Title: Playing Hurt
Author: Holly Schindler
Release: March 8, 2010 by Flux
Summary: "Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
That summer, Chelsea's dad hires Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player and "boot camp" trainer, to work with her at a northern Minnesota lake resort. As they grow close, Chelsea finds that Clint's haunted by his own tragedy. Will their romance end up hurting them all over again—or finally heal their heartbreak?"
Thoughts: Playing Hurt is a charming, romantic and touching read about finding love when you least expect it.
Meet Clint. He works at a fishing resort and absolutely loves it. He doesn't believe in summer love. In fact, he decides to start a summer boot camp this year because when he's working, he doesn't have to think about the hurt he constantly feels.
Meet Chelsea. She has everything going for her. A possible basketball scholarship, home town fame, and she's dating the hottest boy in school. It took one game, one instant for her to lose the one thing she loves most...basketball. While on vacation, her dad decides to sign her up for this summer boat camp, and well, you see where the story is headed.
First off, I just wanted to tell you guys how much I love alternating points of views. The story jumps between Chelsea and Clint. The chemistry between the two is undeniable. Even though Chelsea has a boyfriend, I found myself cheering for her and Clint. And wow, were their scenes together steamy. I think I had to fan my face a couple times!
The story isn't all fluff and romance. Both Chelsea and Clint are hurt, and though they're hurt in different ways, they both need each other to heal. At times, some of their drama seemed unnecessary, but isn't all teenage drama unnecessary? There were moments where I just wanted to shake both characters and just tell them to get it together. But lets face it, how good would a book be if there was no drama or complications? My thoughts exactly.
To be perfectly honest, while I did enjoy Chelsea's character, her actions towards certain situations bothered me. For example, her approach to "handling" Gabe, aka her boyfriend back home. I truly felt sorry for Gabe. From the very beginning, you know something will happen between Chelsea and Clint. Though I wanted them to be toether, I still felt incredibly bad for Gabe. He's a great guy, and clearly adores Chelsea. I guess what I'm trying to say is I wish Chelsea would have handled that situation better and with a bit more grace.
One of my favorite characters in the book has to be Brandon (aka Chelsea's little brother). What a little bundle of fun! His love for music and excitement added a delightful twist to the story. I love the way he told Chelsea exactly what he was thinking, even if he knew she didn't want to hear it. I wish I had a brother like him.
Now, Clint. Ohmylanta, he is everything people are saying about him and possible more. Who doesn't love the untouchable hot guy with a dark past? His background story nearly had me in tears. Holly did a great job creating not only this believable male lead, but also one girls can easily fall for. If Clint was real, I think my knees would buckle every time I saw him. I'm swooning right now just thinking about him.
For any Simone Elkles, Jennifer Echols and Elizabeth Scott fan, this is a must read. Playing Hurt is marvelous novel, best read outdoors. I will say that some of the content is quite sexual, so fair warning to all of you younger readers out there. I'd probably recommend you be at least 15 before picking this one up. Otherwise, be sure to have the day free because once you pick up Playing Hurt, you won't want to put it own!