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Posted January 8, 2014
How can you not love a story about a professional hockey player brought to his knees by a down to earth woman? Rob meets Alaina when he volunteers to read to her class. Talk about a dose of reality for the well-paid hockey stud. Alaina teaches Rob to care and grow beyond hockey & money and Rob teaches Alaina that there really are white knights and HEAs. I love this series and can't wait for the next installment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 6, 2013
Hockey and romance combine beautifully in Cassandra Carr’s Underneath It All, a compelling and delightful read and a nice addition to the Storm series.
As part of the Buffalo Storm’s public relations program, Rob D’Amico is assigned to read books to kindergarteners at an inner city school. Rob is stunned that he is attracted to kindergarten teacher Alaina Rossa for two reasons: 1. Alaina seems put off that he is a hockey player and 2. Alaina is not his usual type. Since the children welcome Rob with open arms, he thoroughly enjoys his time with them. On the other hand, Rob hates that the children’s classroom is lacking basic school supplies. Not wanting the kids to go without, Rob donates money to Alaina for the needed school supplies. Rob’s generous heart makes him the perfect leading man. I absolutely fell in love with him. Taken in by Rob’s thoughtfulness, Alaina realizes that she is falling for the attractive hockey player. What surprises her even more is Rob’s attraction to her since most guys pay her no attention. As they embark on an exclusive relationship, Rob occasionally wants to help Alaina financially, especially since he knows Alaina does not make a lot of money as a teacher. These financial matters threaten their growing relationship and cause a huge fight. I couldn’t help but smile at the way Rob goes about figuring out why Alaina reacts the way she does, which made me love his character even more. Alaina is always helping others, sometimes to her own detriment, which makes her an endearing character. I especially loved that Alaina watches Rob play—even though she isn’t into sports at all—and wants to learn about the game that is so important to him.
Carr does a masterful job of balancing Rob and Alaina’s relationship while at the same time continuing Rob’s friendship with Sebastian St. Amant and Sarah Jenkins, the main couple from the first book. Carr realistically builds a solid foundation for a strong friendship between Sebastian, Sarah, and Alaina. The interrelationship between these four characters adds depth to this story. I really enjoyed seeing how Sebastian and Sarah’s relationship has continued to grow. Sebastian and Sarah were a captivating couple in the first book of the series and continue to be so in this story. Carr provides just enough background information about the Sebastian and Sarah’s relationship so that a new reader to the series will not be lost, successfully making Underneath It All a stand-alone story.
With realistic and believable characters, Underneath It All is a character-driven romance that draws you in and keeps you hooked to your e-reader right up to the very end.
I received an eBook copy from the author/publisher for purpose of an honest review for The Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Posted November 18, 2013
Underneath It All (Storm #2) by Cassandra Carr
Rob D'Amico, is a professional hockey player for the Buffalo Storm. He was selected to participate in a reading program for inner-city kids.
Kindergarten teacher, Alaina Rossa, was not thrilled to have a professional athlete assigned to read to her class, feeling he would not be the proper role model. Imagine her surprise when he took an interest in the class. Not liking that the school was under funded, Rob took the initiative to help get the supplies they need, while getting to know Alaina better along the way.
Underneath It All by Cassandra Carr was an excellent follow up to Should've Known Better (Storm, #1). She did a great job telling Rob’s story yet including Sara and Sebastian from book one.
Cassandra Carr does a remarkable job making the characters feel realistic; showing their growth and experiences. She also, does a tremendous job describing her characters thoughts and emotions. The reader really feels in tune with the characters.
Underneath It All is a touching book. It teaches life lessons and makes you appreciate what you have.
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Posted November 11, 2013
The second installment in the The Storm series is a sweet story that shows the slow build-up of a relationship between the kind-hearted Rob and the quiet and pristine teacher Alaina. It reacquaints us with hockey players seen in the first installment and brings the love story of Sebastian and Sarah to an immensely happy conclusion while leaving yet another cliffhanger to end this story.
Alaina teaches at a poor inner-city school and thus feels the pains of living frugally. She's a standoffish woman at first, untrusting of everyone, but is soon won over by Rob's kindness. She wants more for her students, and for herself, so Rob's visits become a welcome occurrence. He gives her the financial means to help her students and the emotional support to keep fighting for those kids. He makes her feel good about herself but also self-conscious as she doesn't want to be a kept woman dependent on his help. She's grateful for him but is angered by how easy things are for him too. It's an emotionally difficult relationship at times that leads her to many tearful moments but immensely satisfying too as seen by the numerous steamy encounters and quiet moments of cuddling.
Rob is a strong-willed person not like other athletes as he's frugal with his money and only wants to do good. He doesn't want to live in the spotlight, he just wants to be appreciated for the man he is rather than the athlete. He's the perfect boyfriend saying and doing many sigh-worthy actions. He's a supportive boyfriend who's always there to build her confidence whenever she doubts her appeal. Even when he's at his lowest emotionally, after sustaining an injury, he's still a sweet and supportive man.
Ms. Carr brings the game of hockey to life in realistic scenes both on and off the ice that depict all that a player goes through on a daily basis. The hockey scenes were nicely balanced with the burgeoning romance to allow for a slow build-up, almost too slow at times. There's no big misunderstandings to keep them apart, it's all emotional issues stemming from their financial differences. Financial differences also allow for a subtle commentary on lack of school funding that is brought up throughout the story and continue to bind Alaina and Rob together. Overall, this was an enjoyable read that went on a bit too long with no real roadblocks to a HEA left hanging. I'm curious to see where things go for these two and the rest of The Storm in a future installment.
Posted October 25, 2013
I am not the biggest hockey fan and don’t know a whole lot about it, but let me tell you that when I read one of Cassandra Carr's hockey romances, I feel like I do.
Rob, one of the star hockey players for the Storm, is assigned to a kindergarten class in a reading program for kids. He meets their teacher Alaina and at first she is very stand-offish. But Rob being Rob, he gets under her skin.
I really like how their romance started off slow, they were both very vulnerable in a sort of way, and didn't want to reveal more of each other until it felt right for them. Also really like how we got to visit with Sebastian and Sarah and see how their relationship was going.
I might just go and watch myself a hockey game on TV!
I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted October 25, 2013
Underneath It All is Cassandra Carr's second book in her Storm hockey series. Each book can be read as a stand alone book.
In Underneath It All, hockey player Rob D'Amico is missing his roommate Sebastian. Sebastian (from Should've Known Better) has moved in with his girlfriend Sarah so Rob no longer has a roommate. But all three are still great friends and hang out together. I loved the first book so it was great to see Sebastian & Sarah a lot in this second book.
Rob, as a professional hockey player, is picked to read to inner school kids. On his first day, he meets kindergarten teacher Alaina Rossa. Rob is intrigued with Alaina right of the bat but Alaina is slow to warm up to him. I really liked that. There is no insta-love in this novel. Rob and Alaina's relationship progresses slowly, at a normal similar to real-life pace. For me personally I am kind of burnt out on insta-love stories so this was a nice change from what I have been reading lately.
Overall, I really enjoyed Underneath It All. The romance was interesting, the side-plots were great, and the best part is all the hockey scenes. For me, there is nothing better then reading a hockey romance during hockey season! Cassandra Carr definitely knows her hockey even though The Storm is a fictional team. Highly recommend this story.
I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review