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 ..Show More »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?
Narration 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.