Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.
But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.
Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…
The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, underage drinking, sexual situations, and crazy squirrels. It may cause you to become a fan of hockey—or at least hot hockey players
Each book in the Corrigan Falls Raiders series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Center Ice
Book #2 Playing Defense
Book #3 Winging It
Book #4 Breakaway
About the Author
Cate Cameron's life path may not be a straight line, but it has definitely zigged in some interesting directions. With a work history that ranges from historical interpreter to garden designer, office manager to school librarian, she's had a lot of experiences and tries to bring these to life in her writing. In her spare time she rides horses and enjoys the outdoors, and she's managed to bring these interests to her writing as well.
Cate and her family live in central Ontario, Canada with a dog, a cat, and a million characters who all want their stories told.
Read an Excerpt
A Corrigan Falls Raiders Novel
By Cate Cameron, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Cate Cameron
All rights reserved.
– Karen –
The squirrel attacked on the sixth day. Five days of peaceful, almost solitary running, and then ... carnage.
Well, that might be a little strong. But those little guys have sharp claws, and I was wearing shorts. Also, I had no idea what to do. I'd been running along just fine, concentrating on my breathing as I started up the steep hill, and then there was a blur of movement, a painful scratching on my leg, and I looked down to see a pair of beady little rodent eyes staring right back at me from halfway up my thigh.
I may have made a noise, maybe something like a panicked giraffe. And then I possibly did a strange little dance, trying to stomp hard enough to shake the squirrel loose. The movement just made him hang on even tighter, digging his claws farther into my exposed skin. "Get off," I yelled at him. "I'm not a tree!"
"Stand still." The voice was confident and male, and my inner feminist wanted to stomp a little harder just to show that I wasn't taking his orders. But standing still kind of made sense, so I froze, then peeked back over my shoulder. I recognized the guy, of course. He'd been the only other person I'd ever seen in the park this early in the morning, circling around the same route I used. About my age and a pretty good runner. Very fit. I tried not to notice how he was even better looking up close and hoped that in addition to being gorgeous he was also good with rodents.
"He just jumped on me, for no reason," I said. I guess I didn't want this guy to think I'd been provoking the squirrels? "Don't hurt him," I added. I was remembering some of the teenage boys I knew, assholes who'd probably take an incident like this as an excuse to prove their manhood with violence and gore.
The guy ignored me. He scooped a stick up from the side of the path, about three feet long and almost as thick as my wrist.
"No, don't hit him!" I wondered if I'd be able to outrun the guy with a squirrel firmly attached to my thigh.
He continued to ignore me. He came in close and brought the stick right up to the squirrel, like athletes do when they're lining up for a hard swing. But instead of pulling the stick back, he edged it down a little, slow and steady. "She's not a tree," the guy said, and there was maybe the hint of a laugh in his voice, as if he knew he was echoing my ridiculous words. "Come on, little guy. Back to the forest." The stick kept moving, and the squirrel put one forefoot on it and then the other. He was still staring at me, and I started to wonder whether he was trying to communicate. My babies are trapped! I need your help! Or maybe something less immediate: developers want to destroy my habitat; you must STOP them. But probably he was just a crazy little rodent. When the stick got as far as his hind legs, there was a moment when it really seemed like he might be about to make a leap farther up, fighting his way onto my shorts—spandex, thankfully, so I didn't have to worry about him burrowing beneath the fabric—but instead he flicked his tail, spun around, and leaped off me. He scrambled up the nearest trunk and started this weird chirping, staring down at us in outrage.
"He's cussing you out," the guy said.
"Not me! He liked me. He's swearing at you."
"Yeah, probably," the guy admitted. He sounded like he was used to people swearing at him, which made no damned sense, because he was gorgeous and a hero. He crouched down and looked at my thigh. "No blood, but you've got some scratches. Looks like they're swelling up a bit. Are you allergic?"
"To squirrels?" I squinted at him to see if he was serious. "How would I know that? I mean, I've never had a reaction to squirrel scratches in the past, but ..."
