Tuesday, February 20, 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?

Jewel's rating:

Believe it or not, but I just started reading this series a couple weeks ago. I know, right? A whole series filled with Amy Lane's trademark angst? I mean that's just right up my tree! So, I'm really late to the game, here, but better late than never!!

Bobby Green is about new beginnings, and learning to accept that some things are just beyond your control, and there is no shame in needing help. It's about friendship, family, and community.

Reg Williams has been filming porn for more than 10 years. He's never felt bright enough or more qualified for anything else, which is sad, but at Johnnies, Reg found family. They're a close-knit bunch and when one of them needs anything, the rest come through in spades. Reg never thought he would find someone that would want to be with him long term. Aside from the fact that he never felt intelligent enough, his paranoid schizophrenic sister, whom he's been caring for since he was 16, was enough of a danger to scare anyone away. But the loneliness was killing him slowly.

Vern "Bobby" Roberts grew up in a small town full of people with small minds. He always did what he was supposed to. Getting out of Dogpatch, CA was at the top of his priority list, though, especially when his best friend, Keith, showed that he wasn't much of a friend after all. Though he probably suspected he was gay, Vern had never felt free enough to really export his sexuality. Vern was really good with construction, so he got a job in Sacramento with the hopes of getting himself and his mom out of Dogpatch. That job didn't pan out, but he did get an offer from Dex, for Johnnies, so "Bobby" was born. And Bobby loved filming porn.

As with the other books in this series, the timelines run concurrent. We meet and see Bobby some in the other books, but he was the new guy and so he was only on the edges for most of the happenings. And Reg was so busy trying to keep his sister on her meds, we didn't see him much, either.

Bobby Green felt fresh, even though some of the events that happened were familiar. I'm happy that this book didn't make the same mistake that Ethan in Gold made. All the other guys were there, but I never once felt like they overshadowed Bobby & Reg.

I enjoyed the relationship development, here, and the exploration of each guy's sexuality. Bobby was steadfast and exactly what Reg needed and Reg was loyal to a fault and would do anything for those he loved. Reg has a huge heart and only wanted to do right by his sister. Was he really capable of caring for her when she kept scheming to avoid her meds? Well, no, but I don't think most people could do it - especially without professional support.

All in all, I loved the newest addition to the Johnnies series and would heartily recommend it to lovers of old-school Amy Lane angst.


Review copy of Bobby Green was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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