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Grosse Pointe

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The year is 1926.

Champagne, pistols, and dolls…

I am responsible for making sure that the booze flows and the drugs show.
If trouble were to birth, all I have to do is whip out me persuaders.
Kilkenny bred, New York bound, Detroit laid.
This is me story.
Brek O’Brien.

The blood on me hands cannot lie, for they speak the truth.
I’m afraid of God—however… I be not afraid of man.
Savages we be.

For I keep searching for that light.
Then she is bestowed upon me.

Me Love.

Grosse Pointe
Historical Fiction/Mafia Romance Prohibition Era
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About the author

Natalie Barnes

10 books173 followers
Proud Ojibwe, loves being an Yooper; Natalie has always been into stories that can completely steal you away from reality.

She penned her first piece, International Best Seller, Everything I Want, a rockstar romance, back in the summer of 2014.

Since then, she completed that series while also publishing a spin off/stand alone, Beautifully Chaotic.
Also, coming later this year will be another spin off or can be read separate. This tale has ties with Beautifully Chaotic. Beg for Me by Natalie Barnes will be Natalie's first dark erotic piece.

Natalie's most recent published piece is her first historical fiction, mafia romance, Grosse Pointe. Over five years of creating for that historical fiction tale to see the light of readers day.

And yes, my beautiful Bees! Grosse Pointe does have another tale coming late 2021 or early 2022 titled Paradise :)

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5 stars
20 (57%)
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13 (37%)
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2 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews
Profile Image for Lynn Reynolds.
1,636 reviews38 followers
August 9, 2020
Brek lives in a world with loads of pain and violence. We get to see that world through his eyes – he becomes the reader’s guide during this period in time. If you have family that came through Ellis Island, his story may have you wanting to look at your own family’s story. A great project, either for yourself or with your family, would be to check into how genealogy works. During this current time, in our own history, why not start working on your own family tree.

Even though this is a work of fiction, we need something that will help connect us to our past. This book may give you that push. Growing up, I was not a fan of history. I was only fascinated by what was happening currently. I loved to read but history was not something that I could connect with. If I had books like this to read first, I may have wanted to study the subject a little more.

For some of you, you may be confused by the way Brek is speaking. That just helps you understand that he’s not from around here. My only problem was that my mind can’t read in an Irish dialect. He, and his friend Finn, made me wish that time travel had been invented. That just shows how well this author does her job. It also shows her creativity. Anything after their adventure was just icing on the cake for me. I’m looking forward to checking out more of her work. And that’s whether it be historical or not.

I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Angela.
4,043 reviews48 followers
September 28, 2020
4 Stars

Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes is a superb historical fiction story- a bit of a mafia romance set in the prohibition era. This is my first read by Ms. Barnes, so I really didn’t know what to expect going into the story- but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found between the covers, and am glad I took a chance and grabbed myself a copy of this book to read. I will definitely be going back to see what else of Natalie Barnes work I can find to explore. I will also be keeping my eye out for any new releases from her, also.
Like I said, this story is set in the prohibition era- the year, 1926- with gangsters, dolls, bubbly, and guns. I really enjoyed the way the author brought the period to life- I was right there, experiencing the story right alongside the characters.
It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but once I got a handle on the story and style- things became more interesting.

Thank you, Natalie Barnes.
Profile Image for Bobbi Wagner.
3,709 reviews24 followers
September 27, 2020
I enjoyed this book. This is my first book by this author, I look forward to reading more from this author. I found this book to be a well written story that kept me turning pages. It is engaging and entertaining. I had no problems connecting with the characters as they brought the story to life. I found myself on an emotional roller coaster through some of it. Berk has so much pain and violence in his life that it was hard not to feel for him. This is a story that takes place in the past and it was done in a manner which was very understandable. I won’t say too much about this book as I highly recommend you read it. I really enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Jenni Bishop.
2,856 reviews22 followers
October 12, 2020
Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes is a fictional historical romance story and an enthralling and interesting read. It is set in the 1920’s the times of violence and drugs, trouble and gangsters, prohibition and the entanglement of the mafia of the times. Natalie has done a great job at weaving a tale that helps you get lost in their world. There is pain and suffering for our characters, but the price is not to high when you're on the road to love.
Profile Image for Fran Burdsall.
371 reviews5 followers
January 27, 2022
I finally got comfortable with the cadence and idioms associated with Irish/Celtic tinted language and then the novel was over. It seemed like every other scene was vicious violence interspersed with poor Brek's passionate longing for Gabriella. In the end, they head for a happily-ever-after life, but I didn't believe it for a minute.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ember Daley.
254 reviews3 followers
October 8, 2020
I feel in love with Brek and Finnegan. So hard. This book makes a person want to go back in time and live through this story. This was my first book from this author and I was not disappointed in the least. I hope this story is continuing.
578 reviews1 follower
October 23, 2020
This is the story of Brek O’Brien, he is born and raised in Kilkenny, Ireland, but decides to get on a boat to New York City to start a new life. This new life is a start from scratch, he has the clothes on his back, a little bit of money, but no plan or idea what he will do when he gets there apart from, find something to eat, find somewhere to lay his head on a night and then find work.

