Loving Dallas (Neon Dreams #2), by Caisey Quinn
Publish Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) Dallas Lark is so close to achieving his dream of making it big in country music that he can taste it. Arriving in Nashville after signing with sexy, successful manager Mandy Lantram, his life goes from tragedy and turmoil to one lucky break after another—except it isn’t really luck because Dallas has sacrificed everything for his career, leaving behind his band, sister, best friend, and high school sweetheart, Robyn, in the pursuit of fame.
Robyn Breeland is a successful marketing coordinator and promotions specialist for a thriving liquor distributor out of Texas. She loves every aspect of her job: coming up with new ideas, traveling, hosting promotional parties and exclusive events—until it brings her face-to-face with the man who broke her heart, prompting her to erect a steel cage around it.
When their paths collide and they’re forced to work together, Dallas and Robyn realize that the old spark they thought they’d extinguished might still be a burning flame.
Loving Dallas was exactly what I needed in this rollercoaster of emotions that is the Neon Dreams series. The real angst and tears are with Gavin and Dixie, but Loving Dallas takes the focus off them and places it on Dixie's older brother Dallas as he goes off to seek fame and fortune alone.
After Leaving Amarillo's new manager convinces Dallas to go it alone, he becomes the opening act for one of the hottest country singers in the country on his new tour. Personally, I couldn't believe at first that Dallas was okay with leaving Dixie behind. And then, when Gavin reminds Dallas of why HE can't join him either, Dallas became a one-man act. Dallas was so caught up in the fact that he might actually achieve his dream of making it big that, for a time, he convinced himself that leaving his bandmates behind was a necessary evil.
Handing over my boarding pass, I adjust the guitar on my back and take the first step toward a neon dream I've been chasing for as long as I can remember.
Dallas' tour is being sponsored by a local liquor, and it just so happens that Dallas' old girlfriend Robyn works PR for them and is managing the tour. We met her in Leaving Amarillo, and we get the impression that she and Dallas were once very serious, but that he broke her heart for some reason. One thing is clear - it didn't end well between them. And, now they have to work together.
Robyn tries really hard to keep Dallas at a distance. But, honestly, she stood no chance. The man is sex on a stick. And he can sing. As Dallas and Robyn get caught up in each other again, things get complicated... again. She shouldn't be fooling around with one of the tour participants. It's not professional behavior, and she could lose the job she loves. And, Robyn is not part of Dallas' Master Life Plan right now - being super famous and partaking in all the perks is. But there was a reason they were so good together in high school. And, that reason never went away.
Robyn and Dallas were so good together, too. I loved their relationship and their chemistry. I love that Robyn remained friends with Dixie even after Dallas dumped her, and now Robyn uses Dixie as her sounding board. And, I love that even two people as close as Dallas and Robyn were still had secrets. I mean, the secrets weren't the part I loved - the spilling of them was. It cleared things up for both Dallas and Robyn as to why they broke up in the first place. And it helped clarify things in the present as well.
As I mentioned - the focus during Loving Dallas was not on Gavin and Dixie. Dallas' and Robyn's story was a lot lighter, so it gave the reader a bit of a break from all the heartache. A much needed break. Especially if you decide to binge read the series like I did. At the end, the focus returns to Dixie and Gavin and whether there is a future for Leaving Amarillo, but the future of Dallas and Robyn is at least decided.
Admittedly, I was so wrapped up in Dixie and Gavin that, when I realized they weren't going to be around much in Loving Dallas, I was pretty bummed out. But, I got over that very quickly as I got caught up in what was happening with Dallas and Robyn. It was easy to do. It's wonderfully written. It's a poignant, yet exciting, second chance love story, and I loved every minute of it.