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All Played Out: A Rusk University Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 339 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 3 of 3 in Rusk University
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From the Author
"If this costume weren't so ... so ..."
"Sexy?" she prompts.
"Well, that's what you get for buying a costumethe day before Halloween. Everything is picked over by then. You didn't want togo as Jasmine and have your stomach showing, so this is what you got. Besides,it kind of fits you."
I gesture to the button over my chest that'sthreatening to pop with any sudden movement. "It does not kind of fit me."
"I mean, the schoolgirl vibe. It's like theamplified version of you. That's perfect for Halloween."
"There is absolutely no universe where theamplified version of me would not be wearing yoga pants and glasses."
"Fine. It's the bold and wild version of you.Nothing wrong with trying bold and wild for a change."
I groan and throw myself down on the toiletseat beside her. "I've changed my mind. I don't think I should go to this partyafter all. All those people, and costumes, and decorations. I think Halloweenis way too overwhelming for my first foray into the college party scene."
Dylan tosses her mascara into her makeup bagand faces me, her look now complete. She manages to appear both classy and sexyin a homemade Statue of Liberty costume. Only Dylan could make Lady Libertylook hot.
"Just take a deep breath, Nell. This isn'tnearly as scary as you're making it out to be in your head. I promise."
"Maybe not for you. But the idea of being insome frat house with a bunch of people I don't know--"
She cuts me off. "We're not going to one of thefrat parties. Everyone has been avoiding that scene since ... well, it doesn'tmatter. The group decided it would be better to have something smaller, moremanageable. It's at Silas's house. And it's only people they know and trust.You'll be fine. I know it."
Apparently "people they know and trust"translates into about thirty people on the lawn, fifteen on the porch, and morepeople than I can count on the inside. Dylan's hand is wrapped tight around myelbow as we step through the entryway to Silas's house. She's on her tiptoes,searching for him, and all I can think about is making a break for it andgetting out of there as soon as possible.
I'm so concentrated on keeping my short skirtdown and the too-tight white shirt buttoned up that I don't even realize she'sfound her boyfriend until she lets go of my arm. At the loss of her touch, Ilook up, panicked. Silas is dressed as a fireman, and he drops his helmet tocircle his arms around Dylan. His fist clutches at the material on the back ofher dress, just above her bottom, and I immediately look away, only to lockeyes with the one person I want to see even less than a very public display ofaffection.
He has a beer lifted halfway to his mouth, but hisjaw is slack, and he's staring at me. No, "stare" does not quite do justice to the look he's giving me. His eyes raze me, and when I lift my hand totouch my neck, subconsciously covering my all-too-visible cleavage, I'msurprised my skin doesn't flake away into ashes from the fire in his gaze.
Adrenaline surges through me, and for a momentit feels like a fight-or-flight impulse, and I wonder why my brain still readshis presence as dangerous. But then I stop and think. It's not quite the samesensation. Fight or flight generally makes me either panic or freeze up. It'sabout fear. This is different. When seconds pass and he still hasn't taken hiseyes off of me, I recognize the extra sensation riding on the adrenaline'sheels.
He makes me feel powerful.
I drop my eyes, overwhelmed by the rush ofpleasure I feel at that idea, and am faced instead with his costume that Ihadn't noticed before. Or more correctly, his near lack of a costume. His chestis bare, and I can't help but measure him with my eyes. His chest is broad,hewn in muscles that couldn't be more defined if an artist sculpted them. Hisskin is a warm bronze, and it looks so smooth to the touch. Everywhere. Exceptfor the small line of dark hair disappearing beneath a strange, leatherlikecloth.
God. A loincloth. He's wearing nothing but a loincloth.
Then he's moving toward me, and I don't knowwhere to look. His dangerous gaze. His naked chest. That cloth that hides only... oh, mercy.
A part of me likes hearing him say my name entirelytoo much. And that part ... is a fool.
"Still ignoring my request that you stay away?"I ask stiffly.
"If you wanted me to stay away, you definitelyshouldn't have worn that."
A furious blush steals across my cheeks anddown my neck. "Dylan insisted I wear a costume, and this was all that was leftat the store."
"Thank God for Dylan, then. And forprocrastination. Can you do me a favor and say, 'Hit me, baby, one more time?'Pretty please?"
Ratherthan answering, I actually hit him. But when my palm makes contact with thehard muscle of his shoulder, I wish I hadn't. Because now that I know what hisbare skin feels like, I'm not sure I'll be able to forget the sensation. Mybrain is already cataloging the feel, comparing it to all the other people I'vetouched, and coming up empty for comparison. Is it normal for him to feel so warm?
It's the alcohol, I decide. It must be. I readsomething once about it dilating blood vessels and bringing warmer blood closerto the surface of the skin.
Yes, that's absolutely it.
After you read, I hope you'll consider leaving a review. Even if it's only a few sentences. Good or bad, reviews help up visibility for a book and can help other readers decide which books to purchase. Thanks so much for reading! <3 CC
4-ALL CLOSED OFF (Release Date TBD)
The STEALING STORMS series (a Young Adult high fantasy)
Cora Carmack's new series is my brand-new addiction!-- "Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author, praise for the series"
No one does romance and humor like Cora Carmack!-- "Jennifer L. Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author, praise for the series" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- Publication date : May 12, 2015
- File size : 585 KB
- Print length : 339 pages
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks (May 12, 2015)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00KACF83W
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #585,642 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I really, really loved this. Of course there was some drama present. But I liked how it wasn’t 75% of the book. Mostly, it was just a joy to read. I could really relate to Nell, and I fell in love with Mateo. I also thing that’s a beautiful name, Mateo.
