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?
*was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
I want to start off by saying how impressed I was with this being the first novel I have read by Amanda Weaver. I found Always to be extremely well written and very much a true love story of friendship. Isn’t that where love should start?
Always is a standalone novel but you will want more of this rock and roll group. Always begins with two Rock Stars, one at the top of his game and one up and coming, and they forge a friendship like no other and surrounded by music. Justine James and Dillon Pierce stand together as friends and face everything life has to throw them and in the end we get a HEA. I found this story one of the most realistic reads. The problems and hurtles that they each face and experience can be reflected in everyday life. The glamour and allure of major rock stardom is stripped to the bare bones and some of the ugly is shown.
The characters are amazing and honest and we all have friends that take us down roads that we may not belong on. I found the relationship with the secondary characters to be just as important as the main characters and really they are what drove the story. Yes, this is a romance but it is about falling in love at maybe not the right time. I really enjoyed Justine and Dillon’s story. It was a “clean” read; drugs and sex and lots of happenings but not descriptive over the top long details.
ALWAYS by Amanda Weaver receives 4 out of 5 Platypires!!!
TEXAS HUGS AND HAPPY READING!!!
INSPIRATION and EXCERPT:
For a long time I’ve wanted to write a story about a friendship mixed with unrequited love. I liked the idea of a girl in love with a guy and then getting over him. Like, really over him, and still preserving their friendship. And then he falls in love with her. That dynamic had been dancing around in my mind for quite a while.
I’ve always had a soft spot for artists of all kinds. I’m an artist myself, and I love the idea of people bonding over what they create together. It’s powerful and the work exists outside of whatever personal dynamics people might be dealing with. The art can tie them together even when everything else might be pulling them apart. Mix that together with this theme of badly-timed love and Always slowly started shaking out.
Brushing my teeth is golden writing time for me. I can’t tell you how many story-telling problems I’ve solved while brushing my teeth before bed. That’s exactly when Always started. Imagine me, toothbrush still in my mouth, toothpaste dripping off my lip, while I furiously typed an exchange of dialogue into the notes function on my iphone before it slipped away from me. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve started a story that way and hopefully it’s not the last. Anyway, that first bit of dialogue, which came before there was any kind of plot or characters, is still more or less in the book, at the tail end of Part 1. Let’s hear it for toothbrush inspiration.
From Chapter 3:
The steel gate clanged behind her. “Justine, wait.”
Justine spun around to face Dillon. He was breathing hard from sprinting after her.
“That is not what I came here for!” She stabbed a finger towards the backstage entrance. “I’m not some fucking groupie who’s happy to wait in line just to give you a blow job!”
He held up both hands as he moved closer. “I know that. I know you’re not. And that’s not what I wanted from you when I asked you here.”
“Right. I forgot. You wanted to talk about music.”
“Yes, I did.” He stepped closer, into the pool of light from the streetlight behind her. His eyes were wide, his pupils tiny pinpricks, and he was still breathing hard, harder than he should have been from just chasing after her.
He’s lit, Justine thought miserably. Could the night become any more of a cliché?
“So where were we going to fit in the rock and roll? Before the sex but after the drugs?”
He sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. I was hanging out with Ash after the show and things got a little crazy. You know how it is.”
She laughed, short and humorless. “Yeah, I know how it is.”
“Listen, I still want to hang out with you.”
“I’m not waiting around until the coke wears off and the girls go home—”
“Not tonight,” he cut her off. “It’s too crazy back there and I meant it when I said I want to talk to you. I do. But not here, like this.”
Justine looked down at her feet while she thought about it. She was a smart girl and the smart thing to do would be to turn around and go home. But she also knew she and Dillon had something. Music, for sure. Maybe something else, too. It was the “something else” that made her nervous. She was attracted to him, she couldn’t lie to herself about it. But she didn’t want him like this, like that girl in his dressing room had him, and not if it wasn’t going to matter to him.
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
Amanda Weaver grew up in Florida and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, daughter and two crazy cats.