Book Review: ALL LINED UP + ALL BROKE DOWN by Cora Carmack [Cora Carmack Bundle!]

Genre: NA, Romance

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Review:

I would love to start by saying I was pleasantly surprised by these two books. I wasn’t a huge fan of Cora Carmack’s other series (Finding It, Losing It, etc.) but a friend recommended me these books, saying they were much better.

And I have to agree!

I was so glad I liked these better. I think I liked All Lined Up a little better than All Broke Down, probably because I loved Carson more. BUT. I really loved that Silas was much more complex than Carson. So, not sure what that says about me, but I fell really attached to Carson than I did with Silas.

As far as female leads go, I also loved Dallas more. But Dylan was still really cool! I guess at this point, All Broke Down was good, but I just felt more invested with All Lined Up. Regardless, both books were still really good.

To me, All Lined Up felt like I was reading a story where the female character needed to grow more and in All Broke Down, it was the guy who needed to grow more, so that was cool. I really like the side characters in All Broke Down a lot more than in All Lined Up though. I think with All Lined Up, Carson was still new to the team and was sort of an outcast because he was on the bench a majority of the book, and trying to earn his spot. But in All Broke Down, the bonds between Silas the team have already been formed so then we see them interact a lot more in Broke Down than we do in Lined Up. For that reason, I finally starting caring about the other side characters, which in NA series like this, is important to me.

Some issues with both…

I do wish Carson had some more flaws as a character (which was really brought to my attention by a friend who read it too), and she’s right – Carson was kind of portrayed as the goody-goody with a few self-confidence issues, but I wanted more. And for Silas, I felt like his change/growth was almost too rapid that it wasn’t believable. As for Dylan, I wish we got to read more about how her relationship/dynamic with her parents changes. We are kind of left hanging at the end as to what happens with them.

Speaking of being left hanging, what about that ending for All Broke Down!! Things with Stella are waaaay up in the air but I totally get this isn’t her story so Cora can’t delve so much in there, but I do hope we get a story for Stella soon. I’m very much like to see how Stella handles herself after everything and how she kind of breaks free from the chains that bind her.

Overall, both books were good!

RATING FOR ALL LINED UP: 4.5/5

RATING FOR ALL BROKE DOWN: 4/5

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