Review Rewind: Chase in Shadow (Johnnies #1) by Amy Lane

Posted August 4, 2017 by sweptawaybyromance in Review / 1 Comment

Review Rewind: Chase in Shadow (Johnnies #1) by Amy LaneChase in Shadow by Amy Lane
on February 24th 2012
Genres: Romance, Gay, Contemporary, Erotica
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Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.

Nobody knows the real Chase.

Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.

Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.

Karla’s Review

5 Stars! A very powerful and emotional read!

I had no idea the journey I was going on when I started this book, but it was one filled with unbelievable highs and lows, amazing characters, and a story that damn near ripped my heart out of my chest.

Slowly the layers are peeled back on Chase’s past as his story progresses in the present, and you understand why he has chosen to hide behind the image of being straight. The guilt that this boy carried around for most of his life was unimaginable, and the façade he hid behind because of a tragic childhood, never allowed him to be his true self. He became a porn star as an outlet for his sexual needs and in every other aspect of his life lived as a heterosexual man. Despite all the hate, he endured as a child, Chase has grown up to be a good man who tries to do right by everyone.  Underneath he is a ticking time bomb ready to explode into a million heart-wrenching pieces.

When he comes undone, breaks apart and loses himself to his guilt and memories, I don’t know how else to describe it, it’s so overwhelming you wonder if he’ll ever be able to pull himself back together. Tommy, his true love and a character with his own issues, is with him every step of the way.  The love they have for each other is awe-inspiring…breathtaking. One could only hope to find love like this at least once in a lifetime.

His childhood friends Kevin and Donnie just accepted him as he was and never questioned his family life. Donnie, a gay man himself, suspected that Chase was gay, but never pushed the issue when Chase denied as much. When they find out how much Chase suffered as a kid, they are hurt he didn’t trust them to tell but also dismayed that they never did more for him. The only person Chase ever revealed himself to was Tommy. There is a whole host of secondary characters that add so much to this story, namely Mercy, Chase’s girlfriend. This lovely girl is as much a victim of Chase’s past as he is when she becomes a major player in the lie that Chase lives. Doc Stevenson is the man who pulls Chase back to reality, and even though he’s introduced late in the story, his role is huge. I loved the way he was portrayed, a crotchety older man who knits during therapy sessions; calm, effective, but strong and forceful when he needs to be.

The writing is superb, although the story does bounce around, however, once you understand Amy Lane’s style, it becomes easy to follow along. This book is strong on emotion, tragic events, sexual content, and at times is quite vivid. It’s also filled with love, strength, compassion and there is a WONDERFUL, HEARTWARMING, PERFECT HEA!!

A Personal Note: It appalls me to think that there are people out there who feel the need to hide their sexual orientation because of the consequences they would endure from family, friends and the public. How horrifying to think that rather than face the judgment of others, the better option is suicide. It truly saddens me.


About Amy Lane

Amy Lane has two kids who are mostly grown, two kids who aren’t, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

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2 years 6 months ago

Fantastic review Karla!! You personal note brought tears to my eyes! xo