I both liked and disliked how the side character I mentioned previously dealt with her experience. Her friends were supportive, yet gave her some space. She didn’t lock herself up but she didn’t participate in many things either. Which of course, I understand. But I did feel like she should have asked for help! Maybe you don’t like to talk about it. That’s completely fine. But you should try and find a way to deal with it. I don’t know, I’ve luckily never been through anything similar so I can’t really tell her what to do.
Mateo was just as adorable as I was expecting…and he was covering such a big hurt, my heart felt for him. Wish the fact he was hispanic had played into it somehow…never really knew much about him outside of Lina…except that one glimpse into wanting to have something of his own. I loved that. He was bright, effervescent, he just knew how to put others at ease. And he could be hilarious. I was worried about the medical stuff, but so glad he figured it out.
Nell was not at all what I was expecting, though I’m not sure *what* I was expecting, you know? I loved that she was so different from both Dallas and Dylan. I loved that we got to see someone not as comfortable in social situations, a definite introvert…and someone with damage from being on the outside in high school. I could vibe with parts of her, she was just a more extreme example. Occasionally it felt like she almost changed as the book went on, and it was a shame to lose those parts of her. But really she was just growing. I loved how straightforward she could be, even if it came with the negative side effect of occasionally being too honest and hurting people.
The standout in this book was definitely the chemistry between Mateo and Nell. It was PALPABLE. Like, the whole skinny dipping section was tingle city. DAMN, just thinking about it, hoowee!!! Seriously, I loved them together. I loved how Mateo was able to bring Nell out of her shell, and he just wouldn’t let up on the flirting! And I love a man who can appreciate a smart woman. I also loved that Nell really tried to understand Mateo, what made him tick, what was important to him. Their steamy chemistry was obviously off the charts, but I also loved the friendship chemistry they developed.
I also appreciated the sis-mance that developed between Stella and Nell. Makes me want Stella’s story even more, which is a bummer since it seems to be on a long term hold. Ah well.
Nell is the kind of "brainiac" who study to no end and doesn't have a real life to talk about. But as her roommate Dylan hooks up with Silas the jock she starts thinking about the fact she is finishing college (early) in less than two months and basically missed the whole "college experience". So she does her usual - compile a "to-do" list for all those stupid college activities she never even considered doing. She finds the best accomplice for the job - Mateo whom we already met in the previous installments - he lives with Carson and Silas and is known for being totally uninhibited. Most of the time Nell finds Mateo to be terrifying, and yet there is something so appealing in the easy way he sails through life she finds herself nevertheless drawn to him. For me it sort of didn't make any sense.. and mostly I was tired of the way she tried to make sense of everything around her. If one thing can be said about her is she is NOT FUN. Maybe she does things out of her comfort zone (the ones on her list mostly) but her constant worry and complaints destroyed the whole experience. She is scared of her own shadow and she is SO insecure I truly can't see her as a MC material.
Mateo is all about living the life, enjoying the game and his friends, and having fun as much as possible, he doesn't have a real plan for the future even though he dreamed of professional Football from a young age. It all changes about a year ago when he and Lina broke up, she telling him basically that he won't amount to nothing, leaving him to pursue her academic interests. At first glance Nell reminds him of Lina which is why he is determined to spend as much time with her as he can, believing she could be a sort of "cure" for his broken heart, and yet Nell couldn't be more different than Lina but it takes him long enough to realize that, and also to see in a different light the whole relationship he used to idolize. Though I enjoyed reading Mateo's POV with his easy going take of life, I struggled with too much of his POV as well, it was either idolizing Nell as "girl genius" (The worst nickname EVER) or Football talk. Since I don't understand ANYTHING about the game (besides the ball not being round) it was a bunch of words compiled together that meant absolutely NOTHING to me. I would have loved getting more of his fun side or maybe more about his background (not Lina related).
This book was mostly about "having fun" and sort of "growing up" together for both MCs. Most of the "having fun" felt silly to me, I'm not sure if it's because I'm so far away from their age, or it's that I didn't have that sort of college experience (it's not like that in my country when it comes to colleges..) or maybe it was because I didn't like Nell.. I guess there's a lot of growing up in he MCs inner monologues but since I skimmed a lot of those (mostly of Nell) I mostly got the big punch in the end when everything fell together.
I was glad to have a little glimpse of Stella (that's what kept me reading actually.. getting more of the other characters and maybe a sneak pick into the next installments) but it wasn't a lot. She is in a very confused stage and doesn't really deal with what happened to her, can't wait to get to her book! I like both her and Ryan and so I'm very curious to see what's actually happening between these two! But first I need to wait for it to be published.. and there's no date at the moment.. :(
Tags: New Adult Romance
More Reviews - [...]
This was a cute story where the different perspective was key. I liked that both had vulnerabilities as it made it more real, especially as they’re only 19 and 20 year olds.
Top reviews from other countries
Since Nell wants to become more adventurous she agrees to a game of ultimate frisbee (This game I have never known and slightly want to play. I'm from the UK, this is foreign to me). This is where Torres (“Mateo to you", you’ll get the quote if you read the book. Trust me) literally crash into each other, nearly. This is the catalyst moment for their relationship. Not till a party when Nell sneaks off to the side lines to avoid the party does Mateo learn about the list. Here the adventurous Nell starts to blossom with Mateo’s help. Mateo is keeping his own secret of why he was attracted to Nell in the beginning. Mateo wants to help Nell with the list yet with Nell’s Graduation looming will they get the list finished on time?
If I was you right now the number one thing on my list or up high on the list would be to read this book. A mix of romance and football, the greatest mix ever.
What I also found bad was the price if this kindle book. You have hundreds of amazing authors out there that have such good prices.. This was so overly prices and for not that many pages. Find it quite greedy. Sorry - just my opinion