“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” ― Aberjhani
Author: Amy Lane
Narrator:: Sean Crisden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 10 Hours, 46 Minutes
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: 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
Review: What can I say? Another winner! I think I enjoyed this story in audio more than the book. The timing of the book is around the same stretch of time as the other Johnnies stars’, so we get to see each one of their POVs and their situations from each book.
Again, we have another Johnnies star who is in need of friendship, love, security, and with Evan “Ethan”, physical contact. Evan’s path in life was altered at a young age. Abuse caused his family to pull away and leave him feeling alone and unloved in a house full of family. They stopped physically touching him, no hugs, nothing. Evan’s only support was from his childhood therapist, who was like a surrogate father, and from an Anime school club. In the safety of these two places, Evan discovered his sexual preference, but also his absolute hunger to be touched and held. When Evan’s family completely falls apart after years of dysfunction stemming from the “incident”, Evan turns to Johnnies for what he needs, becomes Ethan, and then he meets Jonah. Jonah is the epitome of innocence, and Ethan is attracted to him even though he believes he does not deserve him.
It was hard for me to bond with Jonah’s character because, after reading the Johnnies series, I became protective of the guys. This is the first story where the main characters are not all from Johnnies, and the idea that someone from the outside could hurt any of them tears your heart out. Jonah is dealing with his own issues of a broken family because of a chronically sick sister, but as the story progresses, Jonah and Ethan find their way through all their land mines and end up filling the empty spaces in each other’s hearts.
You cannot help but love Ethan, and listening to Sean Crisden’s narration makes this audiobook a must buy-must have. Amy Lane and Sean Crisden are the perfect combination for hours of entertainment!