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review 2014-01-05 15:28
Now this is my kind of thing.
Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent - Brita Addams

Thanks to Hollywood, the 1930’s (in my mind) was all about the cigar toting, fedora wearing, machine gun carrying gangsters in pin stripe suits who say stuff like: broads, capisce and ‘Say hello to ma little friend’. This novella transports us back to this era effortlessly. The language, dialog and styling are so precise I could see it, even hear it all! The wooga-wooga of passing cars, the art deco styling, the unapologetic violence, and sociology of the gangster era is all very authentic.

Frankie and Gent are sexy sexy, dangerous men who lived by the mafia code of old world honour. They are also gay men who were forbidden to be together. Mob boss Sal separated them years ago, sending Frankie to run the LA operation and tying Gent to his side as assassin and henchman in New York. It’s years later and Frankie’s booming operation is under scrutiny from the local DA and Sal is not happy. Things need tidying up and so Sal sends Gent to ‘fix’ it.

I adore a forbidden love story, and the danger that surrounds this reunion is intense. Does Gent carry out his orders or does he follow his heart? Is there a point in the conscience of immoral men when enough is enough? Frankie and Gent must decide.

This story is flagrantly violent that sees these men swop their pin striped jackets for black leather aprons with ease. Betrayal and perceived wrongs are at best a brutal beating; forgiveness is a mercifully snapped necked. But it’s not all violence; it’s a cleverly plotted escape from the law and the ties of an age old institution. It’s angsty, it’s exciting, super sexy, moving and solid but dammit all …it’s too short!

For me this should have been Brita Addams epic love story, not Tarnished Gold. Frankie and Gent’s story has the legs to carry an epic love story from childhood beyond even this ending. This is much more to my taste, the characters feel alive and the pace and setting is perfect! Very nicely done, but it was over too quickly, too much is left hanging and the scope for more is immense. I still loved every minute of what was here and look forward to more of the Tarnished books. :)

End Note: You can totally read this is a standalone novella.

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Source: www.boysinourbooks.com
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review 2013-10-25 00:00
Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent
Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent - Brita Addams Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent is the spinoff novella of Brita Addams’ historical romance, Tarnished Gold, set in the golden age of Hollywood. This great novella features the mobster Frankie Moretti whom having been sent to Hollywood to establish the “family business”, is surprised to find the character Arvin “Gent” Vitali waiting for him one evening in his living room.

See the entire 4.5 star review at The Novel Approach: http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/2013/10/17/gangsters-and-the-golden-age-of-hollywood-meet-in-tarnished-souls-frankie-and-gent/
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url 2013-10-12 23:28
Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent available for preorder

Tarnished Souls is now available for preorder on Dreamspinner Press. Do you like 1930s gangsters? 


Hollywood’s Golden Age is not all glitz and glamor. Mob boss Frankie Monetti controls the unions and the studios, which makes him and the syndicate very rich. But after five years, Frankie runs afoul of the law andthose who put him in power. 

Primo hit man, and Frankie's lifelong friend, Arvin “Gent” Vitali, goes west with orders to clean up the mess and then bring Frankie back to New York to answer for his double cross. But as the noose closes tighter around Frankie's neck, Gent questions where his loyalty truly lies. Is business just business or is freedom worth the risk?


Release date - November 19. Order your copy now.

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review 2013-08-04 00:00
Bread, Salt & Wine - Dev Bentham
5.0 stars for the series

4.5 stars for book 4

This is the final book in Bentham’s Tarnished Souls series and it is a wonderful wind up to what has been a thoroughly enjoyable visit into this world where love is celebrated as “the great polisher of our tarnished souls”.

All of the men in the series have been lost or damaged in some way, but I think it’s George’s story that pulls at my heart the most. The idea of a child beaten for who he is is heartbreaking, and the lifelong damage that this wreaks on his heart and soul is immeasurable. George carries the psychological marks of his father’s anger meted out in a corner of their barn on an Iowan farm; this ritual of ‘beating the swish’ out of the young boy. Now, George is nearing forty and he has lived in the dark, in denial and shame, wrestling with his identity. Another favorite character is Kenny, who has kept the ‘swish’ and is fabulous just as he is. He forces George to face his demons. How Kenny shares his compassion, love and patience with George is remarkable.

I really like how George’s catering business is portrayed in the story. We get a feel for his life and the people around him who support him. Like Cheryl, a co-worker and quiet friend throughout. I also like how the author uses the Jewish celebration, Purim, as an analogy for fighting bigotry and hatred. By participating in Kenny’s celebration, George finally shows that he will no longer bow to bullies or hide from who he is.

Through the series we’ve followed the ups and downs of eight compelling men who are connected by friendship. While the first three books can be read as stand-alone, I would recommend reading them in order with this as the last. Also connecting the stories is the thread of Jewish tradition and rituals of major holidays that runs lightly through them. In each, a turn to ritual has helped see the men through. The title in this final book refers to the Polish wedding tradition in George’s family of sharing bread, salt, and wine to ward off hunger, bitterness and thirst. All good things must come to an end. It is a treat to see all the major characters together again in celebration at the end of this story, a fitting completion to a wonderful series.
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review 2013-08-03 00:00
Fields of Gold - Dev Bentham
3.5 stars

Avi was a yeshiva boy; he was raised and schooled in an orthodox Jewish family; though he’s since left that life. He felt the deep disapproval of his strict father when he came out to his family. Now, Avi is as far from that childhood as he can be. Nearing thirty, and a poor, seventh-year grad student, he supplements his living expenses by being a kept man. He doesn’t think too hard about living in a well-known political figure’s pied-à-terre apartment next to the state capitol, and being paid for its upkeep as well as for sex. It seems an easy fix though he won’t face the toll it takes on him, even when his good friend Isaac (from book one, Learning From Isaac) tells him as much.

Tarnished Souls is an apt name for this series, and Avi has had a lot of the shine taken off of him. He can’t get his dissertation written, caught in a rut of indecision, he can’t seem to move on. Until one day when he literally falls at the feet of a tall, handsome farmer and gets the shake he needs. Pete sells his organic farm produce at the local farmer’s street market and falls just as heavily for Avi. Gentle Pete who lives off the earth, is grounded, and represents a new beginning for Avi.

It is difficult to sympathize with Avi. He is handsome, well-educated, talented and he could have the world at his fingertips. But this tarnished soul has to find his own way and it is to the author’s credit that we want to read along the journey. What saves Avi is his strong connection to his faith. Even though he’s left the synagog he observes some of its traditions. Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish new year and the High Holidays around it are important to Avi. At the end of the story he buys apples and honey, symbols of starting the new year with sweetness after having atoned for past sins and wrong-doings. Each new year brings renewal; Avi feels alive again with Pete. Once more, Bentham polishes up these flawed characters to show goodness and potential. We can relate to them even if we don’t always agree with their choices.

For this review and much more: image
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