Welcome to the next stop in the ALL BROKE DOWN blog tour! I'm so thrilled to be celebrating the upcoming release for Cora Carmack's newest addition in her Rusk University series!! ALL BROKE DOWN is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 2nd book in The Rusk University Series.
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About ALL BROKE DOWN:
In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love.
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.
Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.
Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.
I bring the blanket back over with me, but he turns it down. I hug it closer to me and sink down onto the floor beside him. I lean back against the couch and stare straight ahead.
“I really am sorry. I promise I won’t make you—”
I don’t get the rest of my thought out because he sits up on one elbow, grips the back of my neck, and bends over to cover my mouth with his. His lips are warm, and when I don’t immediately open my mouth, he nips my bottom lip. I suck in a breath, and his tongue sweeps past my lips. My whole body braces for the onslaught that is kissing Silas Moore, but this time, he’s soft and sweet and patient, like we have all the time in the world. When I follow his tongue back into his mouth, he groans. The sound vibrates against me, and the sensation echoes out over the rest of my body. I shiver, and he pulls back until I feel only his breath against me.
“I told you I would shut you up the next time you apologized.”
He slides his hand around to cup my jaw and kisses me again. Once. Twice. And a third time. Hard. Then soft. Just my bottom lip. The corner of my mouth. His lips play over mine like he’s trying to uncover every possible way to kiss me and check them off the list one by one. I open my mouth immediately when his tongue flicks out, but I taste him for only a second before he pulls away, wincing. He falls back against his pillow, and I notice for the first time that one of his cold packs has fallen on the floor, and the other is lost somewhere in the couch.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were hurting?”
“Because then I would have had to stop.”
My heart is a spinning top in my chest, and now that he’s not kissing me and things are slowing down, I can feel myself about to topple out of control. I shake my head and get the ice packs back where they belong.
Now I just need to get everything else back where it belongs, too.
Except I’m starting to think that the idea of “belonging” anywhere is false. We go through our whole lives thinking that we belong in one place and not in another. We think certain ideas and actions have to be relegated to the tiny little boxes we place them in. What if we just react instead? What if we take whatever the world gives us and instead of focusing on what it isn’t, we enjoy what it is?
I lean back against the couch and don’t think as I begin to talk. I tell him about my journalism major, and how social media is changing the way news happens, changing the way the world interacts and reacts. He tells me about football, and how it’s been the only thing he’s wanted since a coach plucked him out of a standard PE class his freshman year. He pulls the rubber band from my hair, and I lay my head back as he spreads the long strands out over his chest. He combs his fingers through the waves carefully while he tells me about going to the state championship with his high school team and then losing.
“Before that . . . the world felt so damn small. Like a pair of shoes that didn’t fit right. We lost and there were all these guys on my team, some I liked and some I didn’t, and they were all crying and falling to their knees, and I was just standing there staring at the stadium around us, and all the people that came out to see these two tiny schools duke it out. And it didn’t feel like I lost. Instead it was like I kicked open some door, and crawled out of my cage, and could stand up straight for the first time in my life.”
“So that’s how you knew I was suffocating. That had been you, too.”
He picks up a lock of hair and twists it, and I shiver again.
“I think we were suffocating in different ways, but yeah. I guess that was it.”
His hand in my hair has me so relaxed that I could fall asleep right there beside him on the floor. I close my eyes and turn my head to the side to rest against the cushion. Quietly, I ask, “You don’t feel that way anymore?”
“I didn’t. But lately the world is starting to feel pretty fucking small again.”
“So kick open another door.”
He continues playing with my hair with his left hand, but his right slips down to drag a knuckle over my cheek.“I’m trying.”
And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!
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About Cora Carmack:
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.
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