Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

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All Played Out (Rusk University #3)
    by: Cora Carmack

Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 320 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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.

 
 
You guys. This was my favorite of the Rusk U books thus far! I absolutely adored Mateo and Nell... and their chemistry? Off the charts HOT! Whew! I loved being back with the gang and I'm really looking forward to Stella's book, even though I know it's going to hurt something fierce. I really liked seeing her and Nell interact though. It definitely gave me hope for Stella that she will get through everything that has happened, because she has some amazing people on her side.
 
Mateo and Nell are opposites in every way. Mateo is the more flirtatious, outgoing, happy go lucky kind of guy who really can't be taken too seriously, where Nell is all about serious. She's extremely driven, studious, and has a very specific plan for her future. She's also on the shyer, quieter side. Lately, however, Nell has been feeling a bit caged in and finds herself wanting to be a bit on the wilder side. She has been so dedicated to her studies for so long, that she feels like she's missing out on a lot of really great experiences. With her graduating after only two years, (there's a reason Mateo calls her girl genius!) she's really feeling her time is limited before she starts looking into graduate schools. I think part of this has to do with seeing her roommate Dylan and her new boyfriend, Silas. Nell is fascinated by them as a couple and how effortlessly the two complement one another.
 
Dylan warns Mateo away from her friend, but he's always liked more quiet, shy girls. Nell reminds him of the first girl he really loved, so he's naturally drawn to her. As he gets to know her however, he starts to see her for her and the great person she is. I loved seeing him bring her out of her shell and good Lord, can that boy dirty talk like a champ. I loved how unashamed he was when it came to being sexual and I think his attitude really helped her because he didn't skirt around what he wanted.
Their scenes were so incredible together and I really needed a fan after it was all said and done!
 
I do feel the storyline wasn't overly original, with Nell checking items off her college bucket list, as I've read a few other NA's like that, but that is really a moot point. Carmack's writing is all her own and I was so engaged in the story, that it didn't even matter. It was fun, sexy, and had it's tender, more serious moments. I loved seeing the gang and how tight knit of a group they are. I really feel that is going to be a huge factor in the next book.
 
So. In conclusion- you need this book. It's so much fun watching Nell come out of her shell, especially with Mateo- who is just a goofy, loveable guy. I love that she is a bit nerdy with her scientific brain and how she looks at things so differently. It made for a great reading experience and I will definitely be keeping this book close when I'm in need of some sexy times and fun banter!
 

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16 comments

  1. I seriously NEED to check out this series. It sounds absolutely fantastic and I do love Cora Carmack, so I'm sure I'll love this series too. And woo, did you just say dirty talker?! You know that only makes me want to read it faster. :D
    Great review, Jess!

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    1. YOU DO! Haha. At first I was little underwhelmed by the first book, but I think it was my mood. Oh yes, I loved Mateo's dirty mouth. I was reading at school and was completely scandalized. HAH.

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  2. I seriously have to start this series soon. I know I am going to love it and I am particularly excited to read this book. I love the whole bucket list aspect. Awesome review Jessica!

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    1. Yes! I think you'll really like it Teresa! Her books are so fun. And I like the bucket list in college NA's too. It's always really fun.

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  3. Despite it not feeling that original, I'm glad to read that the writing style made it wonderful! I just love the sound of this series and I hate that I haven't started it yet! Boo on me! Anyway, lovely review :)

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    1. I think it felt unoriginal because I had read a couple of other books that had bucket lists this year, so it was like, oh ok. Another one. But Cora's writing is so amazing, I didn't even care!

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  4. I want to read this one so much!! I can't wait to read this swoony romance with a couple that has loads of chemistry. Ahh lovely review, hun <3

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    1. Eeeep! I really hope you like it as much as I did Rachel! I always get nervous when I love a book- I'm afraid someone else will hate it! LOL. Mateo is so swoony though. He's like a big, sexy teddy bear. LOVE!

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  5. This wasn't my favorite of the series but I still liked it. I like the series overall too, it's just fun and sexy and low on drama. And yes, the story is not all that original, but like Joey says, it's a moo point ;)

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    1. Haha. I'm glad you still liked it hun! I do like the low angst on these. I've actually been shying away from heavier books lately. I'm just not into them.

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  6. It seems like this book is everywhere. I haven't started the series myself, and am not completely sure that it ever made it to the TBR. I will have to check on that. It is always good to see a series that still delivers a few installments in. Thank you for your review.

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    1. Agreed! Sometimes series lose steam, but because these are companions I think it's easier to keep things fresh since they are a new storyline. I'm glad they've all worked out for me!

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  7. I still have to read the final book in the Losing It series, Finding It, and then I plan on moving onto this series. I already have a copy of the first two books in the series, so I don't have any excuses for not reading it yet.I happy to hear you enjoyed it. Nice review!

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    1. I know not everyone liked Finding It, but I REALLY did. I think it was the international location and the oh so sexy Jackson Hunt that did me in. Hah! I hope you like this series when you get to them!

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  8. I'm glad you liked this one. I personally didn't care for it at all but I know I'm definitely in the minority. I adore the series but it's probably the weakest for me.

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    1. Aw bummer Ashley! That makes me sad. But I do understand it not being the favorite. I hope Stella's story will work out better for you!

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