Review: The Play (Elle Kennedy)

The Play
Series: Briar U, #3
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: October 7, 2019
Publisher: Elle Kennedy, Inc.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A brand-new standalone novel in the New York Times bestselling Briar U series!

What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.


I am happy to report to you that The Play, my most highly anticipated release for the fall of 2019, was as fantastic as I had hoped. It was everything I have come to expect from Elle Kennedy and the Briar U series. Hunter’s book was actually even better than I was expecting!

Hunter, Hunter, Hunter…The poor guy had some not so great moments in this series up until this book. Things didn’t go his way, and in order to turn things around he took a vow of self-imposed celibacy. Despite some of his past actions, he was a good guy. Hunter did his best to be a good leader and teammate. His friendship game was on point. I already loved his character, but I respected him more after reading this book. He grew so much.

Demi (like semi) was a great surprise. I immediately loved her character and all her spunk. She was a hot Latina who had everything going for her. Demi was smart, nice, and sassy. I loved her values and attitude. She wasn’t a tomboy, but she had a fun camaraderie with the guys. Plus, she had great taste in TV shows. Demi was the total package, really.

Based on the blurb, you can probably tell this isn’t exactly your typical love story. Demi has that boyfriend, Nico, when the book starts. She and Hunter aren’t immediately falling in love. You might be wondering if this was weird or uncomfortable considering we should want Demi and Hunter together, right? It wasn’t. Elle Kennedy did an amazing job writing this story in a way that doesn’t make you cringe because there is another man in Demi’s life to start with.

As for Demi and Hunter’s relationship, things unfolded as they might in real life. They started out as class partners and developed a cool platonic friendship. The banter between them was FABULOUS. Everything that happened in this story and between them built in a way that made Demi and Hunter’s eventual romantic relationship all the more special. I just really loved them together whether it was as friends or lovers.

I can’t leave the hockey team out of this review. If you’re a fan of this series or Off-Campus, you’re going to love seeing some of your favorite players. You’re also going to love some of the newer Briar hockey teammates. The dynamics between all the teammates were on point and hilarious. I now have a special place in my heart for Pablo.

You know how sometimes you want to start re-reading a book the second you finish it? Well, that’s how I felt about The Play. There’s just something about Elle Kennedy’s writing and this series that makes me not want to let go of it. It happened with the Off-Campus series and now it’s happened with its spin-off series Briar U. I cannot get enough of the Briar setting, the hockey players, the amazing women they fall for, and all of their stories. I know this is the end of Briar U for now, but I hope Elle Kennedy will continue the series or write another spin-off. I think Connor and Matt need stories. I’m also still wishing for a Hollis and Rupi book, too. I would even take a novella about them.

18 thoughts on “Review: The Play (Elle Kennedy)”

    1. WHAT! How have I failed you on this??? Start with The Deal. Right now. Then read that series and then this spin-off series. That’s my job for you.

  1. I like a friends to lovers story, and both hero and heroine sound like people I could root for. I really start this series, because I know I will love it (and I have the first book)

  2. Can’t believe I pre-ordered The Play and haven’t read it yet! I’m crazy! Anyway, I’m glad you loved it, I’m so happy that it’s not insta love, I’ve been struggling with that lately. I’ll try to read it this weekend. Great review, Deanna!

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