Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Contemporary, Gay
After years of living for everyone else, Billy Eagan sets off for Nashville to follow his dream of breaking into country music. Soon after he arrives, he finds a job at the Lazy H Ranch. Owners Jean and Jules also own a club, and when Billy finds out they do open-mic nights he’s excited. The crowds love him, and when he meets Jean and Jules’ friend, sexy agent Ian, he’s convinced things can’t get any better for him.
Ian’s attracted to Jules as well, but his past makes him hesitant to trust. Not to mention the fact that he wants to help Billy break into the business. Ian’s fears might not be the only problem they face, however. Not everyone’s happy about Billy’s success…
Final Encore is a tale of love, luck, success, and revenge, with a big dose of the country music business. Billy’s a sweet, simple, talented guy who has a knack for making friends. Ian’s an excellent talent scout whose put-together exterior hides a damaged, lonely interior. Of the two, I admit I preferred Ian. Despite his occasional wishy-washiness, Ian was easy to root for. I could sympathize with his fears about letting Billy close, although he caved awfully quickly. Billy, on the other hand, sometimes struck me as too perfect, and too lucky, to be true. It was hard to believe that an aspiring star could have such a quick, easy rise to a big record deal.
Along with the love story between Billy and Ian, there are the parallel storylines of Billy’s rise to fame and the attempts by another character to get revenge on Billy. I enjoyed the romance aspects of the story most, even if things went very quickly on that front. I really liked that Billy didn’t waffle in his attitude toward Ian, no matter what Ian did, and that he was willing to try to help Ian past his issues. Billy’s experiences in the music world were interesting, and would probably appeal a lot to a country music fan. As for the revenge story, it was pretty tame until the end, when a huge incident came kind of out of nowhere. I have to admit, that despite the lack of suspense as to who the bad guy was (it was revealed at the beginning), the revenge attempt still got my attention.
While everything might have been a bit too quick and easy in Final Encore, it’s nonetheless an entertaining read. It’s quick and sweet, and sure to appeal to fans of country music and rags-to-riches tales.