Blog Tour: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack



Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: DRC, Edelweiss
Status: Book 2 of the Rusk University companion series

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Ink Slinger PR. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!


Summary:
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, 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.

Review:
All Broke Down starts up right before training camp for the football season following the one in All Lined Up. Silas is just kind of skating along, but there are early glimpses of a lot going on under the surface. Long story short: Silas goes to jail. Next thing we know, Dylan joins him. Hello, instant attraction! Let's get real, here: if you saw Silas anywhere, even jail, you're gonna be attracted to him. Sorry, not sorry. So boy meets girl in jail, and then boy turns out to have something of a hero complex because he literally bails girl out.

By far the biggest strength in All Broke Down is the wild, steamy chemistry between Silas and Dylan. Holy mama pajama! I'm thinking of that Taylor Swift song where she talks about how the "sparks flew instantly," and yeah, that's totally it. They just...go after what they want with so much passion, but then both of them go through this point of, "whoa, I don't know what's going on, gotta slow it down," and that helps create a depth to their relationship and a realness that many people would consider disingenuous were it strictly that most egregious of all book crimes: instalove. Instead, Silas and Dylan share this insane unbridled push-and-pull of passion during which they each take turns being the one more invested or the one wanting/needing to pull away. I think it makes sense because most relationships, before the long-term commitment and deeper connection, consist of one party being more into it than the other.

I'm really glad that All Broke Down exists. From the moment Silas was introduced in All Lined Up, I could tell there was Something about him. Sure, he is immediately revealed to be a ginormous tool so I can't say what it was (abs) that made me feel that way about him (abs). And it wasn't just his abs (but srsly, the abs help). Then Silas makes a genuine gesture of camaradarie and even friendship to Carson, and I was completely vindicated in my initial assessment that he wasn't a complete douche. I'm thinking kinda like Freddie Prinze Jr's character in She's All That. Yes, he makes a stupid bet, but he's not actually a horrible guy unlike Paul Walker (*tear*)/Levi (rot in hell, asshole). While I found Silas's backstory a bit trite, I do like that Cora made an effort to create a more well-rounded Silas than the one presented in All Lined Up.

As for Dylan, I like her. She's not my favorite na heroine, and there's something about All Broke Down that feels more like Silas's story than a shared story with Silas and Dylan like how All Lined Up is both Dallas and Carson's stories merging. I don't know. I appreciated Dylan's passion and interest in activities that were distinctly not Silas related, and I love how she encourages Silas to be a better person, it's just... I don't know! There was something that didn't quite CLICK for me. I also didn't quite buy her backstory this time. Her parents felt very flat to me, and her relationship with them felt that way as well. :-/

One thing I do like is that All Broke Down shows realistic consequences for certain actions without being preachy. Get in a bar fight? Go to jail AND run suicides at practice. Get in a fight with a teammate? Run suicides at practice AND get benched for two weeks AND sit in shame/guilt as your team loses without you around. At this point I would like to address one of the serious issues in All Broke Down: a female character is sexually assaulted and possibly raped by a male character. Currently it is unknown what will happen with this situation, but knowing Cora, it will be addressed in the third book as well. The female character does like to party and hang out with the football team, and what I love is that Cora shows through her other characters that in no way was this situation her fault. Silas is a damn beast during this situation in the best possible way. If all men were like Silas and championed women's rights the way he does in these scenes, we wouldn't still be having conversations like #YesAllWomen. Just...dang. Again, the situation ends up unresolved in All Broke Down, which is frustrating, but I do love that the survivor is supported throughout the entire thing. 

I just want to take a second to encourage everyone reading this. If you or someone you know has ever been in this position, please please please tell someone. There is help for you. Employers and schools have people and policies in place to help you through it. If you are uncomfortable sharing with people you know, please visit RAINN.org, which is an amazing resource for survivors of sexual crimes. You are not alone. You are strong. Even if you don't have close personal experience with sexual crimes, please do your part by educating yourself, cultivating safe practices for yourself, and encouraging  your friends/family/acquaintances/coworkers/etc to treat these crimes seriously. Don't take part in victim shaming. Don't laugh at rape "jokes." Do learn about what you can do to help. Do listen to anyone who may be going through this situation with kindness and compassion.

Back to All Broke Down, while it didn't pull me in and hold me riveted until long after I finished the way All Lined Up did, it's an entertaining read. It's sexy and fun, but there's enough substance to make you think about more than just Silas's abs, although they're pretty fun to daydream about. Cora is really talented and continues to deliver books that maintain a good balance between light 'n flirty and serious. I know I will continue to devour her books and already am looking forward to All Played Out!

Also, quick shout out to Reid aka beanie guy from All Lined Up! :) He's like Cora's version of Waldo. See if you can find him in All Broke Down!

Book Buy Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg


Meet the Rusk football team in All Lined Up:

Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow (Harper Collins)
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: paperback, library
Status: Book 1 of the Rusk University companion series



Summary:
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.

Book Buy Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg


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, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.
Author Links:
  


Giveaway: 
Signed copies of All Lined Up/All Broke Down (1 winner)
$25 gift card to Amazon or B&N (1 winner)
US/Canada only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


6 comments:

  1. I'm not much of a sports fan but I recently finished Scoring Wilder and LOVED it! Thanks for such a great giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can read about most sports, probably football or baseball, but I don't really watch sports except Olympic figure skating and gymnastics. Thanks! :)

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  3. Umm. I don't think my comment posted.
    Football seems to be a thing if there is a sport in a book i'm reading.It's mainly football. I enjoy watching football, and having it in a book is fine by me. :D

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  4. Football is all my hubby watches this time of year. But I enjoy watching basketball too occasionally. Now reading, I can read about any sport as long as it isn't too drawn out in all the technicalities of the sport to the point of taking over the book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really like professional soccer and college football.

    ReplyDelete