Tag: Cora Carmack

Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

Posted June 28, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

all played out
Rowena’s review of All Played Out (Rusk University #3) by Cora Carmack.

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.

This book!

I loved it. I loved the characters. I loved the romance. I loved the cast. I just flat out loved everything so be prepared for a lot of gushing in this review. I’m apologizing in advance for all of the oohing and ahhing I will be doing in this review.

Nell DeLuca is months away from graduating from college early and she’s realized that she hasn’t really lived the college experience so she’s going to change that. She makes a college bucket list and with the help of local party boy, football star Mateo Torres, she starts to make some progress on that list.

Mateo doesn’t know why he’s drawn to Nell so much but he is. Sure, she reminds him of his ex-girlfriend but there’s chemistry brewing between them and on top of wanting to bone her, he wants to get to know her.

When we first meet Torres in the other books, he’s this player. He loves to party and he loves being the center of attention. He doesn’t take anything seriously so when I found out that his girl was going to be Nell, who is the complete opposite of him, I knew it was going to be a great story and it was.

I read and loved both of the books that came before this one. I loved Carson and I loved Silas but there was something about Torres in this book that put him over the top as my favorite hero of this series. I loved seeing the party boy tamed by the nerdy girl. I loved seeing him fall more and more in love with Nell before he even realizes he’s falling. He was so much fun to get to know that he made this story for me.

Nell was Torres’ opposite in every way and I loved her. I thought she was awesome in that nerdy, you have to know her to love her kind of way. I’ve known a lot of Nell’s in my life. People who are too smart or book smart but completely ignorant of the world outside of their academics. Nell didn’t know how to act or be or even feel around people her own age. She threw herself into her studies because those were the things that she understood. She was awkward and she was smart and she rocked my socks.

Nell and Torres together was pretty awesome too. I loved seeing Nell not understand that Torres was serious when he said he wanted to hang out with her. I loved seeing how jealous Torres got whenever Nell did something on the list without him. I just loved seeing the two of them come together.

Their beginning was cute, their bumpy road was interesting and the way that they came together was great too. I’m hard pressed to find anything to gripe about because everything in this book worked for me. All of it. Torres. Nell. Seeing the gang again. The list. Everything.

I loved it.

Grade: 5 out of 5

This book is available from William Morrow & Company. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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Lightning Review: Faking It by Cora Carmack

Posted February 3, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Lightning Review: Faking It by Cora CarmackReviewer: Holly
Faking It by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It #2
Also in this series: Finding It
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age, Contemporary Women
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Mackenzie "Max" Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.
Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.
The hot new, New Adult title from New York Times bestselling author of Losing It, Cora Carmack.

This was a stellar read. I was more invested in the characters than I expected to be. Max was everything I love in a heroine; strong, outspoken and in tune with herself yet also vulnerable.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Cade after seeing him in the last book. He ended up being the perfect mix of Golden Boy and Bad Boy. He was the perfect match for Max, though it didn’t seem like it at first glance.

I was a little disappointed in the end. I kind of wish there had been further resolution with her family. Or maybe a smackdown with her sister-in-law.

Aside from that, this is an excellent read.

4.25 out of 5

Reading Order:

four-half-stars

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Review: Finding It by Cora Carmack

Posted June 19, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Finding It by Cora CarmackFinding It by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It #3
Also in this series: Faking It
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 15th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age, Contemporary Women
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong . . .
Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.
It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

Kelsey is a spoiled rich girl who is traveling Europe to “find herself” (read: party and try to forget her problems) before looking for a year after college, on her parents dime. She figures if she drinks enough she can drown out her problems, most especially her apathy toward becoming and adult and her sadness at how little her parents actually care for her.

She meets Jackson Hunt at a club and can’t stop thinking about him, but she doesn’t want to get tangled up with someone. Until she runs into  him again in another city. Then it seems like fate wants them together. And who is she to fight fate?

As she wrestles with her demons, she struggles to keep Jackson out. As fun as it is to have a fling, letting someone see inside her isn’t in the cards. Until it’s too late and Jackson has seen the worst of her…and accepted what he saw. Turns out Jackson is damaged, too. Maybe they can help put each other back together. Until the truth about Jackson comes out. Then Kelsey realizes she knows almost nothing about him..and what she does know is just enough to break her heart.

Kelsey showed quite a bit of growth through the book. That aspect of the book worked quite well. She was shallow and focused on her own problems in the beginning. As the novel progressed she started exercising her demons and finding herself. Though her journey wasn’t completed, she was well on her way to living her life for herself, not for her parents. While I enjoyed her personal journey, there were many times I had to suspend disbelief to accept her actions and various plot points.

The end was too abrupt for the angst leading up to it. An epilogue wouldn’t have been remiss. With the addition of an epilogue or a continuation of the story, this had great potential. As it stands, it was an okay read but not a great one.