It is 1926 and this new life involves being on a boat for weeks, a trial in itself to survive, but a friendship is formed through this shared experience. As Brek and his friend arrive in New York City, their next trial is about to begin, they have to pass the entry tests and when this is finally over and done with, they have to face the next round of hardship and find somewhere to stay for the night and work out what the next few days will hold and how carefully they will have to spread their combined wealth.

The prospect of finding work seems to be out of their reach, until a man gives them an offer they can’t refuse in the city of Detroit. As the pair get sucked into a life of booze, pistols and women, they keep the booze and drug supplies flowing by going out on supply and delivery runs, while also keeping the competition in check with his persuaders. It is on one of these days where the competition needs to be reminded of their place when Brek catches sight of a beautiful woman in an outdoor market, his heart and breath are stolen away. This could be the beginning of something beautiful, if only life was as simple as Brek wishes it could be, be with his woman and keep doing his runs.

Soon Brek and his friend realise that the work they accepted is a different sort to what they initially expected it to be, but there seems to be nowhere to escape the bloody path which fate has in store for them. Will the only thing standing between Brek and Gabriella be the one thing which will break them apart? Or will life be as simple as they both would like it to be?

This is a tale of Irish cheek, friendship, love, life, death, disappointment, regret and discovery all set in a background of 1920’s Detroit. A snapshot of an exciting and dangerous life which draws you in until you’re as immersed in the characters' fates as much as they are.
97 reviews
October 25, 2020
I genuinely couldn’t put his book down, I was hooked from the start and absolutely gutted when it ended. Barnes has such a poetic way of writing that is so lyrical and lovely, and I was instantly addicted.
Having moved to New York, leaving behind his home of Kilkenny in Ireland, Brek O’Brien and his newfound friends are on the lookout for work. Fate finds him working in Detroit embroiled with all the best things, drugs, booze and women, it’s made all the riskier and more dangerous for O’Brien and his friends as it's during Prohibition and all the things he finds himself making money from are a big no-no. Against this harsh world and the vibrant backdrop of 1920’s Detroit, Barnes writes a ray-of-light type of romance that breaks through O’Brien’s life and forever changes him. She is a constant in his narrative and becomes a constellation of hope to lead him out of the life he has made for himself. Don't get me wrong its not all rainbows and love hearts, this book has a gritty realism to it that makes your heart genuinely ache, but I think its that reality that just makes it all the better.
I loved, loved, loved this read. It's not something that I would normally pick up but I’m glad that I did. It had grit and edge as well as the softness brought by Beck’s love for Gabriella. It is about friendship, loyalty, love and about finding a way in the world regardless of adversity. It also about finding what is important in life and the steps that someone can take to reach the happiness and simplicity of life with the person they love away from messy complications.
I’ve seen that other reviews have found the voice of the main character a little jarring, what with some of his turns of phrase been quite colloquial. Personally, I loved it, the whole narrative had a sing-song vibe to it that was just a delight to read. Having read Trainspotting as well this was really mild in comparison. I would 100% recommend this, all the praise for Barnes and her work and am looking forward to reading more of what she has to offer if this is anything to go by then the rest of her stuff is going to be awesome.
Profile Image for Jenny.
938 reviews10 followers
October 18, 2020
Set in America in 1926, during the prohibition era and the time of, champagne, pistols, gangsters and dolls, this is a wonderfully written historical fiction novel with a mafia romance twist. Main character and Kilkenny bred, Brek O’Brien is mixed up with the Mafia and lives in a world of darkness and this is his story of how he found his light in Gabriella. Told from Brek’s point of view the story unfolds and is told in his dialogue which does take a little while to get used to and this does effect the easy flow of the narrative. However the plot is action packed and moves along at a fast pace and the storyline had me hooked from start to finish. Having left his home in Ireland at a young age to travel to New York, Brek ends up in Detroit, Grosse Pointe. Brek is responsible