Born in 1898 to a heartless prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, a name meaning “of little value” or as his mother reminds him, “nothing.”
In the early 20th century brothels and clubs, his love of music sustains young Pic until a fortuitous meeting places him on the road to respectability, and Pic reinvents himself as David Reid.
As David realizes happiness for the first time, conscription forces his friend and first love, Spencer Webb, into the Great War. A telegram from the War Department deals a staggering blow and interrupts David’s pursuit of a law degree. He must gather his wits and move forward. While his future looks bright, specters from Storyville return.
The past holds both pain and love, and facing it head-on might destroy David or give him the freedom to live the life he has dreamed.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. *** David Reid is born as Picayune in New Orleans in 1898 to a horrible prostitute named Sapphire. She reminds him all throughout his childhood that his name means just what he is to her, nothing. Yet, he's determined to study and get out of Storyville eventually. He loves drawing and he's a hard-worker, which earns him the friendship of many people that defend him from his mother and that later on help him in his quest to be a good man. This is not exactly a romance as such, it's more David's story of how he became the man he always wanted to be. He has help, but it's his drive and determination that makes him successful in everything he sets his sights on. Along the way, he meets Spencer Webb, who is his best friend and the man he loves, and who introduces him to the man who will become his mentor and benefactor, Emile. Spencer has to join the army during the Great War and it's when David receives a telegram from the War Department, that he realizes the depth of the love he had for Spencer. Emile is instrumental in David's life, first helping him reinvent himself and become David Spencer Reid (as a Criminal Minds fan, I was squeeing at this name, by the way), then paving the way for him to leave the brothel and district he grew up in by providing him with a home and means to work and study to become a lawyer. After he completes his studies and tries to move on, ghosts from the past make a reappearance in David's life. Will he have the strength to endure it all and move forward from it or will those phantoms destroy him and all he holds dear? The mark of a good historical book for me is the ability the author has of transporting me to the particular era the story is set in, and in this case, Brita Addams more than hit that mark. While I've never been to New Orleans and I'm not that familiar with the era, her writing made me feel as though I was there. The imagery was rich and vivid, the characters were tridimensional and realistic and the storyline was engaging and I was enthralled reading David's story and hoping for a HEA for him, after all he'd gone through. I hated Sapphire from the beginning of the book and that didn't change, the woman had no redeeming qualities at all, it's a wonder someone as evil had a sweet boy like David, but she served her purpose and I was very satisfied by how it all ended for her. Spencer, Emile and Charley were amazing and gave the story depth. And I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that Emile is getting his own story! I can't wait for that. All in all, a definite must-read if you love historical books that are well-written and that will tug at your heartstrings! Rating: 5 Stars!!!
Meet Brita Addams
Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.
Given her love of history, Brita has written both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.
Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Best Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.
A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter.