All Played Out (Rusk University #3) by Cora Carmack
Publication Date: May 12th, 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports – American Football
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
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.
The third installment to the Rusk University series, and personally, my favourite. Once again our focus turns to the most unlikely couple. Nell DeLuca, an incredibly intelligent woman set to graduate early but is looking to push herself out of her comfort zone, and Mateo Torres, the football teams Wide receiver and life of the party.
We briefly meet Nell in All Broke Down as Dylan’s focused and introverted roommate. In this book, we get an insight into her brilliant mind. Nell is a genius, that’s a fact. She’s also driven and very focused on her future career. However, by focusing so much time and energy into her studies, she leaves little room for socialising and having fun. With her impending graduation right around the corner, Nell decides that for her final semester she’s going to create a list of tasks to complete her college experience. What she doesn’t expect is for Mateo Torres to play a part in completing those tasks. It’s easy to relate to Nell. Like her, I never really fit in anywhere or was always on the outside looking in, so to see her push her boundaries and explore a side of her that she never knew existed was easy to relate to. Yes, some of the situation she faces are awkward, but they’re also endearing.
When Mateo finds out about the list he is insistent in helping her complete it. Mateo is the perfect candidate to help her. He’s the life of the party and oozes charm and charisma. If anyone can help her break out of her shell, it’s him. Mateo also has an alternative motive for helping her, but the list also brings about a few surprises for him as his feelings for Nell deepen along the way.
Like the previous books, the romance takes center stage in All Played Out. If anything, with every installment in this series the romances, get sexier and steamier. The chemistry is palpable between Nell and Mateo, but it’s the tenderness between them that brings out the swoon. Mateo is aware of Nell’s inexperience and never pushes her for more than she’s willing to give. Nell brings out a softer side to Mateo, and in those moments we see his vulnerability. They are opposites in a lot of ways, but they also bring out the best in one another and push each other out of their comfort zones. The conflict in this book is minimal but what we do get is realistically executed and forces Nell and Mateo to confront their own doubts.
All Played Out is a personal favourite in this series. Mateo’s charming personality and surprising tenderness will undoubtedly sweep you off of your feet. However, Nell stole the show in this book. She was an easy character to relate to and it was a joy seeing her open herself up to new opportunities, bring her out of her shell and listen to her heart.