Saturday, April 19, 2014

Book Tour for Always by Amanda Weaver (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of rockstar-themed romances I'm excited to introduce you to Always by Amanda Weaver today.  This story is heart-wrenching yet immensely satisfying and by reading on you'll get a glimpse of what has me so excited.  Keep reading to get my impressions of this story and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon GC too!

From the moment they meet, their connection is perfect in every way but one.
It’s New Year’s Eve, 2006, and Justine James is fronting her dead-end band for a less-than-adoring crowd. But there’s one person there who sees what she could be—one person who changes everything for her.
Dillon Pierce clawed his way up from the LA streets with no one to count on but his best friend, Ash. Their years of struggle finally pay off when their band, Outlaw Rovers, gets signed and their single takes off. With Ash as the magnetic lead singer and Dillon as the band’s musical soul, they’re destined for greatness, provided Dillon can keep Ash from self-destructing first.
Dillon might not be fronting Outlaw Rovers, but he’s always been the only one Justine sees. She’s followed his career from afar and when he shows up at her crummy New Year’s Eve gig, nothing will stop her from meeting him. They forge an intense connection, rapidly moving from friends to musical soul mates. Justine wants much more, but she’s not willing to climb over groupies and industry bottom-feeders to make it happen. Dillon becomes a fixture in her life, but she has to figure out how to keep him out of her heart.
Outlaw Rovers begins to implode as Justine’s star is on the rise. The years that follow bring equal parts fame and ruin. For Justine, a new love supplants her old heartbreak, and Dillon has to reboot his life after losing nearly everything that matters. Despite the odds, Dillon and Justine remain devoted friends and musical collaborators. After all the missed chances, wrong turns and painful detours, can they finally find the happiness together that seemed destined from the start?

The room was still dim, only one sad lamp sitting on the floor in the corner, throwing a weak light over them. Justine’s eyes looked huge, sparkling in the shadows of her face. This was a moment, Dillon knew it. After a long afternoon of music and weed, feeling more connected to her than he’d felt to anyone since Ash back when they were kids, this was the moment. If he wanted to, he could set his guitar to the side, lean across and touch her beautiful face. He could kiss her. She’d let him. She’d kiss him back. His heart started beating faster at the thought of it. Kissing Justine. Touching her. Taking her upstairs. It could happen now. In a lot of ways, it felt like it should happen.
But then he heard Rocky’s voice in his head. If Ash was the devil on his shoulder, then Rocky was his unlikely angel, pointing out all the things he’d be better off not doing. Rocky said she was the kind of girl a guy fell hard for and she was. Justine was a girl who changed everything. She’d make a guy be a better man.
For once, he imagined the day after, not just the night before. He imagined trying to be a better man for Justine while still being the guy in the band he’d always been, and he didn’t know how to do it. This thing had taken off, like a rocket lit underneath him. All he knew how to do right now was hang on and try to enjoy the ride before it burned out. He didn’t know how to fit Justine into the picture, not the way she’d need to be with him. He didn’t know much, but he knew Justine was an all or nothing proposition. He wasn’t sure if he could give her his all, not now.
So he wouldn’t let this moment happen. He wouldn’t lean across and kiss her, even though he wanted to. He wouldn’t take her hand and lead her upstairs. Because the rest of this day was worth more than a night of sex. The music he shared with her was too damned important to gamble on a flare of lust. For once, he’d do the right thing, not the rock star thing.




As a groupie of rockstar-themed romances I've read many releases over the last year and I can honestly say this has been my favorite thus far.  It's an amazingly in-depth story, both emotionally and in regards to the music world, that completely sucked me in from the very first page to the last.  It realistically depicts the rise and fall of a band, the high cost of fame, and how reaching rock bottom can sometimes be exactly what you need to find true happiness.

Rockstar Dillon's band is just starting to gain fame as this story starts.  He's the brains behind their music, a talented man with pain from his childhood always surrounding him but fueling his talent.  His best friend since childhood and brother in shared pain, Ash, is the lead singer and together they forge a path of sex, drugs, and alcohol.  For Ash, these vices are slowly consuming him but for Dillon he's merely a bystander trying to keep Ash under control but losing his grip as alcohol becomes his favorite way to numb the pain.  The only bright spot during this chaotic time is Justine, lead singer of a band where she is becoming a star in the making.  Dillon's immediately drawn to her and their shared love of music binds them together from the moment they meet.  He's immensely attracted to her as well but knows he's no good for her but can't let her out of his life.  Being friends is difficult but anything else is unthinkable, and as his band and life falls apart he'll need her friendship more than ever.  She'll be the only person to believe in him and help him regain the muse he lost long ago.  She'll ultimately give him the family he never had just by being his friend.  I ached for Dillon from the very start as his mother cared nothing for him and left him to fend for himself at the age of twelve.  He's quiet but says so much through his music or a subtle look or small gesture.  He's extremely loyal which works against him at times but it's also appealing as he can always be counted on to help no matter how much pain he's in.

Justine is an immensely likable heroine who's worked for everything in her life.  Nothing was handed to her and because of that she deserves the fame just starting to come her way.  She loves being on stage and signing songs people can dance to but is stuck in a band helmed by an egotistical control freak jealous of her obvious talent.  Meeting Dillon changes everything for her, both professionally and emotionally, and takes her on a journey of highs and lows that kept me on the edge of my seat rooting for her to succeed.  She loved Dillon from the moment she heard his music and being around him enthralled her even more but his lifestyle leaves no room for her love so the only thing left is friendship.  As her star rises she'll rely on his friendship even more as life and love bruise her confidence and break her heart.  Things come full circle by the end of the story though to put a smile on my face with a truly HEA.

This was an intensely emotional story that goes full circle in two people's lives never pulling punches on the good or the bad.  It makes for a heart-wrenching read that's immensely rewarding for its believability.  The main characters are fully fleshed out and this made for a deep connection to the reader.  The author perfectly balanced vivid depictions of living in the chaos of the music world with the quiet of everyday life.  The sexual tension between Justine and Dillon was palpable which made their friendship heartbreaking at times since it was obvious they were made for each other and it left me rooting for that outcome no matter where life took them.  Ultimately this was an exceptional read that left me exhausted, but oh so satisfied, by the gamut of emotions I went through.  The characters were compelling and I didn't want the story to end but am looking forward to what Ms. Weaver has planned next as this story left me impressed by her talent.

My rating for this is an A+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Like many writers, Amanda Weaver spent her childhood constantly telling stories. College steered her in a different direction and into a successful career as a designer. Several years ago, she picked up writing again strictly as a hobby, to blow off some creative steam. One thing led to another, National Novel Writing Month happened, and here we are.
Amanda Weaver grew up in Florida and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, daughter and two crazy cats.


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