I don’t know that I’ve read another book in this genre quite like “Tarnished Gold”. The book is loosely based on the first openly out gay actor in Hollywood. Be sure to read the author notes after the epilogue as I found it added to the essence of the story.
The story spans from 1917 to 1955 following Jack Abadie, a Louisiana farm boy, who runs off to Hollywood to realize his dream of being a star. He’s lucking in finding both a place to live and a job promptly after his arrival in the city. It’s not the glamorous life he wants but he knows he has to have a job to pay his way while he waits for his chance to get into pictures. Five years later while working as a waiter he’s propositioned by a customer to patronize a private club called Marlowe’s. It’s a private club for men who prefer men to socialize and fulfill their desires in a safe setting. Eric, the gorgeous man who invited him comes onto Jack, which is not at all unwanted attention. Eric sees something special in Jack and gives him the chance in pictures as an extra. Jack catches the eyes of the studio heads and is soon acting in his own movies. Eric never once demanded sexual favors for the help he gives Eric but Jack desperately wishes he would. Jack wants to be with him but Eric shoots down his attempts at any type of a relationship besides friendship and mentor. Eric prefers a certain type of man and doesn’t do relationships. Jack is deeply hurt by the rejection. He spends some time pining away until he meets a striking young man named Wyatt at the release of his new movie. The attraction is mutual but the timing is terrible as he is embarking on an eight month long junket to promote the movie. The two stay in touch and wait for the day they can meet again. Seems, in this case, absence does make the heart grow fonder because the men jump into something intense right away. Jack is lonely in a crowd, and Wyatt is lonely because of his secret life. Both men want a loving relationship so you’d think they’d be on the same page but some not so good advice ingrained in Jack’s head by his mentor, Eric, has Jack screwing up what seems kismet fairly quickly. Jack starts to think for himself realizing Eric isn’t the best role model when it comes to affairs of the heart and begs Wyatt for forgiveness.
Whit's full review can be found at Live Your Life, Buy The Book