"Guess you're about to find out." He straightened up. His shoulders were really wide, and I wondered if I'd underestimated his age. His face seemed young, but most guys my age were still pretty skinny. He wasn't fat, for sure, but there was more muscle on him than I was used to seeing. And possibly I'd picked the wrong time to notice that, because he was looking at me as if he thought maybe I was going into shock or something. "You okay?"
"Yes," I said automatically. I took a careful step forward along the path. "Doesn't hurt."
"You should rinse it off." He frowned. "Maybe. I mean, I'm not a doctor. I have no idea what you should do. But if you want to rinse it off, I can take you to the creek."
"There's a creek?" Five days in this park with no squirrel attacks and no knowledge of a creek. Apparently day six was all about exposure to new things.
"Yeah. There's a path to it just up here."
"I don't want to interrupt your run ..."
"I can walk you back to the fountain, if you'd rather."
I hate myself at times like these. It's not weak to take a little help, and it doesn't mean I'm pathetic and needy if I let someone do something for me. But sometimes it's like I'm psychologically unable to accept assistance. "No, I'm fine. I'll go rinse it off in the fountain, but I don't need help." At least I was self-aware enough to realize how stupid that comment was. "I mean, I appreciate your help. Before, with the stick ... that was excellent. And I'm really glad you didn't hurt him. But I'm okay now."
His stare was almost as intense as the squirrel's, but with him I got the feeling he was trying to receive information, not send it. "Okay," he finally said.
He watched me as I started walking, and I gave him a little wave and said, "Thanks again," then turned resolutely and started jogging. The scratches didn't hurt, but they were pretty itchy. I wondered how many people were walking around this world with an undiscovered allergy to squirrel scratches. I kept jogging until I was sure I was out of the guy's sight, and then I slowed to a walk.
Attacked by a squirrel.
It was like picking a scab, and I knew I shouldn't do it, but I let myself imagine how I'd tell the story to my mom. She'd already have heard about the cute boy, of course, and she'd probably have been bugging me to talk to him. "You're so shy, Karenina," she'd have said. For the record, my name is Karen, not Karenina, and my mom was the one who named me, so you'd think she of all people would have respected her own choice, but apparently not. Mom had been a dancer, and I was named after a famous Canadian ballerina, which was fine, but apparently my mother had realized too late that the ballerina was elegant and graceful despite her name, not because of it. But Mom had never seen me as anything but beautiful, and she'd apparently decided to give me a more glamorous nickname to match. "Talk to him, Karenina. What's the worst that could happen?"
That's what she would have already been saying, and then when I told her about the squirrel, she'd have laughed and been excited, and scolded me a little for turning down the help. "If a handsome gentleman offers you assistance, why not take it?"
Once, in real life, I'd responded to a similar statement by pointing out what had happened to her when she'd let herself be taken in by a handsome gentleman, when she was only a couple years older than I was then. She'd frowned, then leaned forward and kissed my temple, hard. "I got you," she'd said fiercely. "I have no regrets."
By the time I got to the fountain, I was crying, thinking of the conversation I'd never get to have. I splashed some water on my face, first, and tried to get myself under control. Then I hoisted my leg up and rinsed off the scratches. They were nasty-looking, bright pink ridges with a thin white line down the middle of them. I poked at them because it felt better to have pain on the outside of my body, then splashed some more water on my face and headed out of the park. I was tempted to run again and wear off more of my negative energy, but I thought I'd better go find an antihistamine in case this squirrel allergy turned into a real problem.
When I got back to the house, Will was awake and in the kitchen. "Do you want breakfast?" he asked. He was eating a bowl of cold cereal, which I could easily find for myself, so it was sort of a weird question. I wondered what he'd have said if I'd asked for bacon and eggs or waffles or something. But he was my father, at least in an accidental-sperm-donor sense, and I guess he was trying to take care of me.
"I'll have something later. Do you have Benadryl?"
"Allergies?" He sounded concerned, but I had no patience for that bullshit.
