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Lisa Henry

I'm a writer. I write m/m erotica. Kind of dark stuff, even though in real life I like rainbows and puppies and kittens. Not all at once though. That would be overwhelming.

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Review: Ethan Who Loved Carter, by Ryan Loveless

Ethan, Who Loved Carter - Ryan Loveless

This is a very difficult book to review.

I loved this book, but I was deeply uncomfortable about some aspects of it. Yes, Ethan is an adult male with adult male sexual urges. And no, we shouldn't treat people with acquired brain injuries like they are children, but having said that Ethan felt like a child. His speech, his mannerisms, his thoughts. He had a child's single-mindedness in wanting to be with Carter, which was lovely, but there is such a power imbalance in this relationship that I really don't know what to think of it.

I loved that Ethan's parents and friends were so accepting of Carter, but I think that in their place I'd be more protective of Ethan. I just wasn't sure that Ethan was ready, or ever would be ready, for an adult relationship. And I don't mean sex. Ethan had that figured out. I mean a relationship, where both parties are equal partners.

I loved that Carter and Ethan connected over music, and maybe I needed to see some more of that so that I wasn't just constantly worrying about the disparity between them. It's two days since I finished this, and I'm still really conflicted.

So, read this. The writing is wonderful, the two MCs are beautiful, and there is a HFN that I think I am possibly too cynical to believe can be an HEA.

Sidenote: I know a man with an acquired brain injury, and he has the same difficulties hinted at with Ethan, i.e. inappropriate behaviour in public. By that, I mean he takes his pants off a lot and shows himself off. And I know him, because I work at a police station, and he ends up there a lot. And the only way to deal with him is to speak with him the same way I used to speak to my nephew when he was two or three. "You need to keep your pants on in public, mate, okay?" And he is a lovely guy, with a wonderfully happy personality (except for the occasional temper bursts that come out of nowhere), and I kept thinking of him while reading this book. He's an adult, but without an adult's ability to reason, or to understand nuance, or to remember how to behave. And that's why I'm so conflicted about Ethan.