Deal-icious Reads: The Best Books Like 'The Deal'

Published: 27 August 2023
Written by Penny Somerset

If you're anything like me, diving into a contemporary romance is akin to wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket on a cold evening. The world of the 'good girl' navigating unpredictable waters, making decisions she never imagined, and facing situations that flip her entire life on its head - well, that's the allure, isn't it?

Picture this: Unexpected sparks fly in college corridors, fairy tale romances with a modern twist, and lessons learned about love, trust, and everything in between. If you've been yearning for more books like The Deal that pull at your heartstrings and have you flipping pages late into the night, you're in for a treat. Get ready to uncover some gems that promise whirlwind romances and emotions running high!

A cute couple looking into each other's eyes on an ice skating rink

Table of Contents

• Our List of Books Like The Deal
• Deal or No Deal? The Final Verdict

Frequently Asked Questions
• What is The Deal by Elle Kennedy About?

• Related Posts
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Our List of Books Like The Deal

I Bet You

Book cover of I Bet You
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by Ilsa Madden-Mills

When Penelope Graham receives a random late-night text from "Sexy Athlete," she soon identifies him as the confident football star, Ryker Voss. Despite his reputation of walking on water and being every woman's dream, Ryker offers to help Penelope win over her long-time crush using a jealousy ploy: a public kiss to make her crush see what he's missing.

While Penelope is naturally wary of trusting the cocky jock, she's tempted by his offer, especially since she struggles to secure a date on her own. But as she delves deeper, she discovers Ryker's ulterior motives, another hidden bet that could shatter her heart. As their dance of trust and betrayal unfolds, one wonders if love can truly emerge victorious in this romantic game.

The Friend Zone

Book cover of The Friend Zone
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by Kristen Callihan

Gray's usual stance is clear: he doesn't befriend women; he has sex with them. But everything changes when he borrows a vibrant pink car belonging to Ivy Mackenzie while she's abroad. To ensure the car's safety, she shoots him a stern text, and from that unexpected start, the two become inseparable texting pals. When Ivy returns, their digital camaraderie confronts reality, throwing Gray's previous principles out the window. All he can think about is being closer to Ivy.

Meanwhile, Ivy has her reservations; getting involved with one of her father's clients, especially a football player as tempting as Gray, contradicts her golden rule. But Gray, with his charming irreverence and undeniable appeal, is intent on changing her mind, blurring the lines between friendship and desire. The stakes are high, and for Gray, the challenge to win over Ivy's heart becomes the ultimate game.

A Favor for a Favor

Book cover of A Favor for a Favor
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by Helena Hunting

Upon joining Seattle's NHL team, I anticipated a smooth journey ahead. However, the universe had other plans. My introduction to my neighbor was anything but ordinary; she noisily tried to enter my team captain's apartment in the middle of the night. Considering he's already married to someone else, the situation raised some eyebrows.

But life loves its curveballs; I ended up injured and sidelined, only to discover that the noisy neighbor isn't some scandalous mistress, but the captain's vibrant, pastel-haired sister. Needing her expertise in rehabilitation to return to the ice, we strike a deal: she helps me recover, expanding her clientele beyond her brother, while I'm tasked with one challenge - keeping our dynamic strictly professional, a feat easier said than done given our palpable chemistry.

Long Shot

Book cover of Long Shot
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by Kennedy Ryan

Meeting August West in a sports bar during her final college semester was a moment Iris DuPree could never forget. Their immediate and electrifying connection felt like destiny, but circumstances weren't on their side. August was on the brink of joining the NBA, while Iris was romantically linked to basketball's "golden boy," who also happened to be August's fiercest competitor.

Although they parted ways, the memory of that night lingered for both. As August soared to stardom as one of the NBA's brightest stars, Iris's seemingly idyllic relationship morphed into a private hell. When fate brings August back into her life, the world regains its color for a moment. However, with shadows lurking and past choices haunting her, Iris realizes that finding her true path means summoning inner resilience and trusting that genuine connections can weather any storm, even when faced with the threat of old ghosts.

