After getting her heart broken by a player again, Whitney Porter is done with men. She's focusing on her future career and her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her resolve. To keep herself from breaking her no-sex rule with the temptingly tattooed athlete, she decides to use him for a side project: Anatomy of a Player, to help Whitney—and women everywhere—spot a player, learn what makes him tick, and how to avoid falling for one.
With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson Decker's looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can't land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts the challenge, boasting he'll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he's in too deep. The last thing he needs is another complication, but staying away isn't an option. One thing's for certain: this girl totally throws him off his game.
Each book in the Taking Shots series is STANDALONE:
* Getting Lucky Number Seven
* Anatomy of a Player
* Crazy Pucking Love
* Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny
About the Author
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.
Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.
Read an Excerpt
Anatomy of a Player
A Taking Shots Novel
By Cindi Madsen, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Cindi Madsen
All rights reserved.
You know those girls with no gaydar who fall in love with every gay guy within a thirty-mile radius? I lacked whatever version of radar was for players. Playdar — yeah, I was definitely missing playdar.
I trudged up the concrete stairs of my apartment complex, my heart heavy after yet another breakup — if it could even be called a breakup, considering Trevor and I had never been an official couple. Something he'd so nicely pointed out earlier tonight when I saw him on campus with another girl.
The stabbing pain in my chest returned as I recalled the way Trevor had asked Perky McBoobs to give him a second before pulling me aside. Denial and I were old friends, and she whispered that maybe he'd have some great explanation, like the girl was just a close friend — his hand in her back pocket ruled out relative. Okay, so it ruled out friend, too. I didn't go around cupping my friends' asses, no matter how close we were.
As I slid my key into my apartment door, I replayed that awful moment when the guy who'd once told me I was so sexy that he thought about me all day long claimed I was "too needy" and he was afraid I wanted more than he could give.
Did I want him to refrain from having sex with other girls while he and I were together? Of course I did. Apparently asking for the most basic relationship requirement — after three months, no less — made me needy.
And there was nothing quite like getting played by the third freaking guy in a row, only to come home to one of the cuddliest, most in-love couples ever. I knew Lyla would never purposely rub her relationship in my face, just like I knew she and Beck had earned their happiness the hard way. But it didn't make it any easier to walk in on them making out on the couch.
I shut the door behind me with a little extra force, and Lyla glanced up, obviously just noticing my presence. "Hey," she said, pulling away from Beck and tugging her disheveled clothes back into place. "Didn't hear you come in."
The first few times I'd caught them, she'd blushed and apologized profusely. Now it was commonplace enough that we were past blushing and apologies. Last weekend she'd caught Trevor and me in the same position.
Another wave of sadness crashed into me, making it feel like my chest had caved in on itself. Why does it have to hurt so bad every damn time?
Lyla's hazel eyes widened. "Oh, no. What happened?"
I'd done so well fighting back the tears on my drive home, but having someone care enough to ask that cracked the dam wide open. "You know how Trevor told me he was too busy with football stuff to hang out tonight?" My voice squeaked and I forced the next words out before I totally lost it. "I caught him on campus with another girl. It's over. Even though apparently it was never a thing anyway."
Lyla untangled herself from Beck and hugged me. "I'm so sorry, Whitney. I know how much you liked him."
I sniffed and squeezed her back. "Last year I swore that I was only going to go for sweet nerds who'd appreciate me, but then I slipped and fell for Mr. All American Football Player over the summer, so I suppose I deserve this."
"You don't deserve it," Lyla said, pulling back to look me in the eye.
I didn't. Deep down I knew I deserved someone who'd treat me right. I just didn't know how to go about finding him. Clearly I needed to avoid football players, though. Strike that. The guy before Trevor was Matt, and he'd played baseball in high school. So make it all athletes in general, and since the guy before that had been a frat boy, I might as well scratch them off the possibilities list, too.
Beck stopped the ignored movie playing in the background and ran a hand through his short blond hair. He had a bit of a dude-in-tear-filled-headlights look on his face, making it clear he wasn't sure if he should stay or flee from the crying girl drama.
