Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: Loving Dallas by Casey Quinn

Series: Neon Dreams #2
Release Date: June 16, 2016
Publisher: William Marrow
Genre: New Adult
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★ ½

In the second novel in bestselling author Caisey Quinn’s Neon Dreams series, a country rock band and its members embark on the rocky road to fame and find love along the way.

Dallas Lark is so close to achieving his dream of making it big in country music that he can taste it. Arriving in Nashville after signing with sexy, successful manager Mandy Lantram, his life goes from tragedy and turmoil to one lucky break after another—except it isn’t really luck because Dallas has sacrificed everything for his career, leaving behind his band, sister, best friend, and high school sweetheart, Robyn, in the pursuit of fame.

Robyn Breeland is a successful marketing coordinator and promotions specialist for a thriving liquor distributor out of Texas. She loves every aspect of her job: coming up with new ideas, traveling, hosting promotional parties and exclusive events—until it brings her face-to-face with the man who broke her heart, prompting her to erect a steel cage around it.

When their paths collide and they’re forced to work together, Dallas and Robyn realize that the old spark they thought they’d extinguished might still be a burning flame.

I was not a fan of Dallas in Leaving Amarillo.  Not even a little bit.  I thought he was selfish, oblivious, naive at times and overbearing. You know what? I now see him differently. He won me over. While I can't easily write off all the things he did in book one, I have a new found appreciation for who he is and maybe some understanding of his past mistakes. 

Robyn starts the book off as a seemingly abrasive, no nonsense woman.  She's very career driven and I wasn't all together convinced I would like her much.  Honestly, I had the thought that her and Dallas deserved each other. 

They do. But not for the reasons that initially crossed through my brain. 

Robyn is focused on her career, in promotion and marketing for a liquor company that happens to be sponsoring a country wide tour that features her one and only long lost love, Dallas. Robyn broke up with Dallas years ago. It was sudden and painful but he's since been building a career in music.  Ending up on tour together brings back all the old wants, the aches and the secrets as to why Robyn really pushed Dallas away.  Add in current life difficulties and these two have their work cut out for them.

Quinn did something with Robyn and Dallas that I rarely see in books, something I really appreciated. She brought these two back together, after so much time apart, yet instead of them having a long drawn out push and pull - she threw them right back together.  Yes, there is still the mental anxiety with each of them, wondering why they haven't been together all this time, or if they could ever really make it work.  But neither of them denies any feelings or chemistry from the start. All to often you read a book where the characters fight the connection and it feels like so much filler. I didn't get that with Loving Dallas, thankfully. That aspect felt very grown up. 

However, these two haven't quite grown up.  They still make many mistakes. Mistakes that they had already made years before. I wish there had been a little more character growth in that area. By the end of the book they seem to have caught on though and I liked how it all worked out.
If you are a fan of second chance romance, country rock star hotties that go after what they want, or not too angst driven love stories - there is a good chance you'll end up Loving Dallas. See what I did there? ;)

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