I am a huge fan of Caisey Quinn's but I have to admit that I put off reading this book for quite awhile. I wanted to read Leaving Amarillo as soon as I saw the gorgeous cover, and honestly I had no idea what the story was even about. But then I heard that there was a cliffhanger and I decided to wait. Usually cliffhangers aren't my favorite, but I can deal with them easy enough. I was really glad that I waited here though, because as soon as I got to the end I was ready for the next one! Luckily now that they have all been released, there is no waiting if you haven't already started the series. Just make sure you are ready to spend some time reading though as once you start you are not going to want to stop! I couldn't put this book down, and I barely came up for air.
Dixie and Dallas Lark lost their parents when they were kids and were raised by their grandparents. But with the inspiration from her grandfather, she learned to play the fiddle and grew up with an appreciation for music. Now ten years later, Dixie and Dallas are in a band with their best friend Gavin, who Dixie has been in love with since they were kids. Though Gavin has never made a move on her and they have never crossed that line, Dixie is determined to finally get him to see her as more than just his friend's little sister. So when Dixie decides to put a plan in motion to spend one night with him and get him out of her system, she has no idea just how much everything will change.
I was frustrated with both of these characters throughout this story and they did several things that had me wanting to slap them around a bit. That isn't to say that I didn't like them, because I really did. I just had some problems with some of their choices and actions. Dixie is talented and sweet, and I loved how much she cared about those in her life. She would do anything for anyone she really cared about, and yet that was also what drove me the most nuts about her. She would fight for Gavin and refused to hide her feelings from him, yet she also gave up everything for both him and Dallas. She always put others first, and sometimes I wanted her to focus on what she needed and wanted. Gavin had a rough childhood and the bright spots for him were Dixie and Dallas. He had made a promise to Dallas to stay away from Dixie, and I liked that he was trying to be a good friend. At the same time that bothered me as Dixie made him happy and was always there for him and yet he refused to let himself go there for so long because of a promise he had made to Dallas. These two had such intense chemistry, and it was clear that it had always been there between them. I don't know how Dallas didn't see what was happening right in front of him with the sparks that were flying. Dixie and Dallas had a great connection, and I really liked that they had a lot of history. They had grown up together and knew each other really well, yet they were still getting to know one another and their bond just continued to get stronger.
If you have read anything by Caisey Quinn, you will know that her stories definitely have angst and Leaving Amarillo was no different. There was a lot going on here for the characters to face, and I will admit at times it was a lot. Their band was beginning to take off and they had issues there, then there was the stuff going on between Gavin and Dixie and them worrying about Dallas finding out. All the while there was something going on with Gavin that Dixie was in the dark about and yet Dallas knew about it. I really thought that we would get some sort of explanation about that here, and while we did get clues and I could make some guesses, there wasn't anything actually revealed besides some bits and pieces. If I didn't have the next book ready to read when I finished this one, I think I would have been extremely frustrated. I also have to say that I really wanted to throat punch the band's new manager and Gavin's mom. Each of them definitely deserved it at times, and I hated that neither of them were dealt with here. I can only hope that they each get what is coming to them as the series continues. I love Caisey's writing style and I am a huge fan of her books even if they are filled with angst and frustrate me at times. The stories are good though and Caisey Quinn has a way of drawing you in right from the start and not letting you go until you have read the entire book in one sitting. I would recommend this book and I think a lot of readers will really enjoy this one. Just keep in mind that this book is not a standalone and be prepared to dive into Loving Dallas as soon as you finish Leaving Amarillo.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**