Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

All Played Out (Rusk University, #3)

All Played Out
(Rusk University #3)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Published: May 12, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary



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.

Apparently, All Played Out is the only book in the series that I didn’t quite enjoy. I loved the main character Mateo Torres and his goofiness and sense of humor. But Antonella De Luca? Not so much. Her POV, her immaturity, and her endless drama kind of annoyed me.

We’ve met these two characters in the previous books of Rusk University series. In this book, their paths crossed because they have friends in common who are also protagonists in the previous books. Biomech student Antonella otherwise known as “Nell”, has always been so focused on school. Growing up in a conservative Italian family, she didn’t have much of a social life ever since. One day she realized that she’s missing out on a lot of things college people normally do– like going to parties, hooking up with strangers, having sex with someone, etc.. These things pushed her to come up with a list of “to-do’s”. Luckily, there’s Mateo (a.k.a “Torres”), wide receiver of the Rusk University football team, who’s willing to help her achieve those things. But what if their meaningful hook-ups lead to something?

This book actually rings a bell. I’ve read a book with this “to-do” checklist concept before, specifically Getting Lucky Number Seven wherein the heroine wants to turn her nerdy self into a normal college party girl so I was not at all fascinated with the familiar storyline. Despite this issue, I still hoped that the story will blow me away. It didn’t happen because of my inability to connect with the heroine.

The chemistry between the characters wasn’t also that strong, so it was hard for me to really appreciate them as a couple. The writing of Cora Carmack, as usual, was good. However, it didn’t save the book as a whole. I’m giving it 2.5 Stars because Torres’s POV was entertaining and he’s sexy af. 🙂

“Life is not a straight line. It will only matter that you took them. That you never let yourself stand still.”

Buy this book at:




2 thoughts on “Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

  1. I really enjoyed Teo in this one but, like you, I just couldn’t connect with Nell. She was so analytical and by the book that I started to feel like she had no emotions whatsoever. That made it hard to buy into any chemistry between she and Torres. I still mostly enjoyed the story but it definitely wasn’t my favorite of the series.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s