Monday, 11 August 2014
Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: May 13th, 2014
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's fourth novel and the first in the Rusk University series. I've been excitedly looking forward to it for AGES - I love Cora Carmack a ridiculous amount and really do think she's the best NA author out there. While All Lined Up isn't my favourite book of hers, it's still a great read and a brilliant introduction to Texas and Rusk!
Dallas Cole is the coach's daughter. She's grown up with football all her life, moving from place to place for her dad's job. Her mother is out of the picture, having left when she was little, so it's just Dallas and her dad. Rusk University is a new start for both of them, though what Dallas really wants is to go to dance school. Dance is where her passion lies, where she feels most alive, but her dad won't even entertain the idea of her making a career out of it. Enter Carson McClain: quarterback and general nice guy. A chance meeting with Dallas puts them on a romantic path that will either make them or break them, and change both their futures in the process.
All Lined Up is set in the state of Texas, USA. It's a place I've never been to, but one I know a lot about thanks largely to Friday Night Lights (haven't seen this show? Watch it immediately). I know that high school and college football is huge there, with Friday nights being the main event. I love any book set in Texas, especially if it's about football and everything that accompanies it. The setting of All Lined Up is my favourite part of the whole story and I can't wait to get back there for the sequel!
Dallas and Carson are interesting people. I liked both of them but I didn't love them as much as other Carmack characters, like Bliss and Garrick for example. I didn't feel like they had a huge amount of chemistry, even though what they did have was believable (and pretty hot too, might I add). The whole dynamic between them worked well, especially when football politics and dating the coach's daughter/quarterback were involved. This lifestyle is so huge in Texas, such a big deal, and books like this really hammer that point home. One wrong decision or one bad hookup can change a person's life, believe it or not, so Dallas and Carson have to be super careful and absolutely sure they both want what they're getting into. Talk about tough decisions!
All Lined Up is yet another string in Cora Carmack's extremely well-stocked bow, and I honestly can't wait to read more from her. The second Rusk University novel, All Broke Down, is due later this year and focuses on Silas Moore who first appears in All Lined Up. I'm already excited for publication day and will await my return to Rusk with more enthusiasm than is probably deemed normal. Cora Carmack is amazing and you should all give her books a whirl - I promise you won't look back!