Arnie And John – Friends Or Rivals?

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Some readers have written to say that Hellhound is being a lousy friend to John by continuing his physical relationship with Aydan. What do you think?  Is Arnie a good friend to John?  Is John a good friend to Arnie?

15 thoughts on “Arnie And John – Friends Or Rivals?

  1. I’d say friends and rivals,

    They are more like brothers and brothers will be rivals in any thing and everything. A bit if rivalry is good for everyone.

    I love the relationship’s between all of the characters and can’t wait for the next book to see how they develop

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  2. Is Arnie a good friend to John even though he continues a physical relationship with Aydan? I would say yes…because one has nothing to do with the other! 😉
    Is John a good friend to Arnie? Yep!

    As stated above…these two are brothers, and I don’t think they could let a woman come between them. I guess that means they’re lucky that Aydan isn’t choosing one over the other. But even if she did, I believe the one not chosen would still remain friends because they all want what’s best for each other!

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  3. To be honest, I was a little surprised that some readers thought Arnie was betraying John by maintaining his relationship with Aydan. If that’s a betrayal of their friendship, then it could be argued from the opposite direction: That John is betraying Arnie’s friendship by attempting to monopolize Aydan, preventing Arnie from experiencing intimacy that he will likely never be able to experience with any other woman. Nobody has ever brought that up, and I wonder why. Is it because literary tropes dictate that the handsome guy should always prevail?

    I agree with all the comments here – Arnie and John are brothers in every way that counts, and that means that although they may not always live in harmony, their brotherhood is a bedrock that can’t be shaken.

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    1. In response to your post Diane:
      I understand what you are saying and have always felt that John is more selfish (for lack of a better word) in the relationship with Aydan. He wants what he wants and does not care about Arnie’s feelings or Aydan’s for that matter. I would not call that a rivalry or betrayal though…both words are too strong for what John does/says/feels. As for Arnie, he just wants what is best for John and Aydan even if it means he would have to give up an intimate relationship with her. So there is definitely no rivalry/betrayal on his part.
      By the end of the second book I had a bad taste for John, he is a jerk in many ways and I don’t like jerky men. Which makes me also wonder why more people are rooting for John then Arnie. Maybe it is like you asked…”Is it because literary tropes dictate that the handsome guy should always prevail?” John is the big handsome alpha male and many overlook his selfish behavior because of it.

      (Team Arnie all the way!)

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      1. I agree mostly with what you’re saying, but I see John as a smidge more clueless than selfish. I can’t offer any backup. Just a perception I keep having. Not that he can’t be as manipulative as he has to be in the line of duty, but off-duty his crap doesn’t always seem intentional. Just my nano-penny’s worth.

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        1. A guy like him being clueless…not so sure, but maybe he reacts before he thinks instead of being selfish.
          I am rereading the books and will be more alert to his ways now that discussions are going on. I will look for “clueless” clues though to see what you are seeing.

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            1. Some Random Guy, I tried to view John as clueless (to keep an open mind) but I just finished reading How Spy am I (#5) and I am going back with my original statement of John being selfish. Big Bad John wanted it his way and only his way…even after he said he was fine with being friends with benefits he did not really mean it. Then when he could not have his way he was a big snot. Once again Arnie wants John to be happy and backs off so John can have his way…I don’t see John doing any sacrificing for Arnie.

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            2. It’s funny; when I first thought about writing John, I envisioned him as the alpha-male hero that everyone adores, but reality kept intruding. The truth is that guys like him usually come with some kind of baggage. All his life he’s been the handsome jock with a brain. He gets respect, promotions, girls, whatever he wants. In addition, he does a dangerous job where the slightest waver in confidence can make the difference between life and death. All that makes for a giant sense of entitlement that sometimes makes him look like a jerk… and sometimes he is a jerk.

              Aydan is a catalyst for change for both Arnie and John. For Arnie, she’s his first and probably only venture into emotional intimacy, and with that comes the realization that he’s not the monster he’s always believed himself to be. Arnie’s self-discovery is scary and difficult for him but ultimately positive and rewarding.

              For John, Aydan is his first taste of what life is like for the non-entitled: he may not get what he wants/expects. It’s a blow to his ego and confidence at a time when mid-life is creeping up to threaten him anyway. His instinctive response is to push harder and get more aggressive because that has served him all his life. When that backfires, he’s left trying to figure out what happened, and to re-evaluate his entire worldview. Not a pleasant situation at the best of times, and with the additional stress and trauma he’s been through lately, he’s struggling. So far I don’t get the impression that he’s intentionally being a jerk, but sometimes he doesn’t realize he is, and I don’t think he’s fully recognized the depth of his own entitlement issues. (As A Random Guy says, clueless). Without Aydan, John would never have been forced to confront that part of himself, and I don’t know whether he’ll figure it out or not. Time will tell…

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              1. I guess I just don’t see it…. I don’t see John as selfish or a jerk… just a confidant guy who knows what he wants. I see him trying to have a relationship on Aydan’s terms, but it just goes against his grain. Maybe I want him to be a good guy? Maybe it’s because he is a good guy – putting his life on the line for his country time and again. I guess I’m the odd one out on this POV.

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                1. You’re not the odd one out – even though John sometimes does jerky and/or selfish things (as we all do sometimes) I don’t think he’s truly a jerk, nor is he unusually selfish. He’s just a product of his training and environment, and he’s struggling to figure out why the tactics that have always worked for him before aren’t working now. And if he does finally figure it out, he’ll have to decide whether he’s willing to make changes to accommodate Aydan’s needs and whether she can/will meet him halfway in a mutual effort to make things work. But regardless of the relationship conflict, you’re right: he is definitely a hero and a good guy.

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      2. My neighbor and I both read the series (I’m a book pusher…she had no choice) HA! Early on we both were rooting for Arnie….because he accepts Aydan as she is, where John wants her to conform to his views…..

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    2. I see what you’re saying…. why is it that Arnie is the one betraying John and not the other way around? Possibly because Arnie has always stated that it’s just friends with benefits….where John wants a relationship. One is stating an open arrangement where the other wants an exclusive.
      Again…it’s really Aydan who’s calling the shots, so what either guy gets is up to her! 😉

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