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Series: Rusk University

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: All Played Out by Cora CarmackAll Played Out by Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University,
Also in this series: All Lined Up, All Broke Down
Published by William Morrow on 12 May 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: All Lined Up, All Broke Down

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Texas

First Line(s): There’s a half-naked man in my kitchen.

All Played Out is the latest book in Cora Carmack’s Rusk University series and features characters that we’ve met in previous books, Nell and Torres. Nell is the roommate of Dylan who we meet in All Broke Down (my review) and Mateo Torres is another player on the Rusk University football team. Nell is shy and quiet and very focused and the complete opposite of Torres who is loud and vibrant and the life of the party. But you know what they say, opposites attract and these two are drawn together like moths to a flame. They are further brought together when Nell makes a list of things that she wants to do before she graduates. Nell decides she’s been a little too focused on school and wants to live a little of the typical college life before starting grad school. When Torres finds the list he decides to help her out because he wants to get to know this shy girl that he can’t stop thinking of a little better.

At first, I wasn’t sure about Nell and Torres as a pairing they just seemed so opposite of each other but the more the narrative moved into each of their heads and we get to know them you see that Nell and Torres are pretty perfect for each other. Nell and Torres really compliment each other and they help bring out the best traits in the other person. Torres helps Nell’s confidence and to be more outgoing and Nell helps to anchor Torres. These two characters often hurt my heart during their journey towards their HEA and I found myself rushing to flip the pages needing to see how it would all work out.

All Played Out Quote

As with most romances, All Played Out, will often fall back onto a common cliche or trope and there where times when those things would make me roll my eyes a little. There was the break up and unnecessary drama, like when Dylan would try to convince Nell not to hang out with Torres as she was a ‘good girl’ and he was a ‘bad boy’. Which just made me roll my eyes as the same was said during All Broke Down and if Dylan had listened to those people then she and Silas wouldn’t have had a story. Overall though, I liked the fire and the humor between Nell and Torres. I liked how they were each flawed and how they were both better people when they were together.

All Played Out is a fun story and one that can be read independently of the others in the series. As of now, All Broke Down, is still my favorite (Silas <3) but Torres is a close second. There is just so much heart in these male leads and it just makes your heart ache as you watch them fall for their ladies. All Played Out is a quick read and one that I’d recommend to anyone looking to read new adult. Its well written and plotted and yes there are cliches but sometimes in life there are cliches so its also real and heart felt. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to the next installment in the Rusk University series.

irishdarkblue

IR - All Played Out

Add Scoring Wilder by RS Grey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Deal by Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

four-stars
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: All Broke Down by Cora CarmackAll Broke Down by Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University, Book 2
Also in this series: All Lined Up, All Played Out
Published by William Morrow on 28 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: All Lined Up, All Played Out

 Place(s) Traveled To: Unnammed, Texas

First Line(s): The flash of the camera blinds me as I take my seat at the front of the room.

Dear reader,

I don’t know about you but sometimes I pick up a book to read even when I have every expectation of not liking it. There I times when I swear I am a glutten for punishment and I don’t know why I do this thing that I do. Although sometimes, the reason is simple, the book I do not think I’ll like is part of a series and in order to move to the next book I need to get through the dreaded on. For I am also the sort that perfers to read all books in a series and then to read that series in order. Its rare for me to read a book series out of order though it does happen. My reluctance to read All Broke Down began when I saw that the male hero of the story was going to be Silas who we first meet in All Lined Up. I did not like Silas much in that book and I may have groaned aloud when I saw the synopsis for All Broke Down. 

I was determined to read this story though because as we all know sometimes what we expect in a book isn’t what we get at all. There are books that I’ve longed for desperately thinking I was going to love them only to chuck them across the room. And there are bookes like Lead and now All Broke Down that I expected to suffer through and dislike only to fall deeply in love with them. Expectations are funny like that. Silas is a character that defied all of my expectations of him. I expected an ass of a male lead, a person to roll my eyes at and long to toss my ereader across the room. But he’s the sort of character that makes your heart break, your eyes fill up with tears, and wishing he was real so you can give him a hug and say that everything will be ok. All Broke Down is a book that made my heart ache in that oh so wonderful way that I love as Silas and Dylan work towards their happily ever after.

I loved how strong Dylan was and how she and Silas were just so perfect for each other. Both characters are flawed and strong and they just complement each other and make each other better. I loved their first meeting and felt the sparks between them and smiled delightedly as I settled in to read their story. For once I started All Broke Down I wasn’t able to stop until I hit the final page. I was sucked into Dylan and Silas’s love story and it wouldn’t let me go. I did get frustrated when the cliched pointless breakup happened because its just all so very unnecessary. There are other ways to create tension in a story and you don’t always have to break a couple up just to get them to their HEA. The pointless break up just makes me sigh, roll my eyes and wish that I had the ability to reach into the story and shake some sense into the lovebirds who are just being dumb.

