Chase in Shadow and Dex in Blue are two of my 5 star, favorite, read multiple times books. Unfortunately I did not connect as much with Ethan in Gold as I did with those two. I really liked both Ethan and Jonah but did not feel the chemistry of them as a couple until about 75% of the way through the book. It was also lacking the gut churning emotion that, to me, defined both of the other books, although the first 15% of the book did have me grabbing for the tissues.
Again the story's timeline runs parallel to the first two books, but we are given Ethan's viewpoint. This is very well done and adds dimension to the events we already have seen, rather than just being a retelling of a prior storyline.
Ethan/Evan's mother is up there with the worst mothers in fiction for me. The woman alienated a 5 year old Evan from his entire family, resulting a desperate need for human contact that he was forced to find outside of his family, eventually resulting in an 18 year old Ethan working for Johnnies. Ethan's whole family is under the thumb of this woman and the resulting damage is heartbreaking.
Jonah's upbringing was completely different. A loving family whose lives revolve around caring for his younger sister, who suffers with Cystic Fibrosis. The two meet when Ethan accompanies Tommy to his interview at Petsmart, where Jonah works. A friendship develops, but Ethan fights tooth and nail against the desire to make it more, especially considering Jonah is a virgin (although he is aggressively campaigning to change that) and Ethan suddenly thinks of himself as a whore who is not worthy.
There are plenty of scenes with Chase, Tommy and Dex, as well as Jonah and Ethan's families. I was really looking forward to the story being the first one where a Johnnies boy was going to be with someone not in the business. I can't put my finger on why I had such a hard time connecting with the two as a couple, but I did enjoy their friendship.
That being, said I am looking forward to more of this series, and will probably give this one another read later on. Bobby, who was introduced in Dex in Blue seems to be all set for a story of his own and I wouldn't mind seeing how Dex's plans for life beyond Johnnies work out for everyone.