15 May 2015

Tour & Review: All Played Out


All Played Out - Rusk University #3
by Cora Carmack





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What they say: 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. 




Get Your Copy Today!


And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP and ALL BROKE DOWN Today!

ALL LINED UP, Book 1

ALL BROKE DOWN, Book 2

 

For more of what’s next in The Rusk University Series, go here!

Add  Book 4, ALL CLOSED OFF, to your Goodreads now!




I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!


What I say: All Played Out is a great example of how love doesn't always come in the form we expect, that opposites often really do attract. Cora Carmack is great at drawing her readers into in her stories. Although this definitely isn't the first story where we see the clever girl and the jock (and I'm sure it won't be the last), in All Played Out Carmack gives Mateo and Nell real depth and heart - I desperately wanted them to get a HEA.

Speaking of opposites: Whilst Nell is small, reserved and studious, Mateo is 'football player' huge (seriously look at the cover model), loud, kinda pervy and popular. Nell is about to graduate Uni early, when she realises she hasn't exactly had the 'normal' Uni experience and that she doesn't have long left to do so. In a bid to step out of her comfort zone, she makes a Uni bucket list (a girl after my own heart) and Mateo appoints himself as her list completion assistant. 

I loved Nell because she's so freaking awkward and uncomfortable around most social situations - but I liked how hard she tried to change and complete her list (I loved the library and statue chapters). Mateo is the player of his group of friends, and lets face it, until now his main contribution has been party provider and purveyor of smut. But once we get more of his backstory we slowly begin to understand that he's not as comfortable in the role he's cast himself in and that he's just trying to protect himself. I could have done without so many mentions of a certain person, but I understood his hangups!  



Cora brings out the sexy (I can't bring myself to write she's bring sexy back) in All Played Out as there are some hot scenes, but many really cute and sweet moments too. I loved Mateo's smutty comments and how he had a one-liner for every situation - but also that he learnt when it was best to zip-it. I appreciated how the story had drive and drama but that it wasn't overly dramatic. As much as I like angst, it can sometimes be hard to read about and I'm not a fan of drama for dramas sake in NA books.


I really like the series and all of the books have the right balance of sexy, poignant and heartwarming. I'm looking forward to Stella's story up next, but I think that it's probably going to be hard to read about certain events. I really want to see her and a certain overprotective guy get together. 

4 - 4.5 Stars in my Sky!


Excerpt:


The door opens, and my stomach dips at the sight of Nell’s bleary eyes and rumpled hair. She squints at me, and then winces at the sunlight, instinctively taking a step back into the house.
I step in after her without waiting for an invitation, and shut the door firmly behind me.
“I brought coffee,” I say, lifting the tray up into her line of sight.
“Shhh!” She holds one hand up to me and the other to her forehead.
“I think,” she says, her voice raspy, “there’s a herd of elephants in my head.”
“Welcome to the world of hangovers, sweetheart.”
She blinks at me, then says matter-of-factly, “I’m going back to bed.”
She shuffles down the hallway, and I follow her, still holding the coffee carrier and resisting the urge to laugh. Then she swings her bedroom door wide, and doesn’t bother to close it before tumbling headlong into her bed. Again, I take that as permission, closing the door in case Dylan comes home unexpectedly.
Before Nell can slip back into sleep, I force the coffee into her hand.
“Drink a little of this,” I tell her. “It’ll help clear up the headache and nausea.” She doesn’t look like she believes me, but she takes a sip anyway. “Aspirin will help, too, if you have some.”
“Bathroom,” she says, and I go out to the hallway bathroom. I find a bottle in the second cabinet I open.
When I return to her room, she asks, “You find it?”
“I did. Right next to your box of tampons. The things I endure for you, woman.” She rolls her eyes and takes the aspirin, and she drinks about half the coffee before placing the cup on the nightstand and sinking back against her pillows. She must be feeling better because she finally asks the question I’d expected to hear the second she opened the door. “What are you doing here?”
I shrug, toe off my sneakers, and throw myself down on the covers on the other side of her bed. She groans when the mattress bounces, but other than that doesn’t complain.
“I knew you’d be miserable this morning ...”
“And you decided that was something you needed to see?”
“I decided I could be of some help. I’ve had more than my fair share of hangovers. When that coffee kicks in all the way, we’ll get you showered and dressed, and then we’ll go out for some greasy breakfast. You’ll be good as new in no time.”
“You’ve done this more than once? Are you crazy? I never want to drink again.”
“Everybody says that. If you don’t, you’re not doing it right.”
“I don’t feel like I did anything right.”
“You checked another thing off your list, didn’t you?”
She throws an arm over her eyes in lieu of an answer, and after a minute or so of silence, she asks, “Why are you really here?”
“I told you, I—”
“If you feel sorry for me because of what happened last night or what I said, don’t. Please. I’d really rather you just leave.”
“I can’t do that. Sorry.”
“Why?”
“Because last time I let you get away from me, you called some giant ginger-bearded monster to get you drunk, and look how well that turned out. Face it. You need me.”
She makes a groan that sounds vaguely laughlike. “Matt is not a monster.”
“We’ll agree to disagree.”
She sighs, and rolls on her side to face me. I suck in a breath because even hungover, she’s beautiful. And that fiery, challenging look in her eyes always goes straight to my cock.
“And if I had wanted to call you?” she asks. “I don’t have your number.”
“You could have just thought of me. I would have known and come running. I’m practically a superhero in that regard.”
“Riiight.”
“Why so disbelieving? Unless you thought of me, and it didn’t work? Were you thinking of me last night, girl genius?”
“Not even a little bit.”
“I thought about you. Even during the game last night when I should have been concentrating on not getting my ass kicked, you kept popping up. I think I might be addicted to you, Antonella De Luca.” 
“How do you know my full name?” 
“I might have done a little snooping last night while you were out of it. So you were valedictorian in high school, huh?”
“Just how much snooping did you do?”
“Relax. Your list is safe. I promised I wouldn’t read it, and I didn’t.” My eyes drop to her lips, which she keeps pressing together in what I assume is nervousness. “It was tempting, though.” 
All of her is tempting, and I should probably get out of this bed right now before I drag her beneath me and remind myself just what her skin tastes like. 
Regretfully, I pull myself up to a sitting position and say, “All right, sweetheart. Go shower so we can get breakfast. Unless you need assistance, then I’d be happy to—” 
She cuts me off. “No. No, I think I can handle that alone.”
“Pity,” I say. “Well, I’ll be here waiting in your bed in case you change your mind.” 
She stands up and faces me, still all cute and rumpled from sleep. “You are so ...” She trails off, and shakes her head, turning for the door instead. 
As she heads for the bathroom, I call out, “I’m so what? Charming? Devastatingly handsome?”
“You so better be in the living room by the time I’m done with my shower.” 
Damn. I’d been looking forward to seeing her in a towel. 
Next time. 


Author Spotlight:

Headshot


Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author 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 now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

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