Final Encore

Author: Scotty Cade
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella (205 PDF pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Tj

Summary Review: The story of the relationship between an up and coming singer and the talent scout who discovers him that unfortunately had some excessive description that slowed the pace.

The Blurb: 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?

The Review:

Billy Eagan tried for years to hide his true nature, even marrying a woman, only to end up divorced and starting over a year later. But things happen for a reason and now Billy is determined to kick start his singing career, and what better place than the home of country music, Nashville, Tennessee. Billy lands a ranch foreman’s job shortly after arriving and makes fast friends with the owner Jules and his wife Jean, who also runs a bar. Jean convinces Billy to come to the next open mike night, at which Billy’s performance wows the crowd. Coincidently Jean knows talent scout Ian, who she asks to come see Billy perform. Well not only does Billy impress Ian with his singing, but he’s very surprised to find a strong attraction between them.

I liked the general plot of an up and coming singer and sharing the experience of his success as he was discovered. Although it seemed to come quickly to Billy, I thought that if he truly was as talented as described, he would really only need a lucky break. I also enjoyed the relationship that developed between Billy and Ian, who is fighting ghosts from his own past. Then there were the characters of Jules and Jean, who were like adopted parents to Billy and Ian and were very nicely depicted adding a really sweet aspect to the book.

But as you can see from the rating, I had some issues with Final Encore. First off, there was a lot of seemingly excess description, yes, yes – telling not showing. This had the very unfortunate effect of slowing the pace of the story down. I read more like someone was telling me a story of what happened to them, not experiencing it along with them. The result was that I had trouble feeling engaged with the  main characters.

There were also several times that we were simply told about events that had happened that would have been far more interesting if we had actually experienced them along with the characters. I also had a little trouble with the some of the characters’ behavior. For example, Ian gets hurt at one point during the story, and Billy takes care of him, even carrying him due to his injury. At first I thought this was very sweet, but Billy kept carrying Ian around the house. Because of this, I kept picturing Ian as a woman.

Ian is also a rather messed up man and his issues come to light late in the book. I won’t give away spoilers by saying what happened, but it all felt a little over the top, from why he acted the way he did after so many years, his treatment of Billy and then his recovery from his issues. There was also a very late in the story plot development partially about homophobia (which was touched upon earlier in the book) that coming so late in the story seemed unnecessary.

All in all, I did like parts of Final Encore – including the main plot and characters, but for me, the excess description made it hard to stay engaged with the story.



  • I want to thank TJ for his thoughtful and thorough review of Final Encore and everyone who purchased and or read it and took the time to post. Some of you may or may not know this, but Final Encore was my first novel and I hope it didn’t disappointed too badly. I want you to know that I take all reviews very seriously and do everything I can to learn from them which will in turn make me a better writer. I did have a couple of issues to tounch upon. Firstly, Billy carried Ian around because Ian had a badly spraigned ankle and could not walk. Billy is from the south and a caretaker and his actions were not intended to make Ian any less of a man, but to help a friend in need. Secondly, Buck, the antogonist was in the story from the beginning. He was present at Billy interview at the ranch, at th saloon when his grilfriend competed at the open mic night and all throughout the story, so I’m unclear on that point. And lastly, seven chapters of Ian’s character development were removed by the publisher and in hindsight that was a mistake. Again, thanks to all and maybe you’ll give me a second chance when my secon novel, “Wings of Love,” comes out in February.

    Scotty Cade

    • Hi Scotty,
      Thank you for reading my review and for your comments. As I said in the review, there were many parts of Final Encore that I enjoyed, most importantly the main plot and characters. I think that alone is an amazing accomplishment for a first time author. The issues that I mentioned were things that just did not enhance the story telling experience for me, and are strictly my opinion.

      I’m sorry if I was unclear, but I try very hard not to give away too much of the story to avoid spoiling the experience for other readers. The issue with Buck’s story line for me was more the timing of what he did in the last 20 pages of the book, since the events that precipitated this happened early in the book would have worked better, in my opinion, if they were closer to the end of the book. It’s unfortunate that during the editing process several chapters were deleted as I would have really liked to have learned more about Ian, who was an interesting character

  • I was a bit iffy whether I should add this to my TBB pile, so thank you TJ, for the review. If there were just one of those problems you mentioned, I might be able to like it, but it sounds much worse than that. Thanks for being so descriptive, TJ. That helped a lot :)

    • You’re welcome Cole. It might just be me, so you and other readers might not have as much of an issue with the things I mentioned. But I wanted to be forthright with what I experienced.

  • Hmmm, I’ve had this book for a while, but heard mixed things about it. Your review made me a little more curious. Maybe I should just go ahead and read it! 😉

  • It was not my thing either. It was on the sweet side too and too good to be true. Now I know the whole romance genre is not true but this was too much.

    • You said it perfectly Ingrid – it was just too much – in more than one way. As I said parts just felt over the top. Thanks for commenting. I like to know if others agree or I’m way off the mark with my reviews.

  • TJ
    I love stories about musicians and this one caught my eye so much so that it’s in my TBR, but having read your review I’m not sure I will crack it open.

    I hate all the problems you describe – the excessive wordiness, Billy carrying Ian around (what was that about?), some of the action occurring off page, the introduction of plot points late in the story. No, no, no.

    Thanks TJ for a very thorough review.

    • Hey Wave – You know how much I love music, so this book really called to me. It was disappointing that it didn’t live up to my expectations. Hey, I freed up some time so you can squeeze in something fun or that last minute review that the Day boy is gonna foist on you. 😉

  • Ugh.. I’m on the fence. I started this one and got about 50 pages in but haven’t picked it back up. I didn’t give up on the story per se but nothing’s really motivated me to pick it back up and unfortunately your review makes me not want to.

    I can tell the issues you’re talking about and yes the pace is slow. I like musician stories, especially country music as I think the inherent potential for tension is high, but after reading the review I may not pick up the book. Poor thing may languish in my DNF pile.

    Thanks for the thorough review.

    • Thanks Kassa. Funny you should say that you started it and didn’t pick it up again. I had read about 20 pages and it wasn’t catching my interest – especially with all the telling in the very beginning. I had to make myself start reading again. That’s never a good sign. Sorry if I’ve put you off finishing it. You might enjoy it though – it just didn’t do much for me.

  • I have to say I’ve discovered that songs about musicians are really not my thing, unless they are Heaven Sent by Jet Mykles. :-) But in general I just can’t relate to them, maybe because I’m not a huge music person. So I think that, combined with the issues you noted means this one is not for me. Nice review.

    • Thanks Tam. The musician aspect of the story was only part of it. A lot of pages were devoted to the developing relationship and the issues that Ian has. I actually liked the relationship parts – well except for that carrying around bit.

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