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.
5 out of 5 stars
“In Texas, two things are cherished above all else – football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.”
Can I just start by saying – HOLY CRAP! This has got to be my favourite Cora book! (I love the Losing It series but this is something else!) I cant even begin to tell you how much I need this book in paperback RIGHT NOW! There is just something about All Lined Up that had me hooked from the very first page to the last and even after this book was all I could think about. Dallas and Carson were and still are embedded into my mind and I seriously need more of these two. I need them in book two and I need to know where they are and how they are and Cora, can we just please have another book or novella about these two? Pretty please with a hot guy on top?
I love football (Sorry, I mean the English Football) but Cora has written the football scenes perfectly for us lot whom have no idea about American Football – like me. She actually made me wish I had grown up in America, going to all these football matches and pep rallies because we do NOTHING like that over here, which is pretty sad and I am going off topic right now. But yes, if you are like me and you earn for that American college lifestyle, Cora makes you feel like you are a part of it, and I could see everything in my mind when she was describing so I pretty much felt like I was there. And of course, with Cora being a Football coaches daughter, she, of course, was going to put her all into this book, let us know her perceptive of growing up as the coaches daughter through Dallas and the hardship of kind of being second best to football.
All Lined Up is captivating, I hung onto every page. Cora has written a fantastic and sexy and steamy college romance novel, with little bits of drama embedded in-between and of course, gossip and football along the way. You will be fanning yourself, swooning, shouting at the characters but most of all, you will fall in love them and the story and hate it when you get to the last sentence because you never want the book to end.
Dallas has always felt she was second best to her dad. Football, then her. It also doesnt help that she is the Coaches daughter and that leads to players using her to get closer to her father but she’s had enough. Her ex was an asshole so she tells herself she is never going to date a footballer player again.
But one crazy night and she meets Carson – a football player who has just transferred to Rusk University. He has no idea that she is the Coaches daughter, but he doesnt care. From the moment they meet, something changes for both of them but Dallas cant be more than friends with Carson and Carson needs to focus on his football if he ever wants to be in the starting line-up.
No matter how much they try to deny the attraction, neither can walk away. But what happens when they both find out who the other is?
I really enjoyed knowing Dallas. She is a dancer, she tries to stay in the shadows and she is the Coaches’ daughter. Plus she loathes football and knows she is second best to it. But she just gets on with it and pretends she doesnt care, but you know deep down she does.
The first meeting with Carlton changes her. In a good and bad way because hes a football player and she doesnt date them anymore but he kind of pulls her from her shell – she feels at ease with him, like everything will be okay. But when she finds out he’s a football player, she just cant go there again. Thus beginning the back and forth between her feelings for him. You really wanted her to say ‘fuck it’ and go with him but I understood her reasoning, guys use her to get close to her dad or get on the team and she doesnt want that again. Not after her dickhead ex-boyfriend but something switches and she cant stay away from Carlton, no matter how hard she wants to. She just keeps going to him, like a magnet.
I understood her need to stay under the radar, to try and not let people know she is the Coaches’ daughter and to pave her own future without her father stopping her. Being under his eye, knowing everything you do – to some extent – would really annoy and infuriated me. Especially to be scared to let loose because you know someone on the team will tell him about your fiascos. But I loved how she become stronger, she laid everything out, she bared her soul and it was really therapeutic for me to watch her do that. For her to say ‘this is what I want and I am going to do it’. I was really proud of her.
I adore Carlton so much. He is pretty dang sweet and funny and you know after that first meeting Dallas has entered and stayed in his mind. But he cant let a girl into his life, he has to concentrate on making the starting team because he wants to be something, wants to help his family. I admired his hard work, his need to be something and he put his everything into his football training and his school work proving that he really wants this. To give something back to his family after everything they face up for him. The only thing I wish we knew more of was Carlton’s family, but other than that I was content in knowing him.
You could see how affected his was around Dallas, how his head was in turmoil over her. He wanted her but he couldn’t too, he had to focus. So being friends was what it was all about. But you knew that the attraction was too much. My heart pain for both Dallas and Carlton over certain scenes and you knew they were both hurting, both stubborn in that they wouldn’t text or call one another but yano, when they get over the shitstorm, the love comes after and Carlton was definitely swoon-worthy. You knew he loved Dallas a hell of a lot and the ending for them was just beautiful. I cant wait to see how these two progress because when you have characters like these two, you know they are in it for the long haul!
I loved the chemistry between Dallas and Carlton, even right from the beginning you see it, feel it and you vow for them to get together; they are absolutely amazing together and every time they were pulled inside their heads, every time they were just friends you wanted to shake them and tell them that they had too much chemistry, too much attraction to stay away, that they had to be together, they needed to be together because they were perfect. I knew they were both scared, they both had things going on but in the end they just gyrated towards one another, let each other in and I just sighed so hard when they finally got their acts together. There are ‘steamy’ scenes, but it just makes their connection all the more real and everything they went though was worth fighting for.
If there is one book you pick up today, let it be All Lined Up. You won’t regret falling in love with Dallas and Carlton!
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.