"Nothing serious. I always get them this time of year. Not that you'd know about that." I smiled sweetly and shifted around a little so he wouldn't be able to see the lines on my leg. "So, is there Benadryl somewhere, or should I add that to Natalie's list?" Natalie was Will's wife, mother of his other children, and it seemed to work best if we kept communication with each other in written form.
"I'll check the master bathroom," Will said, setting his bowl down on the counter. "The kids don't have allergies, so it wouldn't be in theirs."
"Of course no allergies," I agreed. That would be a flaw, and imperfections were not allowed in this household. I was tempted to find a way to expose them to angry squirrels just to test the theory, but it seemed like a pretty complicated plan would be required.
I followed Will out to the bottom of the staircase and waited for him there. I'd never been upstairs in this house. I mean, I'd only lived there for about a week, so it wasn't a huge deal. My bedroom and a small bathroom were in the basement, food and the doors to outside were on the main floor ... that was all I needed. And absolutely all I wanted. These people were strangers, and there was no need for me to see their bedrooms. Not unless I was putting squirrels between their sheets.
Will came back downstairs with empty hands. "I couldn't find anything," he said. "Is it bad? Do you want me to drive you to the drug store?"
I shook my head. "No, I'm fine," I said pathetically. I actually was; washing the scratches in the fountain had been a really good idea, because they were way less puffy and itchy than they had been.
"I'm sure Natalie can pick something up for you later today, if you just tell her what you need."
Another sad nod. "Okay." I turned and took a few steps toward the basement stairs, but I stopped when he said my name.
"Are you okay?" he asked, moving closer. "I don't just mean the allergies. Overall, I mean. Natalie and I were thinking that you might want to talk to somebody." He must have seen the expression on my face, because he stopped walking. "I mean, we're both here for you, of course. But if you wanted to see somebody else ... a professional ... we could set that up for you. If you wanted."
"Because of what? Because I'm some sort of deviant or something?" I couldn't believe these people. "Seriously? Why don't you all go to 'a professional'? You could talk about your compulsive need for perfection. Or what it's like to have a kid you never bothered to meet suddenly show up on your doorstep."
"Maybe I should." It was seven o'clock in the morning, but he already looked tired. "I could go with you, if you wanted. Maybe Natalie, too, or even the kids. We're in a strange situation here, Karen, and there's nothing wrong with getting some help with it."
And there it was again. Getting help. But if I hadn't taken it from the hot runner, I was not going to take it from some dried up old therapist. "If you guys need help, go for it. But I'm fine." I whirled and stomped down the stairs to the basement, keeping my head carefully turned so he couldn't see my face. Realizing that a messed-up situation was messed up did not mean that there was something wrong with me. The rest of them could cruise around with smiles painted on their faces if they wanted to, but I wasn't going to lie that way. My mother was dead, I was living in small-town hell with a father I'd never even met until the day before the funeral, and his whole family hated me. A therapist wasn't going to help with any of that. Nothing was going to help with any of that.
I pulled my phone out and punched the familiar codes in, then held it to my ear. The voice was familiar, light and easy. "Hi, Karenina. I'm going to be a bit late tonight. If you go to bed before I get home, sleep tight! I'll see you in the morning."
A simple message. My mother's last words to me. And they'd been a lie. Not deliberately, of course, but she hadn't seen me in the morning. She'd never seen me again.
My phone asked me if I wanted to delete or save, and I hit save, then replayed the message. I tried to pretend it was real. I closed my eyes, lay back in the bed, and imagined I was back at home, in our funky little apartment in the city. I was sleepy, so I'd go to bed early, and when I woke up the next morning, I'd see my mom.
I played the message again, and again.
And then I opened my eyes. My imagination couldn't change reality. I couldn't go to the past. I was stuck in the present. And I wasn't sure how the hell I was going to get through the future.CHAPTER 2
- Tyler -
"Move it, MacDonald! You need to be faster than that!"
I forced my legs to keep moving, driving forward over the smooth white ice. I was keeping up with my line mates, but the coach was right; I needed to be faster.