The Chase

Book cover of The Chase
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by Elle Kennedy

Being irresistibly drawn to someone who's your polar opposite is a strange feeling, and that's precisely what happens when I meet Colin Fitzgerald. Covered in tattoos, with a passion for video games and hockey, he's not typically my type. Moreover, his somewhat unfair perception of me as a superficial person doesn't endear him to me. The complexity only increases with him being close to my brother, having a best friend who has his eyes on me, and oh, the tiny detail that we're now sharing a living space. While the tension between us could ignite any moment, he's adamant about not seeing me "that way." But I've got bigger things to worry about - adjusting to a new academic environment, dodging advances from an inappropriate professor, and mapping out my uncertain path ahead. However, should a certain moody roommate ever come to his senses and see the potential in what we could have? Well, he knows where I am.

Little Lies

Book cover of Little Lies
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by H. Hunting

Navigating through a myriad of emotions, I once used my words as weapons, slashing through the heart of someone who meant the world to me. I had vowed to be her protector, yet I became the one causing her pain. Now, years later, I'm haunted by the weight of those deceptions and the aftermath of my actions. Lavender Waters, with a name as enchanting as tales of old, was once the damsel I rescued repeatedly. Now, our roles have shifted, and I find myself tangled in the longing of yesteryears, wishing to believe that those lies are still our reality.

Ugly Love

Book cover of Ugly Love
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by Colleen Hoover

When Tate Collins crosses paths with Miles Archer, the dashing airline pilot, sparks fly, but it's far from the romantic fairytales. Both swamped with their lives and commitments, they acknowledge a powerful, undeniable attraction. Succumbing to their desires, they decide on a no-strings-attached liaison, bound by two crystal clear rules: Stay away from the past and don't dream of a future. But emotions aren't tamed that easily. Before they know it, their hearts become entangled, commitments waver, boundaries blur, and what was meant to be uncomplicated morphs into a messy dance of emotions.

The Love Hypothesis

Book cover of The Love Hypothesis
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by Ali Hazelwood

In the meticulous world of science, Olive Smith, a third-year Ph.D. candidate, finds herself in a predicament. To appease her best friend Anh's romantic ideals, Olive impulsively plants a kiss on the first man in sight - the notorious Adam Carlsen, a brilliant yet infamously challenging professor. Surprisingly, Adam consents to be her pretend beau. However, when a major conference throws Olive's professional life into a spiral, not only does she find solace in Adam's steadfast support, but also in his unexpected chiseled physique. Amidst the chaos, their fake relationship starts to feel suspiciously genuine, and Olive soon realizes that analyzing love is a lot trickier than any lab experiment.

The Play

Book cover of The Play
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by Elle Kennedy

After a disappointing season marred by distractions, Hunter Davenport steps up as the new hockey team captain, committed to putting hockey and academics before anything else - even if it means taking a personal vow of celibacy. Still, steering clear of relationships doesn't prevent Hunter from forming a deep friendship with the witty and attractive classmate, Demi Davis. While initially, the fact that she's taken keeps him in check, things take a turn when she finds herself single and hints at wanting more than just friendship. Paired for a year-long project, Hunter grapples with the undeniable chemistry between them. Despite the allure, he's convinced they're mismatched in every sense - especially with her parents' apparent disdain for him. The challenge? Convincing not just his mind, but also his heart and body, that getting involved would be a colossal mistake.

Simmer Down

Book cover of Simmer Down
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by Sarah Smith

Nikki DiMarco left a dream job and promising career to join her mother in serving sumptuous delights from their family's Filipino food truck on the sun-soaked shores of Maui. Yet, the local food truck scene turns out to be fiercer than she imagined, especially when the suave British owner, Callum James, inconveniently parks his truck right next to hers. Their beachside battle for customers quickly escalates into a full-blown public feud, leading them to stake their claims in the upcoming Maui Food Festival: winner takes the prime parking spot. As the competition heats up, so does the tension between them. However, amidst their rivalry, Nikki glimpses a softer, protective side of Callum. The question is, can she muster the courage to bury the hatchet, or will giving in mean getting burned?

Falling For the Groomsman

Book cover of Falling For the Groomsman
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by Diane Alberts

Christine Forsythe, a spirited photojournalist, had an adventurous to-do list in mind, and initially thought a charming groomsman might be just the person to assist. But fate throws her a curveball when she unexpectedly collides with Tyler Dresco at her best friend's wedding. The very man who took her innocence years ago and then vanished without a trace. Their unexpected reunion at the destination wedding becomes a whirlwind of raw emotions and unresolved tension.

