Title: Tarnished Gold
Author: Brita Addams
Cover artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link Tarnished Gold
Genre: historical BDSM mm romance
Length: 350 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius.
Summary: Nicely written, well researched story about the love between two amazing people during Hollywood’s Golden Years. If you likestories which are low on conflict you will enjoy this one.
In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a secret that his country hometown would never understand.
After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust.
Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty.
As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood’s decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.
NOTE: I purchased the book on my own.
I enjoyed the story of Jack and Wyatt, but at times it ran surprisingly low on conflict. The story takes place during almost twenty years of Jack’s life and the epilogue jumps almost twenty five years more ahead. It is an epic story of a young man of amazing strength finding his place in Hollywood and staying strong to who he was no matter what life was throwing at him. I thought it was written and researched very well, and I felt like I was right there, reliving the Golden years of Hollywood. I was cheering for Jack’s successes and my heart ached for his heart breaks.
At some point in the story (somewhere starting in the 25-30 percentage) the story becomes the story of Jack and Wyatt. Soon enough after they start to figure out what they may mean to each other they have their first conflict in the story based on their perceived views of what it means to be in the relationship. It was resolved pretty fast. I thought it was nicely done and I expected to see tension between them being built just as nicely during the course of the story. Sadly I was wrong.
After 40-45% of the story *any* tension between the guys disappeared completely. They love each other, support each other and it was nice to read, especially since according to the author’s note the men are loosely based on real people. It was heartwarming to know that there were people who survived pressure and refused to pretend who they are even if they meant that they could not stay in business.
I really do not mind and often enjoy a lot “we against the world” kind of story. Having said that, I kept hoping for something to be the reason for the tension to return, but alas. It was actually kind of funny because bad things do happen around Jack and Wyatt , so there were multiple possibilities for at least external tension to reappear. At the same time what I felt instead was that none of those events had a lasting influence on their relationship and /or on their lives.
I mean, even the event which the blurb references – the studio issuing Jack an ultimatum – I thought it would hit him and Wyatt much harder and the repercussions would be much worse, but instead I thought that they rebounded pretty fast and became even more successful. I am not going to tell you how that happened. My point is that I did not see any real conflict – external or internal – happening in the second half of the book. Jack and Wyatt lose friends, loved ones, but they never waver in their support for each other. It did my heart good to read the book like this on one hand, on the other I am not sure if it made for a very exciting fictional story.
As you can see the story is also characterized as BDSM. I felt that Jack and Wyatt enjoyed it almost as a matter of fact; of course it made sense to me that they do not call what they do BDSM and I did not think that they played in anything hardcore. Having said that, I wish the author showed why they want and need it with a little bit more depth.