Saturday, February 21, 2015

ARC Review: Black John (Johnnies #4) by Amy Lane

Black John (Johnnies, #4)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.

Todd’s rating:

I'm kinda, sorta addicted to Amy Lane's books. There I said it.

I read and loved the first three books of the Johnnies series and was really excited to see that a fourth book was coming out, so I jumped on this advanced copy like a cat on a rat.
The first three books were full of all types of action and adventure and, for the most part, there was never a dull moment. Conflict, tons of sexy adventures and angst galore, hot and steaming off the grill.

So as I began reading this new story of John, the founder and owner of Johnnies, the porn studio around which all of the previous books centered, I quickly saw that 'one of these things is not like the other.'

While the previous books gave you a front row seat to the 15 car pileup on the I-80 headed into Sacramento, complete with all of the hot, sticky, salty buttered popcorn and Twizzlers you could stomach  this book felt a bit more like watching all of that action after the fact, from your living room on the 10 o'clock news. So mainly it's the news anchor providing eyewitness reports and we get to watch the cleanup.

The story begins with John in rehab for a cocaine addiction which almost cost him both his business and his best friend and co-worker Dex. John survives rehab only to be informed that the estranged love of his life, Tory, has committed suicide back in Florida and he travels there to begin sifting through the ashes of the ruins that were Tory's life.

Upon arrival, John meets Tory's friend and neighbor, Galen, a man who has lost everything in the aftermath of a disfiguring motorcycle crash and only lives for his next pain-relieving, life numbing fix of OxyContin.

John's attraction is immediate, but he is reluctant to give Galen a shot because he's fresh out of rehab and the last thing that a recovering junkie needs in his life is a non-recovering one.

But the more time that they spend together, the stronger the pull until they feel toward one another and eventually find themselves in a tentative relationship.

The main concentration of the story is John overcoming his unrequited feelings for Tory and succumbing to his new, very requited feelings for Galen.

Plus Galen is dealing with his own recovery from both addiction and physical limitations due to the accident, coupled with the strong need that he feels to become someone worthy of John, someone who will never make him feel as if John is anything other than a *first* choice.

It was a good story and, in my opinion, the angst was kept to a manageable level and the conflicts came from within versus without, as in the previous books.

And we get our happily ever after, with the last part of the book also supplying a bonus of the follow up on Dex & Kane adopting Kane's niece, then Chase & Tommy's baby boy being born. (I loved that part of the book.)

Black John does not supply quite the (*hawt & porn'y*) thrill ride in the previous books, but a definite must read once you've read the Chase, Dex and Ethan books.

Also, this one is *not* a standalone read, as a lot would be lost without the back-story.

My copy of the book was provided by the publisher for a fair, unbiased review.

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