Colton Gentry's Third Act

A Novel

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Pub Date 30 Apr 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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This "story of love, healing, and second chances ” (Emily Henry) from an award-winning author follows a down on his luck country musician who, in the throes of grief after a shocking loss, moves back home and rekindles a relationship with his high school sweetheart.

Colton Gentry is riding high. His first hit in nearly a decade has caught fire, he’s opening for country megastar Brant Lucas, and he’s married to one of the hottest acts in the country. But he’s hurting. Only a few weeks earlier, his best friend, Duane, was murdered onstage by a mass shooter at a country music festival. One night, with his trauma festering and Jim Beam flowing through his veins, Colton stands before a sold-out arena crowd of country music fans and offers his unfiltered opinion on guns. It goes over poorly.
Immediately, his career and marriage implode. Left with few choices or funds, he retreats to his rural Kentucky hometown. He’s resigned himself to has-been-dom, until a chance encounter at his town’s new farm-to-table restaurant gives him a second shot at life: a job working in the kitchen with Luann, his first love, who has undergone her own reinvention. Told through perspectives alternating between his senior year of high school, his time coming up with Duane as hungry musicians in Nashville, and the present, COLTON GENTRY’S THIRD ACT is a story of coming home, undoing past heartbreaks, and navigating grief, and is a reminder that there are next acts in life, no matter how unlikely they may seem. 
This "story of love, healing, and second chances ” (Emily Henry) from an award-winning author follows a down on his luck country musician who, in the throes of grief after a shocking loss, moves back...

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ISBN 9781538756652
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Featured Reviews

"Colton Gentry's Third Act" by Jeff Zentner is a heartfelt and emotionally resonant story of love, healing, and second chances. This novel beautifully captures the complexities of grief, the power of music, and the enduring bonds of friendship and love.

The story follows Colton Gentry, a country musician who is experiencing both career success and personal tragedy. After a traumatic event at a country music festival, Colton's life takes a downward spiral. He loses his career and his marriage, and he's left with few options but to return to his rural Kentucky hometown, where he faces the ghosts of his past. However, a chance encounter at a local restaurant leads to a job opportunity in the kitchen and a reconnection with his high school sweetheart, Luann.

The narrative is skillfully structured, weaving together three timelines: Colton's senior year of high school, his early days as a musician in Nashville, and the present. This multi-layered approach allows readers to fully understand Colton's journey, his past mistakes, and the events that shaped him. It also adds depth to the characters, particularly his friend Duane, whose presence looms large over Colton's life.

Jeff Zentner's writing is poignant and evocative, creating a vivid sense of place and emotion. The exploration of grief and trauma is handled with sensitivity, and readers will empathize with Colton as he grapples with his pain and seeks a path to healing.

The novel's themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the possibility of starting anew are beautifully conveyed. It serves as a reminder that even in the darkest moments, there can be hope for a brighter future. Colton's journey to rebuild his life and rekindle his relationship with Luann is heartwarming and uplifting.

"Colton Gentry's Third Act" is a touching and authentic portrayal of the human experience. It celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the healing power of love and music. Jeff Zentner has crafted a moving and memorable story that will resonate with readers long after they've turned the final page.

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Ah, that familiar sense of peace after sobbing through a Jeff Zentner book. Like all of Jeff’s books, I am left feeling more hopeful about humanity.

I hope booksellers sell the shit out of this and it gets turned into a movie because I want to watch all those sexy cooking scenes on the big screen!

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This is my new favorite book. There's a poignancy and tenderness to Jeff Zentner's books that is unmatched by any other author. He finds the beauty in everything, even the painful parts so that to read him is to have your heart wrenched in the most exquisite way. Colton Gentry is a perfect potion of hope and love and sorrow and ache and beauty and humor and swoon that will leave your soul warm and full. I'm so excited to put this in readers' hands! Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central for the ARC.

