By Cora Carmack
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Series: Rusk University #3
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.
Cora Carmack is an author after my own heart, she can do no wrong. This amazing group of friends from Rusk University is quite the wonder, I wish I was part of their little group. Even though they have their own problems in one way or another they always come through for one another and I love that about this series. Torres was someone who had me intrigued from the very beginning, there is always something going on under the surface when someone is as outspoken and cocky as he is and Nell is just the person to bring him back to earth.
Nell the ever perfect student, who does nothing but study and work hard at her studies, that's it, no social life. So she gets this bright idea to make a list, lists are fun to begin with but hers is just very exciting and I'm so glad I was able to experience them all with her (that sounded funny but you know what I mean). She had simple things and them more complicated things to accomplish but accomplish she did after all she's a very good student. Any who being roommates with Dylan didn't hurt because Dylan's friends are just the perfect group to experiment with (that didn't sound good either but you know what I mean). Playing ultimate Frisbee with this group brings her in contact with Torres and the rest is downhill from there, or uphill depends on which way you want to go I guess.
Torres ever so cocky and out going can't help but really be intrigued by this quiet girl, the one that reminds him of the girl that got away. Oh there's always a past it's how you deal with it that makes you stronger. But the two of them together is definitely electric, exciting and just fun to witness. I don't know how Nell just turns out to be so daring in some things but when she gave herself to this list she gave herself fully to it that's for sure.
There definitely wasn't a lot of drama like in the other books in this series, but regardless sometimes a broken heart can leave you bitter and you have to learn to get over it and not compare everyone to that and that is what Torres was faced with the most. What is difficult for one person may not be for the next but it matters so I was happy to see Torres highlighted in this book.
Overall really great, fun cute quick read that kept you rooting for Nell to complete her list. Also keeps you wondering what exactly is happening with other characters and in a series it's always good to catch glances here and there of how they are continuing on with their lives. Loved this book, Love this series, and love this author!
I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid situations that might stir up that kind of reaction. When I was getting picked on in middle school, I found a teacher willing to let me eat lunch in her classroom during her off period. I didn’t really do much dating in high school, because the few times I tried, I couldn’t handle the stress of not knowing what would happen next. The mere possibility of embarrassing myself was always enough to make me run in the other direction. I didn’t take any chances. Not that kind at least. And now it seems as if my social life is not the only department where I’m playing catch-up.
Welcome to Humiliation. Population: Me.
Thankfully, I’m so miserable that the next few minutes only occur in bursts and patches for me. When I next lift my eyes, Dylan is there, and we’re inside the apartment. I blink, and I’m in my room. It’s dark, only the lamp by my bed providing light, and she’s dabbing at my forehead with a damp cloth that feels like heaven.
“Why did I do this?” I groan. “Why does anyone do this?”
She doesn’t laugh, though I can tell she wants to.
“Hindsight is twenty-twenty.”
“I hate that saying.”
“But it’s the truth.”
“I hate the truth.”
She does laugh then.
“Why did you do it?” she asks. “I tried to ask Matt, but he sounds like a yeti when he’s this drunk. I couldn’t make out anything he said.”
“I hate yetis,” I mumble.
“Yes, well, before you say you hate water, drink this.”
She tilts my head up to meet a glass, and half the water ends up running down my neck. And I do, indeed, hate water.
The only thing I don’t hate is sleep. Sleep will take away the churning in my stomach, and the awful taste in my mouth, and the flushed heat I know is still marring my skin.
Maybe I’ll wake up, and this will all have been a dream. I won’t have thrown up in front of the people I’m trying to make my new friends. I wouldn’t have told the most attractive guy to ever show any interest in me that I’m a virgin.
Maybe I’ll wake up to find that this whole list thing was a long, elaborate dream, and I can go back to being blissfully weird and antisocial and ...
Somewhere between one forced sip of water and the next, I must fall asleep, because I wake up after what feels like hours to the sound of my door closing. Probably just Dylan checking on me, but I’m struggling to find the motivation to move my head the six inches it will take to confirm this suspicion.
Eventually, my bed shifts, slanting to one side, and my head ends up turning of its own volition. I decide I’m dreaming when I see who’s seated beside me, because there’s no way Torres would be in my room after everything that just happened. I’m sure Dylan wouldn’t even let him in. I decide that this must be my subconscious, trying to give me one last good-bye, unreal though it may be.
“I brought you some food,” he says.
I groan. My dream can’t even do me the courtesy of giving me a pleasant last memory. Or is it normal to be drunk in your dreams when you’re drunk in real life?
He breaks the corner off a bread stick and holds it up to my lips. I don’t open.
“Trust me,” he says. “I know you’re tired and probably miserable, but this will help. And the more food and water we get into you now, the less you’ll hate yourself in the morning.”
“Already hate myself,” I say, but I take a bite of the bread stick he’s offering. It takes me forever to chew it, and when I’m done, he holds up another. Grudgingly, I eat it.
“That’s my girl.” And now I know it’s a dream.
He offers me water, and I take it, if only to wash down the bread.
“What happened to our deal?” he asks, and he sounds almost angry. “If you’d waited for me, I could’ve taken care of you. Made sure you didn’t drink too much.”
Since it’s a dream, I don’t see the point in being dishonest.
“I don’t want you to help me with the list.”
“Why not?” Yeah. He’s definitely angry.
“Because I don’t want you to think I’m a loser.”
“Damn it. I think a lot of things about you, Nell. Some of them are certainly not nice, but trust me, they’re all complimentary.” I shake my head, too tired to pick out the meaning of his words. “You’re not a loser, Nell. And I’m going to help you with that list whether you like it or not. I didn’t like coming into your apartment and seeing you with that guy. I don’t like that he’s the one who you shared this first with. I want your firsts.”