Thursday, March 19, 2015

Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn

Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn
Release Date - March 17, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 352 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
My hit or miss relationship with New Adult novels is well documented. I had been looking for something more from them that just wasn't there. Leaving Amarillo grabbed my attention through it's musical ties, but won me over with it's charm, character and attention to plot over sexytimes. It easily became one of the top New Adult novels I've ever read.

Music is the heart of this novel, in so many ways. It breathes through Dixie and the story itself. It's a thrumming pulse of the story and there is good reason that this novel is being compared to the television show Nashville. It's a unputdownable look at the life of a band and one that takes you along for the drama filled, passionate ride.

Dixie is a good balance between the 'good girl' and the 'bad girl' tropes. She ends up seeming very genuine, flawed and real. She is someone who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it. She stands up for what she wants, and what she believes in. She makes her own choices while still weighing the impact of others. Her passion for music is engrained in her so deeply that it feels like she couldn't breathe without it. Caisey Quinn lets her heroine make mistakes and stumble while keeping her relatable.

Gavin's introduction is rather steamy. From the moment he tells her that those 'pretty boys' she's been messing obviously don't know what they are doing to every aching, agonizing moment in between he lights up the pages. He's a bad boy who, shockingly, never treats his love interest without anything other than respect. It was refreshing to see in a novel of this genre. Gavin has his issues, and those issues are going to hurt Dixie, but Gavin is never anything but honest with her. He doesn't manipulate her, or use her for his benefit. His struggle with honouring his best friend's request and his attraction to Dixie created a delicious tension and allowed Dixie to be the peruser in a sense. This novel only begins to unravel Gavin's dark and destructive secrets and I can only hope that after this storm that he and Dixie will be making beautiful music together.

The romance is sexy and there are plenty of sections that blaze with the chemistry between Gavin and Dixie. Part of the allure is the will-they-won't-they nature of their relationship. You are breathless waiting to see if they'll give into the attraction that is between them. The tension is electric, and the sparks that finally fly are brighter than any stage lights. My favourite element is the way that Caisey Quinn balances the sexytimes with substance and plot. This novel is not just racing to the next sex scene. It has a dramatic plot, and character development. These characters are why you end up caring about the rest and that is because this novel manages to be both sexy and well written.

Fans of the New Adult genre, particularly those who love music, will not want to miss this sexy behind the scenes look at a country band on the rise. It's a novel whose focus is on the characters, and a solid start to a new series. One that left me eager to follow the rest Leaving Amarillo's journey to becoming country superstars.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for doing this review. You are awesome! <3 Caisey Quinn


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