Tyler is burdened by guilt from their unforgettable night together, and while the undeniable attraction between them blazes hotter than ever, Christine keeps her distance each time they grow close. Yet, as they dance around their feelings, Christine finds herself ensnared in her own web of seduction, and soon, it's not just Tyler who craves something more profound.

The Spanish Love Deception

Book cover of The Spanish Love Deception
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by Elena Armas

Catalina Martin finds herself in a sticky situation when a small fib about having an American boyfriend for her sister's wedding blows out of proportion. With expectations high and her ex along with his new fiancée expecting to meet this mysterious man, she's racing against the clock to find someone brave enough to fly from New York to Spain and play the part convincingly in front of her lively family.

Just when it seems all hope is lost, her tall and maddeningly annoying colleague, Aaron Blackford, unexpectedly volunteers. While Catalina initially balks at the idea, given their constant office sparring, as the days close in, she grudgingly admits Aaron might be her saving grace. To her surprise, away from the confines of work, he seems slightly less insufferable than she remembered.

Terms and Conditions

Book cover of Terms and Conditions
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by Lauren Acher

In a bid to secure his role as the future CEO of his family's media empire, Declan faces a unique challenge: his grandfather's will dictates he must get married and produce an heir. Just when things seem bleak, his efficient assistant, Iris, steps up with a proposition that appears to solve everything. Their arrangement is meticulously crafted - move in, get hitched, have a child - all while setting strict boundaries to ensure things don't get messy.

But as they play-act their love story for the world, unexpected feelings arise, muddying the waters of their well-laid plan. Suddenly, the lines blur between their make-believe romance and genuine emotions, and Iris finds herself grappling with feelings she never anticipated, especially as the stakes become heartbreakingly real.

It Happened One Summer

Book cover of It Happened One Summer
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by Tessa Bailey

Living the high life, with paparazzi constantly trailing her, Piper Bellinger's wild antics finally catch up to her after one rooftop party too many. After Piper's arrest, as a reality check, her stepfather ships her off to Washington, tasking her and her sister with running their late father's dive bar. Almost immediately, Piper clashes with Brendan, a rugged sea captain who doubts she'll last a week outside her posh Beverly Hills bubble.

Despite their differences, a spark ignites between the two. As Piper encounters Brendan at every turn in the quaint town, she's forced to re-evaluate what she genuinely desires in life. While the glitz and glamour of LA beckon, Piper finds herself drawn to the warm memories of the town and the magnetic pull of Brendan's world.

Deal or No Deal? The Final Verdict

Diving deep into the realm of contemporary romance, the exhilaration of uncovering books like The Deal reaffirms the timeless allure of love stories that make our hearts race. Every tale, unique in its rhythm and melody, beckons readers to experience the fervor of new love and the rollercoaster of emotions that accompany it. As the final page turns and the characters' destinies intertwine, it's hard not to seek out the next literary escapade that promises just as much passion. Until we meet again, fellow romantics, may your reading journey be ever enchanting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Deal by Elle Kennedy About?

In this contemporary sports romance from the Off-Campus series, Hannah Wells finds herself entranced by a certain someone, but her romantic past holds her back. Brimming with confidence in most areas, when it comes to matters of the heart, she's hesitant. That doesn't stop her from forging an unexpected pact with the college's mischievous hockey captain, Garrett Graham. All Garrett dreams of is to play professional hockey, yet his academic performance hangs in the balance, threatening his ambitions. When the promise of tutoring morphs into a charade of passion, a surprise connection kindles between them. Despite being worlds apart - her mingling with the football team and his icy escapades - Garrett soon finds himself on a mission: to show Hannah he's not just another player, on or off the field.

If you love romance novels you might enjoy our list of the best romance books to read when bored.

Portrait of the article author, Penny Somerset
Penny Somerset

I'm an avid reader and bibliophile. With an unquenchable thirst for stories, I love nothing more than burying my nose in a good book - whether it's curled up on the sofa or out in nature. My deep curiosity and appreciation of diverse writing means that there's no one genre that I prefer, but I'm especially keen on books full of adventure and vivid imagination.
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