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.
I like Evan/Ethan a great deal and I love Jonah. All the time the book is dealing with the love story with Jonah it is great. Even the super sad parts.
I love a geek hero (and they both have geeky hobbies). I love a plain Joe which Jonah is. I love the Jonah is steadfast and in pursuit. He is awesome.
Ethan's backstory is sad but the details of his family drama are a bit of a splatter effect and not as well detailed as it could be.
This book parallel in time with the first two books in the series and I read it out of order but it is likely better in order.
There is a really not great part where Kane the hero in the last books gets referred to by an animal name. It is not good and makes no sense really and wasn't needed and should have been edited out. It really makes the book sink in those places.
Also, Ethan should have good back to therapy. Lots of triggers in this book too but more off screen than in Book 1 and Book 4.