Author: Shira Anthony
Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Story Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 11/09/2015
Length: 08 hours 57 minutes
Genre: M/M Romance
Cool kid violinist Roger Nelson doesn’t give a damn about anything. Wannabe conductor John Fuchs is awkward, effeminate, and just figuring out he’s gay. Despite their differences, they become friends—then lovers—and after college, they try to make it work. But it’s the 1970s, and Roger can’t bring himself to admit he’s gay. Worse, after his brother is killed in Vietnam, Roger tries to live up to his memory and be the perfect son. Then after suffering one tragedy too many, he makes the biggest mistake of his life: Roger pushes John away.
Through the years, they dance around the truth and in and out of each other’s lives, never quite able to let go. Twenty years later, Roger still carries the pain of losing his dream of a brilliant career with him, while John is a superstar conductor with a wild reputation. John’s off-stage antics get him plenty of attention, good and bad, though deep down, he wants only Roger. Finally determined to hold on to what really matters, Roger asks John for another chance, and when John panics and runs, Roger has to convince him to listen to his heart.
I loved this book. I hated this book.
For me Encore is the most frustrating and infuriating book of the Blue Notes Series. The story spans nearly four decades as John and Roger move in and out of each other lives.
Friends then lovers through high school and college they looked as though they would be in each other lives forever. A car accident, an overbearing mother who I can honestly say I came to hate and the fact that Roger couldn’t be honest left them apart, hurt and pretty messed up.
John has music running through his veins, is an amazing pianist but his dream is to be a conductor. He is shy, talented and in love with his best friend in a time when to love another man is both unpopular and dangerous. Roger is larger than life, brash, plays the violin like a god and is outspoken. He is also destined to grow up in the shadow of his dead brother. His mother is a heinous woman but sadly is probably representative of the times. Roger’s dreams die one evening and that is where the path of the story starts to change.
For most of the book I didn’t like Roger very much. This is probably unfair on reflection as he was most certainly a product of his time. I think also because I found John so endearing I felt like Roger took the easy route and let him down badly. John does find his happiness with someone else for a short time but that ends in tragedy, again think of the time this story is set in. Nate’s death was quick and his part in the story isn’t that huge but people’s reactions and the stigma, their treatment towards the ends of Nate’s life makes his part in the story emotional.
Out of all the couples in the Blue Notes Series this pair have to work the hardest and face the most challenges. When Roger is finally in a place to admit who he is and stand up to his mother it almost feels like he becomes another person. He is the strong one and knows what he wants but when he goes after it suddenly John appears vulnerable and is scared to have his heart broken once again. Their HEA is hard work and even as they strive to obtain it Shira throws in a few more curve balls.
This book could be read as a standalone but my recommendation would be to read all the books in order.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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