Review: Amy Lane – Black John (Johnnies, #4)

black johnAuthor: Amy Lane
Reviewer: Sandra
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
ISBN: 9781632165527

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Summary: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.
Although Dex in Blue is still my all-time favorite, this is a nice addition to the Johnnies series. John is the slightly older (35) guy who runs Johnnies, so he’s not a ‘sex-object’ the way the younger guys/porn stars are. But that’s no reason he can’t be sexy. He finds a lover who reminds him that he is attractive and there are many things to love about him. I liked this story line, him building himself back up after what amounts to a life-long bad (borderline emotional abusive) relationship, although it could have been steamier.

This is definitely lacking on the sex, compared to the other books. The sex scene was hot, and I liked the sexy skyping and phone convos, but the problem is that those were mostly alluded to. I wanted to hear Galen’s dirty phone sex, andsee his reaction to John’s sexy Skype video Not sure why those were skipped.

I didn’t mind the time apart. From a relationship perspective it did make sense. There is a reason people aren’t supposed to dive into relationships right after rehab, so I appreciated that they talked about it and that the guys wanted to stand on their own. But we needed one more chapter! WTF. Don’t get me wrong, I like catching up with our other guys. But I really don’t appreciate the parade of previous characters at the end of a book (no need for it, except as it related to John) and the gratuitous set-up of the next book. Then slap Galen in and… over.

I was worried I would get annoyed by the flashbacks, but they were used sparingly and helped to understand John and Tory’s relationship and dynamic. It was sad and sweet and set the stage. It helped to understand John’s reactions and how although he was devastated by Tory’s death, it was also a bit of a relief. He could finally move on with his life, and I loved how Galen helped him do it, although I would have liked to see more of Galen.

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