Title: Tarnished Souls 2: Fields of Gold by Dev Bentham
Tarnished Souls Series
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
Life is full of compromises. That’s what Avi Rosen tells himself. He’s a yeshiva boy turned historian, working on his dissertation and stretching his meager stipend by moonlighting as a closeted politician’s houseboy. Their relationship used to feel like a real affair. Lately it seems more like a job.
It isn’t until he meets someone decent that he realizes how corrupt his life has become. Pete is a tall blond farmer who charms Avi with his dazzling smile and his straightforward life. But even if he can believe this refreshingly honest man doesn’t have his own political agenda, will Avi find the strength to emerge from the dark life he’s chosen and find a future in the sun?
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.
Fields of Gold is a delightful addition to Dev Bentham’s Tarnished Souls series. This captivating series features some imperfect yet appealing characters who choose a different path once they find love.
Avi Rosen’s chance meeting with Pete Jakobsen coincides with his growing dissatisfaction as the ‘other man’ in his current relationship with local politician Jack Krausman. Although he genuinely cares for Jack, Avi is becoming more and more disenchanted with his role of house sitter and lover to the married assemblyman. He is already struggling with conflicted emotions about his affair when he meets Pete at a local farmer’s market. Despite his uneasiness about beginning a new relationship with Pete while he is still involved with Jack, Avi begins dating Pete. But it is his emerging feelings for Pete that finally give Avi the impetus to begin reevaluating his life.
What I really like about Ms. Bentham’s stories is that she does not hesitate to give her characters some morally questionable failings. In the first book of the series, Learning from Isaac, Nathan is working as a rentboy to pay his way through college. In Fields of Gold, while Avi may not officially be a rentboy, he is exchanging sex for living rent free in Jack’s apartment. Of course Avi does not view his arrangement as prostitution until Nathan gently points it out to him. But Avi still continues to drift along, juggling the two relationships, until he finally sees his relationship with Jack in a whole new light.
One of the other things that I really enjoy about the Tarnished Souls series is how Ms. Bentham incorporates tenets of the Jewish faith in the storylines. In Fields of Gold, the ending of the story coincides with Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah. Avi uses this time of reflection to atone for his past mistakes and make amends with Pete.
Fields of Gold is well-written with engaging protagonists and a fascinating storyline. It is a wonderful story about personal growth and new beginnings. A thoroughly charming addition to Dev Bentham’s Tarnished Souls series that I highly recommend.
Read my review of Learning from Isaac HERE.