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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?

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.

178 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 14, 2016

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Cate Cameron

11 books92 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
855 reviews452 followers
March 3, 2016
4.5 stars

Man, I loved this book. Be still my Winslow-loving heart. I seriously loved the characters, the story, the friendship, #girlpower, the humor...everything! I've really enjoyed reading the first book in the Corrigan Falls Raiders duology (?) but this one was even better. I was looking forward to reading Winslow's book and he did not disappoint. "Smart-girl-tutors-jock" is one of my favourite tropes in YA/NA novels. Claudia is a fantastic and relatable character - at least for me. I am, in many ways, just like her and my relationship with my mom is similar to hers. Yes, moms mean well but sometimes they just cross the line, don't they? And Chris is such an awesome guy. I love how he didn't think that he was better than Dia, but he actually asks himself "Why would this amazing, smart and funny girl like me?". Meanwhile, she asks herself the same question. I love how main characters from the first book were a huge part of this book and I love their unique idea of "Sisterhood of awesomeness".


This is a really great YA book and I thank Cate Cameron for writing Chris's story!

You can read this review on BookishFever.

Before reading:

I definitely want to read this! Winslow seems like a cool guy I'd like to hang out with.


*E-copy provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*
Profile Image for S.J. Abbo.
Author 3 books105 followers
February 27, 2016

I like it, I like it a lot!

It's sweet, funny, YA contemporary romance without much drama and WITHOUT love triangles.
Maybe that is the main reason I like it!
There aren't some big plot, action or big misunderstanding between two main characters.

This is nice, interesting story about two High school students, they live, struggles, growing up and falling in love.

We have front-of-the- room, A student, miss „Never be kissed before“ Claudia


and we have a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player Chris


We have some librarian tutoring


SHAME ON YOU.....Not That kind of tutoring!!!!


This kind....

I swear you're a bunch of horny readers....

Well, Ok, we have some car makeout, Happy now?


And we have Me



***I received a copy of the eBook from the NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Professional Reader
Profile Image for A_Ryan.
619 reviews178 followers
June 11, 2016
3.5 Stars

Cute story.
If I was 15 years old I'd probably love it more.
Instead, I found the characters to be very cliched: book-smart girl falls for hockey jock who needs tutoring.
Angsty parents don't approve.
Teenagers trying to live for the moment before the future has them by the throat.
A few moments filled with girl power, self esteem, and self discovery.
First kisses and lots of innocence here.
And a very likeable teen hero.
It's an easy read... but maybe not a memorable one. Although, I thought the ending was strong and perfectly captured teen confusion and heartbreak.

3.5 'Very good' Stars.
Profile Image for Deniz.
1,164 reviews101 followers
March 14, 2016
LE Sigh!

In one word? AWESOME!

Playing Defense ticks every box when it comes to cute&fluffy. It was an easy and extremely enjoyable read, two interesting MCs, good support cast, many cute and funny moments, loads to swoon and hot Hockey boys. What's more to want? But Playing Defense offered much more than that. While lighthearted there are some interesting issues highlighted. And while it's defo a cute and swooney romance the two MCs do some considerable growth because of each other.

I loved Center Ice, in fact it was one of the novels the set me on the Entangled-Crush path. So I knew that I like Cameron's witty and fun writing. I was not disappointed, in fact I feel that Cameron did an even better job in this one. She managed subtly to add even more depth.

The story line was swoony, just like one would expect. There are naturally some problems, but also a lot of funny and very defining moments. I adore Chris and Dia's story. Love the friendships they both formed. My favorite part was the Sisterhood of Awesomeness. It's inspiring but also so much fun- and the interactions of the characters was the best.
On a sidenote I love how Cameron handled the smexy-stuff. It's fab, that she showed that the characters can be all headover heels, totally taken by each other, without being explicit- yet they discuss things and respect each other. It's definitely one of the things that gives it depth.

Let's just put it out there: This is awesome not just because we got super hotties and swooney cute stuff- but mostly because of the character building. In my opinion the character building makes this fabulous.
I love both Chris and Claudia. Love most of the support cast. But more than that it was amazing how two very different people, both kinda stuck but ok, help each other to become more authentic and to overcome their fears. The character growth is exhilarating and is what made me happy sigh on many occasions. Best thing ever.
I hope that we get to revisit the group of friend in the next installment of the series! Because now I am totally invested in them and I have a few questions that weren't answered.
Sadly, I also had a little issue with the character building. One being the mother. I got that she was anxious and all. But can you say extreme? She is supposed to be this intelligent person but I just couldn't believe her prejudice.. or her rudeness.
Then there is Annalise. I got that she was jealous, but she obviously just didn't want Claudia to be happy.. Or at least that's how it comes across. There was never an explanation for her behaviour nor were we told if Claudia and her worked things out. It's kind of like her character was created to cause friction, she was a baddie, because there was a need for one. Full stop. Which is nearly painful, when set in contrast to all the other characters.

While this does work as a stand-alone. DON'T miss out on Karen and Tyler's story. Trust me, read both.
A fabulous addition to a good series.
An absolute must read for lovers of the genre.

I can't wait for the next installment that is due to be published in May!
Profile Image for Sharon Mariampillai.
2,084 reviews86 followers
May 1, 2018
This was an enjoyable read. I enjoyed this one more than the first book. I do wish the books were longer. I thought the story was sweet. The characters in this book were more likable in my opinions, and the romance was more believable. This story was more relatable to me, so I think that is why I enjoyed it more because it showed two high school student figuring out stuff in their lives while they fell in love. I thought the ending was good. I am happy with the way the series is turning out. Hopefully Book 3 will be even better. Overall, a great read.
Profile Image for Melissa.
765 reviews135 followers
March 3, 2016
OMG...I ship Claudia, or should I say Dia, and Chris so much! As a Canadian, I loved that the book and Cate Cameron didn't hide the Canadian setting and characters at all. In fact, from page one we know that Claudia's goal is to get into the University of Waterloo, the country's best engineering school. Then there are references to the OHL, Hockey Canada's world juniors, and the cities of Kitchener - where Claudia goes for an event - and Windsor, where Chris' family lives and where he lived before he moved to Corrigan Falls to be billeted at the Bradford's home to play OHL hockey as a defense player.

