Release Day Launch, Review/Excerpt Tour & Giveaway: All Broke Down: Cora Carmack
All Broke Down (Rusk University #2)
In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.
Environmental issues, civil rights, education—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail for a few hours, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and not at all her type, 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.
I’m still running when the rest of the team comes out on the field, and Coach Cole lines them up along the sideline to wait and watch as I finish.
I try not to get angry. I really do, but the humiliation gets to me. Might as well make me hold a sign that says I can’t do anything right. Not even on the first day of practice.
I grit my teeth so hard I expect my jaw to break as I finish my last sprint from one end zone to the other. I drop for my push-ups and growl my way through them. When I’m done, I stand and face Oz. It’s a dumbass move, but I’m pissed and not thinking straight, so I raise my eyebrows and ask, “Should I keep going?”
It’s Coach Cole who answers. “That will do for now.”
As I walk over to join the rest of the team on the sideline, I try to keep my breathing steady, but it feels like one of the linemen has been using my chest as a trampoline.
“Mr. Moore has just helped demonstrate our new discipline policy, gentlemen. When you skip a class, when your grades drop below the line, when your actions reflect poorly on this team, that’s an infraction. For the first infraction, you run.” He gestures back toward Coach Oz, and a few players groan quietly. “If you commit a second infraction or the problems persist, your entire position group runs with you.” People start looking around at the players around them, the guys who now determine whether or not they’re subjected to the will of Coach Sadist. “And if one of you is stupid enough to get in trouble a third time, you, your position group, and your position coach will run.” He shoots his staff a sly smile, and I can tell this is news to them. And when they fix their eyes on the players, they definitely aren’t screwing around. “We are a team,” Coach yells. “We win and lose together. So, we’ll screw up and get better together, too. It’s not just your own ass on the line, it’s everyone’s.”
Brookes catches my gaze, and I turn away. Like I don’t feel like enough of a chump already.
Players and coaches alike shift, but no one says anything.
Then Torres opens his big mouth. “If we get in trouble a fourth time, do you run, sir?”
Nobody moves a freaking muscle. And I just know . . . we’re all gonna run for that one. But then Coach surprises me. He laughs and shakes his head, but when he speaks, he’s serious again. “Mateo, you don’t want it to get that far. It won’t be pretty.”
My new roommate never does know quite when to shut up, though.
“No, I imagine that wouldn’t look pretty at all, Coach.”
“Teo!” “Torres!” “Seriously?”
Every player surrounding him turns and lays into him. He covers his head with his hands and jumps back.
Coach blows his whistle, and we all snap back to attention. “It looks like you boys are beginning to understand what it means to be responsible for your teammates.” He stares at Torres for a long moment and then looks at the team. “We’ll let that one slide. Now, into your position groups. We’ll start by seeing what you’ve retained over the summer.”
A small whoop raises up from the crowd and as we disperse, Torres yells. “I love you, Coach! You’re the best!”
For fun excerpts, teasers, and character introductions swing on over to Cora's website!
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The bad seems to follow me. Or hell,...Maybe it's me that follows the bad. Maybe I don't know who I am apart from that.
Silas Moore is the "bad boy" we started out disliking, but begrudgingly came to like in All Lined Up. He is the the sexy, arrogant, sometimes broody, sometimes charming running back with party-boy, man-whore tendencies and questionable morals. But he proved to be a team player and did the right thing when it counted. But he is not like all the other privileged students at Rusk as he is on scholarship. His past is painful and keeps him wary that the other shoe will drop and he will screw up his chance for a better future. And his past influences taunt him and increase his fear of failure and exacerbate his anger issues.
I only know how to expect the worst of people because it's all I've ever seen.
Dylan is an idealistic journalism major who meets Silas in a place she shouldn't have been, but a connection is formed. She is strong, opinionated, and fights for things she feels passionate about. Her own life has undergone some recent changes and she is reacting to that in some ways. Her life looks like it should be perfect, but it has not always been and she is not really sure why she deserves to be where she is now.
She's been trying to convince herself that she belongs in that world, too. And damn if I don't know exactly how that feels.
They are not their usual types at all. He's the bad boy from the trailer park. She's Daddy's little princess who usually follows the rules or fights for lost causes but does not know what she really wants. She overthinks and he acts before he does. She's suffocating while trying to be what everyone wants while he is self destructing while trying to leave his past behind and hold on to his chance at a future. Something about her makes him want to aspire to be better. He really sees her and makes her feel less invisible.
She feels like a way out, a way to pull myself up a few more rungs on a never-ending ladder. She's the next big escape.
He's good at crossing lines. Pushing boundaries. He pushed mine, and because of it, I can breathe.
This is about two people that need to face their pasts so they can move on. They are so afraid of failure and disappointing people that they don't always do what they want or try for what they need. They both have insecurities about how they fit into the world they live in and if they really belong. And even though their current circumstances are different, they still both have some similar issues from the past. So they seem like opposites, but somehow find a middle ground that helps balance the other out and give them what they need.
But are either of them ready for something real? Or it is just a temporary fix for both of their current problems?
It was told in dual points of view allowing us to understand the hidden feelings and confusion even when they could not express it. I really liked Silas and Dylan. I loved that Cora Carmack took an antagonist from the first book and made him a likable hero. He is so different and so much deeper than the guy we thought we knew from the first book. My heart hurt for him during his times of insecurity, self doubt, anger, and regret. He was broken and struggled, and was not sure he wanted to be or could be "fixed". But he had his goals and did care about people. He just had to deal with his anger in more productive ways, find something to believe in, and figure out what was really important to him. I loved seeing the growth and changes in Silas despite how messy some of the situations became. And Dylan was a likable heroine with definite opinions, strength, and a good heart. Sure they both were bound to make mistakes, but I was totally invested in seeing how they would handle it all and it was definitely tense and nerve racking at times.