I put on enough speed to finish the drill a few strides ahead of the rest of my line and then I bent over, my stick braced on my knees as I gasped for breath. I didn't look up when I felt a body run into the boards beside me, and I knew it was Winslow as soon as I heard his ragged breathing.
"Out of the way," Coach bellowed at us, and we managed to push ourselves off to the side of the rink just as five other heavily padded players charged past the goal line and slammed their gloved fists down on the ice. I straightened up and forced myself to watch number 52, the center, racing back to the other end of the ice. I'd need a stopwatch to be sure, but I didn't think he was quite as fast as I was. He might end up being my replacement, but hopefully he wasn't going to push me out of my spot quite yet.
"He's not a playmaker," Winslow said from beside me. He knew me well enough to know who I'd been watching. "He doesn't have your instincts."
That would be really comforting, if it were true. Speed and strength could be developed, and Christiansen, the rookie center, was almost two years younger than I was; if he was nearly as fast and strong as me now, he'd almost certainly be faster and stronger by the time he was my age. But an instinct for the game was something that players either had or didn't; it could be developed, maybe, but not created. But I wasn't sure Winslow was right about Christiansen's instincts. "Let's get him drunk tonight, and see how fast he is when he's skating with a hangover."
Winslow grinned at me. He was my best friend, and he knew that I wasn't quite that much of an asshole. "You'll be fine, Mac," he said and glided a few feet away.
I'd be fine. Yeah, if I could just do as I was told, turn myself into a hockey machine, focus on the game, not let myself get distracted by that girl in the park, the way her hair moved as she ran, the way she'd been a bit of a smart ass about the allergies thing, the way —
Then the coaches were yelling again, and we got back to work. I didn't have time to think about anything but drills and skills for the next couple hours, and that was fine by me. It was weird to be feeling like I was over-the hill when I wasn't even eighteen yet, but if I started thinking about all the young guys coming up behind me, it tended to freak me out.
I was showered and just pulling my clothes on after practice when Coach Nichols waved me into his office. I followed reluctantly; there was no way of avoiding the conversation, but that didn't mean I was looking forward to it.
I was the fourth person in a room that had originally been a storage closet, and there were only three chairs: one behind the coach's desk, and two on my side, where my father and my agent sat impatiently. They'd been in the stands for the practice and had obviously been comparing notes.
My agent, Brett Gaviston, didn't waste time on formalities. "I need to see more out of you, Tyler. If I'm going to get you where you want to be, I need you to put at least a little effort in. I can't just carry you to the NHL."
Excerpted from Center Ice by Cate Cameron, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2015 Cate Cameron. 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
Once I got into it, I did enjoy this book more than I thought I was going to. The characters were amusing, the book was quick and easy, and it was perfect for just a quick sit down. Overall, this was a fun and extremely romantic read – exactly the intent of the new imprint. I would recommend taking a few hours out of your day to give this book a shot, especially if you are a hockey fan or you are just looking for a way to mindlessly kill time. I would say this book is for ages fourteen and up, there is some mild cursing and sexual innuendos – as well as the harder themes of infidelity and loss of a parent, but it wasn’t too bad. Center Ice was fun, witty, and heartfelt and it will bring a smile to your face while also making you crave some mouthwash to get rid of the sweetness left behind. Full Review: http://reedsreadsreview.com/2015/09/04/center-ice-original-pub-date-051415/
Center Ice was a fun, quick read. I always enjoy a good sports romance and this one fit the bill nicely. I liked both Karen and Tyler. At times, they seemed older than most of the characters I encounter in YA books so when they did something immature, I had to take a moment to remind myself of their actual ages. The romance was sweet and the challenges they faced with their respective families were realistic. I did have some frustrations with the hockey storyline as far as Tyler’s dad was concerned, but they didn’t ruin the story for me. All in all, it was a good palate cleanser after reading a couple heavier stories. I definitely plan to continue on with this series. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts: This is my second Entangled Crush book... and will most certainly not be the last. I went into it expecting a sweet little romantic story, and ended up discovering there was so much more below the surface. Karen has moved from the big city to a small town to live with her father after her mother died. She hasn't had anything to do with him all her life, but now she's forced into it. It's not easy for any of them to adjust to, especially her step-mom, Natalie, and her half-siblings. Stories are being told all over town about Karen, the new arrival to the family, along with some not-so-nice rumors about her family. The transition isn't easy, but Karen finds a friend in Tyler when he rescues her from a squirrel (completely hilarious and adorable scene, by the way). The two of them have this level of understanding, and they each grow throughout the story. Center Ice was brilliant squared. I mean, I was so enraptured by this book--the romance, the emotion, the overall feel of learning about life--the author did an amazing job. I caught myself tearing up numerous times, my heart going out to Karen and her family and even Tyler. Karen was a great protagonist--she was real, like REALLY real--not a pushover and willing to stand up for herself and speak her mind regardless of how anyone reacts. Cate Cameron has definitely made her way up there when it comes to authors for me. Amazing job--keep them coming! My Rating: Exceptional
Hockey is the only world Tyler MacDonald knows and lived on to. At a young age, he can already feel the pressure and he was not even in the NHL yet, the ultimate dream of every young hockey player. It’s within his grasp, and yet why doesn’t he feel happy about it? Between the constant pressure from his father, and not to mention the presence of scouts during games, how long before the pressure consumes him? Karen Weber lost someone she held close to her heart and now, she was shipped off to a father she really didn’t know and his perfect little family. She didn’t really belong. Between losing someone and being in a new place surrounded by strangers, this was not definitely the year for her. She looks for the perfect escape, one of the things she found freeing was running. Running is the only thing that kept her together, and that voicemail she kept on replaying on her phone every opportunity she gets. What she didn’t expect was to run into Tyler. Then she gets warned by everyone. But how can she stay away when the only one who gets her is the person she should avoid? Amidst the cold weather and the freezing temperature of the rink, the love and chemistry of these two is enough to melt some ice. It’s a great short read about family, friendship, and growing up. Sometimes we find love in the most unexpected places, from the most unexpected person.
Review – 2 ½ out of 5 stars Center Ice by Cate Cameron was a quick and easy read; it is the first book in her Corrigan Falls Raiders series. It started out quite promising but then I found myself racing through it just so I could start my next book. Unfortunately, my dislike for a majority of the characters let this book down for me. Sixteen year-old Karen Webber recently lost her mother so has had to move to small town Corrigan Falls to live with her biological father – a man she doesn’t know, a step-mother and three step siblings; the transition wasn’t easy for her at all and she finds it quite difficult to adjust. Karen was just an ok character for me, I understand she felt lost and wasn’t easily accepted by her new family especially because of their situation but she was quite flat with a big attitude and didn’t really try to fit in or make the effort; there was a lot of anger and hurt, she was grieving for her lost mother and feels alone in a strange town. The only person who seemed to understand Karen was Hockey star, Tyler MacDonald. Tyler was a likeable character but his man-whore reputation didn’t endear me to him at all. Tyler was the teams captain and hoping to make to the NHL but he began to question this dream. Tyler I felt could have been great but he lacked strength; I also wasn’t a fan of his reputation. I enjoyed Cate Cameron’s writing style and the overall story-line, I am not a huge sports fan in books but this part was done well and wasn’t over the top too sporty. There were a few aspects I didn’t enjoy such as Karen’s fathers infidelity, I felt completely sorry for his wife who tolerated it time and time again. Tyler’s family was also a big issue for me, his father and his dominance and interference was over the top! I could not handle his character at all and actually found myself skimming. Last point was Tyler and his man whorish ways; one of his previous conquests was (Spoiler - highlight to show) Karen’s step-sister and this irked me a lot – I wish this part wasn’t included because I didn’t connect with the romance because of this. While Center Stage didn’t wow me, it was enjoyable overall. We get a snippet of the next book at the ending and I’m quite curious about Chris Winslow. Thank you to Entangled Crush via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Center Ice.
