Monday, May 11, 2015

#Review: Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn - 3.5 Wine Glasses

22571023Title: Leaving Amarillo 
Series: Neon Dreams #1
Author: Caisey Quinn
Format: ebook, 352 pages
Published: March 17th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 0062366823 
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: edelweiss
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

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. 

Crystal's Thoughts:
Leaving Amarillo is my first jaunt into the writings of Caisey Quinn and I was hooked for a good part of the book. 

The story circles around three young adults that have known each other since childhood, trying to make it big with their country band, Leaving Amarillo. Dixie and Dallas Lark overcame the tragedy of loosing their parents at a young age with the help of their loving grandparents and the escape of music. Gavin Garrison comes from a broken home on the wrong side of the tracks, but spent more time at Dixie and Dallas' grandparent's home then his own. Now, ten years later, their band is on the cusp of stardom but Dixie wants more. She wants Gavin. However, Gavin made a promise to his best friend, Dallas, years ago and no matter how much he may want Dixie, he is not going to break his word. One promise, and one night though threatens not only their bond, but everything the trio has worked for. 

Caisey Quinn delivers a well-written story of a young woman's journey through discovery, love, heartache, and sacrifice with this new adult contemporary romance, Leaving Amarillo. I would say this borders the line of young adult though because the heroine of the story, Dixie, who's point-of-view it is told in, is nineteen and not experienced in the world.  She introduces readers to herself, as as well as her older brother Dallas, and his best friend, Gavin, which make up the members of their band. You can tell right from the beginning that Dixie , who plays the fiddle, is the heart of the band, while Dallas, lead singer and guitarist, is the brains and Gavin, drums, the backbone. Each play an integral role in the story but Dixie and Gavin are the main focus. 

I liked Dixie, she was a wonderful leading lady and her voice drew me into the story, however she is young and came across as immature at times. Dixie must make some hard choices that will affect not only her life, but that of her brother's and Gavin's. The sexual tension between her and Gavin is through the roof and stolen moments between the two added some sizzling passion to the plot. The chemistry between them is palpable but also complicated. I empathized with Dixie and understood her frustration and anger when it came to Gavin. Gavin was a deliciously mysterious character. I wanted so much more of him and was happy that the epilogue was in his point-of-view, but I couldn't help but think that it may be too little, too late...

Leaving Amarillo was a page turner until about 80%, and then the plot stalled...I'm not sure what happened but it was like a semi driving down the interstate and then all of a sudden their was a cement barrier in front of it that brought it's momentum to an abrupt halt. The flow all of a sudden dragged and no longer engaged me. Finally though, I reached the end and unfortunately found it to be abrupt and disappointing. Then we come to find out that the next installment in the series is Dallas, who I found to be offputting and unlikable, and Robyn's book instead of the continuation of Dixie and Gavin's story. Frustrating to say the least. *sigh* I will be reading it though, if only to get more of Dixie and Gavin's story, and did all together, enjoy the story. I would recommend it to contemporary romance fans that enjoy music themed stories with familial ties who don't mind being left hanging at the end. 

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