Book Reviews

Bobby Green (Johnnies 5) by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Rent Boys/Escorts/Porn Stars / Erotic Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 06-February-2018

Book Blurb

Vern Roberts couldn’t wait to turn eighteen and get the hell out of Dogpatch, California. But city living is expensive, and he’s damned desperate when Dex from Johnnies spots him bussing tables.

 

As “Bobby,” he’s a natural at gay porn. Soon he’s surrounded by hot guys and sex for the taking, but it’s not just his girlfriend back in Dogpatch—or her blackmailing brother—that keeps him from taking it. It’s the sweet guy who held the lights for his first solo scene, who showed him decency, kindness, and a smile.

 

Reg Williams likes to think he’s too stupid to realize what a shitty hand life dealt him, but Bobby knows better. What Reg lacks in family, opportunity, education, and money, he makes up for in heart. One fumbling step at a time, they connect, not just in their hearts but in their bodies, where sex that’s not on camera, casual, or meaningless, becomes the most important thing in the world.

 

But Reg is hampered by an inescapable family burden, and he and Bobby will never fly unless he can find a way to manage it. Can he break the painful link to his unrealized childhood and grow into the love Bobby wants to give?

 

Book Review

It’s hard to believe it has been three years since the last release of a ‘Johnnies’ novel. It is a comfort to be back with the guys and since Reg has always been on the periphery, and I certainly know how the others think and feel about him, ‘Bobby Green’ is more than just coming home, it’s getting to know someone in a whole new way. This novel begins very shortly before Chase’s attempted suicide so, much like with Reg, I’ve been aware of Bobby as part of the Johnnies crew, but the author is finally giving me his story. I love that it’s written in a way that I am aware of things that happened in the lives of the other characters, but the focus is still on Reg and Bobby. Be forewarned that Kleenex is a requirement and, for some, a whole bottle of wine might be needed to get you through this.

Vern Roberts, aka Bobby Green, is from Dogpatch, California. Literally. His alcoholic and abusive father left them years ago, and it has only ever been just his mom and him trying to survive in the tiny house they rent from the farmer who owns the land it rests on. The same farmer whose daughter is Bobby’s girlfriend and whose son likes to hang out with Bobby and just “play around like guys do”. Except, Bobby doesn’t understand why he wants the tender moments more with Keith than with Jessica, even knowing Keith would kick his a** for trying. Bobby heads to Sacramento for work and just like most of the other guys somehow ends up at Johnnies.

“All the small things he’d been denying about himself for so long, from this twisted relationship with Keith Gilmore to his willingness to give up girls at Johnnies—even his teeny-tiny sweetheart crush on Dex after their scene—all of it. He knew. He’d always known. Kissing Reg the night before, promising him… promising him a relationship—but here, in this house, with these guys in their underwear, he had the words.
“I’m gay,” Bobby said in wonder.”

Reg has been at Johnnies for ten years now. It pays a lot better than McDonald’s and the guys there take care of him and help him with his sister, V, who is difficult. Reg knows he isn’t very smart but no one at Johnnies makes him feel bad about that. Then one day he meets Bobby and they become friends. Friends who talk to each other, hold hands in the dark, and share their lives, but don’t have sex. The sex thing really screws with Bobby’s head until he can figure out the difference between porn sex and friend sex, or “work sex” and “heart sex”, and realize that he wants a whole lot more with Reg. Reg knows he isn’t good enough for this younger, smart guy, but Reg wants that whole package too.

“He was all the way inside, and Reg shook from his toes through his heart, just trembled with all the pleasure, all the sensation, all the awesomeness of having this boy, this beautiful boy inside him, driving out sadness, pain, and fear.”

Reg’s sister, Veronica (V), is older than he is and a paranoid schizophrenic who doesn’t like to take her meds. Reg’s entire life revolves around watching out for her, not just her needs, but to make sure she doesn’t try to kill him in the night. Again. Or, stab him with a knife she found. Again. Reg made her a promise that he would never put her in a home but she’s gotten older, sneakier, meaner, and more cunning. I can’t imagine having to put my sibling in a three-point restraint and force pills down her throat. But this is Reg’s reality.

The author was right when she told me to “strap in” for Reg and Bobby’s story. I wasn’t very far into it when I realized the reason it’s been three years since John’s story is that Amy Lane has been storing up a sh*t ton of angst and pain for ‘Bobby Green’. These two men hit me in every single emotional pore I have and they burrowed in, and when I least expected it, they exploded out taking their pain, and my blood, with them.

Love isn’t always enough. I learned that lesson a long time ago and I’ve never forgotten it. You can love someone with your whole heart and soul but if you can’t communicate, or compromise, then the love will fade and die. Luckily for me, the author may enjoy tearing me up inside, but her boys always get the happy ending. They have to work for it - DAMN HARD - but they get it. So even though Reg and Bobby had so much stacked against them, they had more going for them than even they could realize. Because when the chips were down, Dex, Kane, John, Galen, Ethan, Jonah, Lance, Trey, and all the men of Johnnies, weren’t going to let anything get in the way of these two finding their happiness together. But when it came right down to it, only Reg could make the decision whether he and Bobby would even have a future together.

I don’t think this review has done justice to the beauty of ‘Bobby Green’. Take it from me. I’ve read practically everything by this author and she might tear my heart out, but I always come away from her books with a better appreciation for the amazing thing we all share called life. There’s beauty and ugliness, but at the end of the day how you dealt with both is the only thing that really matters. I wouldn’t change a word of this book. It definitely lives up to the wonder that is ‘Johnnies’.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 350 pages/123633 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-February-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $17.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bobby-green-by-amy-lane-9320-b