These characters both grow so much over the course of the novel, and I loved how both of them grew to become better people together than they were apart. Not that there weren't complications, of course, especially Claudia's mom and the fact that they were complete opposites.

I also loved that there was an LGBTQ side character, who Chris becomes friends with and even accompanies him at a gay youth group to make him feel comfortable in a new situation, but also to be his wing man. There is never any issue or moment when the jock, Chris, puts down or acts like being at a gay club would effect him. He also shows that even if his friends had a problem with it, Chris wouldn't care.

Also, you can't help, but love the Sisterhood of Awesomeness and how it helps girls, guys, and even adults (in a different group) to become more awesome for their own reasons. It's also great that it's called a sisterhood, but some great guys, including Chris, are a part of it as well because it makes him feel "pretty." In other words, so much of this book is about being comfy with yourself and who you ought to be.

Finally, one of the best things ever was the frank discussion of consent issues. In a world where American football players have been known to not only gang rape girls who were too drunk to consent and/or were passed out, but also filmed it and the sports team tried to cover it up, it was a breathe of fresh air to hear teen sports stars like Chris say that their coach always reiterated that if a girl didn't or couldn't consent, then they're responsible if they force her into something they're uncomfortable. That doesn't mean that there are any really, steamy sex scenes on the page, but that before Chris and Claudia take their relationship to any additional level, they discuss it and know what is not on the table and why it isn't.

Can't say enough about this book, so now, I can't wait, not only for the next book in the series, Winging It, but also to go back and read Center Ice, which I missed, to get even more sexy, OHL players, including the team's center and Captain, Tyler, and Karen, who were featured quite a bit in this book. (Oh yeah...I also loved the friendship between the Karen and Claudia that develops because strong female friends are awesome. )

In other words, if you like sports romance books, you NEED to read this one and the rest of the series!
Profile Image for Cristina (My Tiny Obsessions).
470 reviews96 followers
March 7, 2016
Read full review HERE


Entangled Crush books never fail to put a smile on my face. I’m a fan of these books to be honest, the romance is just the cutest thing, and Playing Defense was no exception.

The writing was good, it flowed well, and these two characters read like their age, and that’s always a plus. The plot is nothing that hasn’t been done well: popular jock and timid smart girl. Right? But the execution was a bit different from what I’ve seen before. Both characters were great and go through a good transformation during this book, mainly Claudia.

I really liked Chris, I felt that he was a breath of fresh air. He wasn’t academically smart, but he was smart – he just didn’t care. He had a carefree spirit and was fun and nice. He made a good contrast with academic-focused Claudia, who always wondered what it would be like to do some stuff, but never felt brave enough to do them. I really liked how they balanced each other out, Claudia helped Chris to focus more on school and to actually try to do stuff, while Chris loosened up Claudia a bit, and taught her how to have fun.

Their romance was beyond wonderful. I really liked reading confident Chris succumbing to anything – ANYTHING – that Claudia wanted. He was like a puppy in love, and it was so adorable.

The problems they faced made me seriously sad. I just wanted them to be ok again, because they were so cute and awesome together. And YES, AWESOME was a highly used world on this book and now I can’t think of it without associating it with the book.

Either way, if you’re looking for a cute YA romance, with great characters and a bit of hockey, give this book a chance.
Profile Image for Nicole.
545 reviews49 followers
March 7, 2016
First things first: I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley.
The book comes out March 14th. And you should really check it out, if you want something fun and easy to read. Even if you haven't read the first book, it's totally fine. It's the same setting, just different characters.

I was super close to giving this a 5 star rating but ended up giving it a 4.5. But I didn't really feel the ending of the book. I don't even know what it was but it fell a bit rushed to me.

But apart from that, the book was really great.

The story is about Claudia and Chris. She's really school oriented. She has all her goals set for her life. She is pretty comfortable when it comes to math but not so much when it comes to people. Chris is more focused on hockey and playing pranks than doing stuff for school. They go to the same school but their paths only cross when she is starting to tutor him. She needs it for her college application, he needs it to stay in the hockey team. And the fun starts.

I'm a sucker for tutor storylines in books. I think that stems from my deep love of Nathan/Haley on One Tree Hill. But let's not get off track here.

I loved both characters. Claudia and Chris. I also loved the side characters, Tyler and Karen (I really need to read the first book, cause I'm really interested in their story and I just really loved Karen in this book). Annalise. I loved her in the beginning. Cause she was me. Nose in a book, shutting out the real world. I just didn't like how things went as soon as Claudia made friends with Karen and the sisterhood started. Claudia went out of her comfort zone and Annalise turned into Claudia's mother. I loved Oliver a lot, though. Also the english teacher (I'm still mad though and I will always be)

When it comes to relationships in the book, I really loved the friendships the most. Claudia and Oliver. And later Oliver and Chris. I LOVED the friendship between Claudia and Karen. Or Tyler and Chris. Or just the whole sisterhood (cause I loved the idea behind it).

I also really loved the transition between Claudia and Chris. The 'we go to the same school but we're pretty much strangers' who turned into 'you are actually a great person, let's be friends' and finally turned into 'let's explore all the feelings we have for each other'. What I loved was that these two actually talked to each other. Their was no drama about these two missunderstanding each other. They talked things out. Yes, after some things happened towards the end, things got a bit frustrating. But they were still super cute.

The story overall got major brownie points for not using typical highschool drama stuff. There wasn't a bad boy that needed to see the light and change his ways. There wasn't a mean girl that was bitchy to everyone for no apparent reason. There was no love triangle. I mean we had the disapproving parents (or well mother) but I was okay with that, even though I had to tune her out most of the times to not get super frustrated.

