The Goal is the final novel in Elle Kennedy‘s Off-Campus series and follows ice hockey player John Tucker and soon-to-be law student Sabrina James.
John Tucker has it all planned out: after graduating from Briar University, he’s going to go back to his hometown in Texas to become a business owner. Then one night during his senior year he makes eye contact with Sabrina James, the stuck up bitch from Briar. He wants her and gets her.
Sabrina James’ life has been anything but pretty: since her dad took off before she was born and her mom eloped with one of her many boyfriends, she is left alone with her alcoholic stepdad and her non-supportive grandma. To get out of this mess, Sabrina dedicates her whole life to studying to become a successful lawyer. But after one passionate night with hockey player John Tucker, both their entire lifes are about to change drastically.
To me Tucker was more or less a mystery character in all previous books. The only thing I knew about him were his cooking skills he learned from his mom back in Texas. Other than that – nothing. This is why I was really excited to read his story. Tucker is the southern boy out of the four hockey guys: he has charm, he is polite, he is courteous and he definitely has manners! The way he cared about Sabrina was less from a sense of duty but more from affection toward her. Tucker was a nice and decent character but nothing that swept me off my feet.
First of all: let’s all pause for a second here and let us think about the awesomeness of the name ‘Sabrina’! 😀 I mean, what can get wrong with a character named Sabrina? 😛
Sabrina grew up in a very shitty home. I can totally understand her ambition to get a great education and an even better job to get out of there. Her stepdad and her nana are the worst! How can she still live with them? Her determination lets her come across as a cold-hearted bitch. People never make an effort to get to know her – not that Sabrina has time for new friends anyway. The only friends she trusts and hangs out with are her besties Carin and Hope.
Sabrina and Tucker have an instant connection to one another but Sabrina makes it clear to Tucker that it was only for one night. Her solely focus is on her studies and nothing else. Tucker doesn’t take no for an answer and tries to convince her otherwise but he’s not pushy about it. He rather subtly nudges her in the right direction and let Sabrina decided at her pace. I really liked that about Tucker. Sabrina on the other hand is really stubborn and won’t take help from other people, especially from Tucker, unless it is really necessary.
Unfortunately, the storyline was nothing new and I wished Kennedy would’ve put some unique elements in it to make it stick out and make it more rememberable to me. I only finished the book yesterday, but if you asked me about it, I could only tell you about the beginning and the ending of the story, nothing about the middle, tho.
The ending of the story seemed rather forced and too quick, as if Kennedy was out of ideas and decided to end it real quick.
It is a rather sobering ending to a series but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has read the previous books.
With the release of the 4th and final novel in the Off-Campus series Elle Kennedy decided to change the covers of all the books altogether. There is no abs paperback cover available! The only way to get hold of it is through Elle Kennedy’s website. The ebook version however still has the abs version. So don’t be surprised when you order The Goal as paperback: same book, different cover.