Publication date: August 16, 2017
Length: 278 pages
Reviewed by Erin
When shy programmer, Charlie, is dragged to a "Magic Mike” club in Hollywood by his co-workers, the last thing he expects is to be pulled onstage. But when he’s approached by Ramon, a dancer whose only focus is to bring him pleasure, something awakens in Charlie that can’t be denied.
Yet heated attraction only goes so far when one man dreams of true love and a life finally fulfilled, and the other is still grieving the one he lost, and the mistake that cost him everything.
Can a realist and a dreamer from two different worlds move forward and build a future together, or will their painful pasts keep them from fulfilling their destiny?
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I've never read anything by author Ruth Clampett before, though I have heard of her, and when I saw this book, I knew that Encore would be the perfect place to start. A shy, nerdy guy, a stripper ... sign me up! The cover might have had something to do with it, too, because, did you see it? Nice, right? I'm all about opposites attracting and what could be more opposite than a geek and a stripper? Encore was a pleasant surprise. A sweet romance that has it's very steamy moments, characters that were likable and genuine, and a supporting cast that helped round out the story.
Charlie has spent most of his life taking care of his disabled sister. He's a bit obsessed with work, shy, and at times endearingly awkward. His co-workers cajole him into going with them to a strip club where Charlie has no idea his whole life is about to change. One lap dance from the slinky, sexy Ramon and all the conflicting and confusing sexual feelings Charlie has had all his life come crashing to the forefront. It isn't easy for Charlie to admit he's attracted to Ramon, that he's gay, when he's kept it to himself for so long. There is quite a bit of back and forth for him during a lot of the book, and while this makes sense, it doesn't make for the easiest of reading. At times it was frustrating and it was hard to connect to Charlie.
Ramon has his own secrets, his own past to overcome, no matter how much he's into Charlie. The story is told from Charlie's POV so we don't always know Ramon's motivations and feelings, but from the get go it was easy to see there was something palpable between him and Charlie. There was a definite connection, both physical and emotional, so it was easy to root for these guys to find their way. I'll be honest, it drag for me in a few places, but all in all, I was completely engaged. The secondary characters added depth and the plot, though on the predictable side, was pleasing and the writing flowed well.
Encore is a book about discovery and love. It shows how even two people who seemingly have nothing in common can fall in love and be happy. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author and I recommend you check it out.
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