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.
©2015 Amy Lane (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
Reading it. Honestly, three hours in and I had to stop listening to it. I love Amy's Johnnies series but the narrator just ruined it for me.
The previous narrator of the Johnnies series, Sean Crisden.
Probably not, only because I can't imagine it ever being made into a movie.
There is a huge difference between a voice actor and a narrator who just uses accents to differentiate between various characters. Gallen is supposed to be a highly educated corporate lawyer, a 'land-shark'. Instead he sounds like a whinging hick who just fell off the back of a turnip truck.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
While the players and the setting changes, the game remains the same. Gomez Pugh picks up the narration for the final installment of the Johnnies series, and does it beautifully. Pugh consistently delivers a dynamic and impressive performance.
While the other three books in the series focused on the Johnnies set and life in and around Sacramento, Black John focuses more on the characters, on Johnnies owner, John Carey, in particular, and is set mainly in Florida.
John has just completed a stint in rehab for a long-time cocaine addiction when he receives word that the first person he ever loved, Vittorio "Tory" Petrelli has taken his own life and left a will asking John to release his ashes into the sea.
When John arrives back in Florida to clean out Tory's apartment and get rid of his stuff, he meets Tory's next door neighbor, Galen Henderson, who helps John with the apartment cleanup, and emotional support. The two work their way through Tory's things, and piece together his final days.
In the process John and Galen grow closer and fall in love. Unfortunately, Galen is battling his own demons and has been hooked on painkillers since a terrible motorcycle accident left him with crippling pain, a limp, and scars.
One of the things that nearly killed me was just how good the hurt/comfort is in this story. THIS is the kind of hurt/comfort I love, with fallible characters bringing a measure of something they've never had before to one another.
The characters are human, and flawed, and it's a sweet story at the base watching these two broken in different ways men come together and make a new life full of hope and possibility. Full of emotion, hope and hurt/comfort this final book in the series is a winner!
Where to start….
Well, first we all know Johnnies right – the made up porn studio that introduced us to Chase and Tommy, Dex and Kane, Ethan and Jonah and in a related way, Alejandro and Donny. We LOVE Johnnies. John… we don’t love so much. He was a coke head, douche in Dex in Blue and though he had glimmers of the kinda guy Dex might befriend, by the time we actually meet him, he’s gone over the edge.
This is his story.
We start out with John getting out of rehab, he’s still pretty shaky, but determined, only to find out that this newly sober John has to fly to Florida (across the world practically) to help clean out the apartment and distribute the remains of his first (and only?) love who has committed suicide.
Uh…Thanks Amy for taking it easy on us. NOT!
Tory and John grew up together, realized they were gay together, started doing porn together but I can’t really say they loved each other because Tory never treated John like someone he loved.
As time passes Tory descends down a spiral of sex and drugs and after years and three trips to rehab John decides Tory needs to do it on his own, cause whatever John is doing, isn’t helping.
Thus the birth of Johnnies.
Flash back to today, John is at Tory’s apartment where he meets the neighbor, Galen. Galen is a lawyer who had a terrible accident three years ago, and has since been caught up in a cycle of depression and pain med addiction.
So… of course John is super attracted to Galen, but really – can he? Should he? Is it remotely smart for him to take on another addict?
If I were to rank my favorite Johnnies books the order would be Dex, Super Sock Man, Chase, John, Ethan…. Black John is a good book, Amy doesn’t write anything bad. The angst is so painful. Tory hurt John so much. Dex (inadvertently) hurt John so much. But… the one piece I missed with Black John that Chase and Dex and even Super Sock Man had was a bit more of a connection between the lovers.
I loved that John could finally help Galen and that Galen wanted to be strong enough to show John he deserved someone whole. But I didn’t see them as a couple long enough to feel as attached to them as I have in other Amy Lane books.
On the other hand I absolutely loved that we got to see more of Dex and Kane again!
