All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1) by Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports
Pages: 305
Format: kindle book
Rating:

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.

Let’s be clear here…I could not possibly love Carson any more than I do!  He’s determined, hard-working, sexy, sweet, and swoonworthy!  His determination to achieve his goals and make his family proud almost overshadows what his heart wants…Dallas.  But, thankfully, this amazing guy gives in to the emotions pulling him towards the girl who’s taboo, the one he shouldn’t want, the one who could jeopardize his future…his coach’s daughter.

I love forbidden romances and the rush of the push and pull in a story like that.  The character’s desires are sometimes overshadowed by the reality of the chasm between them but ultimately, there’s very little that can keep them apart.  The angst is very well done here but doesn’t overpower the storyline.  If anything, it’s a way to nudge the characters forward, to help them understand and reach for their dreams.

I must admit that I’m not football savvy, however, this story made me appreciate the hard work and perseverance needed to live in that world…even at the college level.  The players in this story pushed themselves beyond what their bodies could take, dared each other to be better, and, ultimately, lived and breathed this sport.  That level of commitment to something is a very special thing.  And, it makes me believe that a man who’s willing to bet everything on his love of the sport will also be all in when it comes to devotion to the one he loves.  In this case, that’s certainly true.  I loved Carson and Dallas and their chemistry.  I rooted for them from the very first page and couldn’t have been any happier with their story!

As you’ve come to expect from me, I’m reading this series out of order.  I’ve already read and loved book 3 and, of course, my love for this one knows no bounds!  So that makes it a no-brainer…I better go get book 2 and dive in.  Thank you Ms. Cormack for a wonderful story, fantastic characters, and a romance my heart could really embrace!

 

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