REVIEW: The Legacy by Elle Kennedy
The Legacy is a quartet of related stories that catches the reader up with the couples in the Briar U Off-Campus series three years after most of them have graduated. The blurb…
And a surprise pregnancy.”
…pretty much covers the central plots of each story, and early on you can figure out which description fits which couple.
The first story, The Pact, features Logan and Grace, stars of book two of the original series, The Mistake. Logan is now a professional hockey player, and Grace is finishing up her last year at Briar. As the story opens, both Logan and Grace are frustrated by the lack of quality time they have to spend together. It’s hockey season, and Logan is frequently away for road games, plus practice is intense. Grace also has a hectic schedule, and though Briar is close to Boston, where Logan lives and plays, both of them are feeling a little disconnected.
Logan seeks advice from his teammate and friend Garrett, who advises Logan to make the relationship a priority as much as he can and “have adventures.” Grace characterizes the relationship to her friend as “blah”, while specifying that their sex life is great (because of course it is). Logan decides to take Grace away for a quick New Year’s trip to a bed-and-breakfast in Vermont.
The majority of the story takes place on the road (this is literally a road story), after Logan and Grace get caught in a snowstorm and have to wait overnight in his increasingly cold truck for roadside assistance. It makes for a sweet and intimate story – and sexy, because of course they decide to share body heat the old-fashioned way. They also banter (Grace is insistent that if one of them should pass away before help arrives, the other should cannibalize them for sustenance), and come to some conclusions about the future of their relationship. I liked the intimacy of this story and the focus on the h/h, and I gave The Pact a B+.
In The Proposal, Dean (from book three, The Score) has renounced his slutty past in a big way; he’s ready to propose to his girlfriend, Allie. They’ve been together for a while, and they already live together in New York. Dean is teaching at a private school and coaching hockey. Allie is an actress who got a role on a television show right out of college (if I recall correctly, I thought that plot point was a little unrealistic when it was introduced at the end of The Score).
Whereas the The Pact was very focused on the h/h, this story, probably more than others in the book, has a lot of padding – Dean and Allie have gone to Boston to attend their friends’ wedding. First there are pre-wedding festivities (tame bachelor and bachelorette parties), and then the wedding itself; all feature not just the other couples in the book, but various characters from the original series.
It’s only after that’s out of the way that the conflict between Dean and Allie rears its head. Suffice to say – the two aren’t on the same page about their relationship. It’s all resolved fairly quickly (not without some silly hotel room shenanigans). I gave The Proposal a B.
The Honeymoon stars Sabrina and Tucker of book four of the original series, The Goal. In that book, a surprise pregnancy brought together laid back Tucker and intense law student Sabrina. Now, parents of toddler Jamie, they are finally getting married. Tucker is a successful owner of several Boston bars and Sabrina has just graduated from law school.
Their supposed-to-be-blissful honeymoon at a posh St. Maartens mansion belonging to Dean’s family (who are loaded) is continually interrupted by mishaps. Even before they get there, their flight has to make an emergency landing in Jacksonville; later Tucker is stung by a jellyfish; they both suffer bad sunburns, and so on.
Both Tucker and Sabrina are feeling a certain restlessness and uncertainty about their futures – he is bored with his businesses that are so well run he doesn’t have enough to do; Sabrina is trying to make a decision about what type of law firm she wants to work at. A fortuitous meeting with their next door neighbors, Kevin and Bruce, might just provide solutions for both of them.
I gave this one a B; I liked the setting but the conflicts between the couple (over making a will after their airplane mishap, among other things) felt contrived and the “honeymoon-where-everything-goes-wrong” plot didn’t engage me very much.
The last story is called The Legacy. Hannah and Garrett were featured in book one of the original series, The Mistake. This is a little bit of a heavier read: Garrett is coming to terms with his terrible, abusive father, and Hannah has a secret she’s afraid to share with Garrett.
Garrett is now a professional hockey player, on the same Boston team as his friend Logan. This makes for a running storyline where hockey gossips posit the two are lovers, because Logan stays in Garrett’s hotel room in the first story after finding a naked groupie in his bed (it’s played for laughs but I had one of those “this would be so incredibly creepy if the genders were reversed” moments that kind of spoiled the humor for me).
The hockey season is over and it was a successful one for Garrett. He’s getting attention, and with it comes an offer for a profile on ESPN. The catch is that Garrett is expected to do the show with his father, hockey legend Phil Graham. Garrett hates his father and wants nothing to do with him; the man physically and psychologically abused him as a child, and Garrett makes every effort to avoid him. Garrett’s agent, who knows about the abuse, is pressuring Garrett to do the interview, and it’s causing Garrett a lot of stress.
When Hannah has a crisis, things come to a head, and Garrett finally feels ready to do what he needs to do in order to get closure on his issues with his father. I gave The Legacy a B+.
Overall, this was an entertaining and easy read; at times the couples felt very young to be making the big life choices they make (this is probably partly my own age speaking but also that most of the characters evince a certain lack of maturity at one point or another in the story). I do like the camaraderie between the four couples and their running jokes; one woven through all the stories involves a creepy doll that each couple keeps finding a way to pass off to one of the others.
The average of the grades on the individual stories is between a B+ and a B, but I feel comfortable giving the whole book the higher grade. I wouldn’t mind returning to Briar University someday (or getting a similar update on the couples in the second quartet of books featuring the school).