Review: All Played Out – Cora Carmack

Review: All Played Out – Cora CarmackAll Played Out by Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University, #3
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Published: May 12th 2015
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four-stars

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.

Straight A’s? CHECK.

On track to graduate early? CHECK.

Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I can’t lie. All Played Out was in a tough spot from the start. It was a given that I would read it and enjoy it, but there was no way it would live up to my love for Silas’ story in All Lined Up. And truthfully, it didn’t. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Actually I liked it more than I had anticipated.

All Played Out continues the story of the boys on the Rusk University football team focusing on wide receiver Mateo Torres. Torres is anything but serious. He’s a party guy that can never be tied down. The only thing he takes seriously is football and he’s happy that way. That is until Antonella DeLuca is brought into the fold. Nell is anything but a party girl. She has had one goal from the get go and that is to finish college (early even) and move on to the real world. But Nell has missed out on one thing, the true college experience. When she makes a list of things to do before she graduates and Torres offers his services, Nell may be in for more than she bargained for. And Torres may find out it could be time to get serious about something else…love.

True that Silas is still my favorite I found Torres very endearing in All Played Out. He was totally goofy and light hearted, but he also had a really emotional side to him that he kept hidden. I liked learning that layer of him. And I really liked him dynamic with Nell. They were definitely a ying and yang, but they somehow balance each other out. They also has great banter which made them going through Nell’s list a really fun experience. But what I really likes was how Nell brought out the serious side of Torres and how Torres made Nell relax and actually enjoy college and not be so perfect.

Although All Played Out could never live up to my love of All Lined Up, it found a new place in my heart. Torres and Nell told a story of their own and it was a story I liked. It wasn’t my favorite in the series but one I was happy to read. Now can I finally have Stella’s story??!!

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Review: All Broke Down – Cora Carmack

Review: All Broke Down – Cora CarmackAll Broke Down by Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University, #2
Published by Harper Collins
Published: October 28th 2014
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five-stars

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

thoughts

Sometimes when you pick up a book that mixes romance and football either the romance suffers or the football suffers. It’s rare to find an author that nails both and nails it seamlessly. Cora Carmack is one of those rare finds. All Broke Down is the perfect combination of football, sexy times, testosterone, and feels. Basically I loved it to tiny little pieces so I could love more of it.

All Broke Down is the second book in the Rusk University series. It follows the life of Silas, a running back we met in All Lined Up, and Dylan, a new character that is a hardcore do-gooder. Both Silas and Dylan couldn’t be any different. He’s all anger and walls and she is all help save the world and be perfect. But when their paths collide in an unexpected place they embark on something they never could of imagined. Instead of saving the planet Dylan might just be able to save Silas from himself, but what she doesn’t expect is him actually helping to save her.

Man did I love this book. I mean I knew I would enjoy it after having read All Lined Up. Silas wasn’t really a favorite of mine, but I still thought the book would be good. But what I got kind of blew me out of the water. It was a very character driven story that had heart, emotion and a lot of lust. I actually ended up loving Silas more and more as I saw all the layers under the posturing in the first book. He kind of broke my heart with how broken and lonely and scared he was. He was a deeply flawed character and I love that Dylan saw beneath those flaws that so few did.

Now what to say about Dylan. When I read the blurb about her I admit that I rolled my eyes. I thought she would be annoying and would try to change Silas in a typical kind of way. But boy was I wrong. Dylan was the perfect partner for Silas. She wasn’t judgmental, she understood him in a surprising way, and she was supportive. She never tried to make Silas feel unworthy of her or the life he wanted. They were pretty smoking together to be honest. The pages just oozed chemistry and it all just worked. I just loved how their stories unfolded.

I truly don’t want to give too much away, and I fear that I may have a little, but this is a book you need to read. It will tug at your heartstrings, make you smile, and maybe even fan yourself. It has a great balance of football and romance and drama that ties all Mickey together when all is said and done. Definitely a new favorite of mine and I think it will be for you too.

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Review: All Lined Up – Cora Carmack

Review: All Lined Up – Cora CarmackAll Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University, #1
Published by Harper Collins
Published: May 13th 2014
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four-stars

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.

thoughts1

I always seem to have a love/hate relationship with New Adult (I find myself mostly hating them) but I read what this was about and saw other people gushing over it so I took another NA chance. In theory it should have been something I would love. I mean hello football and hot QB. But I was nervous. I can 100% say there was no reason for me to worry. All Lined Up was completely addicting in the best kind of way.

Do you like football and romance? That is all you need to ask yourself before reading All Lined Up because that is what the book is about. Dallas is starting her freshman year of college at Rush University, the college her father has been hired at to coach the football team. For Dallas’ whole life she has felt like football has come first and she is tired of it. She wants nothing to do with the team, her father coaching of the team or the players on the team, especially her ex-boyfriend. But when she has a chance encounter with Carson, the new potential Quarter Back, Dallas begins to wonder if her aversion to football should soften, especially when she can’t seem to get him out of her head.

I’m not sure what it was about this book that made it so addicting. It could be the way the plot flowed or Dallas or Carson or Dallas and Carson together. Whatever it was I just didn’t want to stop reading. I just loved how everything played out and how awesome Dallas and Carson were together. They had an undeniable chemistry that jumped off the pages from their first interaction. Between the romance and the football I was just hooked.

I have read a Carmack story in the past and enjoyed it, but there was something special about All Lined Up. I did have an issue with the parental units in the story but that is usually the case in a lot of books so I let that slide because that aside it really was an excellent read that will keep you interested and keep you hooked. You’ll want to know what happens to these characters and if they can get out of their own way and live their life the way they want. I look forward to whatever else this series has in store for us. It is now my new guilty pleasure.

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