Every dream comes with a price…
I’m familiar with it.
I've had to leave behind everyone I cared about—my sister, my best friend, my band, and my high school sweetheart—in order to chase my dream of making it in Nashville.
But when Robyn Breeland walks back into my life, it’s as if the universe has decided to give me a second chance. I’m just not sure it’s one I’m willing to take.
I practically majored in it.
Dallas Lark was the first boy I ever loved and the one who'd shattered my heart into pieces. But I’ve moved on. Working in promotions at Midnight Bay Bourbon, I’m too busy to sit around moping over my ex. But when my company decides to sponsor his tour, I’ll have to face him whether I’m ready to or not. Dallas is determined to drive me to distraction, and my body begs me to let him.
Trouble is, my heart can’t tell the difference between a second chance and making the same mistake twice.
I love books that are part of a series yet standalones. Part of me would love to say that this is a stand alone, and I do think it can be read alone but I also think it’s better after having read Leaving Amarillo.
I had a hard time with this book. Don’t get me wrong, the book was good, very enjoyable; but with the way Dallas so easily let the stupid manager cut his sister out of the band in the first book (Leaving Amarillo), I just couldn’t get past my anger at him. (I’m known to hold grudges). It seemed like every time I’d start getting into his story, there’d be a scene where he was all protective of his sister and I’d get ticked off all over again. I just kept thinking “Where was this guy when your bitch of a manager cut her out of the band!?”
As for Robyn, I really liked her. But I really wish she had told Dallas about her mom. When the book started and Dallas and Robyn first got back together, I kept wondering why Robyn dumped him. If the info was given in book 1, I didn’t remember it. But I was disappointed to find out that it was Robyn not telling Dallas about her mom. It just didn’t seem like a good reason to break up and I hated that she kept it from him.
Dallas and Robyn had great chemistry. It practically jumped off the page…er…screen of my kindle. The best part of the book was that there is a HEA for Dallas and Robyn, unlike for Dixie and Gavin, who’s story is still unresolved (<--- See, grudge.)
Overall, this was a really good book. I had some issues but I do enjoy the author’s writing and stories. I can’t wait to read the conclusion of Dixie and Gavin’s story!
The universe must hate me. No, it must downright fucking despise me.
Of all the concerts in all the world, she has to be at mine. In fucking Denver of all places. Literally the last place in the universe I would expect to see her.
My mind can’t stop replaying our exchange. Or how lovingly that dress clung to her mouthwatering curves. Seeing her conjured up memories I keep firmly locked in the box of Robyn that I never open. Ever.
Seeing her unexpectedly reminded me of the first time I ever laid eyes on her and practically transported me back in time.
“God, I love this song,” she’d announced the night we met. “Come dance with me.”
She’d grabbed my hand with surprising strength for a petite redhead who couldn’t have weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet. She had the kind of raspy voice that instantly made you think of dirty talk. Or maybe that was just me. I had just turned sixteen and was basically a hard-on with a pulse.
Gavin had raised his eyebrows and smirked as she dragged me closer to the truck blaring the music. She shook her sexy ass and sang at the top of her lungs, off key, but proudly off key. I couldn’t take my eyes or my hands off her. For several years.
1. Smoke – A Thousand Horses
2. Wheels Rollin – Jason Aldean
3. Hope You Get Lonely – Cole Swindell
4. Love You Like That – Canaan Smith
5. Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
I should’ve changed clothes.
It’s the only thought I can hold on to as the cabdriver drops me in front of Rosa’s Diner, a small fifties-themed place tucked between a run-down hardware store and an all-night pharmacy.
For God’s sakes, I still have my Kickin’ Up Crazy tour sponsor pass dangling from the Midnight Bay lanyard around my neck.
Nice, Robyn. Very sexy.
I yank it off and shove it in my purse knowing that I should not care about being sexy. This is just pancakes with an old friend. An old friend who might not even show.
Just as I whip out my compact to check my makeup, I see him out of the corner of my eye. Dallas beat me here, probably because I took a twenty-five-minute detour of indecisiveness. Snapping the compact shut, I pace for a few minutes.
“It’s not a big deal, Robyn. Stop acting like a teenager having lunch with the varsity quarterback. It’s just Dallas,” I whisper-yell at myself. “You’re being ridiculous. Cut it out.”
I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I don’t know why, but it feels like this particular decision is much grander than it warrants.
It’s pancakes. He’s a friend. No big.
But as I open the diner door and a bell chimes overhead, his eyes meet mine and the moment feels monumental. I check the steel cage I erected around my heart the moment I learned he was going to be on this tour. Seems fairly sound, no major breaches so far. That I can feel anyway.
