(Rusk University, #1)
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow; 320 pages
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.
Dallas, I like that name but when you are talking football, it just makes me laugh. Dallas, like the Cowboys. America’s team, right? Except . . . not. Hey, if you’re a Dallas fan, that’s cool – you like who you like. I have no doubt her name was intentional and it definitely makes sense, especially with her dad being such a football junkie. He’s well known in Texas for taking on new high school teams and turning them around. It’s kind of his thing but he’s finally making the jump in to college football and his daughter is now attending that same school. College is supposed to be when you get to spread your wings, go out on your own for the first time but how can she do that with her father still there? That’s why, the story opens up with her attending her first every frat party and that’s a bigger deal than you really think. She’s living in the dorms and it’s the most freedom she’s had her entire life. Dallas is honest. She tells it like it is and doesn’t care if it’s not what you want to hear. There is absolutely no beating around the bush with her and I envy that about her. Sure, something like that could really get you in to a lot of trouble but it also saves you from so many disappointments and letdowns. She’s got a fiery personality, just like her red hair.
Carson, is delicious and a talented quarterback. He’s not the most intelligent of people, he doesn’t come from a family that had a lot of money and he’s had to work extremely hard to get where he is. Where he is a second string quarterback on the team without a scholarship. That scholarship is something he really needs and he pushes himself more than any other player to make sure it’s something that happens. If there is a guy out there like Carson, then please, someone introduce us because not only is he attractive on the outside but on the inside, he’s a complete gentleman. You might think that in the beginning but sometimes, the moment just takes over and we lose control but that doesn’t mean anything.
The build up of this relationship, the trials both characters face individually but then also together is what makes this book perfect. Whether you're already a football fan or not, you'll enjoy the struggles Dallas and Carson face. There's also a few characters in there that you'll hate, some you'll love to hate and others you'll be begging for their own book. Seriously. Begging.
This book left you frustrated, laughing, feeling as awkward as the characters probably felt and just plain ole happy. The only thing about this book is it felt more like YA read than a NA read to me. I'm not going to let that effect how much I enjoyed this book, because I did love it, but I was just slightly disappointed by it. I read a lot of YA so it's not a problem but when you're expecting something more than what you normally read and find out that it's almost like reading all the other books, cue disappointment.
I also felt like the ending of the book was a little bit rushed. While I was reading, I had to go back a few pages to make sure I didn't just blank out while reading and completely miss something but I didn't. I was paying attention - it was just . . . sudden.
All in all, this was a fantastic read, with absolutely loveable characters, sports (not just football but there's also a good amount of dancing, which is Dallas' passion) and a story of not one, but two young adult growing as individual's but also together. It also proves that it's never too late to start a relationship with a parent, even if all your life it's been lacking.
About The Author
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.
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