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Jeff Zenter's first foray into adult fiction does not disappoint. After the death of his best friend, Duane, in a mass shooting event, Colton Gentry is not okay. Full of liquor and rage, Gentry speaks out in support of gun control from the stage and burns his career to the ground. After a stint in rehab, a parting gift from his soon to be ex-wife, Gentry finds himself back in his hometown in desperate need of a hand up. Finding a job at a new restaurant, working as a sous chef for his first love, Luann. Understanding the need for a new beginning more than anyone, Luann takes a pretty big chance on hiring Colton and on letting him back into her life. As the story unfolds, the chapters bounce back and forth between Colton's senior year of high school, his humble beginnings in Nashville and the story's present and we get insight into Colton and Luann's story and how it implodes as well as other scenes from his early days in Nashville with Duane, and his struggle to find his footing newly sober and back home in Kentucky.

Zentner's YA books always bring me to tears and his first adult novel, Colton Gentry's Third Act did the same. Zentner has a beautiful way with words and this story of grief, forgiveness, and starting over contains some beautiful turns of phrase. This slow-burn, second chance romance is full of realistic characters with flaws and who are struggling, learning, and growing.

Moments of humor and levity help keep this book from feeling too overwhelmingly grief-laden, and Zentner's footnote about the dog, Petey, was an added bonus to an already lovely story.

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This book made me smile, laugh, cry, and left me incredibly hungry. Everything about this second chance is heartwarming and tender. Colton making changes and working through them was really incredible to read. I love that he took a chance and found a new passion. That’s a reminder we all need in life.

Luann and Colton’s love story is beyond! The flashbacks to high school were perfect. But the present day slow burn was perfection. Luann teaches us so much about forgiveness and stepping up for your friend and partner.

The writing was top notch! Especially all the food!! As a Kentucky girl I was left salivating at the pages. It reminded me of home and eating with my family.

Lastly, thank you for footnote about Petey. Can’t wait to read future titles by Zentner!

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I absolutely loved this book, but that wasn"t a surprise because I am a fan of Jeff Zentner, and how he writes. This is a story about second chances, and third chances, and reinventing one's life. To try again. It's the story of a boy and a girl who once loved each other, and maybe never stopped. After some bumps and bruises and missteps they're trying to figure out who they are to each other, and what they want from the lives they have lived, and sometimes chosen, but sometimes ended up with by default. The writing is rich and evocative; the story moves along at a steady pace until you are compelled to read until the end.

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A crossover from his usual YA novels into a more "Adult" title, although there remains a good part of the book rooted in a high school romance. Colton Gentry has been a football star and lost his chance at college ball to an injury, an up-and-coming country music star who loses his contracts after a pro-gun control rant onstage, and now...what? He's lost his best friend in a mass shooting, his superstar wife to a hockey player, and he's a recovering alcoholic. He moves home to his mom's house and looks for a job despite his lack of marketable skills. Colton's "third act" comes in the form of food-a trendy new farm-to-table restaurant located in the unlikely spot of Venice, Kentucky. Turns out, he and the chef have personal history, and perhaps a future? A feel-good redemption romance, for fans of Nicholas Sparks or Hallmark movies, this book will bring the tears and the swooning! Also, bring your appetite for the most amazing Southern-inspired menus you've EVER read!

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Jeff Zentner is a familiar and well-loved name in the YA world, and it is good to see that he is growing up along with his readers, as well as attracting brand new ones, with his first book written for the adult market. We follow Colton Gentry, a musician, through three phases of his life -- his school years, his early years in the country music world, and the present. As the story begins, a mega-successful Colton is basically "cancelled" after an unfortunate incident at one of his concerts. He starts anew on the ground floor to rebuild his life. I think readers will get so wrapped up with this wonderful, real, relatable character and will not be able to put this book down.

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Everything Jeff Zentner writes is gold, and this switch from YA to adult is no different. He writes with such depth and emotion I immediately cared about Colton like he was someone I knew. Every time I had to stop reading, I thought about him and what would happen next.

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Jeff Zentner's debut adult novel is a gorgeous mediation on grief, dreams, second (and third) and chances, and love. Colton's story is told with grace, charm, and a humor that often bubbled up and took me by surprise. I found myself homesick for places I haven't been, and hungry for a dozen dishes I'd love to try. Because yes: not only is Jeff Zentner a master storyteller and a talented poet -- he can also put together a menu like you wouldn't believe? So glad I was able to kick off 2024 reading Colton Gentry's Third Act -- out 4/30/24! Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity.

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