Title:Dex in Blue (Johnnies #2)
Author: Amy Lane
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (350 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by jeayci
Review Summary: This would have been one of my favorite Amy Lane stories if I hadn’t felt emotionally manipulated at the beginning and end.
Blurb: Ten years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies.
Dex’s life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex’s coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay. Kane may be a hyperactive muscle-bound psycho, but he’s also a really nice guy. What could be the harm?
Except nothing is simple—not sex, not love, and not the goofy kid with the big dick and bigger heart who moves his life into Dex’s guest room. When they start negotiating fractured pasts and broken friends, Dex wonders if Kane’s honest nature can untangle the sadness that stalled his once-promising future. With Kane by his side, Dex just might be able to reclaim the boy he once was—and if he can do that, he can give Kane the home and the family he deserves.
Review: Not only did I love Dex in Blue for itself, but it retroactively made me like Chase in Shadow more. That was one of my least favorite Amy Lane books, as I had real difficulty with Chase cheating on a wonderful woman like Mercy. Dex in Blue also had guys who cheated on their girlfriends with other guys, but here it disturbed me less, and the different perspective on Chase helped redeem him in my eyes. This could almost become one of my favorite Amy Lane books, except that I felt manipulated by the beginning and the end, and that left a sour taste in my mouth.
Despite my issues with Chase in Shadow, I loved Dex and I was eager for his story. It lived up to my hopes for it, and I adored Kane. So sweet, so wise, with a heart as big as the Montana sky. I frequently forgot that he was only twenty, as he had a wisdom beyond his years. Despite the actual time-frame being short, this didn’t feel at all like insta-love. I enjoyed the development of their relationship from friends to lovers to lifemates.
Although I loved Dex and Kane, and developed more positive feelings about Chase, I didn’t like as many of these characters as much as I usually do in Amy Lane books. Although she usually writes likeable female characters, there was a noticeable dearth of them in this book. They all seemed to be bitchy, crazy, and/or stupid. I also felt like there was a little too much baby-ness in this book, with a set up for the next one to be Babypalooza. And I think I’m an exception in this, but I didn’t really love the other Johnnies guys, though I am hoping for a future story that will redeem John.
This book wasn’t nearly as angsty as Chase in Shadow, but it had it’s fair share. And for once I felt like it wasn’t all necessary for the story, that the first chapter’s raison d’etre was to manipulate my emotions. So it ticked me off despite being beautifully written and moving. I checked other reviews and didn’t see any mention that, so maybe it was just me and you should take this with a grain of salt. I just really wish the information contained in the first chapter had been disseminated differently. The last page or two also felt unnecessary, like it was there solely to serve as a teaser for the next book.
For Amy Lane fans this is a satisfying addition to the canon, and I highly recommend it. If the issues I mentioned don’t bother you, this might be one of her best. I really grappled with how to rate it. For those who aren’t already fans of hers, I think this could be a good book to start with (it’s really not necessary to have read Chase in Shadow first), with the caveat about potential pet peeves.