Black John by Amy Lane ~ Book Review by Caroline

23556433 Title: Black John

Author: Amy Lane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: unknown

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

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.

Caroline’sView:

Welcome back to Johnnies where every single story will rip your heart out. This has the same boat load of angst as the other books in this series but we are out of the porn studio this time round. This is John’s story, it is dark and depressing as we go back and learn about the man and how his childhood and first love affected the man he is now.

When John nearly lost his business through his drug addiction Kane and Dex dragged him off to rehab for a month. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy and there were no guarantees but by the time he left he was at least clean and stood a small chance of returning to his life.

John grew up in an abusive household with a father who was a bully both verbally and with his fists. His best friend Tory was his salvation. He lived for the time he spent with the other boy and loved nothing more than spending time with Tory’s family – it was his little bit of normality. The only member of John’s family who cared even a little was his Nana and years later she rescued them both.

As Tory and John grow up their relationship becomes toxic. Both men are gay, both men are disowned by their families and both of them need each other but for very different reasons. John falls in love with Tory and will do literally anything for him which is not such a good thing as Tory becomes addicted to drugs and sex, a replacement for his lost family, and John spends his time enabling him. Tory never returns John’s love leaving him feeling like he is second best, a feeling that will become destructive for him in later years and leave him yearning for someone to care about him.
Tory’s last hurrah to the world is to take his own life. As John leaves rehab he must travel back to his childhood home and sort out the funeral arrangements and sift through the remains of his first lover’s depressing life. Meeting the neighbour Galen brings with it a new set of problems as John has to decide whether as a recovering addict he is strong enough to be around an addict that is still using. Galen has spent the last 3 years in pain due to an accident and relies heavily on prescription drugs.

As these two men falter through a new friendship that could clearly become more there is a constant danger that John could be dragged right back into his old life. Memories from over a decade ago assault him as he cleans up after his old love and the temptation to take the easy route through his new lover is fierce. John and Galen’s relationship is possessive and often angry rather than romantic. The badly scarred man and the hugely insecure man have to balance lust, anger and frustration in order to have any chance.

This is a dark story without a lot of happy interludes. It truly showcases Amy Lane at her best as there is no easy, no fluffy and no happy ending for some. It is a battle from the start and although the goals change during the story really it is still a battle at the end. For John to get his happy ever after he must battle demons from his past, present and future and he must do it sober.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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