All Lined Up
(Rusk University #1)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Published: May 13, 2014
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
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.
My expectations were met when I thought I would love a Cora Carmack book. Her books have been on my radar since 2014, but because too many books too little time, it was only two days ago when I had my first taste of her work. And it certainly did not fail.
“Do you ever think that maybe that’s all people do? Fix some things and break others? And we all just live in this giant cycle where we screw things up and hurt people we love, and then we turn around and try to atone for that by fixing other things. And maybe we’re all just waiting on our turn for a broken heart and the person who will fix it.”
All Lined Up‘s plot revolves around two characters Dallas Cole and Carson McClain. Both students of Rusk University in Texas, their attraction started when they met in very strange situation while they were at a college party. However, no matter how strong their connection is, their booming relationship is bound to doom since Carson is one of the football players of Rusk where Dallas’s father is the coach. Since Carson has a goal of becoming a full scholar at the University, he vowed to never let Dallas become a distraction for his plans. But their chemistry is of course so strong that they find it hard to resist each other.
I am generally a sucker for college romance that has sports element so basically I expected this book to knock me off my feet. I ended up adoring it because Cora Carmack’s writing matches my taste. There was absolutely something beautiful about the way she writes a sweet book with a bit of an angst and mild steam. At first I was afraid that I would end up disliking it since the storyline is already worn out. The book reminds me of Whatever Life Throws at You and Moonshot where the heroines’ dads are heads of a certain sports team. But even if All Lined Up has a similarity to those books, it differs when it comes to the characterizations.
Dallas is one likeable character. I love that she knows what she wants to pursue in life which is dancing and how she’s very determined to attain it. Her relationship with her dad is so genuine that at times I was teary-eyed. Even when she’s growing up without a mom, she turned out such a strong girl. Carson, on the other hand, is also a character that’s worthy of admiration. He is not a typical sports hero who gets all the attention of the girls on campus. He is so down to earth. Growing up in a family who lacks sufficient money to support him in his education made him become a responsible, goal-driven person and that makes him my favorite character.
“I can’t walk away from you because I don’t want to. There are a thousand things I want and need to do, but you trump all of them You drive me to distraction, and all I want to do is get lost in you. All I want to do is make you lose it, too.”
The romantic development in this book is one of my most favorites. Dallas and Carson’s relationship was not forced. It developed so naturally. I loved how they shared each moment even if they were just stolen. I also loved that they are both family-oriented and that they learn lessons from each other as their relationship progressed.
All in all, it was a sweet and cute college sports romance. I couldn’t agree more with everyone who attest that Cora Carmack is a great story-teller. It’s proven. I can’t wait to read the next books in this series and the author’s other works.
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