Book Review – All Played Out

August 14, 2015 Reviews 6 ★★★½

Book Review – All Played OutAll Played Out by Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University #3
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Published: May 12th 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: eBook
Pages: 336
Rating: three-half-stars
Description: 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.



Lynnpic Lynn’s Review:

All Played out is the one where an introverted nerd meets and extroverted jock and they fall into instant love. Oh, read that one already? Yeah, me, too.

All Played Out is about Nell De Luca and Mateo Torres. It is #3 in the Rusk University series from Cora Carmack.


Nell is Dylan’s roommate (from All Broke Down). Nell is 20, about to graduate early from college, and realizes after seeing Dylan and Silas together that she has had none of the typical college experiences, and that she wants to have some of these experiences in the next two months before she graduates. Nell decides the best way to have all the typical college experiences is to write them out on a list and tackle them using the scientific method. I think this quote describes Nell really well:

In science, every action might have an equal and opposite reaction, but not in life. Life is unbalanced. Life is complicated. A little lie can cause a lot of pain. A big even like an important game or losing your virginity can have an enormous impact or it can turn out to not mean that much in the end. 

She even googles “college bucket list”. The first item on Nell’s list is to hook up with a jock.


And Mateo Torres fits that bill perfectly. He’s shameless. Boisterous. And willing to help Nell cross items off her list.


I think this quote describes Mateo really well:

“What is that?” I (Nell) asks.

“A Bad Decision.”

“Then why are you making it for me?”

He shoots me a lopsided smile … “No, sweetheart, It’s called a Bad Decision. The drink. It’s my own special invention.”

 He wants all of her firsts. Mateo is also surprisingly kind, gentle, and romantic. Mateo helps Nell loosen up. To have fun. To be spontaneous. And Nell helps Mateo realize that it’s ok to have feelings, and that you don’t always need to be “on” all of the time.

I found Nell to be a bit irritating and dull. Though, if I’m being honest, she probably cuts a little too close to home for me. And that’s not really interesting to me. (I could use some more spontaneity in my life. But I prefer to schedule my spontaneity.) But Mateo. He’s my favorite of the Rusk football players (well, so far). I think his character is well-developed, and well-written. He had a lot of the best book-boyfriend qualities: sexy, fun, audacious. But also whimsical and charming.

I’m a big fan of Cora Carmack’s writing style. Humor, wit, and some crazy sexy scenes in all of her novels. But All Played Out was just ok for me. Not horrible. But also not shout from the rooftops amazing. Also, in case you are curious, I pilfered the photos from Ms. Cormack herself. You should follow her on social media. Tons of pictures of sexy guys. Usually with cats or footballs. 

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Rating Report
Overall: 3.8

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6 Responses to “Book Review – All Played Out”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    Hmm, I don’t know that I’ve read a character that hit too close to home for me…but I’m thinking I might find myself pretty boring. *ha* I’m glad that, overall, you enjoyed this latest installment, Lynn. I really like the sound of Mateo. His spontaneity is very appealing. But I like that he’s gentle and kind, especially with Nell. I haven’t started this series yet. (I know!) But I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Cora several times and she’s a doll. I love her writing too, I just need to schedule in some time to read this series. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…That’s What HE Said #35 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #14

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