Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review: Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dream #1) by Caisey Quinn

Title:  Leaving Amarillo
Author:  Caisey Quinn
Genre:  New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date:  March 17, 2015
Series Info:  Book 1 in the Neon Dreams series
Cover Artist:  N/A
Who/What/Why/Where/How:  I requested an e-galley of Loving Dallas from Edelweiss only to realize it was book 2 in the series.  So I purchased Leaving Amarillo with my own chump change so that I could properly read this series.
Where to Buy:  Amazon

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 to 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. 
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*sigh*  I'm sitting here staring at my computer screen at a loss for words.  I guess it's better than what I looked like last night after finishing this book:

Don't get me wrong.  I absolutely LOVED this book.  I'm just slightly emotionally wrecked because of it.  Let's get on with the gushing, shall we?

The book blurb does a really good job of giving you an idea of what the story is about so I'm not going to rehash it.  What I will say is that Ms. Caisey Quinn is a hell of a word weaver.  I was hooked from the first line and I may or may not have tried to sneak in some reading time at work.  As a hardcore music lover, I enjoyed that the backdrop for most of the story was a music festival.  She brought the different settings to life in a very authentic way.  I literally felt like I was standing in the crowd watching the band play their hearts out.  I have now added Austin to my list of places to see before I die.

I also fell in love with Dixie, Dallas and Gavin.  I loved them individually, they're interactions as a group and with one another.  My favorite though was Dixie.  I loved everything about her.  I even loved her during the moments that I wanted to shake her senseless.  Her love for music, her family and Gavin are such a tangible thing that you feel like you're sitting next to her on the emotional rollercoaster she's on.  The boys aren't that far behind on my list though.  Gavin is everything you'd expect in a character that's described as sexy and tortured.  The boy's got some demons to deal with but, you can't help but root for him and hope he's able to pull his cranium out of his posterior.  And I can't forget to mention the band's fearless leader Dallas.  Although he's not my favorite of the three, he's still a great character.  He loves and protects his sister fiercely and loves Gavin like a brother.  He's a bit stubborn and headstrong but, those aren't necessarily bad things.

Reading their journey as a band along with reading how Dixie and Gavin's relationship unfolds had me all over the emotional spectrum.  And I loved every second of it.  The story ends with some unresolved issues for all three characters but, I'm okay with that.  It's a series after all and I like knowing that I'm going to get two more books with this trio.

Favorite Scenes/Lines:

Dixie being Dixie:
There is a lot to be said for breakup sex.

No pressure.  No worries about being perfect.  Just give me one last orgasm please and thank you and goodbye.  Have a nice life, or don't.  Peace out.

Okay, now I actually am annoyed.  This conversation just took a left turn right into Piss Me Off Town.

The combination of what he's doing to me causes the remaining brain cells necessary for playful comebacks to explode on impact. 

Some of the reasons I fell in love with Caisey Quinn's writing:
That's the funny thing about music.  Part of the magic, I guess.  Sometimes it replenishes me, like I'm feeding off its energy and it fills me.  And other times, it pulls at my pain, weaves its way through the strands of my soul and wrecks it.

The sound lifts and holds me while I play my heart out.  The music flows around us and into me, lighting every single cell my body is composed of on fire from my toes to my head until I am blazing with the heat of it. 

I feel tiny beneath him, but I hold my own as we fight for control of our kisses.  We are breaths and moans and pleas in the darkness.  Flesh on flesh.  Tongues and fingers finding each other again and again.  Battling for more, like the composition I still remember.

Series Info:
Leaving Amarillo
Loving Dallas
Missing Dixie (October 27, 2015)

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Also Reviewed By:
Christy's Love of Books
Reading Lark (3.5/5)
Once Upon a Twilight (3.5/5)
Dark Faerie Tales (4/5)
Owl Always Be Reading (5/5)

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