Ethan, Who Loved Carter

Title: Ethan, Who Loved Carter
Author: Ryan Loveless
Cover artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link Ethan, Who Loved Carter
Genre: contemporary romance
Length: 210 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius.

Summary: A gentle, enjoyable romance about two men living with disabilities.

Blurb:

By twenty-four, Carter Stevenson has stuttered and ticced his way to debilitating shyness. Although his friends accuse him of letting his Tourette’s dictate his life, Carter moves from Los Angeles to a quiet California town. He’ll keep his head down and avoid people. He doesn’t anticipate his new neighbor, Ethan Hart, crashing into his solitude and forcing him to get out and live.
From the beginning, Ethan makes his love for Carter clear. But he fears Carter won’t see past Ethan’s damaged brain, even though it makes Ethan more attuned to his emotions than most people. For Carter, there’s a bigger issue: he’s been burned by so-called “perfect” matches, and he won’t risk his heart again.

One way or another, Ethan’s determined to show Carter they belong together. Then Ethan receives tragic news. Suddenly he must turn to Carter for strength and support. Will Carter come through when Ethan needs him most?

Review:

I will be honest, I kept this book for review for at least couple of months before I actually read it recently. Why would you ask? I was just very nervous that I would dislike how people who live with disabilities would be portrayed. My worry was for nothing. I liked this book, but again, please if you have not read it yet, do your own research and if you think that the topic may upset you, stay away.

I was all ready to do brief fact checking when I started reading this book, but after I read in the foreword that the author is living with Tourette syndrome and in many ways portrayed Carter’s symptoms based on hers, I decided it would be disrespectful for me to check anything because somebody who lives with it knows better than myself who is not living with it. She describes it in the foreword to the book, that is the reason I am mentioning this. The author also provides a lot of resources (books, Internet links) if you want to learn more about Tourette’s and Traumatic Brain Injury. I am planning on using at least some of them after my review is up, because as I said, I made a deliberate choice not to check anything till I was done and afterwards it will just be a learning experience for me.

This was mostly a very quiet story where the characters were the driving force. Nothing over the top happened; in fact besides the guys meeting each other and Carter meeting Ethan’s friends and family, nothing really happened. The guys meeting each other, getting to know each other, learning the good and bad things in their lives, slowly undergoing some changes in them—this was pretty much the gist of this book and I thought it all felt not forced and believable.

The one source of potential external tension appeared closer to the end of the book which I also thought was very well done and eventually the resolution was again tied in who the main characters were as people.

I thought the romance between Carter and Ethan was extremely well done. Again, I cannot know from experience, but I thought both guys were portrayed sensitively and believably. I liked how their disabilities may have influenced their lives in the significant manner, but their disabilities did not define them as people. I really liked how gentle and sweet overall the tone of this book was, but that neither of the guys was portrayed in a saintly manner. I thought that Carter and Ethan were great example of a couple who grew together throughout the book. Both guys learned how to deal with some stuff better by the end of the book than how they were dealing with it in the beginning.

I also really enjoyed the fact that this romance did not contain the almost mandatory in the genre break up and I was very grateful for that. I thought that a break up for almost any reason would have disrupted the careful flow of the story and would have felt contrived to me.

Recommended

16 comments

  • Oh yes. Definitely. Sirius needs to come see us here in SF. Jeayci, you are so good with the internet searches, maybe you can find some great fair, parade or other event out here to tantalize her with. Not that ‘we’ aren’t enough. *cough*

    P.s. Sorry for the double comment. My browser and I were fighting.:blush:

    Reply
  • This book is one of my 2012 Favs. I don’t think it is for everyone since it is character driven more than plot driven. The characters are fascinating and very well done.
    This book is an example of why I love this genre. There is so much variety here. Nothing like this is in the Het market and done so well. Loved it.

    I agree, the intro/preface is a must read before reading the story. It sets the tone perfectly.

    Thanks for a great review Sirius. :bravo:

    Reply
    • Hi Reggie, oh you loved it too. YAY. Yes, I absolutely agree that it is a character driven story. I like both and mix (character plus plot driven story), I really liked this one.

      I read some het, but just a little bit, so I would not be able to make really strong comparison.

      Reply
      • Sirius, one of these days you’re really going to have to come to California and go to one of our Bay Area M/M Book Group meetings. :forit:

        I thought of that just now because I could so easily see this being part of one of those discussions. Don’t you think, Reggie? And don’t you agree that Sirius needs to join us at least once in 2013? :yes:

        Reply
        • Sirius is in complete agreement with everything you said :-). Reggie, I knew that you were talking about specific fairs and still my brain went to wonder for a second in “I wonder what they are selling ther” direction lol.

          Reply
  • This book is one of my 2012 Favs. I don’t think it is for everyone since it is character driven more than plot driven. The characters are fascinating and very well done.
    This book is an example of why I love this genre. There is so much variety here. Nothing there like this is in the Het market and done so well. Loved it.

    I agree, the intro/preface is a must read before reading the story. It sets the tone perfectly.

    Thanks for a great review Sirius. :bravo:

    Reply
  • I’m so glad to see you review this now! Wanna know why? Because I thought it was very nearly one of the best books I read this year, and I was going to give it to you for New Year’s since you didn’t seem to have read it yet. I’m glad you loved it too, but now I have to figure out another book you haven’t read that I think you’ll love… :grumble:

    What kept it in “very nearly” territory for me rather than fully into “best book” zone was major editing issues. There were a LOT of continuity errors that confused the heck out of me. And they annoyed me all the more because they were distracting me from such a fantastic book! :curse: :explode:

    This was the first book I read by this author, but it definitely won’t be the last. 🙂

    Reply
    • Oy the thought is appreciated but you really do not have to :). You got me worried about continuity issues – I kind of accepted that missing grammar mistakes is going to be my handicap as a reviewe and I just have to live with that, but I usually spot continuity issues and I have not noticed any major ones here. I was a little confused with Ethan and Elliott’s ages in relation to that past traumatic event, but besides that? Could you tell me which ones you noticed if it does not reveal spoilers or if it does email me? Thanks 🙂

      Reply
      • Oh, I know I don’t have to, but I was looking forward to introducing you to a book I was pretty sure you’d love and that I didn’t think you’d read yet. Obviously I was right about you loving this one, so there’s hope I might do as well if I can come up with another… 🙂

        As for the continuity errors, my review is still in draft form, but here’s the example I give in it:

        At the play, Liz is sitting between Nolan and Elliot, with Carter on the other side of Elliot, until she and Carter trade seats. A few moments later there’s a mention of Carter looking down the row at Nolan and Liz.

        Since I was picturing him sitting between them, that didn’t seem possible to me. I stopped, back-tracked, double-checked, and saw that yup, he was in fact sitting between them. So seeing them both by looking in one direction should have been impossible. It’s a silly, trivial detail, but there were several instances like that and they frustrated me all the more for pulling me out of such a magnificent story.

        I don’t remember being confused by Ethan’s and Elliot’s ages at the past traumatic event though, so we apparently noticed different things. But we still rated it the same in the end, as I also rated this 4.5 stars. 😀

        Reply
        • Okay 🙂

          Nope completely missed that one (always was bad with math :)). My confusion was probably also because I am bad with math. But yes, very good book overall.

          Reply
  • Great review, Sirius!
    I read this book a few weeks ago and was deeply touched. Both main characters looked like real people to me (and the secondary characters as well, which isn’t always happening) and I loved the book as a whole. I think this will be one of the books of the year 2012 that I love most.

    Reply

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