A Johnnies Story
Donnie’s crush on his sister’s roommate, Alejandro, has gone beyond childhood dreams—and it’s driving Donnie insane! So when Donnie gets a chance to house-sit for his sister and Yandro, Donnie doesn’t feel alone. He’s got all his vivid fantasies to keep him company! Can a little dumb luck—and a little help from a magical homemade gift—help Donnie’s fantasies come true?
Okay, there’s a lot going on here, so let’s get a few things straight first. This was originally written offered for FREE from the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, Hot Summer Days event, and has since been expanded and is now sold. It is a prequel to Chase in Shadow, about one of the side characters (Chase’s BFF Donnie), and I think it is fine to read before or after that book. It’s also considered the second book in the Granby Knitting series that starts with The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters, but seems unrelated except for having knitted socks (different characters, different state, etc) and I really wish they would stop calling it part of that series. It irks me.
Now, onto the book. It’s a really sweet little story. The prompt pic had never done much for me when this originally came out, but I’m glad I finally got to it. Donny is a sweetheart and I enjoyed the friends-to-lovers as Donnie slowly worked his way into Alejandro’s life. The sister was a great secondary character, and I liked Donnie’s parents as characters, but I also appreciated that they didn’t make an actual appearance. Short stories can feel overloaded with too many extra characters, having only the sis and Chase so that our guys weren’t in a bubble was perfect. And Although I predicted it, the ending with the Grandma was sweet.
The audio version was okay, but not my favorite narration for a few reasons. I liked how the narrator made teenage Donnie’s voice crack, it was a great touch and emphasized his youth. Despite the fact that 19 is still technically a teenager, as a sophomore and college baseball player at University, Donnie is no longer a child and I did not like the continued, albeit sparse, use of this device. This was a love story between two men so I didn’t like his voice cracking at this point. Similarly, I appreciated all the intonation and acting from the narrator, the first time Donnie got penetrated with the “fuck yes more wait harder damn stop yes FUCK ME!” was fabulous, but some of the groans and grunts were borderline comical. And while I liked Alejandro’s accent, it drove me a little crazy that we only heard it when he talked out loud. Wouldn’t his thoughts have an accent also? Especially when composing a letter? Small things, but like I said, good yet not a favorite in audio.
Definitely recommended to fans of the Johnnies series, although can be a stand alone. And just ignore that anyone ever said it was part ofGranby Knitting. You can still get the original for free on Goodreads, but I don’t know which bits were added on so I can’t speak to that version.