Another thing that keeps me from giving All Broke Down 5 stars is an event that happens towards the end of the book just as our couple is getting ready to get back together and ride off into the sunset. Its an intense scene and one that made me gasp and have feels. Its an important scene but one that I don’t think was quite right to happen in this story at that time because it distracted from the main story being told. It was like a fist to the gut and I am in no way dismissing it but I just feel like it wasn’t the right time for these events to happen. I think the scene may have worked better earlier in the story or as an opening to a new story involving the character that was part of this event. This event made the ending feel rushed and inconclusive because shortly after it happened the book was over. Instead of a happy sigh of contentment that I usually feel at the end of a good romance I was left with this void as Dylan and Silas never actually declared their love to the other. As a reader you know how they feel as you are in both of their heads but they actually told each other how they felt.

They were about to when the afore mentioned event happened and then their was the aftermath of that and then the book was over. Its also a bit disappointing that the event that happened at the end of All Broke Down will still be left open as the next book in the series, All Played Out, will deal with two new minor characters that we met in this book. Although I do get that there needs to be a little time for the dust to settle before that particular storyline can continue. All in all though I really did like All Broke Down and loved how Cora Carmack took a character that I thought I would dislike and turned him into one of my favorite male romance heroes. I adored Silas Moore and know that All Broke Down is a book that I will be rereading. All Broke Down is a great installment in the Rusk University series and a must read for all lovers of New Adult romance….or just lovers of a good love story. If, dear reader, you and I share similar reading tastes than I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you try this one out.

irishdarkblue

 

 

All Broke Down Quote
four-stars
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Blog Tour Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Blog Tour Review: All Lined Up by Cora CarmackAll Lined Up by Cora Carmack
Series: Rusk University,
Also in this series: All Broke Down, All Played Out
Published by William Morrow on 13 May 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All Broke Down, All Played Out

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Texas

First Line(s): In Texas, two things are cherished above all else – football and gossip.

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack is the start of her new series about students at Rusk University and is the story of Dallas Cole and Carson McClain. Dallas’s dad is a football coach and he’s known for turning teams into state champions and so the sport has plagued her existence because if you know anything about the southern part of the US then you know that football is a big deal there. Think of the tv show Friday Night Lights and you’ll get the idea. So I can understand Dallas’s aversion to the sport of football, especially when you toss in that her 1 really serious boyfriend was a star quarterback in their high school and that she’s now attending the same college as him and her dad is the new coach. Poor girl just can’t get away from the sport, her dad, or her ex.

I kind of had a love/hate relationship with both Dallas and All Lined Up there were times when it just felt more high school than college. Dallas was all worked up about gossip and how people would only ever associate her with her father the coach or how anything she did would get back to him and she’d get in trouble. Then there was the whole golden couple aspect of it that just had me rolling my eyes. She was also a bit of a Mary Sue at times and was just a bit too passive in certain areas and didn’t really seem to have much of a backbone. Though she did surprise me by not following the cliche of overreacting when she heard a snippit of something that may have involved Carson. I was so prepared for that and was pleasantly surprised when it didn’t happen, that she trusted what she knew of him and thought things through.

I did like Carson throughout the story. He was just a sweet, likable, loveable guy who was just searching for his place in the world. He was focused on school and football and I liked that he had goals and ambitions. But most of all I liked that he wasn’t and asshole alpha male. I liked his chemistry with Dallas and thought that they made a realistic couple. I also liked his friendship with Ryan and was disappointed to learn that the next book in this series wouldn’t involve him and Stella. I think there is a story there and would rather read that than one involving Silas Moore who was just a douche. So I am on the fence on reading All Broke Down though I do think that I will read more books by Cora Carmack. I like her writing style and her characters (mostly) and so look forward to exploring her other books.

While I didn’t love All Lined Up I did enjoy the story. I thought that the pacing and the story line was believable (mostly) and enjoyed the chemistry of the two main characters. The ending did seem a little rushed but not totally outside the realm of possibility.

irishdarkblue

Contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ALL LINED UP Synopsis:

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.