for ensuring that both alcohol and drugs flow freely even though it’s the era of prohibition and if any trouble crops up its his job to stop it along with friend Finnegan. Brek says himself that his hands are covered in blood and that he’s not afraid of any man only God. His relationship with Gabriella is complicated and their romance takes both them and the reader on an emotional rollercoaster as we follow their journey to love. The couples chemistry really came across in the narrative and I fell in love with both Brek and Gabriella, so much so that they stayed with me long after I had read the last page. Due to the authors wonderfully detailed and descriptive writing I felt totally immersed in Brek and Gabriella’s world, and in the time period of 1926. This was an emotional and engaging story which I definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Tausha Treadway.
1,081 reviews6 followers
October 26, 2020
Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes. I loved this book. Its set in the 1920's in NYC. Brek and his best friend Finnegan travel overseas to get to the States. Ending up in New York City they struggle day in and day out trying to find work when a man offers them something that seems to good to be true they can't pass it up. This opportunity sends them to Detroit where they are up to their necks in booze, women and guns, all things illegal especially during prohibition. Finally realizing they have entered a very dark and dangerous world (the Mafia) they are too far in to get out. During the time Brek meets Gabriella and falls madly in love but she doesn't know that he is up to his eyeballs in illegal activity. Being away from Gabriella, Brek makes it his goal to get back to her and hopefully in one piece. This book is full of danger, romance, mafia and drugs. It will grip you from the start and you will be hard pressed to put it down until you finish. I loved it and can't wait to read more by this author!
Profile Image for Laura Furuta.
2,046 reviews25 followers
September 27, 2020
Grosse Pointe
By Natalie Barnes
5 out of 5 stars

I loved reading the book Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes. It is the story of a young man, Brek O’Brien. The book takes place in 1926 and it tells a story about drugs and trouble. It is also a story that includes the light that Brek has been searching for in the person of a young woman named Gabriella. Brek is a young man who does what he has to survive. Gabriella is a young woman who is beautiful and intelligent. What does the future hold for Gabriella and Brek? This is a story that has emotional moments as well as heart-pounding and suspenseful scenes. I grew to care about Brek and Gabriella with each chapter that I read. The author does a wonderful job in weaving a tale that made me get lost in another time. The story is also written in such a way that the story and characters come alive on the pages. Don’t miss out on a journey that is at times heart-pounding and suspenseful. I would highly recommend reading it.
24 reviews
October 19, 2020
Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barns is a historical fiction that is cleverly written to keep you intrigued and continue to turn the pages, being drawn into the life and choices brought before the interesting young immigrant characters during 1926 arriving into America via Ellis Island and across states. The author gives great details to allow the reader to see the characters, their dismay, love, and hard choices, feel their emotions, and understand their faith and fate all while holding on to hope and dreams. I will look for more of Natalie Burn’s writings as I enjoyed this story and the surprises of the great details. This story kept me wanting to know more of the characters. On a personal level, this story, helped me imagine my own family’s immigration through Ellis Island as small children as well slightly before 1926 and helped me realized just how tough many had it during that time just to get to America, never mind surviving once you do set foot on free land and are a citizen.
October 19, 2020
Grosse Pointe follows an Irishman by the name of Brek as he risks life and limb to be reunited with the love of his life, facing everything from a difficult voyage to America to the pitfalls of crossing members of the mafia. Do the lovers end up together at last, against all odds? You'll have to read to find out.

I've always been a fan of the 'thrill of the chase,' whether it is of the assassin or romantic variety. I adore the fact that the story incorporates a bit of both. I also find it so heartwarming to see just how far someone will go for love. However, one of my favorite aspects of the book is the use of culturally and historically appropriate language, including various insults and phrases in Brek's mother tongue of Gaelic.