I give Dallas Lark the best I-am-so-over-you, this-is-totally-casual-and-it’s-all-good-in-the-neighborhood smile that I can.
His answering smirk tells me that one thing definitely hasn’t changed—even after all this time.
I’m still a crappy liar.
“Crazy Town,” Jason Aldean
“Ho Hey,” Lumineers
“Smoke,” A Thousand Horses
“This Town,” Clare Bowen and Charles Esten
“Even if It Breaks Your Heart,” Eli Young Band
“I See You,” Luke Bryan
“Texas Was You,” Jason Aldean
“Distance,” Christina Perri featuring Jason Mraz
“Dancing Away with My Heart,” Lady Antebellum
“Hope You Get Lonely,” Cole Swindell
“Wheels Rollin’,” Jason Aldean
“Easy,” Rascal Flatts featuring Natasha Bedingfield
“Make You Miss Me,” Sam Hunt
“Come Over,” Kenny Chesney
“Love You Like That” Canaan Smith
“It Goes Like This,” Thomas Rhett
“I Walk the Line,” Johnny Cash
“Save Your Breath” Josh Dorr
“Let Her Go,” Passenger
“Mine Would Be You,” Blake Shelton
“More than Miles,” Brantley Gilbert
“Run Away with You,” Michael Ray
“Crash My Party,” Luke Bryan
“I Won’t Give Up,” Jana Kramer
“Simple Man,” Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Say You Do” Dierks Bentley
“Play It Again,” Luke Bryan
“Tell me what you’ve sacrificed. I want to know,” Dallas says evenly, completely unfazed by my obvious psychotic break. “Because I know a thing or two about sacrifice myself. But I can tell you this much, I would never sacrifice my dignity and I sure as hell didn’t get where I am on my back or by putting anyone else on theirs.”
What the hell?
“Mandy. She’s my manager. Our relationship is strictly professional, and it will stay that way, regardless of what her intentions may or may not be.”
“Okay.” I don’t want to feel relieved. I shouldn’t care. But my tightly wound nerves loosen a fraction.
“Your turn,” he informs me, folding his muscular arms over his broad chest.
“My turn for what?”
“To tell me if you’re fucking Wade! If that’s how you got on this tour, I want you to end it. He’s a grade A piece of shit who doesn’t give a damn who he—”
Dallas doesn’t get to finish his sentence.
Because I slap him. Hard. So hard my hand is still stinging.
Our faces must be matching masks of shock and I see the replay in slow motion. I’ve never struck another human being in my entire life. And I just slapped the only man I’ve ever loved with everything I was worth.
“If you ever, ever, even think to insinuate that I got where I am on my back, I swear to God, Dallas Lark, I will make that seem like a love tap.”
I am so immensely infuriated that everything in my line of sight is tinged in red. But more than that, I’m hurt. Hurt that someone I once cared so much for, and still care about more than I’d like to admit, would think that of me. Stitched-up lacerations on my heart that were on their way to being pretty pink scars are opening wide and angry. He didn’t invite me here for pancakes to catch up or spend time with me or figure out how to work together or even attempt to make amends. Nope. He’s just jealous and arrogant and a raging asshole.
“I didn’t mean to insinuate that—”
“Get the hell away from me.” I whirl around and step right into a fresh puddle. Great. Wonderful.
“No,” Dallas says, pulling me toward him and catching me off guard. “I need you to hear me out.”
“What’s to hear? You’re an arrogant ass and I hate you.”
He gives me an infuriating smirk. “No you don’t. If that were true, you wouldn’t be this pissed.”
I struggle to find a reasonable argument to this so I say, “Fuck you, Dallas.”
“Yes, please. Come back to the hotel with me. The car service is already here.” I yank out of his grasp, causing a painful friction between our skin.
He pulls me to his chest and my anger is fading, too diluted by his scent and his intensity.
“I’m sorry, baby. I’m so damn sorry,” is all he says before kissing me brutally on the mouth. Mine pops open in shock when he pulls back to breathe. His gaze presses into mine as my mind tumbles over itself trying to process the abrupt turn of events. His thumb grazes my cheek gently. “I never meant to hurt you,” he says before devouring me again.
And Lord help me, I don’t even know which thing he’s apologizing for—the past or the present—because I’m melting. The rain, his fiery hot mouth, his hands scorching a trail over my body. I’m drowning in Dallas and I can’t stop.
Worse, I don’t even want to.
5. That he knows when to be a gentleman…and when not to be.
4. His tight jeans and cocky, country book swagger.
3. His sweet smile.
2. His singing voice.