Tuesday, June 17, 2014

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Release Date - May 13, 2014
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Texas Forever. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose. If you get emotional reading those words chances are you've watched Friday Night Lights. If you are a fan of Friday Night Lights you'll definitely want to read All Lined Up. Cora Carmack creates a story that is much more than football, and offers up an incredibly fun, smile inducing read.

There are some novels you just have fun while reading. They're light, and leaving you giggling. They make you happy. All Lined Up does just that. It's the type of novel that you finish in one sitting because you get pulled into the character's journey. Dallas especially tugs at your heart as you root for her to find her own path. She's a complex, and fully realized character. It makes her recognizable, and as a reader, I connected with her easily.

Carson is a nice guy who is laser focused on his future. He doesn't have time for distractions. His easy going, teasing manner instantly gets under the skin of the more closed off, resistant Dallas. He brings out a spark in her that resulted in some amazing banter. Their early scenes together are laced with humour, and their chemistry leaps off the pages.

Stella, Dallas' best friend, interestingly brings out some of the same qualities in her that Carson does. She challenges Dallas, and they have an easy banter. Cora Carmack shows that the best relationships, friendship or romantic, challenge you. They each give her that push she needs, and I love that two of her most defining relationships are so similar in how they influence, and impact her.

Dallas' relationship with her father is central to the story. It charts her character growth and it's through this relationship that we see the results of her changes. The romance may be the catalyst that starts her down this path, but the most satisfying interactions are the ones between her and father.

New Adult novels are about that time after highschool where you're finally learning who you are. For many it's a time of new experiences, and often your first time away from home. It's a time when you're 'playing' at being an adult, even as you're not sure what that exactly means. Cora Carmack captures the fear, and rush that comes with having these freedoms.

All Lined Up made me immediately want to watch Friday Night Lights again because she so perfectly captured the crazy, unbelievable but it's real, lifestyle that is Texas football.  She infused her novel with the magical moments right along side the brutal truth of living this life. She is able to make the sports aspect something that is almost secondary, and yet have the novel completely revolve around it. This will widen it's appeal as even non football fans will enjoy Dallas' story.

Cora Carmack delights with a flirty, sexy read that has more plot than sexytimes. It's a must read for those of us who miss Friday Night Lights, and a welcome edition to your shelf if you're a Cora Carmack fan.

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