Review: All Broke Down (#2, Rusk University) by Cora Carmack - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: All Broke Down (#2, Rusk University) by Cora Carmack

My Thoughts

A stirring romance with lots of emotional turmoil and sizzling chemistry.
My favorite Cora Carmack book to date!



all broke down coverDylan 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.

My Review

What happens when you pair a volatile bad boy with a proper, go-getting political activist?

Instant, angst-ridden, burn-up-the-pages chemistry. I loved this second installment in the Rusk University series. I loved how different it was than the first book (which I loved as well) and yet it still infused all the exciting, coming-of-age elements of the Rusk world. With Silas as its central character, however, the story took on a darker, more explosive and tumultuous tone and I was surprised at how Silas, an antagonist in All Lined Up, managed to evoke so much feeling and heart with his story. Cora Carmack reminds us at what an expert she is in creating that irresistible crackle between two characters. The chemistry that burns, then flickers and then burns even hotter, and these two have enough desire to detonate. This is a story about the past gripping your present, about facades dulling the life you live… it’s about anger and hurt and forgiveness and acceptance, and of course love. Because with Silas and Dylan… nothing is ever as it seems.

“Football. Fighting. Fucking. That’s what I know how to do.”

Silas is not your typical Rusk University student. He’s not wealthy. He doesn’t drive a fancy car. He hasn’t had it easy. His whole life is football. It’s the one thing he’s really good at. The one thing that gives him a fighting chance to overcome what’s inevitable in his mind. Because his past has crippled him with insecurities, with fear, as if he’s one bad decision away from trashing his entire future. But he’s trying. Trying to keep focus. Trying to be the leader Coach Cole wants him to be. But when his old friend and team disappointment, Levi, calls after being released from jail, he can’t help but fall back into old patterns. And the moment hurtful words are exchanged… the kind that attack the very soul of your deepest fears, it’s his fists that unleash his raging emotions.

Like always. It was inevitable.

“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.”

When Silas ends up behind bars, the last thing he expects is a beautiful girl to be in the cell across from him. Dylan is a passionate, caring person. One who wants to make a difference. A fixer inexorably drawn to a cause. With a wealthy, influential family, perfection and decorum are expected, and she fears anything short of that impossible notion will take away the love and security she hasn’t always had. When her gaze meets Silas, she’s immediately unsettled and flustered at the hulking, gorgeous man with the intense stare.

“So he doesn’t tick any of my usual boxes, but there’s something in the way he looks at me. In his eyes, there’s this strange kind of appreciation that is part attraction, part something else that makes me feel rare and precious and… seen.”

Unlikely circumstances bring these two very different people together, unexpected desire tethers them even tighter, but it’s an unspoken understanding that allows them to really see the other. We realize they’ve both struggled to belong, struggled to overcome a past that won’t let go, struggled to find a way to let themselves show the world who they truly are. While Silas is brimming with volatility, rage, anger and aggression, Dylan is an empty shell afraid to enliven her personality with who she really is… not who she is expected to be. They strike a deal to help each other out, because suddenly, Silas really does need fixing. His spot on the football team is in danger and Silas is willing to do anything to hold on to his one shot at a future.

“You are in so much trouble, Dylan Brenner.  And trouble’s name is Silas Moore.”

Silas and Dylan’s “non-relationship” relationship takes off from there. They are exactly what the other needs, and they sort of save each other. But just as emotions intensify and progress is made and hearts fill with promise… the truth of their disparity opens up a chasm that tears them apart. Could they really be so different… come from two different worlds and somehow make it work? Could they be happy? Could they change their inevitable fates?

“I’m bad… a bad decision, bad seed, bad blood… whatever you want to call it, that’s what I am. And it’s only a matter of time until it has me turning out just like Levi, cut off from the people I know and the only thing I love.”

I loved the emotional turmoil of the book, loved how I felt the characters so much, loved the super sexy times, and especially loved the juxtaposition of these two seemingly different people who were passionate and fiercely loyal. It’s my favorite Cora Carmack book to date and I can’t wait to see what she does with Torres’ book next.

“Me and her together… I believe we’re big enough to face whatever comes.”


Reading Order and Links

Each book can be read as a standalone. Click image below to purchase from Amazon U.S.

all lined up all broke down cover

All Lined Up (#1): Amazon | iTunes | B&N
All Broke Down (#2): Amazon | iTunes | B&N
All Played Out (#3): Amazon

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  1. VBB Post author said:

    Megan!!!!!!!!!! YesI I had said the same thing about ALL LINED UP, but this was a bit edgier, sexier and I totally loved it! Hugs and hope all is well!


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