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.
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?
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.