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I Belong

Review: Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn

Leaving AmarilloTitle: Leaving Amarillo

Author: Caisey Quinn

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Series: Neon Dreams (Book #1)

Publication Date: March 17, 2015

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062366815 (HarperCollins)

ISBN-13: 978-0062366818 (HarperCollins)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: A heart wrenching story with sexy romance, interesting characters, and tons of sexual tension! I loved the music atmosphere and the ending left me dying to see what happens next!

Opening Sentence: There is a lot to be said for breakup sex.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Dixie Lark is a nineteen year old fiddle player for the band Leaving Amarillo. The band is made up of her older brother Dallas and their childhood friend Gavin. For the last year of Dixie’s life she spent it in a very prestigious musical college where she had the chance to make it big as a violin player, but when her loving grandfather had a heart attack she left school to go home and take care of him. Playing in an orchestra never felt quite right, and she missed the band more than she ever thought possible. There are only a few months left of summer, and the band has a big gig at the Austin Musical festival coming up that could give them their big break. If not, Dixie might not have any other choice but to go back to school and live a life she doesn’t want.

There is one other complication with Dixie’s plan, she happens to be madly in love with Gavin, the drummer from the band. Ever since Dixie and her brother Dallas moved in with their grandparents after their parents were killed in an accident, Gavin has been one of their best friends. He doesn’t come from the best home life and Dallas has warned him multiple times that he is to never touch Dixie. As things start to heat up in Austin Dixie might get one night with the man of her dreams, but what will be left after she finally gets what she has always wanted?

Dixie is an interesting character that I had some issues with, but overall I really liked her. She is this sweet girl with a very broken past, and she has had to deal with more heartache then most people in her fairly short life. I loved that she was completely oblivious to how gorgeous she is and the fact that she played the fiddle was just awesome. She is one of those characters that you easily like, and with her sad history it’s impossible not to feel sympathetic towards her story. The one thing I didn’t care for was that she was a little too rash at times. She comes across as a fairly put together young lady that knows what she wants, so when she makes some of her rash decisions it just didn’t seem to fit with her personality. But on the other hand she is a very passionate person and people like that can sometimes make bad decisions without much thought to the consequences. For the most part I thought she was a great character and I am very interested to see where her story goes next.

I have always had a soft spot for musicians and bad boys, so of course, I found Gavin completely sexy! He has that brooding, mysterious vibe that just makes me swoon! He is also a loyal friend and underneath that entire facade he is actually a really good guy. Sure he is a total player and he has some serious demons he is going to have to overcome to have a good future, but that just made him more interesting to get to know. His relationship with Dixie was sweet, intense, and very HOT! They have some unbelievable chemistry between them and the sexual tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife. I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop and I think that they are one of those couples that really complement each other. She brings out the sweet more gentle side of him, and he brings out the more confident spunky side of her. There are still some things that haven’t been revealed about Gavin’s past, so it will be interesting to see how that ends up affecting their relationship!

Leaving Amarillo is a steamy new adult romance that is immersed with emotion, heart break, and hope. While I wouldn’t say that it was the most original story it was still a very entertaining read. The entire cast of characters are all very intriguing and there are a few of the secondary characters that I am really interested in getting to know better. I loved the whole musical atmosphere that was constantly present throughout the whole story and Quinn did a great job bringing a lot of emotion into the story. There were a few times that I felt like the story dragged a little bit, but for the most part the pacing was pretty good. The ending was way different then I was expecting and I am still undecided if I liked it or not. It left me wondering what is going to happen next, but it also felt rushed and unfinished. I didn’t love everything about this story, but I did find it to be a great quick read and I would recommend it to new adult romance fans!

Notable Scene:

Gavin’s lips land roughly on my partially open mouth and steal the words about to slip out. Light flashes behind my eyes and my hands instinctually fly to the back of his head as if I could permanently seal him to me.

His fingers press into the flesh beneath my bottom as he grips me tightly, never once pulling his mouth from mine, and lifting me to his waist. My back hits the brick wall behind me but I barely register the impact.

He breathes into me, filling me, and I take his offering greedily pulling his tongue and lips into my mouth harder than is appropriate for a first kiss. His teeth graze my bottom lip and I tug at his, thrusting against him uncontrollable. I need to be close, even though it’s physically impossible.

Maybe it’s pity, maybe it’s lust, or maybe this kiss is just to shut me up. But I know this may very well be all I ever get so I am taking ravenously until he stops or one us passes out from lack of oxygen.

Neon Dreams Series:

1. Leaving Amarillo

2. Loving Dallas (June 16, 2015)

3. Missing Dixie (October 27, 2015)


FTC Advisory:  William Morrow/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Leaving Amarillo.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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