The Last Encore by Julia Butler

the last encore

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is apparently based on a true story, regarding an obscure psychological phenomenon. I had not thoroughly read the synopsis and so I kept expecting the book to take a different path. On the surface it is about two people finding each other after a life of disappointment and struggle. The bizarre twist, however, is something that made me cringe.

Katherine Konovka is born with a special talent for music, and she is a gorgeous creature as well. She is married, unhappily, with two children that are her entire life. One day she encounters Daniel, a man a good deal younger than she is. Immediately they have a connection that is ethereal and intense.

Daniel has been searching all his life for a fantasy woman, one that appeared to him (or did she?) as he walked through a forest. He is unable to bond with a woman completely, and goes through life bereft and longing…until he meets Katherine. At that point, their worlds collide and they fall into an erotic and sensual whirlwind, each learning from the other.

Then, tragedy strikes, and events unfold which will affect both of them deeper than they could ever have imagined. I didn’t see the twist coming, and it was, as I mentioned above, cringe-worthy. I can’t tell more without spoilers. For those of you who will get to that point and want to stop reading–keep going. Trust me. It’s worth it to continue on.

This book held my interest and was fairly well written. There were a few instances of awkward/stilted conversation, and scenes that seemed to be written in haste. Other parts of the story seemed to go back and forth in perspective from the present time to the past, and I had to go back and reread a few paragraphs to figure it out. The characters seemed real, and very likeable.

The descriptions make it easy to see in your mind the character’s surroundings, whether it is opulence or poverty. The author shines in showing the reader, rather than telling. Whether it is emotion, room decor, or an outdoor scene, Butler’s choice of words is clear and appropriate.

There are bedroom scenes which are fairly explicit, but not annoyingly so. I’ve seen this book compared to 50 Shades, and it’s NOTHING like it. No BDSM, and the sex does not go on and on. It’s pretty tastefully done and complements the story line.

The Last Encore was a wonderful, quick, enjoyable read. I’m recommending it. Want your own copy? You can pick up The Last Encore here. If you haven’t already, download the Kindle reading app here.

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