This book has a bit of something for everyone, but if you belong to the group of folks that enjoys a good love story with incredibly detailed fighting scenes, I especially recommend it for you.
Profile Image for Samantha Grubey.
Author 3 books26 followers
October 23, 2020
So once I got used to the writing in this book it got a lot easier to follow that being said the author stays very true (I believe) to the time period that she is writing in. The book is action-packed and fast-paced and I loved the description in the book and how it didn't slow the action down either. I really liked the scene with Brek and his mum that was really cute.

I really loved Finn! I kind of loved him more than Brek but he was a great character and I really loved his relationship with Hazel, weirdly more than I did with Brek and Gabriella. Regardless though still loved them but Finn and Hazel have my heart.

Honestly, some of this book is so tense and it did get me on the edge of my seat. This was a different kinda book for me and I'm glad I took the chance to read it. Also that ending... I don't want to say anymore because spoilers. Let's just say I was slapped in the face...
Profile Image for Katie.
2,081 reviews11 followers
October 19, 2020
Grosse Pointe
By Natalie Barnes
4 stars

I am a huge fan of historical romance but I’ve not read much historical fiction from this era so when I saw this story I thought I would take a chance and I really enjoyed it. The authors’ writing was really engaging and the time period was actually really intriguing to read about. I love the plot and the characters. I really felt involved in the characters’ lives and throughout the story I really wanted the best for them. Brek’s life was fascinating and there were so many times where my heart broke for him a little – he found such a great connection with Gabriella, their relationship definitely wasn’t the easiest but it was so genuine I desperately wanted it to work out for them.
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I will definitely be looking forward to reading more from her again in the future.
Profile Image for Michelle Austin.
2,605 reviews31 followers
October 23, 2020

Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes was a good 4 star read.
This is a historical mafia romance set in the 20’s. It took a bit to get used to the irish dialect.
The author does a great job of pulling you in with her writing.

This is Brek’s story, he uses his memories of Gabriella to help him get through some difficult times. We get a mixture of prohibition and mafia danger. When Brek was 15 he traveled to the US, he gets involved in the alcohol and drug scene. The relationship he has with Gabriella is a huge emotional rollercoaster.

Can these two geta HEA?

Overall this was a good read, all of the secondary characters added a great element to the story. We get danger, mafia and so much more. If you're looking for a historical romance with Irish dialect this is the book for you. 1-click and get started today.
Profile Image for Liz.
1,327 reviews18 followers
October 25, 2020
Grosse Pointe is the first experience I have had reading Natalie Barnes, but it has me hooked and ready to check out her other works while I wait for more new stuff from her. Grosse Pointe is a vivid and crazy good ride you will take to the year 1926, the streets are alive and crawling with all walks of life during the prohibition era. We are transported to Ellis Island and the bustling city of New York, the beginning of the American Dream for many at the time in our world. I was so excited with how this book literally came to life and popped off my kindle to play out right before my eyes. We get to meet some amazing characters and follow them through a tumultuous time. I like the small nods to a mafia romance, something that was very prevalent at the time and the gangsters really were awesome to read. I am excited to see what will come next from Natalie Barnes!
Profile Image for Erin.
714 reviews2 followers
October 17, 2020
I give Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes, 5 stars.

This book is incredible. Brek is a great main character, andh is story is heartfelt and endearing. It is the story of a man with a good heart who does what he has to do to survive. The secondary characters are also so good. They feel so real and I felt like I was put right into his era along side these colorful characters. The story itself is written so incredibly. You will feel all emotions as you read, but will be moved by both the love and the hate that is in this story.

If you are a fan of historical fiction interspersed with romance and/or books set around an Irish immigrant in the 1920s, you must read this book. I could not put it down and want to read more about this world.
Profile Image for Anantha Rusum.
184 reviews5 followers
October 19, 2020
Every book offers us something new to read. This book offers an insight into the Prohibition era, an era where there was nationwide constitution ban on production, importation and transportation of the alcoholic beverages across US. This is a story about Brek, who decides to travel to America when he was 15. He meets a friend on the ship, and together they embark on new experiences. The book revolves around mafia, drugs and a lot of trouble. It was difficult to read through the language, the slang went over my head many a times. Set in 1926, it is about the gangster life and the troubles they got into because of their life style. A coming of age story, little emotional at times, a good fictional novel which gives an insight into the history of America during the 1920s.
Profile Image for Kari.
414 reviews1 follower
October 25, 2020
Grosse Pointe is my first novel written by Natalie Barnes and really only my second author who writes historical fiction and overalm I thought it was a wonderful story!