I am not a sports fan at all. I usually don't even like reading about them. UNLESS, it's about ice. I don't know what it is about ice. It's fascinating the things people can do on ice. Ice skating hands down my favorite, but Hockey....I don't watch it often, but have been to a few games, and love watching it. It's so hard to watch them throw each other around but so amazing at the same time. I think what I liked the most about this book is that it was about so much more than the sport. I really enjoyed that this book was told from Karen and Tyler's perspective. It made it so much more appealing to me. Karen, lets just say this poor girl was dealt a very raw deal. Sent to live with her father that she didn't know after the death of her mother. I cannot even imagine. Being a teenager is hard enough, just pile all this hardship on top of it, it's bound to turn out to be an intense story. Tyler a hockey star, working hard to make it to the NHL, with a father who is psycho about him getting there. Pressure from his father, from his agent makes it more than a young man should have to handle. When Karen and Tyler happen upon each other it makes for a great love story. I loved that this was not an insta love story. I really, really, really do not like insta love. I know this will be a contradiction because I believe that love can happen at first sight. OR more like Instant connection at first sight that can lead to love. That is exactly what happened when I met my husband. I knew (I know it's hard to believe, but I did) the moment I met him that I was going to marry him. I had never seen him before in my life, but the moment we met, had dinner, I knew in my heart it was either going to end very well, or very, very heart breaking. Thankfully for me it ended well ;). So when characters meet and have an instant connection I love that. When characters meet and instantly claim "love" and move to the next level is just so unrealistic to me. It takes time to develop a love connection. This is just what Karen and Tyler had going for them. They met, instantly connected, yet didn't know why. Until they got to know each other. They were just what each other needed. It's was put together so well. I loved how Cameron brought these two flawed, beautiful characters together. I love all the secondary characters in this book also. They don't seem like secondary characters because in my eyes each played a pretty powerful role in the book. Karen's father Will was a flawed man. Very flawed. Yet seem to be wanting to do the right thing by his daughter and his family. Natalie, Will's wife is amazing. Although I don't like that she let her man cheat on her and stayed with him. Like I said, there was a lot going on in this story. Tyler's father, and agent were horrible men. I hate it when parent's make their kids life miserable because they want to relive their childhood through their children. Let kids be who they want to be. Not what you want them to be. This was a great story about a young man, coming into his own and taking control of his life. Karen's story was a great story about a girl who finds the crap side of life, and finds a way to rise above. Not alone, but with friends and family helping along the way. The only thing I am going to say that I didn't like about this book was the teenage sex. Yes, I know that it goes on, but I do not condone it and I really don't like reading about it. I know that this book will appeal to a lot of teenage readers and I want them to understand that there is so much more to a relationship than just sex. This totally would have been a 5 star for me if it wasn't for the teenage sex. All in all this was a beautiful story about love, family and overcoming adversity. I enjoyed the characters, the writing, the setting. Beautiful. I am glad I was able to participate in this tour!
I absolutely loved this book! It's funny, touching, feel-good, and real. Plus, hockey. Really, I'm not sure what else is needed. ;) Karen never knew her dad--until her mother died from complications after a car accident. Now she's living with him and his wife, along with her three half-siblings. It's far from an ideal situation--her twin half brother and sister are only a few months older than she is (yeah, that math took me a few minutes to grasp--silly me, always trying to think the best of everyone) and on top of grieving for her mother, Karen feels like she's created a big ol' blot on their perfect existence. The only thing that gets her out of the suckfest that currently is her life is her daily run. Until she gets attacked by a crazed squirrel... Tyler's billeting with a local family for his third year, playing hockey for an OHL team, (hopefully--maybe) one step away from the NHL. His unemployed father is more than a little over-involved with his hockey career, and together with his agent they're putting all kinds of pressure on the almost-eighteen-year-old. He runs every morning to quiet the voices in his head. Until the day he rescues a reluctant damsel in distress from an overexcited rodent... Karen's dad is notorious in their small town for his infidelity. Tyler's got his own reputation as a love-them-and-leave-them kind of guy. He says he's ready for a change, but can Karen trust him? Do either of them have time for a real relationship anyway, with everything else that is going on in their lives? This book made me laugh, cry, and gasp out loud in a "no he/she didn't" kind of way over and over again. I loved both Karen and Tyler, and wanted nothing more than to get them to an HEA. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series, just to get to see them again. Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. And then I went out and bought Mini Moe #2 her own copy...because she must. read. this. book!
