Author: Cora Carmack
Series: (Rusk University #1)
Published: May 13th 2014
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Categories: Contemporary, Romance Sports, New Adult
External Links: Book Depository • Goodreads
Summary: 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.
Review: If you are like me, very into NA books, the name Cora Carmack should ring loud bells. When I saw that she has a new book (actually a new series) it made me pretty excited. I mean football players?! Oh wait, let me rephrase that, HOT football players! It doesn’t get better than that, right? Wrong! It did get better. All Lined Up is so good; all good things about NA are there. But so much better executed. The romance and the sport played harmoniously in the story and I digested every delicious detail.
College doesn’t look so bright for Dallas, being raised by her father, who was a football icon, (and still is) it was hard for her to get out of her father’s shadow and do what she loves: dancing. Not only was she attending the university where her father now coaches, her ex was also there and some players were even planning to bait here. But enter Carson, a guy who is serious with football and it looked like he was also serious with her.
There’s something about Dallas that you can easily relate to. Being surrounded by football all her life, it was hard for her to have her own identity—to have a say to her own life. She wanted to dance, it was what made her happy but reaching that goal was hard for her. She had issues which all rooted in her past and her relationship with her dad. What I really like is how the story developed her character. It was steady and it was gradual. You think that just because she had her issues sorted out that she’ll be this new girl by the end of the book. Nope, she was still the same girl and she was mature to admit that. But she no longer tied herself from the things that weighed her down before.
Carson, like Dallas, has his own issue he needed to face. And here I was thinking even with his imperfections will just scoop the girl to her happily ever after, and that was only his role?! Not quite, mate. The truth was he too, was struggling. Their team wasn’t doing well and he needed to prove himself. That he could be better— that he was better than that.
Of course the romance was there. It was pretty obvious, the chemistry was oozing the moment they met. But given Dallas issues, she was having difficulty getting intimate with him, trusting him even. And I understand the hesitation at first. She needed to address the things in her life before they could start a steady relationship.
So overall, I really enjoyed it. Contrary to popular belief, NA books are not just romance book with angst. This is non-living proof. It’s about character development, too. And this one had that. And that’s what I really liked about it.
PS: And look at the end of my galley; it has my name on it. Like the copy was specifically for me. I feel so special.
Format: Advance Reader’s Copy
Preview Quote: “But sometimes if you stand still, all those things will snap back into place like a rubber band. And if you get past the sting, you can keep moving, not quite whole, but held together for the moment ” — Dallas