Cover Image: The Last Encore

The Last Encore

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Member Reviews

This was definitely a slow burn but God was the tension delicious. The thing I like about second chance romance is that there's a familiarity that pushes the plot faster but doesn't make the story feel rushed.
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I get absolutely no pleasure in having to review books I don’t like. I actually kind of hate it. I don’t go into reading books expecting to dislike them. No, I am usually really good at knowing when I’m going to like something. I also like to give indie authors a shot, as I’ve been doing for over a decade even though I’ve slowed down a bit lately. So it was that reason that I requested to review The Last Encore by indie (and Canadian!) author Elodie Colliard. And. Um. I really didn’t like it.

Here’s the book’s description:
What if love is the key?
Avery Clark needs a break. Between her photography business not doing as well as she’d hoped and incessant family drama that does nothing to ease her spiking anxiety, she needs something to go her way.
And that was even before her ex-best friend, and talented pianist, Joshua Harding, ran into her during an event in Toronto, after he left her suddenly ten years ago, breaking the only promise he had swore he wouldn't.


When an opportunity to grow her business falls into her lap, Avery decides to put her doubts and resentment aside and agrees to photograph Josh’s sister’s upcoming wedding.
As they spend more and more time together, rediscovering each other and the people they turned into, Avery realizes that maybe, the spark she felt ten years ago wasn’t just a fleeting teenage phase.
But the past is never far away, and an unknown future is terrifying. Could Avery take that leap of faith?
First of all, I felt like this book was just too long. It’s listed at being 366 pages which shouldn’t have felt like an obscenely long novel but it was. Perhaps because it felt like nothing of substance was happening?

I wanted to love that the book was set in Canada. And I did, to an extent. I don’t live in Toronto but I’ve visited often enough so I kinda know a bit about the city and I always love when romances are set there. I do live in Niagara and the characters visit Niagara-on-the-Lake a couple of times throughout the book. Although I’m not entirely sure Colliard has been to NOTL herself. Some of the descriptions of getting to the town from Toronto didn’t make much sense and I wondered where, exactly, they were staying. I was weirdly annoyed that, in one scene, she mentioned that the sun was almost set at 4pm. Which, you know, does happen in Canada. But not in October. Also mentioned in October was a Toronto Blue Jays home game. Yes, the Jays could have had a game at home in October but…it would have been playoffs and kind of a big deal. And it was late October so these fictional Jays were killing it that season! These are all nitpicky things but they just ate away at me and once I got to a certain point (likely about 20% in) I just leaned into the things that annoyed me. Never a fun time.



As for the love story…I could almost buy it. What I couldn’t get behind was how the drama unfolded and how long it took to explain why Josh left and why that was a big deal to Avery. And even after all that, I couldn’t understand why it was such a big deal. He was an idiot and she had some things to work out, I get that, but it just didn’t make sense to me. I think this book was supposed to be kind of steamy but I admit I kind of skimmed over the sex scenes (OK, OK, I may have been skimming everything by that point). Talk of consent between the two of them was quite sexy and I give Colliard major props for making that a big part of the story

Writing this review did not bring me joy. But, I have to be honest about the books I read and, honestly, The Last Encore was not very good, plain and simple. It was a total miss for me and that made me sad. I wanted to enjoy Elodie Colliard’s debut novel and I think she could be a good writer with more practice and with a better editor. And maybe not trying to rush publication on a book. I likely won’t read her books again unless trusted friends can convince me she’s grown as a writer.

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*
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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish this book. While I’m sure it could be enjoyed by others, by the time I’d made it 20% in, I’d felt like I had read the entire book and wasn’t even a little bit interested in the plot or the characters. It pains me to come across a book like this but I won’t be finishing it.
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Oh my goodness, this was such a great read! I was really blown away by the writing style as well as the characters. They definitely came alive on the pages which makes it so fun to read. Go for it and read this one!
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For a debut novel this one stoodout and gave me the warm and fuzzies but as far as romances go Id say it followed the typical romance plot. Id recommend this for my friend who likes rhe occasional romance novel but if its your main genre I don't think its all that impressive.
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The fact that this book is a debut is honestly shocking because it was incredible. 

It was swoony yet serious yet sophisticated yet meaningful and lovely. The main character was very relatable yet someone I also looked up to for her ambition and not letting anything get in her way. 

The other main character, Josh, was sexy and spicy and I just wanted more and more from him. 

