Series: Neon Dreams, #3
Rating: 4 Stars
Told in the first person.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Bookslapped and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Fighting for redemption . . .
I've lived most of my life in darkness, beneath the shadows of secrets and addictions. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt the only girl I'd ever loved—the one who brought me into the light. In my entire life I'd made one promise—a promise I'd intended to keep. I've broken that promise and now I have to live with the fallout. Dixie Lark hates me, and I have to tell her that I love her. I also have to tell her a truth that might destroy us forever.
Can she love me, even if she can't forgive me?
Learning to move on . . .
Gavin Garrison broke his promise to my brother and he broke my heart in the process.I may never love anyone the way I've loved him, but at least I won't spend my life wondering "what if." We had our one night and he walked away. I'm beginning to move on, but my brother's wedding and a battle of the bands are about to throw us together again.
Our band is getting a second chance, but I don't know if I can give him one. How do you hand your heart back to the person who set it on fire once already?
Missing Dixie buy links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo
Just like in the previous two books, the author includes a Playlist for her readers. In my copy, the playlist was at the back of the book. So if you like to listen to music as you read, you may want to check out the list on this blog first. Or listen to your favorite country artist(s).
Dixie Leigh Lark comes into the same establishment where Gavin Garrison is. This is when you realize that this book picks up where the last book left off. If you’ve not been following this series, you may want to go back to the beginning first so that you understand the characters. To also see how they got to where they are at this point in time.
Our characters have issues that always seem to interrupt their lives. Gavin is a man who doesn’t like to share and seems to internalize. You also see a lot of emotion with this one. It’s something that makes these characters seem so real. Not everyone’s life is all hearts and flowers and relationships don’t come easy to everyone. It’s a story that doesn’t romanticize those people that are trying to make it with their band.
For some, this story may be hard to read – especially for those who also have personal demons they are trying to fight. For Dixie it’s about personal growth. It also shows how young she is. The author shows how music seems to free Dixie. The author also shows how hard Gavin is trying to turn his life around but it seems that for every step forward he takes two back – you have to feel sorry for him. And on top of that, the author writes about a boy that will pull at your heartstrings – Liam.
I think that you will find that the author has stayed true to her series. None of the characters are perfect. It’s a realistic telling of the lives that intertwine in this story. As a reader, which would you be happier to read? A story where the lives are perfect from beginning to end? Or a story where the characters lives may mirror your life or even someone you know? The author ends this trilogy with an interesting ending.
When Dixie finishes, she takes her place across the altar and I can’t tear my stare from her. Her sapphire eyes shine like diamonds with the promise of tears.
I wish I could give you this.
Right as I’m about to look away, her gaze collides with mine. My heart swells in my chest. I have so much to say and no words to say it.
I love you.
She doesn’t even flinch at the turmoil I know is probably apparent on my face. She just gives me a confident smile and a knowing look as if to say, One day.
One day that will be us. A future.
I fucking hope so.
I just have no clue how we’ll ever manage to get there.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Caisey Quinn lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series and several other New Adult Romance titles. Her Neon Dreams series about a country rock crossover band paying their dues in life and in love on their rocky road to fame is now available from Avon/William Morrow.
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A NOTE FROM CAISEY QUINN:
When I look back on the year it took to write this series, it feels like a blur. A beautiful, bright, neon lit blur. I have to confess that I didn’t know exactly how the Neon Dreams series would end when I began writing it. I knew the band would finally make it big. I knew that they would never want to share their backstory but that it would be a story worth telling. What I didn’t know was how real their hearts and souls would become to me. While Liam may not be Dixie and Gavin’s biological son, I did learn this year that family truly does come in the form of people who love and support you in both the best and worst of times and that it’s not always comprised of people who are related by blood or marriage. Liam was born from that discovery.
When Dallas went on the road and Dixie stayed behind, some people were outright angry. I was. At both of them. I was confused about why this felt right. I didn’t know Liam existed yet. I didn’t know he was going to be wandering by an old house in the backside of Amarillo alone and afraid. I didn’t realize that Dixie had to be there giving piano lessons to other kiddos so that Liam would hear and be drawn to her.
Everyone was exactly where they needed to be—even when I hadn’t yet realized it.
So my first big thank you is for you, for those of you who read this series and allowed me to figure it out as I went. For each of you who leaves a review somewhere—anywhere—and tells a friend to read it, thank you times two. Times ten. Times infinity, as my daughter says.
My second thank you is to my editor, Amanda, who didn’t tell me to take a hike when Liam entered the picture and it meant a rewrite of the second half of the book and that I wouldn’t make my initial deadline. I love you. I thank God for you, for your always having my back and for allowing me to write the story I believed in, the way that I needed to write it.
Thank you to my agent, Kevan, for also not dropping the crazy lady who said “So . . . my life is a mess and I need this book to go a different way and I am going to hunker down into the bat cave until I get it right.” Promise not to do that again . . . at least not on purpose.
To the members of CQ’s Road Crew and the Backwoods Belles, you ladies have been my family this year. You have been my light in the darkness, pulling me out of one of the toughest and most devastating situations I’ve ever been in. I literally don’t know if I could do my job without your unconditional love and support. Scratch that. I couldn’t. I know I couldn’t. Same goes for the bloggers who share, review, post, and rant and rave about all the book things. I love y’all. To the moon and back and around again.
To the amazing authors I am blessed to call colleagues and friends, thank you. I don’t know what I did to deserve you, to even get to know you much less read your work and have my books read and loved on by you, but I’m glad I did it—whatever it was!
Lastly, to anyone who supports music and musicians in general, thank you for existing. Music matters. The epilogue from Liam is very much nonfiction in my world, and I have someone I love dearly that I believe was saved by music. You know that feeling you get when you hear that song—that one that causes you to step off the treadmill or pull the car over or freeze in place and hold your breath and strain to hear because it reaches that deep, dark, hidden place where your secrets dwell—it’s a real, tangible thing, that feeling. It connects us—especially when we are positive no one else in the entire world could possibly understand what we’re going through. And let’s face it, life is better with a soundtrack.
Thank you to every single person who had a hand in helping this series about a small-town ragtag band become more than I ever dreamed it could be.
Thank you for making my dreams come true.
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