Review: ALL LINED UP by Cora Carmack

cora-carmacks-all-lined-upTitle: All Lined Up (Rusk University #1)
Author: Cora Carmack
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iBooks

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.

My Review:


What worked for me?

Where do I even begin? If you’ve never read Cora Carmack before and you read this book’s blurb, you might think that ‘oh, this sounds familiar’ or ‘I think I’ve read something like this before’. But let me tell you that if it’s Cora Carmack, then you’ve never read this before. At first glance, you may think of all the cliches but once you read the book, once you get to know Dallas and Carson, once you follow their love story, I’m sure you’ll be telling yourself, ‘well, I’ve never read anything like this before’. Because this book is amazing!

I loved Dallas and her innate strength and her passion, especially for her dancing. Her father was a single parent and he basically raised her alone since she was born. You’d think she’d have all this attention and for the better part she did. But she also competed against her father’s other passion, which was football or more specifically coaching football teams. I love her personal story arc as someone who was able to release every single emotion she feels through her dancing, who struggled to make her father realize that she wanted to pursue her dream in dance, who vowed never to be in a relationship with another football player again and then finding herself getting pulled in the orbit of one.

If I loved Dallas, I can’t even begin to explain how much I love Carson. I mean… I can’t even… He’s one of the best book boyfriends ever. I mean, seriously. Yes, he’s gorgeous and sexy and a potential starting quarterback. But he’s no jock, he has no airs, he’s humble and hardworking and principled and loyal. He’s working hard to get a football scholarship at Rusk University and vowed to himself that he won’t get distracted from achieving his dreams and his parents’ dreams for him. So when he meets Dallas, let’s just say that he struggled against the ultimate distraction. But he makes it work when he realizes what was most important to him and gosh, he’s downright adorable! And amazing!

I also loved how Cora Carmack manages to overcome cliches. Many would say the New Adult genre has a certain formula and there are certain elements that need to present in order to be included in this genre. But the thing that I love about Cora Carmack is that she spins these elements and make them unique to her writing. For instance, you would have certain pivotal scenes that you think you knew how it would all play out, well, because you think you’ve read it many times over before, but her characters will surprise you with their decisions and their actions, which in turn, makes you love them even more because they’re no cookie-cutter characters and the plot development is not one you’ve encountered before.


What did not work for me?

Did I not mention how I love this book? LOL 🙂


Some of my favorites quotes

“I have fun when I’m dancing, but I also, I don’t know, feel more intensely there, too. When I dance, it’s like I finally have everything figured out, like I’ve crossed over from the ordinary and am on the verge of discovering something wonderful. Inspiration, I guess. But it’s bigger than that. I am bigger when I dance, like my heart fills my whole chest, and it’s leaking out of me with every step and every breath.”

Her green eyes are lit with such passion, and the smile playing about her lips is the most gorgeous one I’ve seen yet. I think I feel more exuberance and life just radiating off of her than I’ve ever felt about something myself.

The way she talks about dance is a little like how I feel when I look at her. Overwhelmed and fulfilled and falling apart all at the same time.

 “You asked me once what fixes me the way dance fixes you. I’m still not sure I’ve found that thing that pulls me together, but I’ve found who pulls me together. 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. You can try to hold me at arm’s length, but I’ll never stop trying to pull you close. Be scared if you must, but you’re not going to lose me. Not unless your dad comes in and finds me here, then neither of us will have a choice.”

She laughs and leans up to press her cheek against mine.

“You’ve got me awfully close to saying those three big words that we’re probably not ready for.”

“Is that so?”

“Just warning you, so when I slip up you’ll know I tried.”

She’s parroting my own words back at me from the night we met. I kiss her again before pulling myself out of her arms and back to the window. Before I make my exit and head home to rest for the night, I whisper across the room, “I look forward to that slipup.”


My over-all take on it?

This is another keeper from Cora Carmack! I love the honesty and genuine friendship and affection that are underneath the romance. I love how good Dallas and Carson are as people and how good they are together. You guys would not want to miss out on this incredible love story. Highly, highly recommended! I can’t wait for Book #2!


My rating:

5 stars



About the Author:

Cora_Carmack_bio_picI’m Cora Carmack,  a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. I’ve done a multitude of things in my life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). I enjoy placing my characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too.  I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestseller… and a nerd (mostly the nerd part).

Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary.

Connect with Cora Carmack:

Website  |  Facebook  |  TwitterGoogle+

6 thoughts on “Review: ALL LINED UP by Cora Carmack”

    1. Aww.. I’m so envious that you have All Broke Down! LOL 🙂 I am (im)patiently waiting for its release date. Faking It is my favorite from that series. I hope you get to read that one soon. 🙂


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