between all the friends just as much as I love reading it with the two love interests. And by the end of the book I'm in love with them all and eagerly hoping we get books from everyone's perspective so I can continue to see all the friendships and love stories.

Reading Elle's writing just brings me such intense joy and I always just escape reality while reading and laugh and swoon right along with our couple. The Off Campus series quickly shot to the top of may favorites list, and solidified Elle as one of my all time favorite authors. When it was announced we were getting a spin-off I was super excited, but I have to admit that a part of me was kind of nervous because how in the world would my faves be topped. I ramble about all of this to say that only two books in the Briar U series is starting to worm itself near and dear to my heart just like the original series did, and as long as Elle keeps being so generous with her words I will be reading!!

If you love New Adult books then read this series. If you love sports romances then read this series. If you love strong, well developed characters read this series. If you love to read hilarious banter, and amazing friendships and want to find characters that will curl up in your heart then read this series!! I personally recommend starting from The Off Campus series so that you can get the love from the beginning. I am SO ready for the third book in this series and I can't wait to find out who our lucky couple is!!