Like I said, the ending felt a bit rushed.
I need to know things. How did Claudia do in the math contest? Did she do good? Did she and Annalise work things out?! Those are things I need to know before a book like this ends!!!!
Profile Image for Miranda.
740 reviews111 followers
February 29, 2016
4.5 / 5 Fangs

I didn't read the first book of this series, and I had no issues with understanding what was going on. So, if you haven't read the first book, you can totally just read this book. However, after reading this book, I NEED to go back and read the first book. I absolutely adored this book. I felt like my heart was exploding with rainbows, sunshine, and sparkles while reading it. This book was simply adorable.

The two main characters, Winslow (Chris) and Claudia, were fantastic. They were great as individual characters, but they were even better when they were together. Chris was hilarious and free spirited, but he was so kind and caring underneath that jokester exterior. He is now one of my top book boyfriends! I absolutely LOVED him. Claudia was a smart and sincere girl. I found myself relating to her a lot. I really enjoyed her character development in this book. She stayed true to herself, but she learned how to branch out. She made new friends and became a more confident person in this book. It was so nice to watch her go on that journey.

I loved being able to see from the POV os Chris and Claudia. It was nice to see what they were both thinking, and I think it added depth to the story. My only issue with the switching POVs was that it wouldn't state right away with POV you were reading from. I got confused sometimes because I forgot that the POV would change, and it wasn't stated right away that the POV changed.

The romance was completely adorable. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I swooned, I squealed, and I laughed out loud. Chris and Claudia were perfect together! I will admit that I thought the romance was a little insta-love like, but it wasn't obnoxious. I could go on and on about how much I love Chris and Claudia together. Cate definitely knows how to write cute romances.

I feel like this book is the equivalent to cotton candy because it is so fluffy and sugary sweet. I would recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a cute YA book to read! I cannot wait to read the first book in this series, and book three in this series!

4.5 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for a honest review. *

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It
Profile Image for Sarah Louise.
822 reviews385 followers
February 7, 2017
This series is such pure, fluffy goodness.

I loved this even more than Center Ice. I'm totally weak for the smart girl tutoring the jock scenario.

Claudia was kind of a loose cannon, but I adored that about her. With a family pressuring her to succeed, good grades are, basically, her entire life, and when Chris, in his swooning charm, shows her a new outlook on life, it's a little intimidating. In return, though, Claudia shows him a life that doesn't revolve around hockey. It was such a balanced relationship. Claudia doesn't change for Chris, nor does Chris change for Claudia. It simply showed that one thing in your life does not completely define you.

As you grow older, you evolve, and sometimes you find new friends that you connect with on a different level, and this is something Playing Defense touched on really well. It made me so incredibly happy to have Tyler and Karen, from Center Ice, play a role.

And of course, the romance was adorable. Chris was so considerate and serene towards anything that was troubling Claudia. I don't think anyone should feel inferior to anyone, but it was great to see his type of character question his worth towards the smart girl. It always seems to be the opposite in these type of stories.

Gosh. I don't know what it is about these books. These two, and their ending, make my heart melt.
Profile Image for Anne Bollmann (Annelise Lestrange).
623 reviews71 followers
March 16, 2016
Review originally posted on The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange :)

I received this copy from Chapter by Chapter in exchange for an honest review. Let's go :D

The Story

Claudia is the kind of girl that has no time to fool around. She has a target and its name is Waterloo University; in order to go studying Engineering there, she must give her best on high school. And give her best didn’t include tutoring one of the stars of the local town hockey team, Chris Winslow.

But it happened. Because life isn’t fair.

Chris isn’t your typical gorilla hockey player. He’s relaxed, funny and easy-going, a real peace and love spirit in flesh. His dream is to become a professional hockey player, but one must be prepared for anything that life may reserve – that’s why he needs tutoring. Chris is failing at chemistry and functions and the only way to stay on his team and have a shot at an university instead of a community college is to have better marks.

But he couldn’t have know just how much fun chemistry and functions were when on Claudia’s hands.

When Claudia and Chris’ worlds collide, there’s no telling what may happen. The only certain that they got is that their tutoring deal definitely was one of the best deals of the world.

The Analysis
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader :)

I don’t have the words to start this review. When I signed up to participate in this blog tour, the possibility of being swept off my feet for this book didn’t even cross my mind. I was in for a cute and light high school romance and I’ve received so much more. This book is awesomeness in its purest form, a gift to the YA contemporary romance – a genre that I usually avoid at all costs. But not Playing Defense. This book had everything that I adore on a book: a powerful female (even if she doesn’t know it on the beginning; actions speak way more than words lol), a goofy and hot male (without being stupid or a jerk, may I add), switching point of views in the story, wonderful dialogues and real characters. Oh, and a cliffhanger plot! How could I want more? Also, there was a book reader character named Annalise and she sounds just like me in high school, for good and bad. Cameron warmed my heart and gave me a metaphorical hug with this book, so how could I rate it any less than 5 stars? If I could, I would give it all the stars in the world! (Damn Goodreads for not having a “Galaxy’s stars” rating after the 5th one!)

The narrative was first person styled and switched points of view between Claudia and Chris restoring my faith on this kind of narrative. I was enchanted by both characters during the whole book, so it worked for me while reading Playing Defense to have both POVs to compare. Chris for sure is the best male narrator of all times and he did made it to My Bookish Boyfriends list. And, for the first time in a very long while, I wished I could meet someone in real life that had his type of personality. But we’ll get there.

Now I must comment on Cameron’s writing style: perfection.

Seriously, Cameron managed to turn an intense and a somehow dramatic novel into something light and funny without being silly or useless, you know? You get punched in your gut with all the emotions but you don’t mind, because Chris is so funny and Claudia is so awesome. Their minds are so distinct and yet so connected, they are random and stupid at times… They are teenagers with strong minds. Not overly mature, not whiny. PERFECT. And only a brilliant writing style can transmit all of that on first person narrated books.

