You know you’ve found a great book when it picks you up from a slump. Thank god for Cora Carmack and for All Lined Up. I didn’t realize how badly I needed a book that will make my heart burst until I read this one. Who knew that mixing football and romance could make for such a fascinating story?
“Then in the interests of honesty, I should say I’m trying really hard not to kiss you.” She straightens, and the strand of hair she was lazily twirling drops from her grasp. “Why would you tell me that?” “So that when I slip up and break my promise, you’ll at least know I tried.”
All Lined Up is more than just football coach’s daughter meets hottie football player then they fall in love, as you might think initially. It’s about a girl who has always felt second to a sport and is completely devoted to dancing. It’s about a guy who’s giving his all and working extra hard to be the best football player he can be. It’s about this girl and this guy and their crazy (the best kind of crazy) attraction to each other that may just turn into something more. It’s a story molded from the most important fragments of our lives: passions, dreams, family, friendships, love. Cora writes it all with heart, creating this incredible novel that I enjoyed so so much.
“Do you ever think that maybe that’s all people do? Fix some things and break others? And we all just live in this giant cycle where we screw things up and hurt people we love, and then we turn around and try to atone for that by fixing other things. And maybe we’re all just waiting on our turn for a broken heart and the person who will fix it.”
I easily clicked with the female lead, Dallas. She’s the opposite of her party animal best friend, preferring anything else to people, which I could relate to. I also adored how straight forward she was and how despite not being a fan of dancing myself, I was able to comprehend the intensity she felt about it as I peeked through her thoughts. Believing that football is the source of her life problems (a.k.a. unsupportive father and jerk quarterback ex), she’s adamant at hating the sport and not getting involved with anymore football players. Then Carson McClain enters the scene, giving her hopes that she could be the daredevil he sees her to be. I loved the character development in Dallas then, the way she accepts her mistakes and learns to stand her ground and not be so scared of things anymore.
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.
I fell for Carson as soon as I got to meet him in the book- although not quite literally as Dallas did. (Seriously though, that was funny. Cora Carmack is fabulously hilarious.) Carson wasn’t just a two-dimensional, stereotypical, love interest. He had his own struggles what with the pressure of getting a permanent scholarship and a good position on Rusk’s football team. I was taken with his determination, not just with football, but also in the way he made Dallas realize things. Speaking of the two, I just adored their relationship- the way it happened, the way it built further. There was so much chemistry between them and their romance is just so feel-good and delicious. Craughing should be a word because the romance in All Lined Up had me laughing and crying at the same time, more than a few times. So much love!!! *hearts everywhereeee*
“You’re it for me. So run if you’d like, but I’ll follow.”
Finally, I was quite delighted by the football team aspect and Rusk University as a whole. I’m extremely looking forward to reading the next books in this series, as All Lined Up was such a solid starter! In fact, this is the best Cora Carmack book yet, surely my new favorite, and I can’t recommend it enough! If you’re a fan of New Adult romances, this one’s a must-read!