Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: All Played Out

All Played Out
Author: Cora Carmack
Published:May 12th, 2015
Paperback, 320 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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 thr 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.

As if this series couldn't get any better! Cora has once again made me fall in love with two characters who by all means shouldn't be able to work, but work perfectly and beautifully! We met Nell and Torres briefly in the earlier books, Nell is Dylan's roommate and Torres is the wide receiver for the Rusk University football team. She's a study-aholic who just wants to graduate early so she can go to grad school and he is hoping Rusk will set him in the right direction for a career in the NFL. They both have big dreams but neither expect the other to play a part in them. After watching Dyland and Silas being super adorable, Nell realizes she's missing out on her college experience, so she makes a to do list of normal college things she wants to experience. She follows Dylan's advice and goes out with her group of friends, catching the attention of resident playboy Mateo Torres. She decides he'd be perfect for her hooking up with a jock item and he thinks she's perfect period. Together they begin to check off items from her list, their sexual tension and feelings for each other growing every step of the way.

Leave it to Cora to make me fall for a playboy jock who seems to hook up with everyone he knows. She finds a way to get us inside his head without cringing. We find out that he was hurt badly by the one woman he loved and that's why he won't get close to anyone else. But Nell brings out something in him and the way he treats her, respects her, loves her, is everything a girl could hope for in a guy. And Nell, who's so used to controlling everything and being in control finds that she's able to let herself go around Torres and he brings out this great side of her without risking her dreams. There are great moments between these two characters, some awkward times and some hilarious antics as they move around campus completing the list. They're sweet moments are swoon-worthy and Torres certainly knows how to make a girl feel good. Cora is the queen of New Adult, I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is exactly what I look for in NA. Drama, love, heated moments and realizing what you want by making mistakes, taking things for granted, and falling in love.

This is the kind of book I just want to talk about. I want all my friends to read it, I want to hand sell to my customers at work, and I just want to pick it up and read it again, falling back into Rusk and my friends there. This makes me want to make my own to-do list of things I haven't experienced yet and go on crazy adventures with my love. It's never too late, even though I've long graduated from college? Right?

"Don't worry about whether you might be wrong someday. Worry about whether you're right now. Tomorrow can wait."

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