Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Release: March 1, 2011
Playing Hurt centers on two former athletes: Chelsea Keyes, a basketball star whose promising career has been catastrophically snipped short by a horrific accident on the court, and Clint Morgan, an ex-hockey player who gave up his much-loved sport following his own game-related tragedy.
Chelsea meets Clint (who's working as a resort fishing guide) soon after arriving with her family for a summer vacation in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. Sparks fly, igniting the pages, even though Chelsea has a boyfriend back home in Missouri...and even though Clint has sworn never to put himself in the position to be hurt emotionally again.
Their unlikely romance has the potential to heal their heartache and force Chelsea and Clint to realize just how timidly they've been living - but are they really ready to give themselves completely to one another? How will the weeks spent in another man's arms play into Chelsea's feelings for her boyfriend when she returns home? Will Clint allow himself to fall for a woman who's bound to leave him at the end of her summer vacation? By playing hurt - entering into a romance with already-broken hearts - are they just setting themselves up for the kind of injury from with they could never recover? Will Chelsea and Clint pull away from each other before they have a chance to find out just how beautiful their story could be?
Cover: I love the simplicity of this cover. The cool colors of the white slats on the dock and pale blue sky above give the entire cover a crisp, clean appearance. Similarly, the two pairs of crossed legs are simple, yet pretty. To me, the cover just screams summer. It's gorgeous without being overwhelming, and if I saw it in stores, I'd most definitely pick it up. I particularly like its similarity to the covers of Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen's earlier books. It's a very wise marketing decision on the part of the cover designers, as fans of such chick lit will most definitely be attracted to the subtle similarities.