Black John (Johnnies #4) by Amy Lane (4.5 Stars)

Taking a walk down memory lane, and finally seeing the truth, will allow John to free himself in life and love.

John Carey has just emerged from drug rehab and discovered his first love, Tory, has died. Tory requested that John toss his cremated remains in the water. This begins the dark journey of John’s reflection on his life. He meets Tory’s neighbor, Galen Henderson, who is not recovering very well from a motorcycle accident and is slowly becoming addicted to pain killers. Together these two discover a way forward out of addiction and into a life with each other.

The story spent a lot of time reflecting upon the depressing life John and Tory led together. John finally left Tory after Tory’s third trip to rehab. John believed that Tory would never recover if John continued to enable him. Unfortunately, John never left the memory of Tory behind and let those memories cloud his life for the next decade. His flashbacks included sex between two minors and plenty of sex between multiple characters including John and Tory. It wasn’t romantic or steamy sex since the emotional connection wasn’t really there.

Galen was an intelligent corporate lawyer who lost almost everything after his accident. Tory became his only real friend, and after Tory passed away, Galen started to get worse instead of better. John and Galen end up forming their own connection as they spend time together. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really convinced that they were going to work out in the long run. After Galen finally admits himself into rehab, the story focuses its time on the crew from Johnnies and how their lives have progressed. It was a nice walk down memory lane if you had read the first 3 stories. I just wish John and Galen could have spent more time developing their relationship.

Even though I didn’t fully buy into the romance, and the story was sad throughout, I still couldn’t put it down. Ms. Lane is a brilliant writer, and she had me completely wrapped up in John’s life.

cover

Originally reviewed for Swept Away By Romance. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

BLURB

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.

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