Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ARC Review: Black John by Amy Lane

Black John (Johnnies, #4)
From the blurb:
John Carey is just out of rehab and dying inside when he gets word that Tory, the guy who loved him and broke him, has removed himself from the world in the most bitter way possible—and left John to clean up his mess.

Forced back to his hometown in Florida, John's craving a hit with every memory when he meets Tory's neighbor. Spacey and judgmental, Galen Henderson has been rotting in his crappy apartment since a motorcycle accident robbed him of his mobility, his looks, and his boyfriend all in one mistake. Galen's been hiding at the bottom of an oxy bottle, but when John shows up, he feels obligated to help wade through the wreckage of Tory's life.

The last thing John needs is another relationship with an addict, and the last thing Galen wants is a conscience. Both of them are shocked when they find that their battered souls can learn from and heal one another. It doesn't hurt that they're both getting a crash course on how growing up and getting past your worst mistakes sure beats the alternative—and that true love is something to fight to keep if your lover is fighting to love you back.

Heather's rating:

Drug addictions, pornography, family drama, abandonment issues... yup, you guessed it! It's the latest installment in Amy Lane's Johnnies series!

I will always have a soft spot for this series. Dex in Blue was one of my first M/Ms, and so these books are like my M/M homecoming. They are ANGSTY and weighty but I like being put through the ringer sometimes.

I think fans of the other Johnnies books will really love this one. It rectifies some of the mistakes that Ethan in Gold made, IMO. I liked that this book really put the focus on the relationship with John and Galen. They were clearly the MCs, and though there were other characters in the mix, I felt like the other story lines weren't interfering. I also liked the whole back story with John and Tory. It created a lot of compassion for John, who came across as sort of a dick in the earlier books.

However, this book still wasn't perfect for me. I think Amy Lane has a tendency to have her characters get really serious really quickly. Like, one minute they are meeting or just friends, and the next they are saying that they could never be apart. Sometimes that works for me spectacularly, sometimes it doesn't. Here, I never quite bought the speed of Galen and John's relationship. With no back story and prior meetings between the two of them, I just wasn't seeing how they got so intense so fast. Especially with the drug addictions in the mix, it just didn't feel quite real to me.

I also thought that the heat level was a bit lower with this one. Though there are some hot moments, I wasn't feeling that DYING to be together level of sexual tension. And I love me some tension. I think compared to some of the other Johnnies books, this book was less erotic.

Though not a home run, this was another expertly written, really well thought out book in a series that is near and dear to my heart.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Buy this book:

Dreamspinner Press, Amazon

Hope you enjoyed my review!

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