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?
Corrigan Falls Raiders Book 1: Center Ice (Can be read out of order)
Corrigan Falls Raiders Book 2: Playing Defense (Can be read out of order)
Claudia is shy, reserved, and doesn’t have time for rowdy hockey teams and their obnoxious groupies. Loud prankster, Chris, doesn’t have time for school. It only gets in the way of hockey, and in this small Canadian town, everyone knows hockey is Chris’s future. Or is it? With his grades struggling, he doesn’t really have a plan B and doesn’t give his all to the game the way he knows he should. He flounders until his counselor suggests tutoring, something Chris sees as a waste of his time, but feels he owes it to his mother to at least try.
Chris and his new tutor, Claudia, embark on a fragile friendship that soon blossoms into something more. When Claudia’s poetry teachers suggests that poems are more than just words on a page, Claudia and a few friends take that suggestion to heart and create a secret sisterhood of awesomeness where each member encourages the others to do random acts of awesome. For Claudia, it’s attending her first ever hockey game and attempting to enjoy herself. For Chris, it’s studying for himself rather than for others. But when tragedy strikes, Claudia and Chris will have to find a way forward in the manner that means the most to them.
This is essentially a teenage romance, but I love the awesome challenges that are woven through it, making it feel like something a little bit more than just a standard romance. The push-and-pull of the two romantic leads’ very different backgrounds provides the conflict necessary to drive the love story, but it’s the secret club that brings them and other unlikely characters together, giving them a purpose bigger than themselves.
I found both Chris and Claudia to be likeable and I rooted for them, but the rest of the characters fell flat for me, with the exception of the teacher. Both Claudia’s and Chris’s friends, other students, even parents were mostly props, Claudia’s mom was a bit stereotypical, but she served a purpose to drive conflict, which she did quite well.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About Playing Defense
1. The hockey. I thoroughly enjoy sports romances and the hockey was a nice change from the football and baseball I’ve been reading lately.
2. The characters. Claudia and Chris came across as real, flawed, and easy to relate to.
3. The sisterhood. I loved the idea the kids (both boys and girls) came up with to challenge and support one another.
4. The romance. It was refreshing to read a sweet romance with an alpha male.
5. The lessons. It might not be cool to say it, but hard work pays off!
A fun teen romance wrapped in hockey, with complex contemporary characters.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: Playing Defense
Series: Corrigan Falls Raiders #2
Author: Cate Cameron
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Category: Young Adult Contemporary/Sports Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled
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.