Title: After the Final Encore (Encore #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Scotty Cade — Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date & Length: July 24, 2015 — 200 pages
Sequel to Final Encore
Country superstar Billy Eagan’s career is soaring. He’s topping the charts and winning award after award. He and his manager and life partner, Ian Dillon, have been virtually inseparable for almost five years, solidifying their relationship as well as Billy’s skyrocketing stardom. After a secret kiss between the two of them at an awards show is caught on camera, a tabloid newspaper outs Billy and Ian as lovers, which could sabotage Billy’s career on the bigoted Nashville music scene. To make matter worse, an old adversary rears his ugly head and threatens to end everything Billy and Ian have worked for—including their lives.
The first half of this story was fantastic. I wish there were more country stars as brave as Billy! Billy and Ian’s relationship is wonderful. I love the way Ian is willing to take a quiet supporting role for his famous partner, and I love the respect Billy gives Ian. We don’t see many long-term partnerships in m/m romance, so this couple is a special treat.
I love the modern angst-free approach the author takes to the outing of a Nashville star. America is proud of Billy and Ian and even Billy’s Nashville record label ultimately supports him. This is a beautiful, hopeful story for the year America finally legalised gay marriage.
My problems with the story were with the stalking and kidnapping storyline. I haven’t read the first book, but I realise this ties back to the original story. For me, the action sequences were felt like they belonged to another book. I could almost cut the book in half: Billy and Ian come out to America and start a new life / Billy and Ian are hunted by a crazy man with a grudge.
I did like the New Orleans setting for the second half of the book. I loved the wonderful house-porn the author indulges in when Billy and Ian look for a home in New Orleans. Who wouldn’t want an unlimited budget when house hunting in such a wonderful city? Billy’s family is fantastic, as are the new characters they meet in Louisiana.
I loved the first part of this book and I liked the second part. These are great characters and a great central couple.