I meant to let him off, but then I found myself asking, "Why can't guys just be straight with us?" I flopped onto the cushy red chair Lyla and I had picked up at a yard sale a couple of weekends ago. "Why act like you're really into a girl and say super sweet things, when you're doing the same thing to two or three other girls at the same time?"
Beck shrugged. "I was always up front that I wasn't in it for the long haul."
Lyla sat next to him and patted his leg. "It's true. He told me it could only be sex, no strings attached." She gave him a stern look and then shoved his arm, which elicited a huge grin from him. Clearly the attachment part had formed and then some.
"So what changed?" I asked, wanting the magic formula. Wanting to know how to achieve that kind of adoration and commitment so I didn't have to constantly walk around with this ache in my chest.
Beck ran his hand down Lyla's arm and linked their fingers together. "She was already my friend. She saw me at my worst and helped me through it, even when I didn't deserve it. And, well ... look at her. She's hot."
Lyla flashed him a smile, he smiled back and raised their entwined hands to kiss the back of hers, and it was disgustingly cute and envy-worthy. My lovable roommate at least looked semi-apologetic about the PDA.
I wanted what they had, and I'd been stupid enough to think that Trevor and I were heading in that direction. We'd met while taking Session II summer classes, and while I wasn't sure where we stood when I'd gone home for a few weeks between semesters, he'd texted several times, and as soon as I'd let him know I'd returned to Boston, he came over and told me how happy he was to have me back. Didn't "back" imply he'd had me in the first place?
Silly me, I'd thought he'd meant it in a relationship way, and obviously he'd meant in a booty call way. Now I wondered how many of the times he'd claimed to be busy with football he'd been scoring with chicks instead of a ball.
Yep, definitely done with athletes. In fact, the next time some ripped, suspiciously charming guy delivers a line, I'm going to let him have it. Maybe then he'll think twice about using his smooth lines to land unsuspecting girls.
Okay, that was probably a stretch, but at least he'd know that I wasn't his next mark.
Beck glanced at his phone and then said, "Babe, we should probably get going. The guys are expecting me at the party." He looked from Lyla to me. "Unless you need to stay?"
I could tell by the way he'd dragged out the words and wrapped his arm around Lyla's waist that he didn't want to go without her. I didn't want to hold her back from a party — during the first part of last year it was all I could do to get her to go out. Now she had a better social life than I did. Although I knew she often tired of the party scene quickly, it was good for her to get out, and even better that Beck liked to show her off.
"Go," I said, making a shooing motion. "I'll be fine. Maybe we can have a girls' night tomorrow, and then I can really bitch about guys without hurting Beck's feelings." I gave him a teasing smile, even though I was serious about the bitching part.
"Or ..." Lyla wound a strand of her fiery red locks around her finger, and since she'd just been to the salon for a color touchup, it reminded me I needed to do the same for my blond highlights. "Remember how you forced me to get out last year, even after Beck and I had that rough spot, and it ended up being the best thing ever?"
Yeah, because Beck got up onstage and groveled to get her back, not because the party was so great.
"Why don't you shake off that idiot's loss and come to the Quad with us?"CHAPTER 2
I'd lost count of how many drinks I'd had, but I no longer felt the anger or frustration from earlier in the day, so it seemed to be about the right amount.
The phone call I'd received this afternoon rose up again, and my hand automatically drifted to my right side — I'd sustained dozens of injuries through the years, but broken ribs and the bruised lung were the hardest to forget, and a residual ache went through them now.
I changed my mind. I need another shot.
Of course the call from my mom had come on the same day I found out I'd failed my first sociological statistics test.
A fuzzy brunette head popped into view as I reached for the bottle of vodka. I blinked, and my vision cleared enough to see the sloppy smile curving her lips. "You're one of the wingers on the hockey team, right?"
"That's what they tell me," I said, and she giggled.
"I know all of the positions." She leaned in, resting her breasts against my arm as she curled her hand around my elbow. "Hockey positions, I mean. I went to every game last year and watched you play. I can't believe I'm getting a chance to actually talk to Hudson Decker."