The plot was simple, but of the anything-can-happen type, so I braced myself for all kinds of ends and twists. Good that I did that, haha! Playing Defense is not here to play [haha], it really gets to the readers and steals their hearts. Mine is missing still and I don’t know when it will return. The book had a tiny loose end, but nothing that bothered me terribly.

The characters were awesome. And the high irony in this is that they are actually working in the book to make themselves more awesome by trying to smooth their flaws as a group: the Sisterhood of Awesomeness, which has two sister boys. What can I say, it’s a very open minded group ;) And honestly? I wish I could be part of it just to hear Chris say that he wants to be a sister because it makes him feel pretty.

Seriously, I laughed so hard reading this book that I had to wipe my eyes off several times, to catch my breath and see if more oxygen was already available in the room. I didn’t felt this way since Carry On.

I’ll start with Claudia, as her POV starts the book: I didn’t expect to like her. I have a really hard time liking YA female protagonists because they tend to be too self-centered, whiny or simply dense, but I liked Claudia since page one. I should have seem what was coming, but I didn’t. She was immature in so many ways, but you could tell how hard she worked for anything in her life, how she cared about being a better person and not for the sake of others, but for her own. She grew up a lot in the book and she was scared because of that. Not once she stopped. Not even when she thought she had stopped. She hadn’t. I found myself a new bookish best friend to hang around with Integrity and I couldn’t be happier!

As for Chris, he is simply the best male narrator ever. He was an example of the perfect flawed guy, as he is so not perfect and still manages to look like he is without even trying. He had a great sense of humor, goofed around, was very smart [not as much intelligent, but definitely smart] and a prejudice kicker guy. I knew I was going to fall hard for him in the moment he insisted he was going to be a sister of the Sisterhood of Awesomeness and then I did fall hard for him when he told Oliver that no one would mess up with his boyfriend [Oliver] and get away with it. Oh, did I mention that he has an inner princess? He does.

To be honest, I fell in love with all Claudia and Chris’ friends: Karen, Dawn, Tyler, Oliver, Annalise [yes, I was in the book #kidding], Karen’s sisters, their poetry teacher… Awesome people. Annalise, Claudia’s best friend, was the portrait of my high school self, for good and evil. I didn’t agree with some of her actions and I wouldn’t have done them, but her personality and her way to face the world was exactly how I behaved and felt on high school: always with my nose on books, living in other realities and really not minding the real world, as it sucked hard. I wish I could hug Annalise and tell her how much better our lives get when we start college/university life.

The strongest point in this book, however, is the dialogical construction. Hm, maybe it’s a tie between Chris and the dialogical construction, but I took the liberty of selecting some of my favorite quotes and dialogues to illustrate my point:

“It was kind of scary, telling other people what words have power over you” – Claudia


Claudia: “We probably need more members, too.”

Chris: “Can I play?”

Claudia: “Did you catch the Sisterhood part?”

Chis: “Yeah, but…whatever. I figure I’m high enough on the ‘awesome’ to make up for being low on the ‘sister’.” (…)

Karen: “You’re a small-town hockey player, Chris! You’re supposed to just grunt and talk about ‘scoring’ with as many different subtexts as you can find. You should go get in a fight with someone, not sit here talking like you’re auditioning to replace Oprah.”

Chris: “When we’re speaking as sisters, I’d prefer it if you called me Topher.”


“It was Chris. Goofy, lazy Chris who was afraid of his mom and liked being a member of the sisterhood because it made him feel pretty.” – Claudia


Chris: Most people like me, you know. I’m likeable. That’s just a fact. So statistically, your mom will probably like me, too.”

Claudia: You can’t really use statistics like that. You can’t pretend we’re dealing with completely random variables.

Chris: Well, you lost me on that, but I think I can use statistics any way I want to. Who’s going to stop me?

Claudia: Reality.

Chris: Statistically unlikely.


Claudia: I really missed you.

Chris: I got that. I missed you, too.

Claudia: If you died, I’d be sorry we hadn’t had sex.

Chris: Wow. That’s… I can’t decide if I should tell you to stop thinking about me dying, or just keep my mouth shut and let you talk yourself into having sex with me.

Claudia: I don’t think I’m going to talk myself into it.


Seriously, just stop standing here and go grab this book to fangirl about it with me!! You need this book in your life.

Thank you for reading my review!
Profile Image for Rê .
455 reviews57 followers
March 18, 2016
3.5 “Sweet and cute hockey player” STARS

ARC via NetGalley!

Thank you, Entangled!

PLAYING Defense is another good example of a YA contemporary romance that is cute and easy to read.

The MC here is Claudia, a super smart senior working extra hard to get the perfect application for college. Claudia has her future planned: it involves a lot of studying and no fun at all. That’s exactly how she’s been living for many years. Until she’s assigned to tutor a guy who knows how to have fun.

Chris is a super cute hockey player who lives for the moment – especially if the moment involves fun pranks. He’s an easygoing guy, but he’s also sort of lazy. Instead of trying to achieve greatness, Chris is happy to settle for average (or at least that’s my first impression of him – and Claudia’s too). After he spends some time with hard-working Claudia, he realizes he might want more out of life.

You put these two together and it’s bound to get messy and interesting, right?

Claudia and Chris are the perfect example of opposites attract. They initially have nothing in common, until this new “club” helps solidify their friendship and turn it into something else.

Paired with Karen, the MC from the first book in the “Corrigan Falls Raiders” series, Claudia comes up with a sisterhood idea. The point of the Sisterhood is to have a support system while you become the most awesome version of yourself – the “sisters” try to challenge themselves by doing things they normally wouldn’t and they have the other members to support them through it. Pretty cool, huh? I truly loved this idea and I wish it was real. This was definitely one of my favorite aspects of this story.

One of the nicest things about the Sisterhood is that despite its name it’s not exclusive to women. Chris is the first guy to join the club (and not the only) and his challenges bring him closer to Claudia. Since they’re spending more time together, it makes perfect sense for their feelings to develop the way it did. Claudia saw in Chris an opportunity to really live her life, instead of hiding behind pile of books and the promise of a great future. And Chris saw in Claudia the chance to be more than a “stupid jock” – which he never really was.

