Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Leaving Amarillo by Casey Quinn

Series:Neon Dreams #1
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: William Marrow
Genre: New Adult
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★ ½

Nashville meets New Adult in Neon Dreams, a dramatic, sexy series from bestselling author Caisey Quinn, about a country band’s rocky road to fame—and the ambition, dreams, and love of the people who make the music.

Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

Imagine growing up in love with someone who treats you as nothing more than a little sister.  Imagine touring in a band with that person, seeing them hook up with a new groupie every night, having that right in your face all the time.  Aching for a person that won't touch you even in the friendliest of ways...can you imagine?

That is Dixie's life. She's been in love with Gavin for ten years. But Gavin lives by some BroCode set forth by Dixie's over protective brother, Dallas. He won't screw around with his best friends sister, no matter what kind of connection Dixie knows he feels.

As the band gains some limelight and they hit the road it forces the issue for Dixie.  She can no longer stand by, lips sealed.  She's ready to give Gavin a little shove out of the friend zone.

Dixie is a nineteen year old girl, she left her college scholarship - returning home to help care for her grandfather and to reconnect with the band that holds all her dreams.  She's figuring out who she is, what she wants for her life, who she wants in her life.  I liked Dixie, okay.  I think she has some great qualities, she can roll with the punches, she tries her best to be honest, she is a caring girl.  She's also just lost and insecure enough to question herself and the decisions being made around and for her.

What I really liked about her was her gumption when it came to Gavin. It takes a strong girl to put her heart on the line. To request just one night of honest feelings, come what may.  One night of truth and passion, knowing that moving past that one night could be the hardest thing ever.

I so wanted her to have that same fight in every aspect of her life. So much so that at times, I struggled with her.  Ready to just reach through my Kindle and shake her a little.

Gavin, well...you can just sign me up to be a Gavin groupie. His tender moments with Dixie were enough to make me all swoony. 

I can't say I was the biggest Dallas fan, though I am cautiously hopeful he'll prove to be a bigger person in his book. Which is the next in the series.  He's just kind of an oblivious dick. 

And that leaves me to the end. It's a strange ending. Not strange bad, per say. It leaves you with a small bit of hope that Dixie will find herself and a big sinking stomach over what could happen with Gavin.

Overall, Leaving Amarillo is an interesting story with enough to draw you in and keep you turning the page.  I wasn't fully seated on an emotional roller coaster or shedding any tears, but I was invested and I do want to see what the future holds for not only these main characters but also for some of the secondaries, who caught my attention.

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