Rating: 4.5/5 :) I am totally loving Entangled Teen newest releases, including Center Ice by Cate Cameron. The book revolves aroung Karen Webber, a high school student whose mother recently passed away and now she has to live with her father. Karen feels like an outsider as soon as she gets to her new home, and quickly learns that things are not what they seen to be. Everyone in her town knows that er father cheated on his wife with her mom and now she doesn't get along with her new step siblings. Her now stepmother wanted Karen to live with them and be part of the family, but everyone feels bad for her after getting cheated on and still wanting to have Karen in their lives. As Karen starts to get situated, she moves in to the basement, and soon develops a routine to go on for runs in the morning, where she soon meets non other than Tyler MacDonald. When Tyler finds out that she doesn't know who he is, it feels refreshing to him. As the two start to get to know each other, Karen soon finds out the connection that Tyler has with her stepsister, and she has to figure out whether she wants to keep seeing him or stay away from the comfort that he offers when they are together. Tyler MacDonald is the towns' hero and popular player among teenage girls, but on a daily basis he gets told what to do, and now he feels the pressure to excel no matter what if he wants to keep providing for his family. But when he stumbles upon a girl at the park, he knows that his playboy status is over after meeting Katen Webber, all he has to do now is convince he that he is the right person for her. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Center Ice, the characters are well developed as they go through obstacles to be together in the end. Both of the main characters have experience pain in their lives, and now the pressure to do good and fit in is greater than anything they've both experienced before. Karen learns how to get along with the rest of the family, and form a special relationship with one of them. Whereas Tyler learns how to stand up for himself and not let everyone else pressure him into doing what he doesn't feel like doing specially when it comes to his career. Overall, I enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it. :) *ARC provided by Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review.*
3.5 stars Center Ice was a good read, I enjoyed the storyline. After the death of her mother Karen moves in with her father and his family. Karen is struggling with her feelings, she misses her mother and having to live with these people who she has no connection with is all too much for her. While I totally understood Karen's pain and felt for her the harsh way she treated her stepmother made it hard for me to connect with her. My lack of connection with Karen made it hard to enjoy the book, it makes me sad to say as I really did enjoy the relationship between Tyler and Karen. They were sweet and cute together. Center Ice was an emotional and heartfelt story, I will be reading the next book in the Corrigan Falls Raiders series by Cate Cameron.
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating! I am truly loving this surge of sports related romances that everyone seems to be jumping on lately. Or maybe they've always been around and I'm just now starting to pay attention to them. Regardless, hockey also seems to be quite the thing now too and even though I don't like to watch it I've kind of become addicted to all these books with the all the hot hockey superstars in them. So when this Young Adult book crossed my path I knew I just had to get my hands on it! Center Ice was both very good and very frustrating. But not the kind of frustrating that had you sitting here wondering why you were reading it. It was frustrating in the fact that I easily got attached to these characters and both Karen and Tyler had so much messed up stuff going on in their personal lives and I hurt for them and I was angry for them. Well and honestly sometimes even at them. This book made me feel a lot and I loved that. The one consistent thing that I've noticed about all these sports books is that the majority of them have a very consistent theme of some parental figure, usually the dad, who pushes and pushes their child to work harder, be the best, become a star. Really pushes isn't even a good word to describe the pressure they put their kids under. Tyler's dad is probably the worst I've ever seen in the bunch. He thoroughly disgusted me at times and made me physically ill with how much of a tyrant he was. It was never physical though thank goodness. It was all words, emotional manipulation and verbal abuse. He was a pathetic excuse for a human being. And the agent he hired for Tyler (an agent at 17? I guess hockey really is serious business!) was every bit the sleazeball his dad was almost more so at times. Every time they were around I would instantly tense up just waiting for what was inevitably to come. I had to admire Tyler for the type of person he was despite the tremendous amount of pressure he was under. I'd have to say though that towards the beginning of the book, before Karen really came into his