I grunted, the most minimal required response, and refilled my cup. As I suspected, she was the chatty type, so she continued to talk, mostly about how much she loved hockey.
"You know ..." She walked her fingers up to my shoulder. "While I know all of your hockey stats, there are a lot of other things I'd like to learn about you. My place isn't far from here."
Too easy. Usually I wasn't opposed to that kind of thing, but I didn't have the patience to nod and mumble at the right places. I certainly didn't want to suffer through her trying to pry out details about the supposed other side of me. Girls always thought they could discover my sweet, thoughtful side, but I didn't have one. If I slept with a girl, the only thing she'd ever get was superficial information. Despite what girls might think, I was actually doing them a favor by holding back. No one wanted the ugly truth about me, and I'd rather take a skate across the face than spill it. But the biggest mark against this particular girl was that she didn't intrigue me enough to keep my mind off other things.
We were supposed to be celebrating the start of the season, but with the past rising up to haunt me I felt like I was fifteen again, helpless in a shitty situation and wondering if it was worth the fight, or if I should let go for good.
When I was fifteen, I really didn't have much of a choice. A lot of things had changed, but considering the bomb my mom had dropped, and the fact that I was already struggling with a class, maybe not enough to truly make a difference.
For now I needed to focus on my stupid statistics class, because without my scholarship, I couldn't afford to stay at Boston College. Then I'd end up back home, no degree, and between the mess there and no longer having hockey as an outlet, I'd completely lose my shit.
This girl, with her over-the-top eye-batting as she put on bubble-gum-colored lipstick, certainly didn't look like she could help me with anything educational.
Whoa. A little harsh there, Decker. Apparently I'd had enough alcohol to turn into a judgmental asshole, which was a bit too much. Made me think of the very guy I was trying my best to not think about. His image brought on a burst of rage, and I curled my fists, wishing for the ice and an opponent to slam into to take the edge off.
Shit, I need to shake this off before it screws up my life all over again.
"Nice meeting you," I said to the brunette, even though whatever we'd done barely qualified as "meeting," and then I headed toward my boys. My real family, no matter what was going on with the one I'd been born into.
My roommates, Dane and Ryder, clapped me on the back as I approached. One of them shoved a beer in my hand, and the flimsy plastic cup dented and sloshed foam onto my shoes. As the rest of the team gathered and grabbed drinks, toasts were made, more alcohol was consumed.
After a bathroom break, I stumbled back toward the group, but stopped short when I caught sight of a blonde with a killer ass. Her jeans were blessedly tight and the glittery designs on her back pockets begged to be stared at and studied.
With the lights dimmed, and as much alcohol as blood buzzing through my system, it was hard to fully make out her features, but from what I could see of her profile, she had the face to match. She swayed her hips to the beat of the music that pumped through the room, and my heart gave a hard thump. Something about that girl said she'd be far from easy. That she'd make me forget everything for a while, even my own name.
I ran a hand over my face, trying to shake away the haze that dragged my limbs down and made walking a challenge. I wished for skates, because at least the ice helped you glide. While I'd probably fall on my face if I got anywhere near a hockey rink right now, the bonus of crashing on ice was it'd be right there to numb the pain.
Then again, I felt pretty damn numb right now.
Finally I made it to the sexy blonde and tapped her on the shoulder. I grinned when she spun around, but she didn't crack even a hint of a smile. "What?"
Definitely not easy, and my blood zinged with the challenge. "I'm Hudson." Whoa. Little swaying right there. I did my best to hold still, but the room was tilting again.
"I'm not interested," she said, then she turned back around and said something to her redheaded friend. The friend seemed familiar, but she was facing the other direction, and I couldn't focus on her with the many other thoughts drunkenly crashing through my head. All of them agreed that the blonde needed to be our main focus — girls like her didn't come around every day.
"I was afraid this was a bad idea," she muttered. I wasn't even sure her friend had heard her, or if the blonde hottie was purposely talking to herself. "I'm just not ready to deal with it, despite trying to dance it off and being on my second crazy-strong drink. In fact, I'm thinking — "
I tapped her on the shoulder again, and she gave an exasperated sigh before glancing at me.
"How about you and I get a drink? You know what they say ..." I winked, which I didn't think was part of my usual repertoire, but it came out anyway. "Three's the charm — I'll make sure of it."
"Look, buddy, the amount of alcohol it'd take for me to sleep with you tonight would kill me. So you might as well move on."
I laughed, which was apparently the wrong move, because she said something about how she never should've come, then grabbed her friend's arm — even though the girl had been talking to someone else — and walked away, melting into the crowd.
I wasn't sure how long I stood there staring at the place where she'd disappeared, but the next thing I knew Dane was all up in my grill, waving his hand. "Bro, you're so wasted. Remember how we agreed to go easy so we wouldn't be totally hung over at tomorrow's practice? Coach is going to kill us."
"Be fine by practice," I muttered, not sure if the words had come out right.
"Do you even know where you are?"
I knew where I was, but the rest of my mind was pretty blank, which was exactly what I'd wanted since the start of this sucky day.CHAPTER 3
I readjusted my bra so the push-up pads had maximum effect and then felt to check that my jeans weren't gaping in the back. Thanks to my Kardashian-esque booty that exercise didn't touch, finding the right pair of jeans was like finding a college guy who wanted to be in a long-term relationship.
I wanted to believe they existed — the commitment-ready guys, that is, since I'd discovered that for the right eye-bulging price I could find jeans with cool designs on the pockets which hugged and flattered and came pretty damn close to perfection — but right now it felt like I'd have a better chance at running into a unicorn on campus.
It'd been just over a week since Trevor had shown his true colors. Going to the party with Lyla and Beck only showed me there were more guys exactly like him ready to take his place. The intoxicated, tattooed dude who'd hit on me might've been ridiculously hot, but for once I hadn't fallen for a cocky smile and a line. At the time I'd been too involved in my personal pity party to appreciate my fortitude, but by the time Lyla and I had our girls' night, the thought buoyed me up and led me to a huge decision.
Until I could figure out how to break my habit of falling for guys who hurt me, I was taking a sabbatical from dating and sex to focus on my professional future. When I'd first come to Boston College, all I'd been thinking about was how I was that much closer to becoming the hard-hitting journalist I'd always wanted to be. Guys and parties had gotten in the way, but I vowed now to correct that.
Step one: meeting with my journalism professor after class. I planned on finding out what I needed to do to ensure that when I graduated, I'd have a foot-up on the rest of my competition.
Excerpted from Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2016 Cindi Madsen. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I liked this book almost as much as the first one. I loved the characters and was really curious to find out Decker's back story.
This book is cute and fast paced. I love the characters and the storyline. It was over 300 pages on my nook.
Recommended fun to read
5 stars So much love for Anatomy of a Player! Anatomy of a Player was sweet, fun and romantic read. I loved Whitney and Hudson together, they both made me laugh & swoon, you just can't help but love them. They had a great connection and their chemistry was off the charts! They were truly perfect for each other. Anatomy of a Player is a great addition to the Taking Shot series, can't wait to read Dane's book next.
LOVED it!! It's a fun, sexy, feel good story that had me amused and entertained throughout. Whitney and her inner dialogue were hilarious. She's tired of getting mixed up with players that end up cheating on her. Being the determined journalist she is, she's determined to write an expose' to help other women who are also missing the "playdar"gene. Her test subject is none other than the biggest player on the hockey team Hudson Decker. Spending time with him without getting sucked in by his charm might be a little more than she can handle though! This is a fantastic NA story and one I highly recommend.
