Saturday, May 3, 2014

[ARC Review]: "All Lined Up"

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 13, 2014) 
Series: Rusk University, 1
Genre: 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.

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.

Where to Buy*:
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My Review:

All Lined Up is my second time reading one of Cora Carmack's novels. Carmack has a true talent for writing great new adult romances. They are not overly angsty and dramatic, with deep, dark secrets hidden inside broken characters (as many NA romances are). Now, I read those angsty/dramatic romances, too, and love them, but sometimes I need a little break. Caramack is one author I know I can pick up for a fun, sexy read that will not break me.

If I was to describe this book in one sentence, I would put it this way: All Lined Up is a sexy, addicting “Friday Night Lights” story, with heart, heat, and laughs. If you are looking for a NA sports romance, this is definitely the book for you! Best of all, Carmack clearly knows football, and even if you are not a fan of the sport, I think you'll still enjoy this story.

Dallas Cole is the daughter of a football coach, and she's spent her entire life in the shadows of her dad's first love (football). He means well, she knows that, but he doesn't know how to handle his little girl, especially now that she's off to college and ready to live her own life. She's sworn off jocks, since her one serious boyfriend left a sour taste in her mouth. Until, of course, she meets Carson, who sees her, not “Coach Cole's daughter”.

“The only thing we can do is try to find people whose scars compliment our own. And I'm pretty sure Carson McClain would carry your baggage around the world and back if you asked him”

Carson McClain is great at football. It's the one thing he excels at. Determined to get a scholarship, he works harder than many of the first-string players, pushing himself harder each time. Football is all he knows, he's good at it, and he has the drive to go far. Nothing will distract him from his goal . . . except perhaps Dallas.

I loved following Dallas and Carson's story. They have great chemistry, of course, and some fun times along the way. But most importantly they seemed like real characters, and they both knew that the road ahead was not going to be easy. And I loved that they didn't jump into bed until the end of the book. They mess around, sure, and the sparks fly, but if they had slept together any earlier, I would have been disappointed. It would not have fit their characters or the story being told. Luckily Carmack does a wonderful job at keeping the sexual tension strong, a temptation that I couldn't resist.

My only complaint revolves around Carson. While I loved him, and he definitely made me dreamy-sigh more than a few times throughout the course of the book, I was a bit disappointed that he never found his passion, outside of football. As Dallas says, dancing is the thing that helps to “fix” her, and I understood that. But Carson, while he's great at football, he sees it as his only way to make something of himself, as he's not the best at school and doesn't know what he plans to do with his future. I wasn't expecting him to have his life all figured out by the epilogue, but I did want to see him looking beyond football and realizing his true potential, finding that degree/job/hobby/etc that would make him happy.

I'm definitely curious to read Silas' story next, and I think I'm going to be ordering my own copy of All Lined Up for my keeper shelf. Sexy and flirty, sweet and real, All Lined Up is sure to be a hit!

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest opinion.

*Note: The quote used belongs to Cora Carmack; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim it.

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Have you read Cora Carmack before? Do you have a favorite? Do you enjoy NA sports romances


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Anna@herding cats&burning soup said...

I need to give her another read. I read one of her novellas last year and really enjoyed it but haven't made it back. And that it's sporty? Totally for me :) Glad to hear it's a good one!

Sophia Rose said...

I haven't read her stuff before, but this sounds really good. I'm trying to get around to more NA authors.

The_Book_Queen said...

Highly recommend -- she does wonderful NA. They're not over-the-top emotional drama like some. :)

Sharlene Wegner said...

I have Cora's last series in my TBR stack. They all look good & I hope to get to them shortly. This also sounds really good! Thanks for the review!

Book Lovin' Mamas said...

I haven't read any of Cora Carmack's before, but need to. This book is my TBR due to seeing it on a blog tour before because it sounded really good. =) Now after reading your review, I definitely need to read it when it comes out. I have to read at least one of Cora's books before June…I'm meeting her at Book Bash.

The_Book_Queen said...

Oh, you would love her books, very fun, not overly dark like many NA (although I read dark NA, too, but it's nice to have a change of pace once in a while!).

The_Book_Queen said...

:) You will have to let me know what you think of her Losing It series! I've only read book 1 so far, but like you have the rest in my pile, waiting for me.


The_Book_Queen said...

Oh, lucky! :) You'll have to tell me if she's as fun in person as her books and her FB page. I hope you get a chance to read her books and please let me know what you thought of them!


Sophia Rose said...

Yes! Variety is the spice of life and all that is true with books too.

Sharlene Wegner said...

I will keep you posted! I loved the covers & book descriptions, so I had to have them. What I really need is more time!