Encore! Encore! by Jet Mykles, Kimberly Gardner and Charlie Cochrane

MLR Press

M/M

ISBN: 978-1-60820-132-7

Reviewed by Jo

 

   

 

“Much Ado” by Jet Mykles

Shawn Finnemore is just cleaning up from his stage routine when the bar’s owner lets him know that a producer is asking for him. Shawn quickly learns that it’s Roscoe Schroeder, his ex-lover. Roscoe is the one who showed Shawn the joys of cross-dressing on stage and that lead to them becoming lovers. While Shawn doesn’t wear dresses much off stage anymore, learning that he enjoyed wearing them all the time and becoming Roscoe’s lover isn’t something Shawn will soon forget.

Roscoe has come to offer Shawn a role in his new show, the same role that began Shawn’s cross-dressing personality. Roscoe knows that Shawn has a good routine, even if it isn’t what he would have wanted for Shawn. Neither of them has stopped loving the other, even during this time apart. More important than what either of them is doing now, is the strife that separated them in the first place. Mistakes were made on both parts, now the question is: Can Shawn and Roscoe find a way to bridge their differences and begin again?

Shawn and Roscoe never expected to end their relationship when it began so long ago. I was very surprised to see they were apart when the story opened. As I read along and learned why it happened, I thought it needed to be fixed. Standing on his own two feet was just something that needed to happen in order for Shawn to grow. However, the circumstances created hurt feelings that both Shawn and Roscoe would have to overcome.

Happily, the author found a way to bring Shawn and Roscoe together and truly gave them a do over in “Much Ado”.

 

“All That Jazz” by Charlie Cochrane

Francis Yardley is a cross-dressing actor working way off the bright lights in London’s theater area. Francis knows he’s good and the play he’s in could give him the acclaim he has worked so hard for. This is just another step. While his acting life is on the up swing, his private life has no swing. Francis hasn’t let himself get into a serious relationship since he’d been hurt, both physically and mentally, years before. One night while just trying to get away from it all, Francis wondered into a pub that was the headquarters for a gay rugby team and met up with Tommy. Tommy Ferguson is one of the rugby players and works as an architect during the day. Tommy knows who Francis is right away and he also knows that it’s not Francis’ normal hang out. Funny and dreadful quips at the pub lead to a night that amazes both Tommy and Francis. However in the light of day, it becomes clear a relationship is just not meant to be. Or is it? When Tommy and Francis meet again, have they figured out a way for both of them to get their happy ever after?

A shy and serious rugby player meets a world-weary cross-dressing actor. Francis has worked and risked a lot to be just how he is and has no plans to hide any part of his personality. Tommy’s background causes him to try and blend into the background and not make many waves. I was amazed at how well Tommy and Francis meshed when they met as they were from such different worlds. That they separated because of those differences didn’t surprise me, but did make me sad for them. I was very happy when they came back together and both had figured out the word “compromise” and how it could work for them. With their sexual pasts, Tommy and Francis deserved to be together in my opinion. “All That Jazz” is cute and sexy while proving that everyone deserves happiness.

 

“His Leading Man” by Kimberly Gardner

David Sullivan is at a Hollywood party when a cute young thing grabs his attention. David is only in Hollywood for a writing seminar, since he’s writing a screenplay. Just when he is about to make his approach, David is side tracked by his hostess – there is someone he just has to meet. You could have blown David down when that someone turns out to be Kieran – the same man David thought he would spend the rest of his life with. Kieran has never stopped loving David and couldn’t resist speaking to him. Life and ambition pulled the couple apart years ago. Now both have what they always wanted – Kieran a hit TV show and David writing the screenplay. But appearances can be deceiving. Serious misunderstandings and hurt feelings break Kieran and David apart once more and now they are once again leading separate lives. Kieran is miserable and realizes what went wrong, but can he find a way to bring himself and David back together one final time – forever this time?

Two lovers need to know if lightening really can strike twice. Kieran jumped at the chance for his TV show, even knowing the distance could be a problem for his relationship. David agreed to try until things crumbled in the distance. Their unexpected meeting at the party showed the flames between them were still just as hot. The only question I had was if they both wanted to fight for what could have been. I was very worried when Kieran and David separated in Hollywood but Ms. Gardner showed that love can overcome anything when you want it enough. “His Leading Man” is a loving and sexy way to end this anthology about second chances.

 

Love deserves a second chance when it’s meant to be. In Encore! Encore! all three couples discover this fact. With two of the couples ambition and careers separated them with misunderstandings and hurt feelings. The last couple came together filled with the ashes of a past relationship gone very wrong. In a field that can tear apart couples faster than it can bring them together, I was very happy to see that the theater brought all three couples together with very bright futures. Encore! Encore! is a loving and sexy book which proves the second time around can be even better than the first.

If you are wondering about how Shawn and Roscoe and David and Kieran came together in the first place, the answers lie in Bravo! Brava!

     

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