Believe it or not, Anatomy of a Player was my first Cindi Madsen book. It won't be my last. It's not a particularly steamy new adult romance, but it did have plenty of swoons and sweet moments. It was a quick read and I enjoyed it. This isn't the first time I've read a "bad boy goes good" book, but I still tend to enjoy them. I liked both Whitney and Hudson. I found myself literally laughing out loud and times as Whitney uncovered all the signs of a player. I liked that there was more to Hudson than met the eye. Hudson and Whitney had great chemistry and wonderful banter. I liked them together. Neither of them may have been looking for a relationship, but they found something real together and I enjoyed the ride. This was a fun, cute read that left me smiling. It was just maybe a little longer than it needed to be, but I was into it, so I went with it. It was probably closer to 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. :) I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
It's official--I love this series. I didn't honestly thinkAnatomy of a Player was going to be quite as good as book one in the series, Getting Lucky Number Seven --in fact, I read this one with a great deal of trepidation for much of the book, so afraid that things were going to spiral right out of control toward the end--but Ms. Madsen proved me wrong. Things could have gone so, so badly with Hudson and Whitney--they did get pretty grim, in fact, and rightly so, since both characters made some pretty iffy choices early on that just couldn't possibly have ended well--but fortunately, what Whitney and Hudson did in the end that showed they were better people than that, and they saved their HEA. Thank goodness. Because it might have killed me if they didn't. If anyone deserved an HEA, it's these two. They have great chemistry, and even though on the surface they seem to be completely different, they actually have a lot in common. Even where they are dissimilar, they each have what the other needs in order to be stronger. I adored how supportive they were of each other, even when they weren't together during the book's darkest moments. I also loved that Beck and Lyla (from book one) were in here as well, and helped the two of them to pull it together in the end. Speaking of endings--be prepared for a fantastic finish, because Ms. Madsen knows how to write some pretty kick-butt grand gestures :) Hudson's is a doozy--hockey players for the win! Though it is book two in the series, Anatomy should work fine as a standalone...but do yourself a favor and read them both; you won't be sorry! Now--can I put in my vote for Dane's book next? ;) Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
*ARC received from Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review* I pretty much loved this story from beginning to end. Hudson, despite being a player, has feelings for Whitney right from the beginning. Other than the bet which he reluctantly agreed to, he is never false with her, which I loved about him. I also loved Whitney's sassiness as she tries to keep Hudson at arm's length even though she is intensely attracted to him. Oh, and I completely loved Whitney's hilarious article about Hudson which she called Anatomy of a Player. While I would not call the plot line original, the execution of the story was very enjoyable due to the great writing. The characters have depth and I really cared about them. This romance is sweet and funny and well worth the read.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it had a great cast of characters and I loved seeing the two MC’s of the first book. While this book was very predictable, it really didn’t take away anything for me. Whitney and Hudson don’t see eye to eye at first. Hudson is just like the guys that Whiney would usually date and there that causes a few problems. But, as time goes on so does their attraction to each other. As they spend more time together, their attraction grows. But one stupid bet could cause Hudson everything that he’s wanted. I can’t honestly think of anything bad about this book. I really enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the romance. I’m really excited for the next book in this series. If you like sassy heroines with very impressive fashion sense and an alpha hockey player that usually get what they want then this book would be a great read.
Wonderful NA Romance This was a good read about Whitney Porter & Hudson Decker’s love story and the ups and downs they encountered along the way until they got to the path of happiness together. Whitney has been hurt in the path by players who have cheated on her so when she gets a chance, she decides to take some revenge in the form of launching her career and go undercover and write a tell all on the hockey team. Her plan goes down when she ends up falling in love with Hudson and she is caught trying to reconcile to her revenge plan. Will their love stand up when Hudson finds out? This had good pacing and the humor was great along with the passion and romance. The ending was fantastic. My Rating: 4.0 stars **** *A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review*
This book is a typical young adult romance. It follows the same lines as many of the other books in that genre I have read. While this book was very enjoyable and entertaining, it was also very predictable. I personally need a little bit incentive with unpredictable situations and conversations to keep me engaged. I did enjoy the characters and the development of the male lead, Hudson. It was fun watching him as he realized his feelings for her and I loved the fact that he really tried to be straight with her, shared his deepest secrets, and cared for her. Whitney was reluctant to be honest with Hudson and yet he still had to fight for her... She was more interested in her job and how to get out of her mistakes without hurting others, Hudson included, since she found herself in a tight pickle. The story was interesting, but very similar to so many other books. The author did a wonderful job telling her story and the character development of Hudson was the best part for me. I was not fully invested, however, since it seemed so much like so many other YA books.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen is a delightful story, and while the whole concept of a boy making a bet to get the girl may not be a new one, it is nonetheless well-written and executed. I found Whitney and Hudson to be perfect fit for one another in how they could give as well as they got. With secrets, deception, heartbreak, and a good dose of forgiveness, comes this heartwarming read.
This is book # 2 in the Taking Shots series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. It is more enjoyable and easier to understand, however, if you read it in the order the author intended. Whitney and Hudson meet at a party. When they meet again, she is a sports reporter covering his game and looking dowdy and different. She wants to be taken seriously. Hudson finds himself attracted to more than her looks. He likes her laugh, her brain, her personality. He wants to be around her all the time. Is this what love is? He has never wanted a relationship. Maybe he could try? They both have pasts that have hurt them. They both have trust issues and so much to gain. They are also both keeping secrets. What happens when the truth is told? Such an incredible story! I loved the first book in the series so I was not real surprised to love this one also. Crazy funny and with such incredible sweetness. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley.com and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anatomy of a Player is the second book in Cindi Madsen’s Taking Shots hockey romance series. Cindi Madsen writes likable characters. Even when Hudson is being a jerk, I still liked him. Besides, he wasn’t the only one keeping secrets. While Whitney didn’t have the same tumultuous upbringing as Hudson, I thought she had common enough experiences to relate to him. I also liked how supportive Hudson was of her, and that he never tried to make her be someone else. At first I wasn’t a fan of the persona Whitney created. It almost seemed like an insult to professional women. Like they aren’t attractive because they wore business attire. However, as the story progressed it became apparent that train of thought was part of Whitney’s upbringing on the pageant circuit. Aside from that, I found Anatomy of a Player to be a really cute story. I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This is a fun, sweet story. I love how characters from the first book in this series also play a part in this book as well. However, if you haven't read the first book, it is not critical to Whitney and Hudson's story but I highly recommend reading it. This story is well written and paced very nicely. The banter and quips among all the characters are lively and fun. I love how we get to see both main characters point of views. Ms. Madsen did a wonderful job with these characters. I can't wait to read Dane's story! ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest review.
Whitney Porter is turning over a new leaf, one that does not involve men, she is recuperating from a broken heart and has had it with players. She figures the best way to protect her heart is to take a long break from dating and focus on her career and college courses. She has longed to be a successful journalist and so when the opportunity to write a sports expose presents itself, she is all to eager to sign up for the job, even if it means surrounding herself the very players she has sworn off. She knows that it is going to be challenging to work alongside all these gorgeous and tempting men, but knowing that they are all just like the last man that left her with a broken heart makes them pretty easy to resist. That is until she meets a certain handsome tattooed hockey player that likes to test her patience and her resolve... Hudson Decker is a smooth talking, handsome hockey player that has never had a problem lining up the ladies, to share his bed for the night. But news from home currently has him distracted and in a rut, so his roommate Dane devises the perfect plan to get him out of his bad mood and back to his carefree and wild ways. Dane knows that Hudson isn't one to back down from a challenge, so he bets Hudson that he can't find a way lure the new feisty sports reporter into his bed. Hudson figures a little smooth talking is all he needs to do and he'll have her weak in the knees and ready to jump in his bed, only she surprises him by turning him down flat. Now Hudson must find a way to win her over or his prize possession jersey will be hanging on his roommates wall...and he'll be left fending off jokes from his teammates. This was my first experience with Ms. Madsen's work and I have to say that her writing totally won me over, I absolutely loved every minute I spend reading Hudson and Whitney's story. It grabbed my attention from the very beginning and held on tight until the last page was turned. I love a good enemies to lovers story and this one is definitely one of the best I have read in quite a while, Ms. Madsen definitely knows her hockey players and how to give readers one very satisfying literary escape!! Highly recommend you meet Hudson, he is sure win your heart and have you looking at hockey players in a whole new light!! ARC requested through NetGalley and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
So often I use the term trainwreck waiting to happen so today I'll say Bomb waiting to explode. Both Whitney and Hudson have alternative resons for hanging out. Whitney wants the inside scoop, Hudson wants to win a bet. So as they progress from enemies to more, how do you prevent from the inevitable bomb exploding and ruining everything. Anatomy of a player was fun. It's got some funny spots, some more serious heartfelt moments and a tiny bit of naughty. I love both characters. They are very much teenagers with very little on their mind aside from the here and now. It's an enjoyable 5 star read