Gomez Pugh is amazing! I love this new addition to the Johnnies series! Gomez has a great voice and does a tremendous job at differentiating the different characters. OMG! I was cracking up at his version of Tommy and Kane. Tommy has this great Boston accent and Kane has a sweetly Hispanic lilt. John is dry and self-effacing, Gaven is deliciously southern, Dex is quiet and stern, Ethan is deep and rumbly… it goes on and on. Though I loved the narrator for the previous books (Sean Crisden is one of my favorite narrators!) I really loved these added touches. It absolutely bumped this great book to amazing and I highly recommend listening to this if you are a fan of the series. It was delightful!
6 of 5 stars!
I've bought all the "colour" books in this series. This was my least fav, but still very good. Buy it to close out the series if you're listening. It wraps it all up nicely
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
Dark, emotional, passionate.
The secondary character of addiction, and his cousin recovery. Lane did such an amazing job at staying true to the brutal reality of addiction and the hard road of recovery that never really ends, it took on a life of it's own in the story.
Galen. He is this southern boy through and through. He is possessive and jealous and loud, in your face honest.
John. He grows exponentially throughout the story.
Why can't I give this book 10 stars?!?!?!
John Carey came dangerously close to losing both his best friend and his business, snorting it up his nose. Instead, Dex stood by his side, only took a small percentage of Johnnies and shipped John off to rehab. Just when John thinks he has a handle on his addiction, he learns that the man that tore him apart, broke him down and made him the unfeeling bastard he is today is dead. And just like when he was alive, Tory has dropped his baggage at John’s feet.
Galen Henderson was a successful lawyer who had a home, a partner and a job he loved. One mistake left him unemployed, single and forever scarred. His lover of over four years came to visit him in the hospital after the wreck just long enough to tell him he had moved him out of their home and into a shitty apartment, oh, and dumped him before Galen could even get his feet under him again. Misery loves company so of course Galen became friends with his new neighbor Tory, who was even more messed up than Galen was. When Tory’s old boyfriend John shows up after Tory’s death, Galen is determined to hate the big time porn star that dropped Tory on his ass to go off and make a name for himself. Galen wasn’t prepared for the truth, and he definitely wasn’t prepared to fall in love with John.
The two bond over their addictions, the pain of losing Tory and a mutual attraction that leaves them both sweaty and breathless. And while you would think an addict that is fresh out of recovery would fall right into one of Galen’s pill bottles, John will surprise you. He readily admits the nagging pull he feels to that bottle, that little voice inside his head that is screaming for a fix. But he doesn’t succumb to it, for reasons beyond John’s comprehension at the start, he feels this need to try and help Galen. As well, Galen is drawn to John’s pain and inserts himself into the red heads life, helping him clean up the mess Tory has left of it.
They try very hard not to love each other, and oddly it is the shared grief over Tory, the disgusting and painful time they spend cleaning out Tory’s apartment, watching the goodbye video he left for John, that sends them over the edge. And once they admit their feelings the hard part begins.
It’s hard to put into words how much I loved this story. It is a cesspool of dark, dank, emotional turmoil that only Amy Lane could write and make you fall in love with these characters that are so broken by their own hand, even root for them to just shut up and love each other. While the previous books in this series have always had the secondary character of the porn world, the life the guys lead on and off camera, this story replaced that aspect with the seedy world of addiction. And let me assure you that Lane hit that nail on the head. There is a part in the story when Galen winds up in the hospital and he is being treated poorly simply because of his addiction. This really hit home for me, my sister is a recovering addict who was recently is a bad car wreck and received piss poor care in the ER simply because she was honest with the staff and told them she was recovering. That one five minute rant from John when he went off on that nurse gave this story an edge of reality that made my skin crawl. Perfection Amy, just perfection!
