“Feisty, sparkly, and sexy, feel the rush of falling in love all over again with Carson and Dallas! Confession: Cora Carmack’s new series is my brand new addiction!” (Katy Evans, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author)
“Cora Carmack’s done it again! ALL LINED UP is a fantastically sweet and sexy new adult love story.” (Monica Murphy, New York Times bestselling author)
“Cora’s best book yet!” (Jennifer L. Armentrout, # 1 New York Times Bestselling author)
From the Author
"This is a bad idea, Stella."
Stella straightens her shirt. And by straighten, I mean she pulls it down to reveal what little cleavage she has (which is about twice as much as me).
"We're in college now," she says. "Bad ideas are the goal."
"Maybe it's your goal. You don't have a parent on the faculty. If this gets back to him--"
It's Friday night, our first on campus, and she stops just before the walkway of a frat house that hums with pent-up music. More than a head shorter than me, Stella reaches up and forces me to look at her.
"Okay, sister. Let's nip this in the bud right now. No one is telling anyone anything. There are like ten thousand people on this campus. You, my dear, are finally a small fish in a motherfucking ocean. Loosen up and enjoy it. This isn't high school anymore."
Could it really be that simple?
Loosening up has always been easy for Stella. Her mom is a bigger party animal than she is. She'll probably get a high five if we get caught. Me...well, I'm a little scared to think of how my dad would react. What little freedom I have would disappear faster than the hot water in my dorm on days that end in a y.
For one glorious month, I had entertained visions and fantasies of what college would be like. Rusk wasn't my ideal school, far from it, but it wassomething. I could finally make my own decisions and not have to worry about them migrating to the coach's office before lunchtime. I had ached for high school graduation day like there was a knife in my gut, and I couldn't pull it out until May. Then my dad was offered the open position here at Rusk, and I feel like I'm still gasping for breath around that knife.
Maybe we aren't in high school anymore. But it's the same damn misery with a different name.
Unless I do something about it.
But it's easier to be miserable, so I shake off Stella's grasp. "All it takes is one person to say something to someone, who tells some else, who mentions it at church or practice or anywhere, and I'm dead. Stick a fork in me and dip me in hot lava. Dead."
"God, you're so overdramatic. Sooner or later, you've got to stop being scared of your dad. If you don't, you're going to graduate college a virgin with half a dozen cats, some dumb-ass degree he wants that you couldn't care less about, and only professors and academic journals for friends."
I wince, because she's right about almost all of it. She would be furious if she knew I wasn't a virgin and didn't tell her. I'd always meant to, but it isn't exactly my proudest memory, and the longer I'd put it off, the easier it had become to pretend that it wasn't a thing. I refuse to let it be a thing. Instead, I roll my eyes and say, "Thanks for the vote of confidence."
"Hey, I'm just being the voice of reason here."
"More like the devil on my shoulder."
"I accept that role." Stella cackles and nudges her elbow in my side like she's just said the funniest joke ever. And in spite of myself, I crack a smile.
I stare up at the Kappa Sig house. All the frat houses on campus are old colonial-style mansions with creeping ivy and pearly white columns. They look so presentable...probably in an effort to hide the absolute debauchery that happens inside.
God, I just thought the word debauchery. Stella's right. I am going to end up a lame cat lady, probably yelling at people from my front porch and waving my cane around like a madwoman.
It just isn't fair.
College is supposed to be a time to break free, to start fresh. You would think being the football coach's daughter would be a benefit. I know more about the sport than half the guys at our school, knowledge that should make it easy to land a date.
If they weren't all petrified of my father.
Or even worse...panting after him like he's bacon dipped in Nutella wrapped in more bacon. I could probably walk into this party wearing only my bra and underwear (slathered in some of that Nutella), and some idiot would bumble over, completely unaware, to ask me about my dad, what his plans were for the season, or how many high school state trophies we have lying around the house.
Stella's slim fingers snap in front of my face.
"Earth to Dallas. Are you actually frozen in fear right now?"
I roll my eyes, a habit of mine, especially around Stella. "I'm not afraid. I'm just...not optimistic."
"Don't tell me...you were brainstorming all the ways you could be a killjoy tonight."
I give her a playful shove. "I was contemplating covering myself in Nutella, actually."
"Now, that is what I like to hear! Ten points for creativity."
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4-ALL CLOSED OFF (coming soon in 2016)
The STEALING STORMS series (a Young Adult high fantasy)
1-ROAR (coming in 2017)