Top critical review
Sweet Romance just wanted more
on 24 May 2014
I gave All Lined Up 3.5 Stars.
I was a big fan of Cora's début New Adult novel, Losing It and it had been a while since I had read any of her books. The theme of American Football piqued my interest and I had to try All Lined Up.
Dallas thought starting college would be the fresh start she craved, but that idea was ruined the moment her dad accepted the football coach position at the same university. Dallas craved to be known as more than the coach’s daughter and she wanted the freedom to choose dance liked she had dreamed of, but her overbearing father quickly put a stop to all those dreams. Dallas wants to be reckless and let go for a change and she finds that with hottie Carson but her excitement takes a nosedive when she discovers Carson is no different, he of course is a football player just like the rest of them.
I liked Dallas’ character, I felt she was portrayed realistically and I liked the fact she respected herself and wanted to wait before going further with Carson, this allowed their relationship to deepen and they shared a lot of really tender moments.
“No one in my entire life has ever told me I have a big heart.”
I touch the hand she has braced on her knee, just for a few seconds, and say,
“Then no one in your entire life has been paying much attention.”
“He’s slow, waiting for me to say no, I think. But no matter how many pieces of me want to say no, there are far more begging me to say yes.”
“I want you, Dallas. I have since the moment I met you. And when you’re actually ready, I won’t waste one moment before I take you to bed. But you’re more than this. We’re more than this.”
Dallas’ relationship was strained with her father at best. He struggled to bring her up single-handed and she felt football always came first. I did expect more drama with her father and I assumed the climax of the story would have centred around that element, I was expecting more from that dynamic but with that being said, their relationship did grow and it was nice to see them reach a mutual understanding in the end.
Carson McClain was a jock with a heart of Gold. He worked hard for his place on the football team, nothing was handed to him easily and it made him a better person for it. He couldn’t afford a distraction in the form of red headed Dallas but their connection was undeniable and Carson tried his best to stay away when he learned she was also his coach’s daughter, but the heart wants what the heart wants and soon a sweet, loving relationship had blossomed. Carson was simply sweet. He cared a lot for Dallas and he always put her needs before his own.
“What could you possibly have to be sorry about?”
“I made you feel that . . . that ache.”
She smiles. “Only because I was stubborn enough to think I couldn’t have you.”
“You have me. Completely.”
I think my favourite moment between them was the slip up during the phone conversation near the end. I loved that it was Carson putting his heart on the line, instead of the girl for a change.
All Lined Up was a softer read than what I was expecting, the storyline had the potential to be packed full of drama and angst but instead it just moseyed along nicely. Now don't get me wrong, that's not necessarily a bad thing, this book was an easy read and one that I devoured quickly. I was compelled to finish it but I think that was due to the fact I was chasing the drama, I was convinced I was on the precipice of something monumental happening. When I did reach the end, I wasn’t deflated, I was just left rather un-feeling. Dallas and Carson’s story felt unfinished, even though it was wrapped up, I just felt we could have had more from their future. I didn’t feel one way or another for them, their story just felt nice and easy and I was looking for more.
Cora’s writing is easy to read, there is less humour than Losing It but it was an undercurrent in the background and worked well. Cora also did a great job of creating the sexual chemistry beween them. It was clear Dallas wasn’t ready to take her relationship to the next level but we didn’t miss out on their need and want for each other, it continued to build as the story progressed. Carson and Dallas’ relationship was so sweet and there were many beautiful passages that I loved.
“Carson McClain, you scare me like nothing has ever scared me before. You drive me crazy and make me laugh and push my buttons on purpose. You make me feel safe and smart and pretty. Sometimes I think I might actually melt when you wrap your arms around me, and right now I feel a little bit like I might die if you don’t kiss me.”
“You’re the only thing that makes me feel better when I’m tired or frustrated. You’re the thing that quiets all my worries and doubts and fears. You’re it for me. So run if you’d like, but I’ll follow."
All Lined up is a good story for people new to the new adult genre; it will ease you in gently. It is an easy read with likeable characters and a drama free plot. And for die hard Cora fans, it will be a definite 1-click. ~Ava
*I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*