Now when I first qued up this audio on my I-pod, I was disappointed that Sean Crisden wasn’t continuing his role as narrator, he has been replaced by Gomez Pugh. I didn’t want to like him. Over three books I’d gotten used to Crisden’s tones and inflections for these characters. Well, Pugh quickly wormed his way in there and took control of the story with his cocky, self assured but slightly broken tones for John. Or his completely country bumpkin portrayal of Galen that had me laughing out loud. John and Galen are probably the most volatile lovers in the series to date and Pugh truly conveyed those emotions, right down to every little moan, groan and scream. There is a scene where John is making a video for Galen while he is in rehab… God almighty Dayum, that was hot! The perfect merging of Lane’s writing and Pugh’s vocal chops really brought this story to life for me.
I could write a book on how much I loved this book. Well written and narrated, in depth, dark, emotional, passionate, sometimes quirky and funny. Just go buy a copy so I can stop rambling, kay.
I've was a little luke warm about continuing the Johnnies series, there is only so much hurt comfort I can take in the Johnny world. But I am a slave to any book narrated by Peter B. Brooke, so I bought it. This is a stand alone, mostly, but it does help to be familiar with the previous books, as the past couples do appear in this book. To be honest, I was still luke warm about the story, but Mr. Brooke's narration kept me engaged and the story really enjoyable. It was nice to hear John's story and great to have a peek into the other boys from the series. As with all the other stories, John's story is heartbreaking. He is forced to confront the death of his first love and in the process meets Tory; someone as messed up as he is. Together the two men help and support each other and discover they are stronger together than apart. I really enjoyed their journey. Worth a credit.
There are so many layers to this story. I didn't know if I could take all of the angst but I'm glad that I gave it a try. John's redemption is the best part.
Gomez Pugh is perfect for this book. He's become one of my favorite narrators since he started narrating the PsyCop series. His distinctive voices and the way he expresses the emotions for each character makes listening such a pleasure. I look forward to hearing a lot more from him.
It made me angry and sad for the way John and Tory's parents treated them. I really liked John's Nana. Her antic cracked me up.
I hope Gomez will be narrating more of Amy's books. I love that his talents have been paired with some of my favorite authors.
An unsympathetic character in the previous books of the series becomes the main focus of this book. And I think it makes for one of the best books of the series. In large part this is due to great narration by Gomez Pugh. Particularly good is the soft Southern accent of Galen. These are flawed men who help each other become happier and stronger. There are flashes of humor done with a deft touch by Gomez. The sex scenes are also well done. Interesting characters are made better by a talented narrator.
John. He really brought out all of the emotions John had to go through out.
Whew... What a story. Having read numerous other Amy Lane books, I was prepared for some twisted things to come... and boy was there. This was probably one of my favorite in the series as there is a lot that goes on, but never too much. There is heartache, addiction, suicide and so much more that happens.
I love that while a part of the book takes place in another part of the country, we eventually do get to catch up with ALL of the characters from the other books and see how life is going for them.
I have to say that I didn't particularly care for John in the previous books, but was interested to hear his story and I'm glad I was as the book was a great insight to the man and how he ended up where he was when we first met him in the first book.
The way the various addictions were talked about and approached in this book made me really appreciate the way Amy Lane writes her characters. It was good and normal... and REAL. It was hard, it was ugly and it didn't always have a happy ending.
Once again Amy Lane left me wanting more from her.
As for the narration, I have to say the change in narrator was a bit of a let down simply because all the other books in the series had been read by Sean Crisden. However, that being said, I loved the job Gomez Pugh did. I've listened to a few of his other works and he was just as good as I've come to expect from him. Bringing a life to the characters in a way that really helped the listener feel the emotions and situations going on... and boy does he read the sexy scenes HOT.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Inked Rainbow Reads.
The narrator. This is the first Johnnie's he did and he did a great job
It was nice to get John's history, tied the whole series together. This is one of my favorite series EVER
He is great, I first listened to him in Camp Hell Series Psycop
no it took a few. It was long.
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