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

On the Streets of New Orleans.Title: On the Streets of New Orleans
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 10th oct, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 162
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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.

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.

“On the Streets of New Orleans” is a collection of two novellas, both revolving around men’s shelter in the aftermath of Katrina. The city is rebuilding but there is still so much despair and loss all around. The author gave a very gritty and realistic description of the devastation caused by the storm in people’s lives and to their beloved city “New Orleans”.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings:

This is the first novella and in here we meet Scott and Tony. Tony is a native of New Orleans who has lost everything in the storm. He does not have a place to stay or any income to buy food. His best chance of having a meal is stealing money from unsuspected victims. Scott is one such victim. But after saving Scott from another thief and then pocketing his money, Tony is burdened by a heavy guilt. He follows Scott and strikes up a friendship with Scott, which soon grows into something more.

Both Scott and Tony has been abused and taken advantage of many times. They are trying their best to survive in a city which is completely at its lowest. They find each other and cling on to their new found happiness. Life has not been kind to both of them but together they have a fighting chance to live life in their own terms. It’s a novella so the romance/love is the insta kind which would put off many readers but at the end their romance was a like a beacon of hope to both Tony and Scott.

Charlie’s Mission:

This is the second novella in this book. Charlie runs the men’s shelter where Scott used to stay from the previous story. So, we have already been introduced to his character and in this novella we learn about his past mistakes and the regrets that he carries around in his heart every single day. Charlie is an ex-addict and due to his addiction he has lost someone very close to him. Charlie punishes himself by never allowing himself to experience pleasure or happiness.

Devon is a mysterious badass who is trying to rid his territory of drug peddlers. The background of this character is very confusing. The reveal at the end was not consistent with his behavior throughout the story. Devon is an undercover cop and has a gang of low-lives who help him bust drug smuggling but they don’t know that he is trying to clear the streets and not just ousting competition!! It was very unrealistic and weird!! Plus, the ending is rushed and not that great.

Devon learns that Charlie has reservations about feeling happy and he makes it his mission to rid Charlie of his guilt and make him his. Devon’s interest in Charlie grows in leaps and bounds within a day or two from casual hookup to Love. At the end, Charlie lets go of his past guilt and embraces his new found happiness with his man.

The first story portrays the loss and despair of “Katrina” more so than the second. The novellas are short so the development of characters or the romance is not that great. I kind of went with the insta-romance for the first book but it did not work for the next one.

Overall, it will be a very nostalgic read for the “New Orleans” city lovers and especially those who have seen the devastation caused by Katrina firsthand.

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