Title: Encore (The Replacement Guitarist: Book Four)
Author: Lori Toland
Pages/Word Count: 376 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Blaze Shinozuka is a bonafide rockstar with his band, Razor’s Edge. After his romance with music manager Jason Stockton crashed and burned, Blaze is free to live and love. It’s been a wild and heady year that’s been blissfully drama free until the one man he’s been avoiding comes careening back in to wreak havoc on his heart once again.
Jason Stockton has become the superstar he never wanted to be. When his music reality show becomes an overnight success, he’s thrust into the limelight against his will. He’s coping with intrusions into his private life but then a chance encounter sends him right into the arms of the man he loved…and lost.
Their time apart has changed them, except the passion between them burns brighter than ever. With the media hounding them in the midst of multiple scandals, they find they can only depend on one person — each other. Will they learn to trust that their love is enough to see them through it all? Or will this be their final dance before calling it quits, this time for good?
This gay romance was formerly known as Into The Light and contains less loving than previous books in the series but more anger and snark. It also contains some female lovin’, beloved character death and a possibly repentant pop star.
Review: I started reviewing for TNA just over a year ago and remember when we got a request to review a book by a new-to-me author, Lori Toland. It was a story about a music agent who’s auditioning replacement guitarists for one of his biggest artists. Since I love rockers, I agreed to give it a try. Little did I know that would be the start of my love affair with Blaze and Jason. I did indeed fall in love with the story, the two MCs, and with Ms. Toland’s writing. After this book, I sat waiting anxiously for each book in the series to be released. This book however, was my most anticipated of the series. When she left us where she did in the previous book, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I don’t think I have ever anticipated a book release more in recent years.
This books picks up about a year after Blaze and Jason broke up, well after their relationship imploded in a parking lot, in full view of pretty much everyone they knew. Blaze has made it big with Razor’s Edge and is living his dream of being a famous musician. Jason, on the other hand, has found stardom he never wanted. When these two stars collide, there are more than a few sparks. With neither of them expecting to see the other again, they weren’t prepared for a face-to-face. Blaze and Jason both realize they miss one another, but the issues that pushed them apart before are still there. They do reconnect. Boy, do they reconnect! Then real life reminds them of all the reasons they didn’t work the first time, and they both have to decide if they are willing to fight for their relationship.
Lori Toland did a great job of bringing Blaze and Jason back together, and apart, and back together again throughout the series. None was better, however, than the ending of this book. I think Jason finally got the idea of what it takes to make a relationship work, and Blaze learned to empathize and to forgive the little things so he could avoid losing the most important thing in his life.
There is definitely a HEA for Blaze and Jason, but it is hard earned and required some give and take from both men. There’s also plenty of material for maybe a spinoff from this series. I know, I wouldn’t hate that (hint, hint). If you have read any of the installments in this series, then this book is one you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t, then maybe it’s time you gave The Replacement Guitarist series a try. I highly recommend the entire series and dare you not to love these guys.
You can buy Encore (The Replacement Guitarist: Book Four) here: