Final Encore by Scotty Cade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: Full Length (205 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Masturbation
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Edelweiss
When hunky aspiring country singer Billy Eagan heads to Nashville in search of his big break, a relationship and love are the furthest things from his mind. Taking a foreman's job at the Lazy H ranch and not knowing how he will be accepted, Billy decides to fly under the radar and stay as closeted as he can without denying who he really is. It's immediately confirmed that he made the right decision when he discovers that homophobia is still alive and well in Tennessee.
Then Billy gets his break and meets gorgeous record label executive Ian Dillon. Their worlds collide both professionally and personally, and Billy falls hard. But Ian is still haunted by the mysterious betrayal of his one and only lover, and knowing Billy possesses the power to emotionally destroy him, Ian decides to cut his losses and simply walk away. Determined not to give up on the man he loves, Billy secretly starts to unravel the past and quickly finds that it's not what it appears. Can Billy rescue Ian’s heart, or will bigotry and hatred win over love?
Nashville and all her glory, fame, and broken dreams are featured in Final Encore. The descriptions of the town, her people, and an extraordinary love story compelled me to look further into this seemingly magical place. I was impressed by the quality of Mr. Cade's first published book, and look forward to more from this author.
Admittedly I'm completely ignorant of the country music scene and the artists mentioned in the book. I did however, enjoy the time spent checking out the songs referenced by the author. Each song Mr. Cade mentioned held a special significance for the setting or emotion he intended to portray. I was enraptured while listening to Bless the Broken Road, by Rascal Flatts, and teared up picturing Billy singing this song to Ian. Both men had suffered so much to get to where they were, and that song was an absolutely brilliant illustration of their journey to find each other.
The protagonists were both very strong, successful, yet damaged men. I truly felt a connection to Billy as he demonstrated his love and devotion to Ian in such romantic ways. Ian's character was a refreshing break from the traditional role of submissive, exhibiting strength that really amazed me. The dialogue between these two men really allowed me to get into their heads and understand their actions and emotions. Their lovemaking was smoking hot at times, and tender at others. Both were wonderfully written and conveyed their affection well.
I loved the attention to detail as the author highlighted Nashville's natural beauty. The detail continued by mentioning many artists, songs, and places that would have enhanced the effect of the book if I would have been familiar with these things. I felt like the author skipped several important steps, explaining things retroactively in places. For instance, the “no labels” rule was mentioned without a conversation occurring between the two men to explain why the rule was in place.
I'm genuinely happy I had the opportunity to review this book. Mr. Cade certainly knows how to write an enchanting tale with a storyline and characters that are enjoyable to read. I recommend this book to any M/M romance reader, especially if you are a country music fan. I'll end this review with my favorite quote from Final Encore: “In that moment, looking into Ian's eyes was like seeing everything: the sun, the stars, the universe, past the universe.”