3 out of 5

This book is available from HarperCollins. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-stars

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Review: Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

Posted March 7, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Rowena’s review of Seeking Her (Losing It #3.5) by Cora Carmack.

Jackson Hunt gets his turn in this Finding It prequel novella …

Jackson Hunt hasn’t been out of the military for long, but he needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he is going to keep his demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Becoming bodyguard (and babysitter) to spoiled rich girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he had in mind, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away. The catch: Kelsey’s father doesn’t want her to know she’s being followed.

She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When Jackson sees her falling into the same patterns he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know Kelsey is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.

*There may be spoilers from FINDING IT in this review so please read at your own risk.*

I love the New Adult genre.  I love that the protagonist and love interest are at the points in their lives when they’re first out on their own and can truly immerse themselves in finding out who they really are and what they were meant to be.  I love the idea that the characters are past the drama of high school and they’re living their lives for themselves, and not always for their parents.

What I don’t like about the NA genre is that most of the books that I’m reading are only from the heroine’s perspective.  The heroes don’t get any page time (well, the kind of page time that we want) but months after their book comes out, we get a novella from the hero’s perspective.  A bone to the die hard fans, I’m sure but I’m always left feeling disappointed after reading these novellas and this one is no exception.

If you read Finding It then you don’t need to read this one.  Why? Because this book is a replay of certain scenes from that book, coming from Hunt’s POV.  It’s nothing fresh or new, it’s just more of the same of things we already knew.  Hunt was hired by Kelsey’s father to kind of watch out for her and keep him informed of what Kelsey is getting up to on her trip abroad.  So Hunt does what he’s hired to do.  He follows Kelsey around.  He develops opinions of Kelsey and an interest in her that he can’t shake, no matter how much he wants to.

The thing about this story is it’s not really a story.  It’s just part of a story.  There’s a beginning but there’s no end.  The story just stops..and those kinds of endings drive me up the freaking wall.  This novella was supposed to give us insight into Jackson Hunts life but I didn’t feel like I knew him any better by reading this story than I did when I read Finding It.  And that’s disappointing because I went into this book, wanting to like it and it just didn’t work for me.

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

This book is available from William Morrow Impulse.  You can purchase this book here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Finding It by Cora Carmack

Posted January 14, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Finding It
Rowena’s review of Finding It (Losing It #3) by Cora Carmack.

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong…

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She’s having the time of her life . . . or that’s what she keeps telling herself.

It’s a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you’re afraid you won’t like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey’s loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey’s mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

Cora Carmack has won me over with her first two books, Losing It and Faking It. She also cemented my love of her work with her novella, Keeping Her. I have enjoyed everything that she came out with and I didn’t think that would change with this book.

Finding It follows Bliss and Cade’s friend Kelsey as she backpacks abroad, trying to find herself. What they don’t know is that Kelsey is trying to fill a void in her life, a void that was made when she was younger and turned to the two people that were supposed to help her…and didn’t. Now, she’s grown and she is living her life, partying in a new European city each week and even though she should be having the time of her life, she can’t help but feel lonely.

Things start to turn around when she meets Jackson Hunt. Jackson invites her to join him for a week of adventure and in my opinion, against her better judgment, Kelsey agrees.

Now, I say against her better judgment because the night before she agrees to go on this trip with Jackson, Kelsey was drugged and the last memory she has of that night was of being with Jackson. Now, she doesn’t know Hunt. They just started seeing each other around as they were partying at the same places but on the night that she was drugged….she was with Jackson. Now if that happened in real life to my friend, there’d be no way in hell I’d let my friend go off with the guy she was with WHEN SHE WAS DRUGGED! Yeah, I know that Hunt wasn’t the one that drugged her but still…she didn’t know him.

Anyway, so Hunt whisks Kelsey away for a week of adventure and it is while she’s on this trip that Kelsey is finally starting to find out who she really is and what she was missing in her life. So, alls well that ends well but as far as my enjoyment of the book, it was tampered only by the fact that I knew what was going to happen before it happened. There wasn’t much of a mystery there but in the end, I didn’t even give a damn. I liked Kelsey (which was saying something since she was a brat for most of the book) and I really liked the person that she grew to be throughout this book.

I liked Hunt too because he was sexy and when things thawed between him and Kelsey, they were pretty hot. They were hot together and I enjoyed that part of the book but I wasn’t a fan of the secrets and the way that the secrets came out and then the grand gesture at the end was a bit excessive for me but if someone I was madly in love with did that for me, I’d probably be impressed.

So while this book isn’t my favorite book by Carmack, I still enjoyed it. I really came to like it in the end and Kelsey’s character had a lot to do with that. I enjoyed seeing the growth in her character and seeing her become that strong individual at the end made the entire book satisfying. Made it worth reading. So yeah, I recommend this book.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

This book is available from William Morrow Paperbacks. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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