This is a college romance, another in the Taking Shots series by this author. In this story the leading lady is determined give bad boy sporty males a wide berth after a series of decidedly detrimental experiences with players. The leading man, however, is the epitome of a player – a hockey star who believes in one night stands and nothing further. When fate throws the two of them together repeatedly, their mutual attraction and determined resistance are fighting an internal battle for both of them. Add in his team mates bet and challenge and you just know you’re in for trouble ahead! It is a great story of students striving to achieve, of the slow development of their relationship after numerous believable encounters. It is an enjoyable college romance with a brilliant ending and, although this is the second in the series, it works well as a standalone. I found it easy to connect to Hudson, especially as he tries to cope with all the pressures from his mother, his sport and studying. Whitney wasn’t quite so easy to relate to as if she wasn’t being true to herself or her personal goals, choosing to act a part she really wasn’t happy with and, having decided to stop crushing on ‘bad boys’ goes out and immediately starts doing just that! As the story develops things do get better and I enjoyed how the romance developed. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys college romances and suspect it will probably appeal more to young adults, with many scenarios they may be able to relate to in their own lives. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
I loved the way that Cindi Madsen wrote this story. Whitney was all set to try and show up some sports players with her reporting skills. Whitney was going to interview some of the hockey players and get a feel for how some of them actually feel about the way the University that they attend treats them. Whitney is sure that the sports players get special treatment and she is going to prove it. Whitney also believes that sports players get more benefits paid to them for the college studies than a normal student does. Is that the case? Whitney is going to find out and she is going to start with Hudson, the star of the hockey team that is know for his player ways. Hudson never knew that he could have such a connection with one woman, but that that woman could turn him off so easily. For Hudson, things come easily for him being the hockey star that he is. Hudson knows that there is something about Whitney from the very first interview she does with him, but he can't put his finger on it and he is going to be persistent in breaking down her walls. As time goes on, Whitney and Hudson become closer and sparks begin to fly between them. Will Hudson be able to turn from his player ways and stick with just Whitney? What will happen when Whitney uncovers some of the truths of the hockey team and it's players? You need to read this one to find out about Whitney and Hudson. I thought this was a great story that many can relate to in our own society today. Things are not always fair, but the question is...are you going to overcome them or let them stop you? See how Whitney and Hudson handle their problems. Thanks for a great read Cindi Madsen!!
3 1/2 stars When the girl who's tired of being played meets the best player on the college hockey team, he tires and she says no. Well that wouldn't be a good story but it is how these two meet. Oh course it's not the end of the story. Whitney dons the frumpy look and takes the sports reporter job to find the dirt on the athletes on campus while Hudson tries to survive his stats class so he can keep his scholarship and actually get the degree he hopes will helps him do something with his life. So their next meeting is a bit more interesting. I loved Hudson. He had a yucky childhood and was trying so hard to get his degree in sociology so he could help kids like him. But between practice, studying and his mother drama that won't go away, he's struggling to keep it together. Yeah, he's a player but he hasn't tried to actually get to know a girl for years. And when he ends up getting to know Whitney, the sweetness in him is clear. Like the night he really wants to kiss her but ends up giving her a neck massage because he can tell how much pain she's in. Totally sweet. Of course, I wasn't too happy about that little bet he makes. Nope. Whitney may not have been my favorite character though it probably wasn't her fault. She rubbed my journalism buttons the wrong way. I was a journalism student before I got married so I remember the gig. And I remember why I changed to the math gig instead, when I went back to school. I just don't like that deceitful, cutthroat aspect of an expose. When you already know what you want to find when you start researching, it's exactly what you'll find. So Whitney rubbed me the wrong way at first. But I did learn to love her and I was glad for the character growth. These two together are fun. They have banter down and the chemistry is clear even if Whitney is in resist mode. It was interesting that as each of them moved forward with their own agenda, they ended up developing the relationship that neither of them were looking for. So while I wasn't happy with either of them for their lies and poor intentions, it actually worked to help them. Funny, even adorable at times, I really enjoyed this book. Perhaps a bit slow, it's a great college story that does have that authentic feel.
