Series: Rusk University #1
Author: Cora Carmack
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Published: 13 May 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers
Format: ebook, 320 pages
Rating: 5/5 Sneakers
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.
Reaction upon finishing: Holy crap! I loved that and I need my own copy!!
When I read this blurb on Goodreads I wasn't really expecting much despite the high rating, but I decided to add it to my to-be-read list anyways and I most definitely don't regret it. This book contained everything that a good new adult book should contain and it really went above and beyond my expectations, it actually ended up getting me out of my reading slump which was awesome.
When I saw that this book was about football players and college I thought 'Hmm..it's probably going to be the typical girl-meets-boy with a forbidden aspect to it.' But no it ended up being so much more than that. Yes, there was the whole lust and attraction thing going on in this book but it brought so much more to the story, for example it contained family, passion and what it means to have friends that you can constantly rely on with out fail. I honestly didn't realise how much I loved and adored this book until I had to go and put it down.
The hero in this book, Carson. I couldn't pinpoint exactly how I felt about him, he was definitely going on my favourite book boyfriend list and all that jazz, but I then realised that he made my heart feel like it was going to burst open from all the feels and happiness it contained, he left me sitting with a huge, toothy grin upon my face throughout this book. Carson just seemed so different from all the other male leads I read about, he was so genuine and he didn't have that whole I-am broken-and-I'll-get-angry-if-you-try-and-fix-me aspect to him, but instead of all that he was ambitious and passionate about what he does, in this case football, but he really was such a decent guy and treated girls with respect and honesty but he still contained a whole bunch of swoon worthy charm and those were the things I loved most about him.
“Then in the interests of honesty, I should say I’m trying really hard not to kiss you.” She straightens, and the strand of hair she was lazily twirling drops from her grasp. “Why would you tell me that?” “So that when I slip up and break my promise, you’ll at least know I tried.”
“The way she talks about dance is a little like how I feel when I look at her. Overwhelmed and fulfilled and falling apart all at the same time.”
I really loved Dallas, our heroine in this book, I felt like I related to her so easily and I really liked how she dealt with things and her head seemed screwed on the right way despite how she feels. I found it incredibly fascinating to read about her relationship with her dad, it was really beautiful to see how their relationship mended, grew and then blossomed. It left me with a slight happy tear or two. All in all Dallas was such a lovely female lead to read about.
“I've spent too much time pretending, too much time on the outside, too much time feeling spineless. This time... I'm going after what I want.”
Towards the end of this book I had so many feels that I didn't know if I could contain them and on top of that everyone was sleeping and I couldn't wake anyone up and fangirl!
My final thoughts: It was a really lovely and refreshing read, it made me feel like I had just taken a breath of fresh air, and I definitely want to read the rest of this series as well as all of Cora's other books. It really left me feeling with a sense of satisfaction and happiness.
“Because sometimes in life, you just have to stand there and do nothing. Overwhelmed by all the versions of ourselves that exsist in our minds - who we want to be, who we should be, who we're not, and who who we are - it's a jungle that can ensnare your feet and confuse your eyes. But sometimes if you stand still, all those things will snap back into place like a rubber band. And if you can get past the sting, you can keep moving, not quite whole, but held together for the moment.”
“I want to dive into him headfirst, submerge myself in the way he makes me feel, and not come up for air until I have no other choice.”
“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.”
"Mornings have got to be the love child of Satan and...something else really bad that I'm too tired to think of."
And for those of you who loved this book like I did:
If you loved this you will like the Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy.
You can see my review of the second book (they can all be read as standalone's) over here.
- It left me feeling as if my heart was going to burst from feels.
- I connected with the lead characters really well.
- Contained many different aspects to it and not just romance.
- It left me wanting to read the rest of this series (which isn't happening a lot lately.)