Author: Cate Cameron
Release Date: March 14th, 2016
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? (Goodreads)
*these quotes are from the eARC and do not necessarily reflect the finished book*
♥ “I don’t know. It was a bit hard to really open my gaydar receptors up without getting blasted away by the waves of lust rolling off your virginal shores”
♥ She was at her locker, talking to Oliver, and I managed to play it sort-of cool, leaning down and kissing the top of her head instead of tackling her to the ground and rubbing all over her. So I was pretty proud.
*I received an advance ebook of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.*
This book came out on my birthday and I’m so excited to share a day with it! Playing Defense had me swooning so hard almost immediately. I was literally squirming and squealing most of the time while reading it because the romance is just so frickin’ cute.
I’m a huge fan of how the story wasn’t “jock makes cute, nerdy girl popular”. Chris ventures into her world and friendships as much as she’s pulled into his. It’s such an eccentric group that all meld together so well. You still see the traditional groupings of a high school, the ‘puck bunnies’, the nerds that hang out in the library but that doesn’t stop a bunch of very different people from forming incredibly strong friendships.
Okay, okay, I know you’re all just here for the romance. IT WAS AMAZING! Chris is adorable. He’s 100%, no doubt a great example of A+ book boyfriend material. Also, what’s not to love about a big, tough hockey player?! Seriously. I give him a 498640358675/10 on the love interest scale.
Claudia…oh Claudia. I did adore her but OH MAN did she drive me up the wall sometimes. She was like me in that school > boys was pretty much her high school mantra. She has detailed plans about what she wants to do with her life, what she needs to do to get there and nobody is going to stop her. That kind of ambition, confidence, and work ethic is awesome but at some points she takes it too far and I want to slap her. If you miss out on living while trying to reach your goals, you’ll just end up crossing the finish line and simultaneously wondering “what if?”. Her passion for life and learning, however, are incredibly admirable and I love how she ends up embracing new things and new facets of who she is. Claudia learned a lot of things about herself that I myself had to discover while in high school. I see a lot of myself in her and it really endeared me to her early on.
The pacing of the story was great. I was engaged the whole way through and never found I was ever bored or drifting off. Even if nothing dramatic is happening, you end up entangled (see what I did there 😉 ??) in the friendships and minutia of their lives. The mentions of the University of Waterloo made me feel SO nostalgic as well; man, I miss that city and Laurier!
In keeping with the theme of me sharing a birthday with Playing Defense, this book was as sweet at my annual Dufflet cake. Much like other sugary treats that I love, the more I read of this book the more I needed; so much so that I raced to amazon and bought the first book as soon as finishing this one!
Playing Defense is a book that gave me butterflies and made me smile uncontrollably the whole way through.