Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Release Day Review: Bobby Green (Johnnies Book 5) by Amy Lane

bobby greenTitle ~ Bobby Green (Johnnies Book 5)

Author ~ Amy Lane

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 6th February 2018

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance

Rating

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Synopsis

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?

 

Debra’s Review

Vern graduates high school and at 18 leaves his small hometown. He's truly hoping to be able to help get his mother out of that town even if he lies to himself a bit about not running away from everything that's confusing him. He leaves behind a girlfriend, as well as her brother, who he had been exchanging blowjobs with behind her back. When Vern tries to put a stop to things with Keith, he threatens to spread rumors through their town, which would make life difficult for Vern’s mother. Vern is confused about the feelings he has for Keith, and tries to put it behind him. When he becomes “Bobby” and begins shooting gay porn for Johnnies, the feelings only get stronger no matter how much he tries to explain to himself that he’s not gay and no matter how he attracted he is to the older, sweetheart of a model Reg.

Having been with Johnnies for 10 years, Reg enjoys his job and the men he works with. Reg is not very smart but he has a huge heart. He has done his best to make a life for himself and his paranoid schizophrenic older sister. He is in a bad situation trying to care for Veronica who first manipulated him as a teen into signing conservatorship papers after their mother and sister walked out on them. The promise he couldn’t fully understand when he made it so long ago has cost him a lot and is only getting harder to keep as Veronica’s condition worsens. Reg can’t help but remember the sister he loved as a child and how she protected him and he can’t bring himself to send her away, even though he now has to sleep with one eye open and hide the kitchen knives for fear of her violent rages. Bobby offers him comfort and companionship and makes him wish for things he never considered before, but Reg knows it would just be a matter of time before his situation drives Bobby away.

This is a slow burn as Bobby and Reg become friends. Bobby helps Reg with his house and his sister (as do all the Johnnies men). There are shared touches, and a huge emotional bond growing between them, but both are confused as to their sexuality. Neither thinks they are gay since they both like girls. It's clear that Bobby also has feelings for men and that those feelings are a lot more genuine than what he feels for his girlfriend. Reg seems to be bisexual, but he's not really sure what that means or how to make a relationship work with a guy. They both are starved for touch and affection though and find that comfort with each other, but Bobby refuses to have sex with Reg and that really throws Reg for a loop.

Communication is difficult between them, considering they can’t even be honest with themselves. They are so wrapped up in not being gay, not allowing themselves to go with what they feel, that they wind up hurting each other along the way, but when they finally start to open their eyes, they quickly realize that they can’t be without the other. Their relationship struggles did bring a few tears to my eyes.

I was a bit worried at first with how Reg was going to be portrayed, but I found Amy Lane did a good job of explaining the situation. He may not have a high IQ, but he’s not impaired. His upbringing has a lot to do with why he sees himself as “stupid” and the more you get to know him, the more you understand. I’ll admit to frustration with Bobby and why it took so long for it to occur to him to break up with the girlfriend he had no interest in and dreaded going back home to. I did understand the other worries he had about leaving his mother behind in Dogpatch. His mom is a wonderful secondary character and a great addition to the Johnnies cast. The biggest issue facing the men though is Veronica and it’s a story that’s not always easy to read with no simple solution.

The story runs concurrently with the timeline in the other books. While this could work as a standalone, I would suggest at least reading the amazing Chase in Shadow (though it’s a bit of a tough, angsty read dealing with mental illness as well) and Dex in Blue (still angsty but not the subject matter may not be as difficult) in order to have a better understanding of the Johnnies world and what’s going on with the other men in the story.

Not nearly as gut-wrenching as Chase or Dex’s story, there is still the emotional turmoil that the Johnnies series does so well. A running theme in these stories is building a family from those who support you even when they are not blood and that continues here. I always love it when Dex and crew step up to protect and care for their own, and they are all back here doing it again for more than just Bobby and Reg as we get to know a few more of the Johnnies models. Bobby and Reg fit right into the Johnnies mold. If you love classic Amy Lane, you will definitely find it here.

Purchase Links

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AMAZON GLOBAL LINK

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The Johnnies Series

13423284Chase in Shadow (Book One)

Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.

Nobody knows the real Chase.

Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.

Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.

Amazon Global Link

71Hl3IAzBRL._SL1350_Dex in Blue (Book Two)

Ten years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies.

Dex’s life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex’s coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay. Kane may be a hyperactive muscle-bound psycho, but he’s also a really nice guy. What could be the harm?

Except nothing is simple—not sex, not love, and not the goofy kid with the big dick and bigger heart who moves his life into Dex’s guest room. When they start negotiating fractured pasts and broken friends, Dex wonders if Kane’s honest nature can untangle the sadness that stalled his once-promising future. With Kane by his side, Dex just might be able to reclaim the boy he once was—and if he can do that, he can give Kane the home and the family he deserves.

Amazon Global Link

ethan in goldEthan in Gold (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.

Amazon Global Link

blackjohnBlack John (Book Four)

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.

Amazon Global Link

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Meet Amy Lane

 

headshots-amy-lane-3Amy Lane is a mother of two grown kids, two half-grown kids, two small dogs, and half-a-clowder of cats. A compulsive knitter who writes because she can’t silence the voices in her head, she adores fur-babies, knitting socks, and hawt menz, and she dislikes moths, cat boxes, and knuckleheaded macspazzmatrons. She is rarely found cooking, cleaning, or doing domestic chores, but she has been known to knit up an emergency hat/blanket/pair of socks for any occasion whatsoever or sometimes for no reason at all. Her award-winning writing has three flavors: twisty-purple alternative universe, angsty-orange contemporary, and sunshine-yellow happy. By necessity, she has learned to type like the wind. She’s been married for twenty-five-plus years to her beloved Mate and still believes in Twu Wuv, with a capital Twu and a capital Wuv, and she doesn’t see any reason at all for that to change.

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