Friday, January 26, 2018

ARC Review: Bobby Green (Johnnies #5) by Amy Lane

Bobby Green (Johnnies, #5)
Vern Roberts couldn’t wait to turn eighteen and get the hell out of Dogpatch, California. But city living is expensive, and he’s damned desperate when Dex from Johnnies spots him bussing tables.

As “Bobby,” he's a natural at gay porn. Soon he’s surrounded by hot guys and sex for the taking, but it’s not just his girlfriend back in Dogpatch—or her blackmailing brother—that keeps him from taking it. It's the sweet guy who held the lights for his first solo scene, who showed him decency, kindness, and a smile.

Reg Williams likes to think he's too stupid to realize what a shitty hand life dealt him, but Bobby knows better. What Reg lacks in family, opportunity, education, and money, he makes up for in heart. One fumbling step at a time, they connect, not just in their hearts but in their bodies, where sex that’s not on camera, casual, or meaningless, becomes the most important thing in the world.

But Reg is hampered by an inescapable family burden, and he and Bobby will never fly unless he can find a way to manage it. Can he break the painful link to his unrealized childhood and grow into the love Bobby wants to give?

Todd's rating:


THIS was the old school Amy Lane story that I'd been waiting a couple of years now to read. Not this book specifically, just something a bit grittier and edgier than some of her more recent fluffy, feel-good stories.

And guys (and lady-dudes), I wasn't disappointed.

Vern Roberts was 18 and being blackmailed by his girlfriend's brother, Keith, so he knew that he had to escape from his tiny hometown of Dogpatch, California.

He was also determined to get his mother out as well, so when his construction job fell through and he was offered a job in gay porn, well, he did what had to be done to make his goals happen. As "Bobby," the newest employee of John Carey Industries, aka "Johnnies."

There, Bobby meets Reg at his first solo shoot. At 29, Reg had done gay porn at Johnnies for a decade and wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. What he was, though, was steady and reliable, taking care of his paranoid schizophrenic sister, Veronica, since he was 16 years old and their mother split.

And let me tell you, Veronica was ex-fucking-hausting, folks.

She only did two things: Watch Fox News every waking moment and plot how to not take her anti-psychotic meds. So when she wasn't ranting about made-up conspiracies and faggots, she was actively, and very physically, attacking her devoted brother.

Like I said, ex-fucking-hausting .

Lots of events happened in quick succession, requiring that Reg ask for help from his fellow actors at Johnnies, including Bobby. Then Bobby started sleeping over and fixing up Reg's house, much like he began fixing up Reg himself.

But they never had sex.

Because they were both "straight."

And Bobby had a girlfriend back home.

So they just cuddled and slept in the same bed. Well, kinda slept, just with one eye open to make sure Veronica didn't kill them in their sleep.

As the story progressed, Bobby and Reg kept up the cuddling and not having sex, until they realized that maybe, just maybe, they weren't as completely straight as they'd thought. And that they were happier when they were together, even when just hanging out and not having sex.

Then when Bobby finally did break up with his girlfriend, the damn broke and, Lord have mercy, did the boys ever make up for lost time in the bedroom. And the kitchen. And everywhere else. ;- )

When all was said and done, yes, this story was fairly angst-ridden; however, not to the point that it felt to be too much or contrived.

The timeline of this story was roughly around the same time of Tommy's attempted suicide and John's trip to rehab, so if you haven't read the previous books, you *will* probably be lost on a lot of the plot points going on around Reg and Bobby dealing with Hurricane Veronica, all while falling madly in love.

So no, I would not recommend reading "Bobby Green" as a standalone story, but lucky for you, all of the previous books were stellar and deliciously-angsty. I'd suggest starting with book 1 and working your way up to this latest book.

I'd rate this story at around 4.5 stars, mainly because this story had the same 'feel' as the previous Johnnies books and I absolutely adored revisiting all of the cast of the earlier stories. This entire series is highly recommended.

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

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