Overall, beautiful story and I cannot wait to read another one by her!
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Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC!

I don’t think I retained anything from this book except for the fact that it took place in Canada and that it came with a playlist (which a lot of books should do more).
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This was... fine. As a debut I thought it was good, but I don't think I'd read another one by this author. I needed more of a slow burn because it was just too fast paced and seemed fake. I also was not a fan of the side characters.
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I thought this was an amazing debut covering love, friendships, and second chances. I read this book in a day I enjoyed it so much. It was perfectly paced with such a loveable protagonist. 
There was so much depth in the character development that I really appreciated. Also some tastefully written spice which I didn't expect from the cover but it suited the story well. 
Would recommend to lovers of Talia Hibert and Emily Henry.
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Beautiful story. Beautiful MMC. And good anxiety representation! 4/5 ⭐️ only because it’s a bit slow at times. But I still definitely recommend and look forward to what Elodie writes next!
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I liked the idea behind the plot, but something was missing. Maybe Josh’s POV. I'm still excited to see what the author writes next.
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Eeeee! This was so sweet. I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read more books by Elodie! Thank you so much x
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Loved this one soo much!! It was such a good read def one of my favs of 2022!!! Loved the MCs so much🥺🥺
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Whew, that was steamy!! Boy those characters had great chemistry! I really enjoyed this friends to lovers story and can’t wait for the next book in the series. If you like steamy rom coms with good characters and a good story then definitely read this one.
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Unfortunately it did nothing for me. 
Got bored a lot and forgot about it 5 mins after I finished. 
What I did not forget about, was the cover. It is super pretty and I really like it, well done to the artist.
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This a tale of friends who missed their chance at romance when they were teens only to find each other again as adults. Not quite a second chance romance, and more former best friends to strangers to lovers. The characters had a lot of depth, were understandable if not always likable, and had wonderful chemistry.

Avery, our female main character struggles with anxiety, a history of sexual assault, a past cheating partner, and abandonment issues. Because of these past experiences, she is uncompromising in her desire to live exactly the life she desires providing for others without ever relying on anyone else. Josh lost his mother, feels like a perennial disappointment to his father, and can't seem to find the balance between his heritage and his passion. And as such he fled home for the allure of Europe at a young age, sacrificing his chance at a relationship with his best friend he was maybe in love with to try to learn to deal with his grief and lack of identity. Until he finally comes back to town to find that Avery is still here, and they still have an instant connection.

Josh and Avery had a wonderful and sincere relationship. You are rooting for them the entire book. The gradual burn was scrumptiously spicy. Like most friends to lovers stories there is a lot of will they won't they and miscommunication. I also think the author might have benefitted from picking just one or two issues for the female main character to focus on, she feels stretched a little thin without complete development of each of her inner demons so to speak. So it's not a groundbreaking story, but I still found it to be a solid debut novel with characters worth investing in. I think everyone can find something to relate to.

And I thank NetGalley for the free early arc in exchange for an honest review.
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UM WOW. 
4.5/5 stars! 

This book was a very sweet second-chance romance. I absolutely devoured this in one sitting. There are heavy topics in this book so check the trigger warnings, but I loved this story. I enjoyed how the plot evolved and the character development was also stunning. For her debut novel, this was very well written AND the story was fast-paced. I loved it all. Thank you for the ARC.
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Avery is a photographer who is trying to follow her dreams but dreams, but things aren’t going as planned.  When she runs into her ex-best friend Josh, she isn’t sure how to handle the feelings that come rushing back to her.  Avery gets the chance of a lifetime for her career and ends up photographing Josh’s sister’s wedding for her project.  As the once inseparable duo spends more time together, they must navigate the waters of balancing the past and the future.
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This was a delight. I loved Avery & Josh’s story so much.  Avery is a wonderful character and watching her navigate her career, her personal life, and following her dreams is something most people can relate to.  The banter between Avery & Josh kept things light and was entertaining.  I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait to read everything else Elo ever writes! 
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Thank you to @netgalley for my eARC in exchange for my honest opinion!
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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
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I loved reading this one. I just love this kind of books.
4 stars read for me. I love this author snd her writing style.
Thanks to netgally for this arc.
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I really enjoyed this story. Friends to lovers and second chance romances are always hits in my books, I really enjoyed how the main characters cared for each other despite their 10 years apart.

My only critiques were that I felt the book was a little long. This was a good debut and I'm excited to see what the author comes up with next!
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