The author explored these character’s insecurities well with internal and external factors. Besides doubting herself and her ability to have a successful future, Claudia also had to deal with pressure from her mother. That woman was pretty horrible. Sure I get that she was worried about her only daughter and wanted her to have the best future possible, but to Claudia’s mom that only meant a successful career. She didn’t seem to remember love, friends and family were just as important in a person’s life. Maybe that’s because it didn’t seem like she had any friends of her own. Or love in her life. Her husband was pretty much useless – I don’t even know if he had a single line even though he was present in at least a couple of scenes. He’d simply stand there and watch as Claudia’s mom tried to make their daughter give up on anything that wasn’t studying and preparing to go to university. I really despised the both of them. And Claudia’s childhood friend – that girl was insufferable.

While I wished Claudia had confronted her mother (and her friend) more often, I was happy to see her choose her own path in life in the end. I also wished I’d seen more of Claudia and Karen’s friendship. Even Oliver seemed like an interesting character, but he was forgotten and swallowed by the rest of the story. If the story had focused more on the Sisterhood and the friendship between the kids, as well as the romance (obviously) instead of Claudia’s drama with her crazy mother, I think I would’ve enjoyed it even more.

Overall, this was a good read and I’d recommend it to people looking for a cute YA love story.
Profile Image for Lenore Kosinski.
2,359 reviews57 followers
December 6, 2019

4 stars -- I received a copy of this book through NetGalley!

This was a quintessential YA book....it wasn't just a romance, it had a lot of exploring the growth of both characters in it as well. And I actually really enjoyed the kind of blunt look it took on the issues that might face some teens, and that the environment in the high school wasn't so stereotypical and over the top. There were social circles, but it wasn't all Mean Girls all the time...I appreciated that Claudia wasn't horribly teased and ridiculed, but more like ignored I guess. And while there were mentions of parties after the hockey games, they weren't some lavish affairs like we see in so many teen movies.

I also appreciated the way the characters talked about sex -- it felt reasonable and realistic. It wasn't a topic that was avoided, but it wasn't the whole focus either if that makes sense. Chris wasn't some manwhore, but he also wasn't a virginal saint. His views were reasonable for a teenage boy -- definitely a fan, but not to the exclusion of all else. I'm not sure I'm making any sense, I just read the part where they were discussing it and I was impressed that it didn't fall into the usual tropes.

I really liked both Claudia and Chris. They each had their challenges to go through (and not just the ones from the sisterhood). I felt like these could be real kids in high school...Claudia dealing with the pressure of high achieving academics and Chris dealing with his own sense of worth and fear of failure. And I liked how they were with each other. You could really feel what was drawing them together, even if they didn't have a lot in common.

I think my favourite part was the sisterhood of awesomeness. I didn't expect all these other secondary characters to play such a role, but I enjoyed the discoveries they were making with each other, and watching them try to grow and become more than they were.

I was a bit dismayed with Claudia's mother. She was honestly horrific. She was so prejudiced, and narrowly focused on what *she* wanted for Claudia's life. I kind of would have liked to see Claudia stand up to her a bit more and for her mother to at least see some of Claudia's side, but I guess it's kind of realistic that she may not...it's a more realistic outcome, but in that case I was hoping for a more storybook resolution, kwim?

This book had me laughing, crying, and feeling all the feels (from dismay to hope). And I didn't even realize it was a Canadian author or would be set in Canada before I started reading, so that was a bit of a bonus to me. Will definitely be checking out the first book in this series to read about Tyler and Karen's story.
Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book142 followers
February 24, 2016
I really enjoyed this book. It's worth the full 5 stars. It's a sweet teen romance which shows how an unlikely couple can show each other a brighter future.

Claudia is smart and all about studying to get into the school of choice. One of her teachers suggests tutoring other students would look good on her college applications. She takes on Chris a hockey jock who doesn't have much interest in academic studies. He is a happy go lucky carefree spirt. The total opposite of Claudia.
She learns him maths and chemistry. He learns her how to let her hair down every once in a while.
I would definitely recommend this book it's a nice sweet read.

This book is a standalone story however the characters from book one are featured in this book therefore it's probably a good idea to read that first. I haven't read the first book and I would say it had no affect on this. I am curious about Karen and Tyler's story though.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. Thanks*
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,737 reviews710 followers
March 2, 2016
2.5 stars

I really liked the premise of this and the mention of swoony boys and kissing. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed.

Claudia and Chris were decent enough characters. It starts out a bit clichéd: she's the smart, nerdy girl and he's the dumb, popular jock. There are a few other characters of interest {her mom is a total asshat}, but the focus was definitely on Claudia and Chris.

There was a good amount of growth from Chris, but not so much from Claudia. She remained quite dramatic and that got really old really fast. My main complaint was that the voice just seemed so young. I would have never guessed that they were seniors in high school.

Overall, it was a quick read, it just lacked a spark for me. I can definitely see how people will enjoy it and from the other reviews, I'm in the minority.

**Huge thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,837 reviews521 followers
March 5, 2016

Playing Defense is such a cute story!

I was expecting sweet and I got it. I love romances like this one. Both characters were likable and relatable. There was no major angst or betrayal.

Chris Winslow is part of the high school hockey team. He plays well and gets along with people. He does enjoy mischief but nothing that could hurt anyone. When he needs help with chemistry and math he agrees to a tutor to avoid getting in trouble with his coach.

Claudia Waring only cares about her grades opening doors to endless possibilities. She is determined to do her best. She knows being a tutor will look good on her applications. She is not crazy about the guy she is going to be tutoring. She believes him to be nothing but a jock.

What I like about the story is that they learned to do things outside their comfort zone without endangering themselves. Claudia tried to make Chris realize his missed potential at school and at playing hockey. She knew he could perform better at both.
Chris helped Claudia learn there was more to life than studying. Chris helped her trust more people and create new friendships. Also, he helped her confront her fear of public speaking. Chris was sweet and understanding. The perfect book boyfriend.