"He's right, you know. I will pull you down with me."
"If I go down, it will be because I jumped, not because you made me fall."
I enjoyed more with the gang from All Lined Up: Carson, Dallas, Stella, Torres, Ryan, and Brookes. The addition of Dylan's outgoing friend Matt made me smile and her quiet room mate Nell was intriguing. I like the bond, humor, and camraderie that these friends share. There were some antagonists causing drama and stress and kept things tense. And the whole intense backdrop of college football made me feel like I was in the stands cheering them on too.
This one was a bit more serious and more emotional than the first one. But it was also funny, inspiring, romantic, and sexy too. I found this series and this cast of characters easy to get sucked into and I am looking forward to more. Next up is Torres in All Played Out. He is the fun, outgoing, wild card, who is also a sweetheart. I am also looking forward to more in the future with Stella and maybe Ryan.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
On the outside, Silas is one of the team’s leaders, one of the level headed ones. But underneath, he’s a mess of fear and insecurity. Fear that the progress he’s made to separate himself from his past will be for nothing and repeating the mistakes in his past is inevitable. Losing his temper and starting a fight lands him in jail.
Dylan lands herself in jail the same night as Silas after she got carried away at a protest ad refuses to call her father for help. Dylan leads the “perfect” life, she doesn't lack any luxury she might desire and is her parent's perfect child though she can’t understand why she never feels like she belongs.
Dylan and Silas have more in common than either would guess from outward appearances. But because each has ignored and supposed the past for so long, they don’t realize just how much the other could understand. Together they let down shields they had never lowered with anyone else.
Dylan's friend Matt adds several punches of perfect humor. Between his nickname for Dylan and his reaction when he realizes Silas is on the Rusk football team, he had me in stitches and added some levity to otherwise serious situations.
I loved Coach Cole once again. Or maybe I should say I am loving him more than I would have imagined, more than the Coach Cole we were introduced to in All Lined Up. I loved how he handled his players in this one, even as he issued harsh punishments upon Silas. I think we’re seeing a different side of him because of off-page happenings stemming from Dallas’s confrontations in the first book and I love it.
There were aspects of the plot that I hope are addressed further in future books. And while this book ended in a good place for Silas and Dylan, I can’t help but ache for where Stella is at the end of the book. Even as I read the final pages, I couldn’t help but feel like this story won’t be complete until we get more answers and perhaps justice for Stella because I love her and she deserves a story too!
So much of this story goes beyond a simple romance. Cora Carmack has once again used football as a backdrop for larger issues, and has done it in such a way that this is a story that will stick with me as more than “just” Silas and Dylan's story.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I want to yell from the rooftops about how much I absolutely LOVED and ADORED Silas and Dylan. In my opinion, this is Cora’s best book by far. All Broke Down had me captivated and intrigued from the very first page. Between their chemistry, charisma, and connection, I could not seem to get enough of these characters; so much so, I flew through the book, in hours, totally disappointed when the end came. I kept stabbing at my tablet trying to flip to the next page, repeating no…no…no! I wanted more Silas and Dylan badly. What I got of them simply was not enough. I originally fell in love with Dallas and Carson, and while I still love them, they did not have anything on this duo. My heart now belongs to one Silas Moore and it will firmly be camping there. Not sure if any of the other players will even come close to measuring up.
All Broke Down was a bit darker than All Lined Up, which may be why I was drawn even more to it. I tend to naturally gravitate towards the "damaged bad boy" who finds a second chance at life and love. If I were to describe Silas, I would say, "don't judge a book by its cover." Something I am normally guilty of. His character held so much more depth than Silas allowed the outside world to see. I loved that he let his facade down for Dallas. I thought she was deserving of this, and made the perfect heroine for our hero. Even though she fought hard against it, Dylan fell quickly for Silas, handling him with care and curiosity. This right here endeared me to her. Dylan turned out to be a sassy, fun character, who I found to be absolutely adorable. In turn, I also loved that as disciplined as Dylan was over her life, always making the “right” decision, she let that guard down when it came to Silas. She allowed herself the chance to let loose and not be so rigid, finally taking what she wanted vs always doing what was expected of her.
If I was to rate the angst level on this book I would say it is very low. Not much fight and flight. There was a little bit of push and pull as they were learning to let go of the self-restraint they each have so tightly guarding their lives. Yes, their story is darker than the first book, but that is due to the subject matter. All Broke Down was still a very sweet, heartwarming, and quick read. Never once did I feel the need to smack a character or throw my tablet against awhile. 90% of the time I was smiling and swooning over their flirtatious and lovable moments, when things got somewhat rocky, I just braced and waited for it to pass, so they could go back to being Silas and Dylan. I truly loved and appreciated the fact that Cora did not drag everything out just for the sake of adding drama.
I know this is not one of my normal detailed reviews, but trust me when I tell you to just give in and one click! You will not only fall in love with Silas and Dylan, but you will also fall in love with Cora Carmack. I know I will be revisiting All Broke Down repeatedly.
Bring on Torres and Nell, Cora!
Thank you, William Morrow Books, for the complimentary copy of All Broke Down.
All Lined Up (Rusk University #1)
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.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Losing It series.
***Please note: I am rarely on goodreads, so if you're trying to get a hold of me, the best places to find me are Twitter, Facebook, my blog, Instagram, and via email (coracarmack(at)gmail(dot)com).