*I received an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*
“In Texas, two things are cherished above all else – football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.”
Being the daughter of a coach means that football has always been a big part of Dallas Cole’s life, and not always in a good way. She has a difficult relationship with her father she has always felt second best to football with him. The players feared her or use her to get closer to her dad, and after her ex turned out to be an ass, as a result, she has vowed to stay away from football players, and certainly never date one again.
“I will never be the person who cares more, because that person is always the one that gets hurt more”
That is until she meets Carson McClain quarterback who has just transferred to Rush University who has his own issues. Both have their reason for not being together, but the attraction they feel for each other means that this is not as easy to do even with the risks involved.
‘" I need to stay focused on football, of how it's the only chance I stand of a decent future"
I enjoyed the storyline told from dual point of view. It was sweet, sexy and funny. As it was lower on the drama than I expected, and relatively angst free it meant it was an easy read. Love the football aspect of the story, and for me being English, American football is not something that I know much about, however, Cora wrote in a way that I felt that I was able to understand it and as if watching from the sideline.
I really like Dallas she had a love for dancing, and could be funny, sarcastic, and say what she was thinking, but at the same time she was guarded with her heart, and could be shy, and nervous, which I could understand as she was fighting to get some independence from her father, and his overprotective ways.
Carson was a sweetheart. He was all about football, didn’t think he had room for anything else until he meets Dallas. Loved the way he felt about Dallas. They had great chemistry together you could see it from the first time they meet. They were good together, and I like the way their friendship/ relationship developed slowly and I was rooting for them all the way.
“I can’t walk away from you because I don’t’ want to. There are a thousands 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."
“I want to dive into him headfirst, submerge myself in the way he makes me feel, and not come up for air until I have no other choice”
I loved Dallas’s best friend Stella such a great and interesting character, and a great friend. I really like their relationship they were total opposite, but she brings out Dallas of her comfort zone. Then there was Ryan I like him too. I must admit I was a little disappointed to discover the next book will not be about Stella and Ryan as I have high hopes for those two. I think they could be good together,
Even thought I liked the ending, as it cliffhanger free, I wish the epilogue had of been years later, and not just months, as I would have like read a bit more about Dallas and Carson, so I’m hoping that as the is the first in the Rush University series we will see more on them in future books, and, therefore, with that in mind I’m looking forward to reading the next book ‘ALL Broke Down’ which will be Silas’s story even thought I wasn’t a fan of his I have a feeling that Cora is going to make me change my mind about him.
Overall I enjoy this book, it’s not full of hot steamy sex filled scenes, but I didn’t mind, as it was definitely fun, cute, sweet, and flirty. I like Cora’s writing style as she always has a way of drawing me in with such likeable characters. All Lined up has a different feel from the Losing It series, and for me in a good way. If you are a fan of Cora and her books, then I recommend you give this one a try. And don’t forget to the read the ‘Behind the Book’ part at the end of the book where Cora writes about what the book means to her, and how it has effected her since and whilst writing it. It was touching to read.
*I received an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*
I was a big fan of Cora's début New Adult novel, Losing It and it had been a while since I had read any of her books. The theme of American Football piqued my interest and I had to try All Lined Up.
Dallas thought starting college would be the fresh start she craved, but that idea was ruined the moment her dad accepted the football coach position at the same university. Dallas craved to be known as more than the coach’s daughter and she wanted the freedom to choose dance liked she had dreamed of, but her overbearing father quickly put a stop to all those dreams. Dallas wants to be reckless and let go for a change and she finds that with hottie Carson but her excitement takes a nosedive when she discovers Carson is no different, he of course is a football player just like the rest of them.
I liked Dallas’ character, I felt she was portrayed realistically and I liked the fact she respected herself and wanted to wait before going further with Carson, this allowed their relationship to deepen and they shared a lot of really tender moments.
“No one in my entire life has ever told me I have a big heart.”
I touch the hand she has braced on her knee, just for a few seconds, and say,
“Then no one in your entire life has been paying much attention.”
“He’s slow, waiting for me to say no, I think. But no matter how many pieces of me want to say no, there are far more begging me to say yes.”
“I want you, Dallas. I have since the moment I met you. And when you’re actually ready, I won’t waste one moment before I take you to bed. But you’re more than this. We’re more than this.”
Dallas’ relationship was strained with her father at best. He struggled to bring her up single-handed and she felt football always came first. I did expect more drama with her father and I assumed the climax of the story would have centred around that element, I was expecting more from that dynamic but with that being said, their relationship did grow and it was nice to see them reach a mutual understanding in the end.
Carson McClain was a jock with a heart of Gold. He worked hard for his place on the football team, nothing was handed to him easily and it made him a better person for it. He couldn’t afford a distraction in the form of red headed Dallas but their connection was undeniable and Carson tried his best to stay away when he learned she was also his coach’s daughter, but the heart wants what the heart wants and soon a sweet, loving relationship had blossomed. Carson was simply sweet. He cared a lot for Dallas and he always put her needs before his own.
“What could you possibly have to be sorry about?”
“I made you feel that . . . that ache.”
She smiles. “Only because I was stubborn enough to think I couldn’t have you.”
“You have me. Completely.”
I think my favourite moment between them was the slip up during the phone conversation near the end. I loved that it was Carson putting his heart on the line, instead of the girl for a change.
All Lined Up was a softer read than what I was expecting, the storyline had the potential to be packed full of drama and angst but instead it just moseyed along nicely. Now don't get me wrong, that's not necessarily a bad thing, this book was an easy read and one that I devoured quickly. I was compelled to finish it but I think that was due to the fact I was chasing the drama, I was convinced I was on the precipice of something monumental happening. When I did reach the end, I wasn’t deflated, I was just left rather un-feeling. Dallas and Carson’s story felt unfinished, even though it was wrapped up, I just felt we could have had more from their future. I didn’t feel one way or another for them, their story just felt nice and easy and I was looking for more.
Cora’s writing is easy to read, there is less humour than Losing It but it was an undercurrent in the background and worked well. Cora also did a great job of creating the sexual chemistry beween them. It was clear Dallas wasn’t ready to take her relationship to the next level but we didn’t miss out on their need and want for each other, it continued to build as the story progressed. Carson and Dallas’ relationship was so sweet and there were many beautiful passages that I loved.
“Carson McClain, you scare me like nothing has ever scared me before. You drive me crazy and make me laugh and push my buttons on purpose. You make me feel safe and smart and pretty. Sometimes I think I might actually melt when you wrap your arms around me, and right now I feel a little bit like I might die if you don’t kiss me.”
“You’re the only thing that makes me feel better when I’m tired or frustrated. You’re the thing that quiets all my worries and doubts and fears. You’re it for me. So run if you’d like, but I’ll follow."
All Lined up is a good story for people new to the new adult genre; it will ease you in gently. It is an easy read with likeable characters and a drama free plot. And for die hard Cora fans, it will be a definite 1-click.
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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