Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ethan in Gold by Amy Lane

Title:  Ethan in Gold
AuthorAmy Lane
My Rating:
 B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Johnnies #3
Main Characters: Ethan and Jonah
Release Date: October 2013
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:

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.


My Review:
I've absolutely loved and devoured the three books in this series in the last 48 hours. While this book was my least favorite of the three, it was still really VERY good. 

Ethan is another of the emotionally wounded Johnnies boys. I think out of all the guys who work for the porn film company, he's the most vulnerable. He suffers from touch deprivation and as a result NEEDS touch to survive. He turned to Johnnies because there he could get that touch on a regular basis, it was a safe place for him, and these guys became his family. But he seems so lost and vulnerable and hurt, you just want to hold him. The beginning of the book is Ethan, who is actually Evan, during his childhood and how he turns out this way. At 5 he was sexually molested and from that moment on, his family was terrified to touch him. As the only boy, they didn't want to do anything that could be misconstrued. BUT that turned into more damage than the initial molestation could have ever had on him. It wrecked Ethan and his ability to function. 

Ethan has no illusions about what he's doing and how that's perceived by the world, but he's okay with that...until he meets Jonah. Jonah is part of an extremely loving family who have devoted their lives to helping his 17 yo sister survive her cerebral palsy. As a result of that devotion, Jonah is still a virgin at 22. For Ethan, this fact completely ruins him...suddenly he feels dirty and unworthy. There's something he does in the book that is full of such pain, I just wanted to cry for him. All of a sudden, this wonderful thing he's had with these guys that's saved him and kept him safe is wrong and dirty. Ethan feels awful about himself and won't let Jonah get near him...which hurts both of them. For Jonah, he sees how physical Ethan is with his friends and doesn't understand why he shies away from Jonah's touch. He doesn't understand that Ethan simply feels too dirty for that. Jonah is way too good for Ethan. It's painful and so emotional. 

Overall, this book was really good, but I did have a few problems with it. Like the first two books, it covered the same basic timeframe. The difference with this book is that it didn't progress any further in time... so it was all the same events in time, just from different viewpoints. While I don't mind that, in fact it's nice to see the different viewpoints, this particular book didn't tell us anything new about those events. There was only one tiny detail that we didn't know before....the sex of Chase and Tommy's new baby. I wanted more to feel a progression in the series. Also the book just seemed to kind of lose momentum at the end. There were things going on that we found out in book #2 that REALLY affect these characters, but there weren't any scenes about those changes coming to Johnnies. It's like the author just got tired of writing the book and finished before it was really done. 

I did like the book though, even with those niggling little things that bothered me. This series has been wonderful. If you like your books with angst, I highly recommend this series and I do recommend you read it in order. While they are supposed to stand alone, I think there are too many characters to just jump in. A new reader is going to get totally lost with who everyone is if they come in at book #3.

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