I was not crazy about Claudia's mom. She gave Chris no chance to prove himself. She labeled him and decided he was not worth it. I'm glad Claudia was more open-minded because Chris was super worth it.

I'm super happy I picked this YA romance to read it.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Alisha.
928 reviews81 followers
May 20, 2016
First up, I did not read the first book and I managed just fine, so if you haven't read the first book you can pick this up and read it no problems. Although of course, now I really want to read the first book because I loved the characters from it and want to know more about them and their story!

I completely LOVED Winslow and Claudia, both separately and together. Chris was funny and sweet and liked to play pranks and was just so adorable! Claudia was ridiculously smart, and watching her start to grow and develop and branch out, making new friends and trying new things was brilliant. I loved watching her change and I kinda wanted to smack her "friend" Annalise. I loved the idea Karen and Claudia had for their Sisterhood and I was actually thinking about how something like that when I was in school could have made the entire experience completely different for me, and I might be a different person!

I love Ice Hockey, but over here in England it's not a big thing, I can't even watch it unless I stay up until 3am-5am! But I know as much as can be picked up from watching the few games here and there, and watching like two local hockey games and being obsessed with the Mighty Ducks films, so there where points when I was a bit like whaaaaat, but then Claudia was clueless too so I was right there with her!

I enjoyed the two person POV, and I liked the switches, they where smooth and felt right and both had entertaining narratives as both characters where different. Chris is laid back and always happy, whereas Claudia is a bit more high strung. I liked that the conflict between the two of them was related to Claudia and her mum and the problems she had with Chris, and with him interfering with Claudia's studying. It was nice to see that as a point of conflict rather than the whole "oh he's surrounded by all these girls and he cheated" kind of thing that I suspect whenever I read romance lately!

The romance was completely cute and adorable and the perfect kind of romance to read about. It gave me the warm and fuzzies and I loved reading about it, I loved how it wasn't all smooth sailing, and I just loved everything about this book!
Profile Image for Michelle .
2,036 reviews239 followers
May 16, 2016
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Playing Defense is the second book in the young adult Corrigan Falls Raiders series by Cate Cameron. I really enjoyed the first book, Center Ice. It was a cute hockey story. And Playing Defense is no different. I love me some hockey and I love me a good tutoring trope, so I knew that Playing Defense would be right up my alley. And it was. Playing Defense is a fun read.

Playing Defense is told in dual narrative between Chris and Claudia. And while their romance is great, they were only one of the relationships that I adored in this book. The friendships really shined as great examples of wonderful and supportive friends. I want to see more of this in young adult books. These kinds of friendships make me just as happy as a great romantic couple does.

Chris had me wearing a perma grin on my face the whole time I was reading. He is such a smitten kitten with Claudia, that you just cannot help but think he is beyond adorable. (Case in point: I am cheesing like an idiot right now, just thinking about some of the stuff he did/said.) Playing Defense can be read as a standalone, and each of the books deals with a different couple, I would recommend reading them in order just for the fact that all of the characters are so excellent and the books are so cute that you will want to read both of them.

Bottom line: If you like cute and fluffy romances, look no further than Playing Defense. It has everything you need in a young adult contemporary- great characters, a cute romance, and awesome friends.

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
Profile Image for Meghan.
2,452 reviews6 followers
February 26, 2016
You can't help but smile when you are reading this book. This story has adorable characters and scenes, sweet romantic moments, but it also filled with the real emotions of self-doubt, confusion, parental expectation, facing the unknown of growing up, etc. which is what made me really enjoy the story. Claudia and Chris are the two main characters and they are wonderful. Both are extremely relate-able, well developed and genuinely nice. Their interactions with each other run the gamut of snarky, funny, extremely sweet, exasperating and full blown adorable.

CC writes with beautiful style that made me feel that I was in highschool observing this romance in real life. In her story she covers quite a few issues/events that I think we all can relate to...worry about college, are we trying our hardest, how we fit into our group of friends, having friends, relationships and more. I think everyone can find something that they remember from their high school years or if they are in high school they can relate with many of the characters. The dialogue between Claudia and her mom, friends and her self are so reflective of the changes we all experience as we grow into ourselves.

This is a fast and sweet read that I really enjoyed! I had not read anything by CC before this, but I definitely want to check out the Corrigan Falls Raiders #1 now and the rest of the series as they become available:)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Crisanda (Sapphire).
214 reviews28 followers
April 17, 2017
Playing Defense was sorely disappointing. I read Center Ice because I wanted to read this book, but I liked Center Ice a lot better. There wasn't anything very wrong with Playing Defense, it was just average in a way that bordered on boring. Chris and Claudia were perfectly normal characters. The whole dumb jock meets nerdy girl was epically clichéd, but thankfully it ended there. Unfortunately, the plot didn't really go anywhere. Most of the time I was wondering why I was still reading. I have to give some merit to the whole Sisterhood of Awesomeness thing - I loved the idea of having a support group that challenges you to do things that are out of your comfort zone to live a more fulfilling life. But I didn't like the execution of the idea, and now I'm actually sick of the word 'awesome'. At least I don't need to use it to describe this book. Two very grudging stars.
Author 11 books92 followers
July 20, 2015
I love Winslow. He was so much fun to write in the first book I was really happy to be able to give him a book of his own. Tough to get much drama out of him, though - he's just so easy going and relaxed!
Profile Image for Natalie.
1,392 reviews30 followers
August 28, 2017
I was in the mood for something light and fluffy and this was perfect. I think the story was cute, but to be honest Claudia got super annoying. I mean it served for the plot, since all romances seem to have this time where they break up or get into a big fight and then make up. But she was still annoying.
March 12, 2016

See this review in its natural environment, Dani Reviews Things.

There is also an interview with Cate Cameron (the author) in the post!

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

You don't need to have read the first book in the series, as each book is about a different couple (with guys from the same team). You know the drill.

