Monday, June 23, 2014

ALL LINED UP By Cora Carmack, Book Review

By: Cora Carmack
Published by: William Morrow
Released on: 5/13/14
Series: A Rusk University Novel #1
Source: arc from publisher at TLA
Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It!
Purchase it from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Add it to Goodreads

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

All Lined Up is Cora Carmack perfection!

When you give a new adult book a Texas setting centered around football, include the right amount of realistic romance, friendships, family dynamics and a characters who's learning to grow up, make her place in the world, and follow her own dream, it equals Cora's best book yet! I swooned, sighed, laughed, and about teared up a few times. I loved how authentic the voice of this story was.

Cora does such a great job at telling all sides of a story. Dallas Cole is such a fun character. She's one of those characters you want to be friends with. She's a down to earth character who's grown up around football. Her father is a coach, and just so happens to now be coaching at the same college Dallas is attending. Definitely not something any college student wants to have happen, especially if you want to have some kind of normal dating life. Dallas and her father haven't had the easiest kind of relationship. One of the things I love about Cora's writing, is the way she introduces her characters and their problems, and then solves them. Case in point, Dallas and her Father.

Dallas grew up with it being just her dad, her and football. Always feeling second to it, it was easy to understand her resentment for the sport. Having a father for a coach seems far from easy as well, and Cora painted a very realistic portrayal of the two. While this story is told from Dallas's point of view, I loved the way Cora told Dallas's father's part of the story too, because it was a crucial moment between the growth and trying to mend some of the hurt and distance Dallas has with her Dad. I went from sympathizing with Dallas to wanting to give her dad huge kudos. I love that Cora made me feel that way. I understood that no matter, he in his own way, was doing what he thought was best for Dallas. I realized how hard it must have been for both of them. Dallas was raised by her single father.

I am a huge sucker for books that deal with sports and romance. Both of which this book has. I really enjoyed getting the ins and outs with college football, being the daughter of a coach (from Dallas's point of view), and trying to claim your spot on the football team (via Carson's point of view). As Dallas knows, there are other complications with having a father as a football coach. You know the ins and outs with all the players, and just how crappy some of them are off the football field, like Dallas's ex-boyfriend. Thankfully Carson is totally unlike her ex boyfriend.

Carson is a driven, highly motivated character. I love that he is who he is. He doesn't make excuses. He's worked hard his whole life to get where he's at now. He knows what he wants, and he isn't going to let anything get in his way of his football dream. That same drives helps him with his relationship with Dallas. While her past mistakes, and her Dad hold her back on getting into another relationship with a football play, Carson isn't afraid of any of the, including Dallas's dad, even if he is his coach. Carson sees something in Dallas, that Dallas doesn't see in herself. I loved the way Carson let Dallas grow. Their relationship was one I loved reading about. From the moment they both met there was something undeniable between them.

Can I just say, I LOVED Carson! Not once did he ever push Dallas into doing something she didn't want to do. He had so much respect for Dallas, it added to his swoon level big time. The fact that this is a new adult book, and had very little sex was awesome! Why? Because not all new adults need to be sex filled. Two, this fit the personalities of Dallas and Carson perfectly. Dallas has some things she's trying to get over, and Carson for being the southern gentleman he is, isn't going to push her. I loved that fact he waited, and when the moment was right for them, they took their relationship to the next level. I also liked that sex was something more than just sex with these two. Like everything in this book, Dallas and Carson took time to figure out what they wanted and once they did, they went for it. The two of them together and individually are driven by the things that matter most to them, and will do whatever it takes to get that thing they want, even each other, and the dreams they each have.

I LOVED the dual points of views. Getting this story from both Dallas and Carson's points of views was fabulous! It was the perfect way to understand Dallas and Carson and watch the two of fall in love. They have a sizzling chemistry that can literary melt the pages, as well as a friendship I loved seeing develop and grow. Dallas and Carson broke down each other's barriers, and in the process developed a heck of a hot, fabulous, highly addictive romance that I wanted to read more of, even when the book ended. It was everything I love, and more.

All Lined Up is AWESOME! It's easily my favorite Cora Carmack book. I am really looking forward to reading more from this series. Cora introduces us to the other characters who will be featured as the series goes along, in this book. I'm really looking forward to reading their stories. This was one book that had it all. Great characters, great writing, and everything in between. It's definitely one new adult and Cora Carmack fans will want to pick up!

I will warn you, this one highly addictive book. Once you pick it up to read it, there's no stopping until you're done. Trust me, you'll enjoy every moment reading it!

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