March 8, 2011
Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
That summer, Chelsea's dad hires Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player and "boot camp" trainer, to work with her at a northern Minnesota lake resort. As they grow close, Chelsea finds that Clint's haunted by his own tragedy. Will their romance end up hurting them all over again—or finally heal their heartbreak?
The minute I started reading, I fell completely in love with Playing Hurt. Holly Schindler is an AWESOME writer and had me under her spell. Clint and Chelsea have each suffered and have stopped living life to the fullest as a result. Their meeting causes an awakening for both of them and they slowly come alive again. Holly Schidler's writing style was hypnotic and she had me deep under her spell within only a few sentences.
Chelsea's bright future of professional basketball and scholarships galore is ruined in the first game of her final season. She has been pushing herself to hard and the pushing causes all of her dreams to be destroyed when she injures her hip. She is now out of commission and she can say goodbye to any hopes of playing basketball again. Now Chelsea is a complete shell of who she was before. She mopes about and is constantly reliving the moment when her life was ruined. The only bright star in her life is her boyfriend Gabe, who loves her with all his heart. While she truly loves Gabe, she can't help but get annoyed with his overly romantic self.
Clint had also been hurt just as badly as Chelsea, only it is in an emotional sense. His girlfriend was killed on the way to one of his hockey games and he is heart broken. He feels responsible for her death and mourns for her. He, like Chelsea, is a shell of the person he was before. He has no joy for life and quit hockey because he feels like that is what caused his girlfriend's death. When he and Chelsea meet, they are both nursing their respective hurts and feel a connection with each other. While they both have their reasons for not wanting to get involved, that doesn't stop them from getting closer to one another.
The emotional roller coaster ride that Clint and Chelsea go on is heady. I fell in love with both of the characters and there were times that I had tears in my eyes. Their time together helps them both heal their wounds and gets them to open up more to each other. With each other, they find something special and unique. Their feelings for each other pour out from the pages and I could feel their emotions. I truly enjoyed watching them grow and help each other get over their pain. Clint and Chelsea find just what they need to get over the pain in each other.
Playing Hurt is an emotional roller coaster ride. I could see the pain that Clint and Chelsea both held and their eventual love for each other radiates from the page. I laughed and cried right along with them. They are both perfect for each other and even though Chelsea has a boyfriend, I could see why she would have feelings for Clint. They each have their own obstacles to jump through and help each other along the way. Holly Schindler is an amazing writer and she is definitely going on my auto-buy list.