What I liked:

- I read this in a day. I read it before work. I read it walking from my car to the office building. I read it during my lunch break. I stayed at my desk after work to read when everyone else went for drinks. I read it walking back to my car. I read it while cycling at the gym. I think it's pretty clear this book had a solid grip on me!

- Claudia was, at first, a very serious aspiring bioengineer, but she showed a fun side once given the opportunity. I could relate to her studiousness and insecurities.

- Even the people standing in her way are doing it from a place of caring, not maliciousness.

- But I still didn't like Annalise. Or Dr. Waring. I could understand what they were doing and why, but they annoyed the hell out of me. The thoughts Claudia had about them were completely realistic, which I believe because I've had similar thoughts in similar situations.

- Chris was not your typical jock in contemporary romance. In jock love interest books that I've read, the guy tends to be a player and arrogant. Chris was genuinely warm and caring and conscientious. Instead, his weakness was more that he didn't believe in himself, as he was very self-deprecating. But he was also super sexy and the scenes from Claudia's point of view definitely got to me. :D

- Claudia and Chris actually talked to each other! Sure, they were nervous about opening up at times, but there wasn't this whole miscommunication thing going on the entire book.

- It had positive messages about feminism, sex and consent!

- Some of the secondary characters were just the bomb. Karen. Oliver. The English teacher.

- I almost cried towards the end...while on an exercise bike in the gym.

What I didn't like:

- The interactions with Karen and Oliver were so much fun in the beginning, but then these characters seem to take a back seat later on, which was a little disappointing.

- While both Claudia and Chris grew a lot in the story, I feel like Claudia benefited the most, while I would have liked if Chris was allowed a bit more.

My FAVOURITE thing about this book as it wasn't really about the drama of coming from different worlds. No, the focus was instead on growing as people, being the most awesome version of yourself possible. If you're going to change, do it for you. In fact, this message was so powerful that they inspired me to really push myself at the gym last night while finishing the book! (I ended up cycling twice as long as I usually do...and not dying.)

Now who wants to join my Sisterhood of Awesomeness?


But this was the library. This was my ice rink, and we'd be playing my game here.

He was like a playful lion...it was so tempting to wrestle and snuggle with him, but there was still a chance he could go bad and maul you with no warning.

"It's more like the secret you. Like, you're crust on the surface, but underneath you're a marshmallow."

"Shhhh!" she said quickly. She didn't seem to be joking. "Somebody might hear."

I wanted to do math on Chris's body, tracing equations on his abs, calculating the angle of his shoulders and the rate of change in the pressure of his lips. And when I was done with mathing him, I could move on to chemistry, and physics. Maybe even a little biology.
Profile Image for Diane Lynch Lynch.
1,712 reviews39 followers
March 14, 2016
Playing Defense (Corrigan Falls Raiders #2) by Cate Cameron Cate Cameron’s Playing Defense is another win for the Corrigan Falls Raiders Series.  The story starts off at the same time as the cow incident that took place in book one, Center Ice.  I thought that scene was pretty funny, so I enjoyed reading about it from the mastermind’s point of view.  Hockey player, Chris Winslow needs a tutor to help him out with advanced functions and chemistry.  Claudia Waring needs to diversify her activities for her college applications, so she can get into her school of choice.  The two opposites challenge each other to expand their horizons. This contemporary young adult sports romance takes place in Corrigan Falls, Ontario.
I enjoy Chris’ character.  He is a defenseman for the Corrigan Falls Raiders, a semi-pro junior hockey in the OHL.  He is a senior who has been living with a billet family.  He is carefree, not taking much seriously.  I love that Chris is secure enough to be part of the sisterhood and to support his friend Oliver by going to a gay function even though he is straight.  He doesn’t care what other think about him.  He is confident, except when it comes to Claudia. 
I like that Claudia took a chance and stepped out of her comfort zone.  I love that she did what she felt was right for her and not what was expected of her.  Her mom was seriously overbearing.  She would not be an easy person to stand up to. 
I love that Chris and Claudia are opposites and challenge each other to be “awesome."  Both characters took chances to try to improve themselves.  Chris helps Claudia loosen up, while Claudia helps Chris take things more seriously.  The two are good for each other and their personal development. 
I appreciated Ms. Coyne.  She was a great teacher.  I like that she challenges the students, and that she is excited by the things they come up with.  I think it is great that she valued the ���sisterhood” and asked Claudia and Karen if they minded if she started a group with her friends. 
Some unexpected things happen in the story that tests both characters.  This novel has a little of everything: humor, action, drama, tragedy, and romance.  I enjoyed the plot.  It was believable and well executed.  The characters are well-developed and show tremendous growth.  There are a lot of interesting things that happen between the main and support characters.  I enjoy Cate Cameron’s writing style.  Her stories flow well and keep you fully engaged. I love the Corrigan Falls Raiders Series and cannot wait for Toby Cooper's story in the next book, Winging It.
Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Diane Lynch Lynch.
1,712 reviews39 followers
March 14, 2016
Cate Cameron’s Playing Defense is another win for the Corrigan Falls Raiders Series. The story starts off at the same time as the cow incident that took place in book one, Center Ice. I thought that scene was pretty funny, so I enjoyed reading about it from the mastermind’s point of view. Hockey player, Chris Winslow needs a tutor to help him out with advanced functions and chemistry. Claudia Waring needs to diversify her activities for her college applications, so she can get into her school of choice. The two opposites challenge each other to expand their horizons. This contemporary young adult sports romance takes place in Corrigan Falls, Ontario.

I enjoy Chris’ character. He is a defenseman for the Corrigan Falls Raiders, a semi-pro junior hockey in the OHL. He is a senior who has been living with a billet family. He is carefree, not taking much seriously. I love that Chris is secure enough to be part of the sisterhood and to support his friend Oliver by going to a gay function even though he is straight. He doesn’t care what other think about him. He is confident, except when it comes to Claudia.

