On the Streets of New Orleans (Crabbypatty’s Review)

on-the-streets
Title: On the Streets of New Orleans (Second Edition)
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 10, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 143
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Blurb:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings A year after Hurricane Katrina, Scott is back in the city he loves, the city that offered him sanctuary from rural Louisiana and its prejudices, but living in a homeless shelter can be almost as dangerous as the streets.

The storm cost Tony his family, his home, and his direction in life. Now he’s squatting and stealing to make ends meet, and he’s lost all hope of things getting better.

When Scott and Tony meet, they realize it’s time to stop merely surviving. It’s time to start living again. Together. (First Edition of Breakfast at Tiffany’s published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2010.)

Charlie’s Mission Charlie is an ex-addict plagued by memories of the past. He’s doing penance working at a homeless shelter, staying away from men, drugs, and anything resembling happiness. He’s convinced he doesn’t deserve more.

Devon is determined to keep the dealers out of his neighborhood. No one operates there without his permission. When he brings a sick young man who was selling drugs to the mission, he meets Charlie and can’t stop thinking of the man with the haunted eyes. He’s determined to give Charlie a taste of pleasure, despite Charlie’s claims that he’s not worthy of it. (First Edition of Charlie’s Mission published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2012.)


miss-new-orleans “On the Streets of New Orleans” includes two brief novellas set in post-Katrina New Orleans, both centering around homeless shelters for men. You can sense the author’s love for New Orleans and she has included some nice touches – a quartet of drag queens singing the old standard “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans” to an appreciative crowd at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings, the old Farmer’s Market near the West Bank, and people working together to bring their beloved city back to life.

In “Breakfast at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings” two young men, Scott and Tony, meet in the course of a mugging. Scott has a job at the diner and is living in the downtown homeless shelter, but moves out to live with Tony in a boarded-up house where he is squatting. It’s a brief story about two young men, each overcoming a pretty dismal past, who are in the process of turning their lives around for the better in a city they both love.

“Charlie’s Mission” tells the story of Charlie, a former addict, who lives and works at the Mid-City shelter. One night a mysterious man in black drops off a sick boy at the shelter, mistaking Charlie for one of the priests. Neither man can forget the other, and eventually the mystery man, Devon, realizes Charlie is not a priest, while Charlie learns that Devon is a drug dealer protecting and possibly expanding his territory.

While I liked the setting, neither story really caught and held my interest. In each story, there is insta-love with little sexual chemistry or character development. In “Charlie’s Mission” the plot was very improbable (and fairly easy to figure out) while “Breakfast” seemed to be more of a vignette about the two young men rather than a plot-driven story. For this reason, the book seemed a bit long and unfocused, even though it was a brief 143 pages. At the end of “Charlie’s Mission” numerous major issues were handled in the space of a very few pages.

Spoiler
Devon is double-crossed and shot, Charlie learns Devon is a cop, Devon’s superior learns Devon is gay, Devon asks Charlie to move in with him, and Charles decides to go to college.
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While I liked the setting (and love that cover), the plot and characters just did not do it for me.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of On the Streets of New Orleans provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

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