Blog Tour Schedule:

You can find the full blog tour post with schedule at: http://wp.me/p2jI8L-Pe

May 14
#BookNerd-Excerpt
I Read Indie-Review Only
Wolfel’s World of Books-Review Only
Book Vigilante-Review Only
Her Juicy Reads-Review Only
Nestled in a Book-Review Only
Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance-Review Only
Starbucks N Book Obsession-Review Only
Sam’s Book Basket-Review Only
Broadway Girl Book Reviews-Review Only
Dark Obsession Chronicles-Review Only

May 15
Books Over Boys-Author Interview
Martini Times-Excerpt
Talk Books To Me-DreamCast & Review
Divergent Gryffindor-Review Only
I Dare You to Read-Review Only
My Favorite Things-Review Only
Sassy Divas Book Blog-Review Only
The Book Hammock-Review Only
Three Girls and a Book Obsession-Review Only
Book Drunk Blog-Excerpt
Nicely Phrased-Review Only

May 16
Chick Lit News & Reviews-Guest Post & Review
Vi3tbabe-Review Only
Waves of Fiction-Review Only
Booklovers For Life-Review Only
Mommy’s Late Night Bookup-Review Only
NovelGrounds-Review Only
Short and Sassy Book Blurbs-Review Only
Stay Bookish-Review Only
The Secret Book Brat-Review Only
Krista’s Dust Jacket-Author Interview
Between Order & Randomness-Review Only

May 17
Mundie Moms Guilty Pleasures-Excerpt & Review
Ticket To Anywhere-Review Only
Author Groupies-Review Only
Books to Breathe-Review Only
Grownup Fangirl-Character Interview (Dallas & Carson Together)
Smart & Savvy with Stephanie-Review Only
The Hopeless Romantics-Review Only
The Indie Bookshelf-Review Only
Two Tall Tales-Review Only
With A Book-Review Only

May 18
Book Bitches Blog-Review Only
Reading Between the Wines-Excerpt
Behind Closed Covers-Review Only
Bridger Bitches Book Blog-Review Only
My Book Empire-Review Only
Paperbook Princess-Review Only
Two Ends of a Bookshelf-Review Only
Way Beyond Words-Review Only
The Lovely Books-Review Only

May 19
Katie’s Book Blog-Guest Post & Review
Kindle and Me-Review Only
A Bookish Escape-Review Only
FicWishes-Review Only
Oops I Read Again-Review Only
Step Into Fiction-Review Only
Reading a Little Bit of Everything-Review Only
Sofia Loves Books-Review Only
The Secret Life of a Bookworm-Review Only

May 20
Always YA at Heart-Character Interview (Carson) & Review
My Daily Romance-Review Only
Above Average, Below Special-Review Only
Carver’s Book Cravings-Review Only
Gabic Reads-Review Only
Snuggling on the Sofa-Review Only
The Reading Realm-Review Only
M’s Sinful Reviews-Review Only
One Girl Lost in Romance Books-Review Only

May 21
Books Books Books Blog-Review Only
Nose Stuck in a Book-Guest Post & Review
Books and Swoons-Review Only
Forever Me Romance-Review Only
Made For You Book Reviews-Review Only
The Book Bellas-Review Only
The Book Lovers-Review Only
Books Unhinged-Review Only
Movies Shows N Books-Excerpt

May 22
Cocktails & Books-Author Interview & Review
Stuck in Books-Review Only
BookAngel Booktopia-Review Only
Chapter Break-Review Only
Fiktshun-Review Only
Reese’s Reviews-Review Only
Whirlwind Books-Review Only
LeAnn’s Book Reviews-Review Only
Mrs. Leif’s Two Fangs About It-Review Only

May 23
For the Love of Books by Jaime-Review Only
I *Heart* Big Books-Character Interview (Dallas) & Review
True Story Book Blog-Fun & Different Idea! & Review
Fictitious Delicious-Review Only
Nerd Alert Book Love-Review Only
The YA Bookworm Blogger-Review Only
Confessions of a Librarian in Training-Review Only
Emilie’s Book World-Review Only
Fiona’s Book Reviews-Review Only

May 24
Bibliobelles-Review Only
Nocturne Reads-Review Only
All Romance Reviews-Review Only
Kindle Obsessed-Review Only
Lost in Lit-Review Only
Stuck in YA Books-Review Only
Tarheel Bibliobabe-Review Only
As the Pages Turn-Review Only
Between the Pages-Review Only

May 25
Ramblings From This Chick-Review Only
The Romance Bookie-Review Only
Kimberly Faye Reads-Guest Post
Lit Junkies Book Blog-Review Only
One More Chapter-Review Only
Smokin’ Hot Book Blog-Review Only
The Book Lovers Codex-Review Only
Red Hot + Blue Reads-Review Only
Ali’s Review & More-Review Only

May 26
Bloggers [Heart] Books-Playlist & Review
Once Upon A Twilight-Fun & Different Idea! & Review
Romance Addict-Review Only
Jenuine Cupcakes-Review Only
One Guys Guide to Good Reads-Review Only
Prisoners of Print-Review Only
Worn Down Glories-Review Only
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club-Review Only
Red Cheeks Reads-Review Only

Cora Carmack Bio:

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.

Links:

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** Novel Goodreads

three-stars
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