5 stars for Black John by Amy Lane #MM #romance #addiction @amymaclane @Dreamspinners

Black John

Title: Black John (Johnnies #4)
Author Name: Amy Lane
Publication Date & Length: January 26, 2015 – 280 pages


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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 FiveStarsAmy Lane writes about grief, addiction and self-loathing with insight and compassion.  Her Johnnies series has never been light reading, but Black John is easily the darkest and most complex of the books. 

I love John’s character.  The older, unremarkable owner of Johnnies was only a fleeting, peripheral character in the earlier books.  Here we have the story of his life, from abused, rejected child to successful business owner and addict.


In previous books, the characters’ serious personal dramas were played out against a backdrop of porn sets, hot sex and beautiful bodies.  In contrast, John’s story takes place in Florida, far away from the Johnnies men.  Sex happens in his memories – the adult John is pretty celibate.  John’s book is full memories and reflection as he is forced to consider the nature of addictions and the morality of pornography.


Oddly, this isn’t a depressing read.  There is joy and growth, new love and old friendships.  We get a glimpse of the future of Johnnies – and it looks good.   In all good Amy Lane stories, the darkness is always laced with a thread of hope and a whisper of possibility.



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Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.


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