Anatomy of a Player (Taking Shots) by Cindi Madsen I loved Cindi Madsen’s Anatomy of a Player. This contemporary new adult sports romance takes place at Boston College. Journalism major Whitney Porter swears off dating after once again being dumped by a player. She decides to focus on her career. She gets a job as a sports writer for her school newspaper covering the hockey team with the intension of uncovering a story about the perks the athletes receive. Meanwhile, left winger Hudson Decker’s team mates challenge him to a bet to get the uptight new reporter to sleep with him by the end of the semester. We were introduced to Whitney in book one, Getting Lucky Number Seven. She is Lyla Wilder’s roommate. Hudson Decker is a teammate of Beck Davenport, who is also from book one. Both Whitney and Hudson start off their acquaintance with lies. As they get to know and like each other, both feel guilt for their secrets. I love Hudson. He is considered the team bad boy but there is a lot more to him then his image. Except for making a bad bet choice; he is typically honest. He is upfront with girls, even though they sometimes choose to hear what they want and not what he says. He does not want to cheat. He works hard. I like that he does not want to enable his mom’s bad dating choices and put himself before her for once. I love that he values the gift he was given by being on scholarship for his team, and appreciate that he wants to pursue being a social worker, so he could help kids who have a difficult upbringing like he did. I like that Whitney wants to be more than a pretty face. She wants to be taken seriously as a journalist. She is clever and determined. I like that she didn’t let her mom bully her into following in her footsteps. I like that she is open minded. She sees more than one view point in a situation and recognizes when she may have been wrong. Both characters saw a lot of growth in this story. The title of the book is perfect, and I like how the name plays into the plot. Anatomy of a Player is believable and heartwarming. It is one of those books that you fall so in love with the characters that you do not want the story to end. I love Cindi Madsen’s writing style. It kept me fully engaged. I cannot wait for Dane’s story in book three. Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
Loser magnet Whitney has decided to turn the tables. Payback is a B. Having been used one too many times by heartbreaking Casanovas with more brawn than smarts she sets out to even the score. She gets more than she bargained for when her saucy expose' leads her to the guy that may contradict all her beliefs about athletes. Her head may be saying "no" but everywhere else is screaming "YES". I received an ARC of Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen in exchange for an honest review. Is the story predictable? Yes! Despite it's predictability Cindi Madsen manages to leave you smiling and entertained at the end of this cute read.
I have stalked this author for over a year now. In that time she has yet to ever disappoint myself as a reader. Her books are always light and have tons of comedy mixed in with the romance. The characters are highly developed and given almost 3 dimensional qualities it almost makes you forget it's a story. As a reader you can't help routing for the poor male character often times the female lead is initially very brutal about main male character having a first impression that isn't very likeable. I love how the author maintains a series but makes them so they can be read standalone the main characters changed but still made appearances in the books. I would highly recommend this book and if you are a first time Cindi Madsen reader I would really recommend her other books she shows she can write across multiple genres I have read her New Adult, Adult Contemporary and her Young Adult paranormal series. I can't wait to read more books from this author. She adds in some sports in this book and you can tell some research was done to accurately discuss the said sport. My absolute favorite, favorite book by this author was Cinderella Screwed Me Over. This was definitely a book that you couldn't put down from beginning to end non stop enjoyment. I received a copy in exchange for a honest and unbiased opinion.