Sunday, May 25, 2014

4 1/2 star Review & Giveaway: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

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.

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What I thought about All Lined Up

Dallas Cole has lived with football all her life,and after a less than satisfying relationship with her high school quarterback boyfriend, she swears off football players. With her father being coach, it only complicates things.

All Carson McClain wants is a spot on the team and the chance to get a scholarship so he can stay in school. He's focused solely on football, that is until a gorgeous coed falls in his lap at a party one night. There's some serious attraction between these two from the very start, especially since Dallas doesn't know that the guy she kissing is on the team. I was impressed right from the start myself, there's some super hot and sexy kissing right from the start and as a reader I could feel the heat between these two characters.

Of course Dallas does eventually discover that her mystery make-out is on her father's football team. It doesn't go well is an understatement, but she can't really deny the connection she feels with Carson either. Loved the drama in the scene where Dallas finds out this secret scene, it was really terrific!

Both of the main characters are compelling and are dealing with some interesting internal conflicts. There's Carson, conflicted between his ticket to the future--football, and the girl that he can't get out of his head. And Dallas has a whole truck-load of baggage she has to deal with, including soem unresolved issues with her father, her potential career choice, and the football player that makes her just a little bit crazy. 

There's a lot to this story, and I loved that it deviated somewhat from the usual formulaic romance. There were some surprises here for me, and when you read 4-5 New Adult titles a week, this was a very refreshing read, with lots of good internal conflict and unexpected drama challenging the couple along the way.

There are some interesting secondary characters in this too. Levi, Dallas's ex-boyfriend has a rather significant and sleezy role to play, and I'm not sure exactly how I feel about Silas just yet. I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen with them and how it played out was very unexpected.

I loved Carson’s maturity and how he handled everything with Dallas. Their relationship built in a very realistic way, with the stops and starts of all young love. But when they managed to get past their hangups, they were oh-so-hot together.

The football sequences were well done too. Great start to this series and I'm really looking forward to more!  

Really enjoyed this. Read in just about one sitting because I didn't want to put this down and then went back and read my favorite parts. Definitely a winner for me.


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Cora Carmack Bio:

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, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.


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