The Graham Effect (Campus Diaries #1) Read Online Elle Kennedy

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary, New Adult, Sports Tags Authors: Series: Campus Diaries Series by Elle Kennedy

Total pages in book: 156
Estimated words: 155203 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 776(@200wpm)___ 621(@250wpm)___ 517(@300wpm)

Gigi Graham has exactly three goals: qualify for the women’s national hockey team, win Olympic gold, and step out of her famous father’s shadow. So far, so good, except for two little things. Fine–a little thing and a big, grumpy thing. She needs to improve her game behind the net, and she needs help from Luke Ryder.

Ryder is six-foot five, built, opinionated, rude…and sexy as hell. But he’s still the enemy.

Briar’s new hockey co-captain has his reasons, though. The men’s team just merged with a rival program, leaving Ryder with an angry roster where everyone hates one another’s guts. To make matters worse, the summer coaching spot he’s angling for with the legendary Garrett Graham is out of reach after he makes the worst possible first impression on his hero. So, really, this compromise with Gigi is win-win. He helps her make the national team, she puts in a good word
with her dad.

The only potential snag? This bone-deep, body-numbing, mind-spinning chemistry they’re trying to ignore. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing, but the risks just might be worth it.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



Is he famous or something?



I proudly replied, “Stanley Cup.”

My four-year-old self thought the Cup was a person. In fact, what I gleaned from all those adult conversations going on around me is that my dad personally knew Stanley Cup (met him several times, actually), an honor bestowed to only the most elite group. Which meant Stanley, whoever this great man was, had to be some kind of legend. A phenom. A person one must aspire to be.

Forget turning out like my dad, a measly professional athlete. Or my mother, a mere award-winning songwriter.

I was going to be Stanley Cup and rule the fucking world.

I can’t remember who burst my bubble. Probably my twin brother, Wyatt. He’s an unrepentant bubble burster.

The damage was done, though. While Wyatt got a normal nickname from our dad when we were kids—the tried and true “champ”—I was dubbed Stanley. Or Stan, when they’re feeling lazy. Even Mom, who pretends to be annoyed with all the obnoxious nicknames spawned in the hockey sphere, slips up sometimes. She asked Stanley to pass her the potatoes last week at dinner. Because she’s a traitor.

This morning, another traitor is added to the list.

“Stan!” a voice calls from the other end of the corridor. “I’m popping out to pick up coffee for your dad and the other coaches. Want anything?”

I turn to glare at my father’s assistant. “You promised you’d never call me that.”

Tommy gives me the courtesy of appearing contrite. Then he throws that courtesy out the window. “Okay. Don’t shoot the messenger, but it might be time to accept you’re fighting a losing battle. You want my advice?”

“I do not.”

“I say you embrace the nickname, my beautiful darling.”

“Never,” I grumble. “But I will embrace ‘my beautiful darling.’ Keep calling me that. It makes me feel dainty but powerful.”

“You got it, Stan.” Laughing at my outraged face, he prompts, “Coffee?”

“No, I’m good. But thanks.”

Tommy bounds off, a bundle of unceasing energy. During the three years he’s been my dad’s personal assistant, I’ve never seen the man take so much as a five-minute break. His dreams probably all take place on a treadmill.

I continue down the hall toward the ladies’ change rooms, where I quickly kick off my sneakers and throw on my skates. It’s 7:30 a.m., which gives me plenty of time to get in a morning warm-up. Once camp gets underway, chaos will ensue. Until then, I have the rink all to myself. Just me and a fresh sheet of beautiful, clean ice, unmarred by all the blades that are about to scratch it up.

The Zamboni is wrapping up its final lap when I walk out. I inhale my favorite smells in the world: The cool bite of the air and the sharp odor of rubber-coated floors. The metallic scent of my freshly sharpened skates. It’s hard to describe how good it feels breathing it all in.

I hit the ice and do a couple of slow, lazy laps. I’m not even participating in this juniors camp, but my body never lets me veer from my routine. For as long as I can remember I’ve woken up early for my own private practice. Sometimes I assign myself simple drills. Sometimes I just glide aimlessly. During the hockey season, when I have to attend actual practices, I take care not to overexert myself with these little solo skates. But this week I’m not here to play, only to help my dad. So there’s nothing stopping me from doing a full sprint down the wall.

I skate hard and fast, then fly behind the net, make that tight turn, and accelerate hard toward the blue line. By the time I slow down, my heart is pounding so noisily that for a moment it drowns out the voice from the home bench.

“…to be here!”

I turn to see a guy about my age standing there.

The first thing I notice about him is the scowl.

The second thing I notice is that he’s still astoundingly good-looking despite the scowl.

He has one of those attractive faces that can sport a scowl without a single aesthetic consequence. Like, it only makes him hotter. Gives him that rugged, bad-boy edge.

“Hey, did you hear me?” His voice is deeper than I expect. He sounds like he should be singing country ballads on a Tennessee porch.

He hops out the short door, his skates hitting the ice. He’s tall, I realize. He towers over me. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes that shade of blue. They’re impossibly dark. Steely sapphire.

“Sorry, what?” I ask, trying not to stare. How is it possible for someone to be this attractive?

His black hockey pants and gray jersey suit his tall frame. He’s kind of lanky, but even at fifteen or sixteen, he’s already built like a hockey player.