I like that Claudia took a chance and stepped out of her comfort zone. I love that she did what she felt was right for her and not what was expected of her. Her mom was seriously overbearing. She would not be an easy person to stand up to.

I love that Chris and Claudia are opposites and challenge each other to be “awesome." Both characters took chances to try to improve themselves. Chris helps Claudia loosen up, while Claudia helps Chris take things more seriously. The two are good for each other and their personal development.

I appreciated Ms. Coyne. She was a great teacher. I like that she challenges the students, and that she is excited by the things they come up with. I think it is great that she valued the “sisterhood” and asked Claudia and Karen if they minded if she started a group with her friends.

Some unexpected things happen in the story that tests both characters. This novel has a little of everything: humor, action, drama, tragedy, and romance. I enjoyed the plot. It was believable and well executed. The characters are well-developed and show tremendous growth. There are a lot of interesting things that happen between the main and support characters. I enjoy Cate Cameron’s writing style. Her stories flow well and keep you fully engaged. I love the Corrigan Falls Raiders Series and cannot wait for Toby Cooper's story in the next book, Winging It.

Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Books 2 Blog.
1,494 reviews17 followers
March 6, 2016
Ok so I am of the age where reading a 'teen' romance shouldn't interest me right? Well that's wrong so I'm 15 years older than most of the characters in Playing Defense, but this book was brilliant I wish Cate Cameron wrote standard romances (and after coming to this revelation whilst writing this review I will be checking it out using my friend Google.) The reason why I liked it so much I felt like I was one of the characters as I read the book. I was immersed in the teen angst and drama plus it was based around Hockey a subject that I love to read about yet don't have the opportunity to watch really as I am based in the UK.

Playing Defense is the second in the 'Corrigan Falls Raiders' series and tells us all about Chris Winslow a prank loving defensive player for the team. Skating by on the barest of passable grades to be eligible to play for the team and with no current interest from the NHL for his future Chris comes to the realisation that he needs a tutor. Tutor Claudia Waring is a nerdy girl to the Nth degree, more happy in the library than with others, she is in for the shock of her life when Chris hurtles her social awkward self to the top of the schools pecking order.

There was so much in this book to relate to as a book worm and generally shy person, I connected with Claudia on so many levels and remembered my own high school experiences. Until Reading Playing Defense I had forgotten the books that made me fall in love with romance as a genre the Point Romances I read before the age of 15 when I started to sneak my mums Mills and Boon books. I hadn't read the first in the series so in my opinion it can definitely be read as a stand alone which is the sign of a good Author.
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,488 reviews110 followers
March 19, 2016
Rating: 3.5/5

When the quiet, hardworking, well behaved Claudia Waring is advised to take on the job of peer tutoring she knew it would count well in her college applications but didn’t expect it to change her quite so much. She's smart, focussed on her own attainment to achieve her career goals. She’s tasked with tutoring Chris Winslow, a hot, gorgeous, happy-go-lucky hockey player in Maths and Chemistry, neither expected their mutual chemistry to prove a different sort of challenge for them. Talk about opposites attracting - or are they really opposites?

This is a great story where teen perceptions of themselves and others are challenged resulting in major changes in attitudes and expectations for all concerned. When parental influences are also challenged, life is something of an emotional roller coaster where the biggest challenges are personal development and meeting them can have a much wider impact on everyone concerned. I definitely didn't like Claudia's Mum - what an attitude that lady has! Claudia's English teacher, however, is a great character, I'd have loved having a teacher like her at that age.

This is told from the points of view of the two main characters and I have to admit to getting initially confused at times by just who was narrating, which detracted from the flow and thus my enjoyment of the story. It was, however, a sweet story and the changes they made to their lives and attitudes was believable. Some of the dialogue was particularly good with great wordplay. It may well appeal more to younger readers looking for a high school based romance than to older readers like myself.

Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sherin.
343 reviews8 followers
February 29, 2016
A sweet YA romance from Cate Cameron.

This is second book in the series Corrigan Falls Raiders and is the story of Claudia and Chris. Chris is a hockey player and an easygoing character, whereas, Claudia is an intelligent nerd.

I understand the norm the class toppers have - talk and mingle only with similar students (first benchers) and not get deviated from studying ... but what happens when Claudia is assigned as the tutor for Chris (backbencher)? All bets are off!

The sisterhood - which isn't only limited to girls, since Chris and Oliver are a part of it ;) was good. Chris wanted to be a better person for Claudia and also, get her out of her shell and make her live a little.

What's a good story without some drama - hey? That's exactly what Claudia's mom and her childhood friend Annalise were there for!

Chris is a wonderful and caring boyfriend, who goes out of his way to make sure Claudia is comfortable and does things for the right reasons. As for Claudia it is understandable that it is difficult for her to do things differently, but in the end, she stood up for herself and Chris and that's what matters.

Another sweet and sexy read from Entangled Publishing. Can be read as a standalone and Karen, the lead female character in the first book of the series does play a large role in the book. I really loved the dual POV and that we get to peak into what Chris thinks ;).

**Was kindly provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review by Entangled Publishing through Net Galley.
Profile Image for Shawna Lumley .
91 reviews4 followers
March 4, 2016
This book was given to me for an honest review:

Honestly I really liked this book, it was a fast read but not the kind where things were missing more of a can't put this down to join in life kind of fast read. I do admit there were some things I did have to look up because the story was based out of CANADA but than London was mentioned so I was slightly confused (learned there was a LONDON in Canada, which I did not know) but other than that I thought it was a cute story about a girl needing to get out of her comfort zone and to do that she tutors the prank doing, fun loving, hockey player. BUT she does have her misgivings about doing this of course!

Using one of his teammates girlfriends to get the read on Claudia, actually backfires on Chris... which made me laugh because it was a typical HS thing!

You don't NEED to read the first book in the series to understand what is going on BUT you will WANT to after reading this one. Its cute, funny and brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard!

Thank you Entangled, Netgalley, and Cate Cameron for giving me the chance to read this!

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