Johnnies: Book Three
Evan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies, he gets exactly what he wants - comradeship and physical contact on trade -and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He's sure of it.
Jonah Stevens has spent most of his adult life helping to care for his sister and trying to keep his beleaguered family from fraying at the edges. He's had very little time to work on his confidence or his body for that matter. When Jonah meets Ethan, he doesn't see the hurt child or the shamelessly slutty porn star. He sees a funny, sexy, confident man who-against the odds-seems to like Jonah in spite of his very ordinary, but difficult, life.
Sensing a kindred spirit and a common interest, Ethan thinks a platonic friendship with Jonah won't violate his fair trade rules of sex and touch, but Jonah has different ideas. Ethan's pretty sure his choice of jobs has stripped away all hope of a real relationship, but Jonah wants the whole package-the sexy man, the vulnerable boy, the charming companion who works so hard to make other people happy. Jonah wants to prove that underneath the damage Ethan has lived with all his life, he's still gold with promise and the ability to love.
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Reviewed for Prism Book Alliance
When the Johnnies series first come out I can still clearly remember reading Chase Shadow and being left with the feeling that my heart had been torn out with all the hurt. If somebody asked me to give one word to describe Amy Lane it would undoubtedly be ANGST. She is the absolute master of it!! Ethans book is also full of angst but not in the all consuming way that Chases was.
At the start of this book we find out that Ethan has been abused at school, as a 5 year old, by the bad man with him ‘bamboo’. At first he is supported by his family but those feelings quickly change when they pull away and his mother stops touching him altogether. Whether in fear, stupidity or ignorance the pain this causes Ethan and the effects it will have on his life are devastating and life changing, even more so than the original abuse
Ethan craves touch and I mean CRAVES. He reminded me of a big puppy as he grew up, always trying to do the right thing, to please everybody around him, just so people would touch his arm or tousle his hair. His family fail him completely in this respect; he has a failed attempt at a sexual experience with another boy which leads to more confusion and pain and for a while settles in a relationship with a girlfriend. Although not what he wants deep down he is finally being touched, skin on skin and it settles him.
After leaving his family he finds a way of getting the touch he needs in abundance. He becomes Ethan, a porn star. He has unconsciously built a new family around himself and the men in his life, his co-stars, recognise the need in him to be touched and petted and look after him well. Two years into this new life he meets Jonah who will rock his world and change everything.
Jonah has no experience of the world Ethan lives in. His is a twenty something year old virgin whose life revolves around work, home and looking after his dying sister. He may be the inexperienced one in the relationship but he has an uncanny way of reading Ethan and knowing what he needs. Slowly h e ingratiates himself into Ethans world and shows strength and maturity when the secrets start to come out.
Even though Ethan is its own story it runs at the same time and therefore alongside Chase and Dex. There are events that happen that you will recognise from both the previous books. To get the most out of the stories and understand the characters I think it is imperative that you read all the books in order.
Ethan and Jonah are great together but there is very little romance. Back to Amy Lane, if I would describe her writing with the word angst then I would describe her characters in this series as broken. Oh boy do they all have issues. The drama that surrounds this small group would be overwhelming in real life but somehow it still seems very real. There is no fluff. They might get their happy endings but the woman makes them bleed for it!
I thoroughly enjoyed my second visit to the Johnnies characters. I you haven’t read this series all I would ask is. Why not?
Looking through the number of audio books that Sean Crisden has narrated it is obvious he is a popular choice. From recent experience I have discovered that you need to listen to each book individually. Where you may not like a narration of one book by a person you may end up loving the next. Sean was near perfect for Ethan. For nearly 11 hours I listened as his voice flowed through the story clearly. He didn’t make the sex scenes sound ‘squicky’ and he portrayed each of the characters as I imagined them in my head.
Good story. Couldn't get past the narration.
The story was good. Happiness, sadness, growing up, some juicy, explicit scenes. I just could not listen to the narrator on this one.
It was good to learn Ethan's backstory. The writing was great, as usual, and the storyline wasn't a cookie-cutter copy of the other books in the series.
I couldn't get past the narration, especially of one of the main characters. The 22 year old sounded like a constipated 7 yr old.
The story was good. It explained Ethan's behavior that we learned about in previous books. I also liked seeing the other johnnies from an outsider's point of view.
I bought the kindle version and enjoyed the story.
- Wendy in MD