Monday, May 11, 2015

All Played Out - Review

Author: Cora Cormack
Publication Date:  May 12, 2015
Publisher:  William Morrow
Series:  Rusk University, book 3
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience). 

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game. 

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

My Review:  

I Really loved this book. I loved that it was a little more light-hearted than the first two, which totally fits with the main characters, Nell and Torres, I loved that the angst level wasn't as high, and  loved that these two characters are so very swoon worthy.  

Nell is such a relatable character to so many people.  Here is this girl who works her arse off to be the best Nell she can be, who sacrifices to attain her goals.  She's super smart, caring, gentle, driven, determined, and ultimately lonely.  She's spent just over two years busting through her college curriculum and is set to graduate in a few months.  It was truly heart breaking to watch her as she watched everyone around her falling in love.  After one such encounter Dylan, her roommate and girlfriend to Silas...SILAS, Dylan stirs the seeds of doubt that Nell has been planting.  Nell begins to do more than just crave a connection to the world around her she decides to go out and try to truly live in the moment.  So what does any self respecting 'nerd' do?  She Googles the heck out of college life and makes a list!  I love this list, I could feel her satisfaction with each line she drew across an accomplished task, I like that she was true to herself and had set goals that she refused to give up on.  I like that this list brought her Torres.

Star wide receiver, joker, player, broken hearted good guy.  Torres is a dichotomy, here's this guy who is the life of the party, the guy who is always on, always ready with a fast joke and for a good time and yet he ends up being one of the most broken, hurt, gentle, and kind guy we've met so far in this series.  I adored his relationship with Nell, I can just imagine her looking up at him, love shining in her eyes as he looks down at her with the same adoration, a laughing mouth and a possessive (not creepy possessive) hand gentle wrapped around her waist.  He may go into the relationship with the intent to 'use' Nell to get over a past relationship but he quickly learns it won't work.  Unfortunately as men are wont to do (haha) he doesn't realize the error of his ways soon enough and ends up hurting himself and Nell in the process.  I have to say for me his backstory is the only thing keeping me from a 5 star for the book.  I appreciate that he has this prior history, I understand how it has affected him and how he would carry it with him into his relationships after.  The thing that 'got' me was that I didn't feel like he (we/me) got true closure with it.  Does he work it out in his mind yeah, but I feel like with as much as it affected his life we needed more than an epiphany, we needed a moment where he got to truly say his peace, a moment where Torres was allowed to show his heart breaker that he was/is worthy and that his dreams are realistic and possible.  Maybe he will get that and I just have to imagine it in my head and maybe it really doesn't matter to anyone but me, but after struggling with the idea that he took that relationship forward into his moments with Nell I just needed a door slammed there to close it out and feel like he won.  I think I clearly have a vengeful spirit, must be the red-head in me. *wink*

All Played Out is anther homer or should I say TOUCHDOWN for Cora Carmack.  It fits in perfectly with this wonderful series.  Her boys will win your heart and her girls will have you on the sidelines with them cheering for love and happiness!  I am so happy this All Played Out was a bit light-hearted and fun because I have a feeling that we will all be drowning ourselves in our cups and tissues come Stella's book (please let it be with that one guy, you know the guy of whom I speak, PLEEEEEEASE!) and this is just the relief we need before we are hit with all that emotion.  Well Played Cora, well played

Fans of New Adult, fans of romance, fans of football, fans of swoon-worthy heroes and driven loving heroines, this is the series for you.  These are great reads anytime but with summer on the verge of an appearance these books would make a perfect beach read!  Make sure to grab your self up a copy of each of these.  These can be read as stand-alones but there will be mention of prior couples so as always my suggestion would be to start at book one although it is not necessary! 

~Happy Reading~

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Losing It series. 

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