Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: All Lined Up
Series: Rusk University #1
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 13 May 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

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 

What can I say, Cora Carmack has done it again, creating the most wonderful, quirky, cute characters that you can’t help falling in love with.

Dallas is ridiculously cute; awkward, nervous and shy due in part to her father’s status as the football coach and his overbearing nature. She has a definite lack of filter, her thoughts come tumbling out of her mouth before her brains has a chance to engage, creating some very funny moments. I really liked that Dallas’s best friend was her exact opposite in both looks and personality, dragging Dallas out of her comfort zone when required but always being a strong support system, especially as Dallas’s mother had left when she was very young. This kind of abandonment has to have psychological repercussions even if we are unaware of them fully.

Dallas has been boxed into a life that she is unhappy in due to her father, she wants to dance while he wants her to have a more secure career. His lack of support was painful to witness. Although as the story progresses you can see the reasons for his behaviour and also the emotional barriers he has in place. the emotional journey of the characters also includes the peripheral ones, Cora provides a completeness to the story in an ingenious fashion.

Carson is utterly swoon-a-licious, cute (you can translate that to hot) kind with a sense of humor (what more could you ask for). Both Dallas and Carson have emotional baggage that creates obstacles for them to overcome before they can consider a relationship. Despite their off the scales chemistry, they bond through friendship and understanding. They are so so so good together.

I absolutely adore Cora’s’ turn of phrase within the narrative, crating the perfect balance of sweet and sexy.

The in-depth football commentary aided the atmosphere within the story. You literally feel as if you are there with the characters experiencing every bit of the tension/anticipation alongside them.

This is one of those stories that you become so invested in the characters that you want to know every aspect of their future. I really wanted an epilogue set 10 years in the future. However, I am holding onto the hope that we will see  more of Carson and Dallas in future books even though the focus will be on different characters *flutters eyelashes at Cora*