life, he was a bit weaker. Or more of a suffer in silence type of a person really. He always seemed like he'd rather just take what was being told to him just to get it over with and escape the situation instead of standing up and saying "it's my life, deal with it!" Still my heart really went out to him. He had so much riding on his shoulders, all the crap he was getting from home and his agent on top of trying to be the best he could be and do good for his team. It was a lot for a 17 year old to handle and I was impressed with how well he did it. Karen's character and situation was a bit more difficult to maneuver. There's a lot more going on with her family besides what you get from the blurb, well obviously. It goes much deeper and is way more intense than simply a girl trying to find her place in a perfect family with a dad she doesn't even know. What was so frustrating was, even though I understood Karen's anger and attitude and it was very typical teenage girl of her, I would get so mad and irritated at Karen every time she lashed out. Her stepmother, Natalie, tried so hard and worked so hard to make things smooth and Karen feel comfortable and I could feel the genuine place it was all coming from even behind Karen's snark and rudeness at times. Even though I could understand where all of her hurt and anger was coming from it always upset me when she would lash out, most especially at Natalie and throw some of the err...family problems, in her face. This wasn't light and fluffy. It dealt with some emotionally tough situations with both characters. But I really liked that about it as well. Sometimes the light and fluffy are what does it for me when it comes to Young Adult but I love that this one was more intense and delved a bit deeper beneath the surface. I loved how much it made me feel. I am looking forward to following the rest of this series as it releases and I'm really excited for Chris Winslow's story next. He seems like he is going to be a whole lot of fun. I really enjoyed briefly getting to know him in Center Ice. All in all, a bit frustrating at times, in a good way, but I think I'm already hooked! Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!
**Thank you to Entangled Crush for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review!** Center Ice is yet another hit for Entangled Crush! It follows Karen, who absolutely loves running. One day while running, she meets Tyler, a very popular hockey player. As the story goes on, the two of them end up falling more and more in love with one another, no matter what their families tell them. Karen was the sweetest. I felt so bad for her because she was stuck living with her step-mom and her own father who never really appreciated her much when she was growing up. She's also living with her younger step sister and her new step-twins, who seem to hate on her very often. They also yell at her a lot for even talking to Tyler MacDonald, because of his "reputation". One thing I loved about Karen was that she was so headstrong. She trusted herself quite often, and that's a hard thing to do when everyone's telling you something different than what you believe. Way to go, Karen! Tyler and Karen were a lot alike in those ways, because Tyler also did what he believed to be best. His father was always up his butt about doing so well in hockey, because he had spent so much to get him into the sport in the first place. Tyler's father has big plans for him to play majorly, and that included getting him an agent. His father constantly yells at him to stop running out of practices because he was worried that he'd injure himself and then not be able to play anymore. Also, he didn't believe that it was right to practice when nobody saw all the hard work you were putting in. Tyler felt differently, and therefore continued to do what he felt was best. I absolutely adored the relationship between Karen and Tyler. They didn't seem like they knew what to do at first because neither was exactly sure what they were, but they were just the cutest. I like how reassuring Tyler always was to Karen as well. He was just like a boyfriend should be! Center Ice was a lovely story about romance and the value of family, even when you don't think your family understands you at all. Once this book ended, I was sad to say goodbye to the world filled with hockey, Karen, and Tyler. Luckily, I recently found out that there's actually going to be another book featuring Winslow, who is Tyler's best friend! I can't wait! If you have the chance, be sure to buy a copy of this book and read it! It's definitely worth your time!
Amazing! This is a great YA read about two teens facing serious pressure and trouble at home. The characters are fantastic and the twists and turns in the storyline make this one great read! Loved the way the author dealt with a lot of the issues the H/h are faced with. I highly recommend this one. In a serious hockey town and a family that is counting on him, the pressure to perform well falls squarely on Tyler's shoulders. Karen Webber is new to town and doesn't know a thing about hockey so Tyler's going to have to work a bit harder to get her attention.