Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn | Review

March 17, 2015 Book Reviews 4 ★★★★

Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn | ReviewLeaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn
Series: Neon Dreams #1
Published by William Morrow on March 17th 2015
Pages: 352
Format: eArc
Source: Edelweiss

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.

Can I get a cold beer? Or better yet, just give me the ice bucket to dump over my head, because gosh darn it, I need to cool down! LEAVING AMARILLO proves yet again, Caisey Quinn’s immeasurable talent to create characters that will grab hold of your heart and take you along on their journey filled with laughter, tears and oh so hot hijinks, hence the need for the ice bucket!

LEAVING AMARILLO is an exhilarating look at life on the road for three young southern musicians as they follow their dreams to the big times, learning along the way that the blinding bright lights may promise all that glitters but fame comes at a cost and love and happiness might just be that price that needs to be paid.

At age nineteen, Dixie has left behind a prestigious music scholarship to rejoin the band, she and her brother Dallas and childhood friend Gavin formed after the siblings came to stay with their grandparents, newly orphaned and lost in grief. Bestowed with the gift of music, Dixie and Dallas find a purpose through endless music lessons on the porch of their rundown, backcountry house, guided by their Papa and Grandma. Dixie with her fiddle, Gavin on drums and Dallas with guitar, combines country with music strains as diverse as RnB and mainstream pop to create a fresh fusion sound that soon catches the attentions of the crowds and the music biz. The chance to play a music festival in Austin could be life changing as long as they keep it together and give it their all. However a record deal and her name in lights isn’t the only thing keeping Dixie up at night.

Harbouring a crush on Gavin that has slowly grown to love over the years, Dixie can no longer keep quiet however Gavin, whose life has never been picture perfect, and desperate to hold onto the only family and stability he’s ever known, is determined to keep his promise to Dallas and stay away from his little sister. Thrown together in close quarters, as the music flows and fire ignites in their souls, they soon realise that fame isn’t the only dream worth fighting for. A one night, no strings proposal sounds like the perfect way to dampen down the passion and get it out of their systems once and for all. One night will change everything – will it be a love ballad or a country song of heartbreak?

Quinn knows how to write the female MCs I simply adore and Dixie was no different. Fierce and passionate, yet with a kindness and compassion that belies her young age, I sympathised with her from the first pages. Strong and hard working, the love she has for her family and her willingness to sacrifice her happiness to ensure theirs was admirable. Her love of music was clear to see and her innate understanding of the fiddle, was a true partnership that went beyond notes and chords and allowed her to pour every unspoken feeling of tenderness and intimacy she had for Gavin into her music.  Gavin was a favourite from the beginning, he may appear to be the walking definition of swagger and a lady-killer but beyond that lays a heart of gold and it’s clear he would do anything for Dallas and Dixie. His back-story was simply heartbreaking and I wanted nothing more than for him to grab hold of the happiness he deserves and never let go. The chemistry between Gavin and Dixie was breathtaking and their scenes together sizzled hotter than a fourth of July barbecue. Caisey Quinn knows how to write her smut but boy did she take it to the next level. That ice bucket will come in handy either to dunk your head or just to sit in depending on what part of the book you’re at! And crack a window because they’re sure to fog up too! Dallas was a character that took me longer to warm up to and to be honest that’s probably because I was so caught up in Dixie and Gavin’s trysts that I didn’t pay much attention but I’m looking forward to learning more about him in the next book.

The pace never falters in this book from the moment it gets its hooks in you, providing a story with plenty of drama, sex, fun and heartbreak.

From the stomping beat of honky tonk to the soulful strains of bluegrass, every note that’s played in the pages of this book accosts your senses and pulls you into the electric atmosphere described and leaves your ears ringing long after you close the book. From Dixie’s raw emotional fiddle playing, to the twang of Dallas’ guitar and the rhythmic drumming from Gavin, it’s stunning how Caisey Quinn puts you right there in the crowd, whooping and hollering and aching for this young trio to succeed. Just like in her previous music infused novels, LEAVING AMARILLO takes you on a rip roaring musical adventure that will leave you breathless.

Full of southern charm, you’ll gladly follow this trio’s journey from the quiet life beside dirt roads with crickets chirping, to the pounding beat and neon lights of the biggest stages in Texas. A story of sacrifice, love, family and following your dreams, LEAVING AMARILLO is a hit that will catch your attention and stay with you long after its finished; filled with drama, a steamy and emotional read that will leave you begging for the next book, like, NOW!






4 Responses to “Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn | Review”

  1. tonyalee

    So, do you think I would like this, and he other book, even though the music part is kinda MEH to me? I love the sound of the characters and want to give her a books try!

    Oh, *passes beer*

    • Danielle

      I think you would. It’s less angsty than GWG although she’s a bit of a horn dog at times and you’re like “remember your brain honey” at times

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