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?
***Gifted via Edelweiss and the Publisher for my honest review ***
OMG… how I loved Missing Dixie, in fact the whole series… I wish they were a real band! As their music would be fantastic. From the moment Caisey Quinn described Dixie I was entranced, a mixture of sass and good old fashioned ethics she wears her heart on her sleeve from the start I have hoped that she could have her happy ending. Gavin, oh my what can I say about our broken drummer… I wanted to hug him then slap him silly for his constant bad choices!
He is lucky that our Bluebird had the staying power to keep hoping he would finally see the light.
“We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in,” – Hemingway – I love this, its so perfect for Gavin and Dixies story
In a way I could understand his choice in lying to Dixie, but it was a bad choice, and one that caused Dixie pain. But as Caisey says at the end ( I advise you to read the acknowledgement at the end)
I also loved the Acknowledgment – especially Caisey’s quote about “Everyone was exactly where they needed to be—even when I hadn’t yet realized it.”
When the guy you love has more demons than angels on his shoulder it can be hard for those who love them, and Caisey puts so much emotion into this book, I thought that this summed Gavin up quite eloquently
Another Quote I loved from the book was:
‘He’s not Clark Kent or Captain America. I always knew that. Gavin is much more of a Bruce Wayne minus the money. He’s a dark hero fighting to be good when we all know he could go either way.’
Although when Dallas left to pursue his chance to make it big in book 2. leaving Dixie behind was hard for her, but necessary. While she was on her own she grew stronger, grew up, and in this book she becomes her own person, who knows what she wants and does everything in her power to get it.
And in being left behind, she was led down a path where her huge heart and passion for music brought joy to those innocents who have not had the best start in life. When Dixie starts her business ‘Over the Rainbow’ she brings a brightness into an otherwise bleak world for the underprivileged kids in Amarillo which is where the star of this book is introduced, Liam… The closed off, scrap of a thing who reminds Dixie so much of Gavin, gosh I cried buckets during this book, as well as smiled and laughed too.
When you’ve read it you will understand what I mean, Liam was the heart of the book, his epilogue was so sweet, heart wrenching and fabulous all at the same time.
The series has been a favourite of mine I hope one day to get a signed copy of them… Please Caisey Quinn come to the UK
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.
This is a book that is about music, to see what inspiration Caisey used for the series listen here
I lost a lot of time focusing on the pain and the past. But when I stopped letting it consume me, I found myself in the same place where I always find myself. In music.
When I stopped moping and feeling sorry for myself, I made some changes in my life. I’ve found happiness and joy in giving piano and violin lessons to underprivileged local kids and it’s been such a successful program that I had to get a business license and name it. Over the Rainbow is my passion project and I’ve formed friend- ships with many of the parents of the kiddos I teach. Maybe it’s not performing onstage or coming to life beneath the lights, but I love it just the same.
If there is anything I’ve learned about gifts, like the gift of being able to play an instrument, it’s that they should be shared with the world one way or another. I also learned a valuable lesson from my grandparents that it took traveling around the country living their dream to fully comprehend. They didn’t get to live their dream but it didn’t mean they weren’t happy. Together they lived a full, satisfied life and they had plenty of love leftover to give to the two orphans they ended up raising. Life doesn’t always turn out how you expect and sometimes parts of you get broken along the way, but there is always hope and even broken pieces can be rebuilt into something beautiful. My heart is a piece of mosaic art at this point.
Standing there, staring at myself in the glass, I vow to focus on the music, on grabbing hold of what joy I have in my life and not letting go.
Most important? I vow never again to hand my heart over to Gavin Garrison.
At least not until he hands me his first.
“Missed you at rehearsal dinner,” I text to his number. “Hope everything is okay.”
We do two more walk-throughs, me with my invisible Gavin, before heading into a formal dining room for dinner.
I check my phone several times, finding exactly what I expect to time and time again.
No new messages.
This past year, traveling on my own, meeting new people, coming home, and establishing a life for myself—one that didn’t include my brother or Gavin or the band—it hasn’t been easy but it has made me a stronger, more independent version of myself. I have grieved the loss of my grandfather, met new people, seen things I never thought I would, started a successful music instruction business, and moved on from the pain of knowing Gavin didn’t want me the way I wanted him. All of this I’ve done alone. No overprotective brother giving orders or watching my every move, no broody drummer distracting me at every turn, and no one to answer to except myself.
I didn’t reach out to him, even when I knew he was home. Because one thing I decided over these last few months is that I did the reaching in Austin. It’s his turn. He has to decide if he can do this—us, me and him, the band, all of it—for real this time, not with only half his heart.
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.
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.