Thursday, June 26

Buddy Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
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.
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Series: Rusk University #1

Rowena: So our buddy review book for the month of June was All Lined Up by Cora Carmack. It's a series that was said to be reminiscent of Friday Night Lights, a show that both Ames and I have loved so how could we not buddy review this one?

The story takes place at Rusk University in the great state of Texas. The college's head football coach has a daughter attending Rusk University and when she meets up with QB2 (that's FNL speak, ha!) at a party, they don't know who the other is until it's too late and they're hooked on each other.

So what did you think, Ames? Thumbs up or down?

Ames: I'm giving this one a solid thumbs up! I loved the idea, a football coach's daughter who kind of has some resentment towards the game who ends up falling for a QB. And the new guy on campus falling for the Coach's daughter without knowing who she is. There was a lot going for this story and it lived up to the promise.

What did you think?

Rowena: I really liked it. I thought that both Carson and Dallas were a great couple and I loved their flirty relationship. From their first meeting to every single meeting until the end, I loved it all. I really liked Carson. I liked how he treated Dallas and I loved how even though he was super serious, with Dallas, that flirty side came out and I ate it all up. The only thing that I hated about Carson was his football number. #12. I'm a Los Angeles Lakers fan and that number leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Of the two of them, I think Dallas drove me more crazy but I didn't hate her. I liked that she was a dancer and that she knew what she was about. There wasn't any waffling about where she was concerned and I loved the way that her relationship with her father came around throughout the book. That was nice to see.

Ames: I liked Carson and Dallas were a good couple too. I like how they had their rules for their friendship and both wanted honesty from each other and an explanation if things were to not work anymore. I thought they were unique. They communicated with each other. I don't see a lot of that in NA. Also, their baggage wasn't crazy angsty. Like Dallas had to deal with her dad and the way her high school relationship ended and Carson just had to buckle down and learn to have faith in himself.

One thing that came across as odd for me was the issue about Dallas' virginity. I mean, maybe its just me reading too much contemporary romances but I was like why does everyone care so much? Like even Stella being hurt because Dallas had lied to her. WHY?

I did like that Dallas was a dancer. I like that she had her own stuff going on and wasn't just a hanger on to Carson's football career. And I agree, I did like the way things played out with her dad. I like that he was able to listen to Dallas and he took her side, especially with that fiasco with the picture.

Also, the whole Levi thing kinda got dropped. Like once he was gone, he was never mentioned again. It's not like he wouldn't have been released, you know?

Rowena: That was weird, huh? The whole virginity thing with Dallas. I'm still seeing a lot of virgins in these contemporary books. Why is it still such a big deal? Will readers not buy books about girls who aren't virginal before they meet their love interests? Weird.

Regarding the thing with Levi, I agree with you that he just sort of disappeared from the planet once that drama with him went down but I'm wondering if that had anything to do with him getting his own book in this series and that leads into my next question. What do you think about him and Silas getting their own books? I didn't like either character in this book and initially, I had no interest continuing the series because why waste time on two characters that were disgusting to me in this one? I mean, even though Silas came around, he was still a pretty big douche and I didn't care for him at all but are you interested in reading their books at all? I think I changed my mind and am definitely going to read Silas' book.

And if I'm being honest, I really want to see Stella's story too. But now that I'm actually looking it up, I can't find anywhere where it says that Levi gets a book so maybe he doesn't. It would be interesting if Levi ends up with Stella. Hmm. What about Ryan? I wouldn't mind reading a book featuring Ryan as one of the main characters.

Ames: Maybe we're just getting jaded, Wena. LOL I did like that this book wasn't chock full of sex scenes though. The scenes where they did get intimate did forward the plot and it created some good tension between Carson and Dallas.

I would not read Levi's book unless his character has some growth in other books before he gets his own. Like if Silas gets a book and Levi is in it and he changes, I would potentially read it. And yes, I think Silas can be redeemed so even though he started off the book as a douchecanoe, I do find him interesting. I thought the football aspect of All Lined Up was really well done. It didn't overwhelm the story. And I would like to see Ryan and Stella get their own books (if they don't end up together in some screwball way).

Rowena: Us, jaded? No way. :P

As it stands right now, Levi is a no go for me. But I would probably read Silas' story, especially since I was looking through Cora Carmack's blog and I saw a picture of Silas that she uses on one of her picture card things and guess who she uses as Silas? MATT BARR!! Psycho Derek from One Tree Hill, haha. I heart that guy (not in OTH though, eww) so that went a long way in convincing me to read the next book. And the heroine's name is Dylan, I love that name for a girl. ;)

I thought Cora Carmack delivered the goods with this book and I was glad that I chose this book for us to read, ha! I'm glad that football didn't overwhelm the story and I really liked how Carson and Dallas came together. They were good characters apart but I really liked them together too so that's something. I'd give this book a 4.5 out of 5 or a low A. What about you?

Ames: I like girls that have guy's names too, so Dylan is a win for me. I'll have to check out Cora's blog to see her inspiration for Silas.

All in all, I really enjoyed All Lined Up and since this was the first book I read by this author, I'll definitely be checking out her other books.

I'm going to give this one a B+, or 4 out of 5. :P

Rowena: And we’re done. *drops mic*


All right peeps, that's it for our June review!

For July, Rowena and I are looking back a few months to May's Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. In case you were interested in reading along. :P

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