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Friday, March 18, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release - Review & Excerpt - Playing Defense (Corrigan Falls Raiders #2) by Cate Cameron

Title: Playing Defense (Corrigan Falls Raiders #2)
Release date:  March 14th, 2016
Author: Cate Cameron
Entangled Teen Crush

About the book: 

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, swoon-worthy kisses, and sexy hockey players. It may cause you to watch a hockey game...or ten.

Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she'll never fit in his world.

After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?


 And then he walked me to chemistry class, and as we were heading for our respective seats he said, “Do you want to come sit with us? Or could I sit with you?” He must have seen something strange in my expression because he was quick to add, “So I can ask you questions when we’re working on stuff. You’re my tutor all the time, right, not just at lunch?”
“I’m not sitting back there.” I sounded like a stubborn little kid, but inside I was more like a scared little kid. There was no way I was just going to waltz back to the popular kids’ area, not with a classroom of other students who’d see them laugh at me.
Chris didn’t seem to understand my concern. “Is it cool if I sit up here, then?”
It wasn’t like I could say no. Wasn’t like I wanted to. “Is there an extra stool?”
“I’ll find one,” he promised. He grinned at me, set his books on the long table beside mine, and then turned to look for a free stool.
Oliver gave me a look. “What the hell?” he mouthed. Then Chris turned around, holding a heavy metal stool as if it weighed nothing, and Oliver gave his demented flight attendant smile and said, “Hi! Welcome to our seating area!”
“It’s nice to be here,” Chris said with nearly matching enthusiasm. “Thanks so much for having me!”
Well, Oliver was not going to be outperformed. “I really hope you enjoy your visit. If there’s anything I can do to make your time with us more pleasant, you be sure to let me know.”
Chris shook his head in amazement. “I thought it was just a stereotype,” he said to me. “But it’s true. Front-of-the-room people really are super friendly.”
Oliver had begun to bristle at the word “stereotype,” but by the time Chris was done talking Oliver was looking less offended, more intrigued. “Do you want to know what they say about back-of-the-room people?” he asked quietly, daring Chris to keep going with their strange game.
Chris shrugged. “Back is whack?” he suggested.
“Back’s off track?” I tried.
“Back will attack?”
“Back’s sharp as a tack?”
Oliver frowned at both of us. “Did I say it rhymed? Did I say anything about ‘do you want to hear the rhyme about back-of-the-room people?’”

“It doesn’t rhyme?” Chris said. “Damn.” He shook his head regretfully. “You know, if it doesn’t rhyme, I don’t think I do want to hear it. Sorry. I’ve got my standards.”
The class started then, Mr. Anderson circulating to check our homework. When he got to us he said, “New seat, Mr. Winslow?”
“I needed to be near my smart friends,” Chris said calmly. “The back don’t know jack.” Mr. Anderson just gave him a strange look and moved on.

Other books in the series:

Center Ice (Corrigan Falls Raiders #1)

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, underage drinking, sexual situations, and crazy squirrels. It may cause you to become a fan of hockey - or at least hot hockey players.
The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

About the Author:

Cate Cameron grew up in the city but moved to the country in her mid-twenties and isn’t looking back. Most of her writing deals with people living and loving in small towns or right out in the sticks—when there aren’t entertainment options on every corner, other people get a lot more  interesting!

She likes to write stories about real people struggling with real issues. YA, NA, or contemporary  romance, her books are connected by their emphasis on subtle humor and characters who are trying to do the right thing, even when it would be a lot easier to do something wrong.

My thoughts:

3.5 “Sweet and cute hockey player” STARS

ARC via NetGalley!

Thank you, Entangled!

PLAYING Defense is another good example of a YA contemporary romance that is cute and easy to read.

The MC here is Claudia, a super smart senior working extra hard to get the perfect application for college. Claudia has her future planned: it involves a lot of studying and no fun at all. That’s exactly how she’s been living for many years. Until she’s assigned to tutor a guy who knows how to have fun.

Chris is a super cute hockey player who lives for the moment – especially if the moment involves fun pranks. He’s an easygoing guy, but he’s also sort of lazy. Instead of trying to achieve greatness, Chris is happy to settle for average (or at least that’s my first impression of him – and Claudia’s too). After he spends some time with hard-working Claudia, he realizes he might want more out of life.

You put these two together and it’s bound to get messy and interesting, right?

Claudia and Chris are the perfect example of opposites attract. They initially have nothing in common, until this new “club” helps solidify their friendship and turn it into something else.

Paired with Karen, the MC from the first book in the “Corrigan Falls Raiders” series, Claudia comes up with a sisterhood idea. The point of the Sisterhood is to have a support system while you become the most awesome version of yourself – the “sisters” try to challenge themselves by doing things they normally wouldn’t and they have the other members to support them through it. Pretty cool, huh? I truly loved this idea and I wish it was real. This was definitely one of my favorite aspects of this story.

One of the nicest things about the Sisterhood is that despite its name it’s not exclusive to women. Chris is the first guy to join the club (and not the only) and his challenges bring him closer to Claudia. Since they’re spending more time together, it makes perfect sense for their feelings to develop the way it did. Claudia saw in Chris an opportunity to really live her life, instead of hiding behind pile of books and the promise of a great future. And Chris saw in Claudia the chance to be more than a “stupid jock” – which he never really was.

The author explored these character’s insecurities well with internal and external factors. Besides doubting herself and her ability to have a successful future, Claudia also had to deal with pressure from her mother. That woman was pretty horrible. Sure I get that she was worried about her only daughter and wanted her to have the best future possible, but to Claudia’s mom that only meant a successful career. She didn’t seem to remember love, friends and family were just as important in a person’s life. Maybe that’s because it didn’t seem like she had any friends of her own. Or love in her life. Her husband was pretty much useless – I don’t even know if he had a single line even though he was present in at least a couple of scenes. He’d simply stand there and watch as Claudia’s mom tried to make their daughter give up on anything that wasn’t studying and preparing to go to university. I really despised the both of them. And Claudia’s childhood friend – that girl was insufferable.

While I wished Claudia had confronted her mother (and her friend) more often, I was happy to see her choose her own path in life in the end. I also wished I’d seen more of Claudia and Karen’s friendship. Even Oliver seemed like an interesting character, but he was forgotten and swallowed by the rest of the story. If the story had focused more on the Sisterhood and the friendship between the kids, as well as the romance (obviously) instead of Claudia’s drama with her crazy mother, I think I would’ve enjoyed it even more.

Overall, this was a good read and I’d recommend it to people looking for a cute YA love story.

About the tour:

Come check the rest of the tour here.

*Tour Organized by:
Chapter by Chapter

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