It follows Brek O'Brien and his friend Finnegan as they make their journey from their home country of Ireland over to the States. When they make it over they struggle to find work to really get this whole American Dream going for themselves, until one day they run into a man on the street who presents them with an opportunity.

Historical Fiction is a surprise genre I'm never really sure about, but never seems to disappoint, but especially the prohibition age. The stories are so in depth and the characters are some that you can't help but fall in love with. Thank you for a great story!
Profile Image for Rachel Moss.
539 reviews3 followers
October 12, 2020
Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes was a really good read! This is the first novel I've read from this author, and I wasn't disappointed at all. This novel is set in the 1920s, and seemed to be a really good fictional novel that still portrays the history of that time period in the United States. It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the story, and get used to the Irish dialect and dialogue that is used throughout. Once I got used to it, the novel completely dragged me in, and I could hardly put it down. It was very well written with a great storyline. I can't wait to read more from this author in the future!
Profile Image for Kerry  carr.
1,134 reviews5 followers
October 18, 2020
This was the first book I have read by this author and I did enjoy the story. The characters were well written and the writer was able to write in a way that makes you feel like you are in that era. As is the time there is quite a bit of violence but because of the era it doesnt seem out of place.

The year is 1926. Brek is in a world of drink and drug smuggling and violence on an epic scale. As he searches for his love Gabrielle he has to face loads of ups and downs. Things that push him to breaking point and on the verge of losing his life.

Can he survive to be reunited with his love or will his antics catch up with him in a brutal way.
Profile Image for Erica Fish.
992 reviews1 follower
October 24, 2020
This story is a historical romance book. This is my first book by this author and I will be looking up more books by Natalie Barnes. This story is a mafia romance during the prohibition era. I was captivated from the first page until the last page. My emotions went on a wild roller coaster ride. The story is about Brek, a mafia member who met Gabriella, a beautiful young woman. Can Brek and Gabriella be together? What will Brek need to go through to be able to be with Gabriella? Will Gabriella go through everything to be with Brek? I highly recommend this story to fall in love with this mafia romance story.

Profile Image for Heidi Schoolman.
330 reviews2 followers
October 7, 2020
This story follows Brek and is set in the 1920’s as he searches for Gabriella. It takes a minute to get the hang of Brek’s accent as he is not from here, but I loved the way he spoke. It was definitely an emotional read with lots of ups and downs as Brek trudges through the violence and pain that beseech him. The history shown in this book gives a great idea of what it must have been like to live in that time. The characters were well written, and I could picture what they looked like very easily. Definitely a must read!
2,076 reviews7 followers
October 14, 2020
Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes is a brilliant historical fiction novel that will transport you right to the time in which it is set. This book has been so well written you can vividly picture exactly what the author is describing and the characters. I loved Brek and his whole demeanour. He felt so unpolished which is exactly what I would want from his type of character. He for the time and the genre perfectly.
This is the first book that I have read by this author but it certainly won’t be the last. Well written and interesting this is a book I would definitely recommend!
28 reviews
October 24, 2020
Irish gentlemen, Italian mobsters, based in the 1920's with a Romeo and Juliet love tale, what's not to love? Brek O'Brien isn't a character you will soon forget and the minute he's introduced, you can't help but cheer him on every step of the way. I warn you, if you have anything to do, be prepared to be sucked into this fantastic tale. For once you pick this book up, you will not be able to put this book down. This story will keep you guessing and sitting on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

Thank you Natalie for such a wonderfully written story.
Profile Image for Faith.
338 reviews6 followers
October 18, 2020
I love how action-packed this is from start to finish. Brek is a hero in his own right and easy to love from the way he tells the story through his strong accent. He and Gabriella's chemistry is amazing as I enjoyed being sucked into this era with them. So much has transpired in this one that you'll feel enthralled in it but I'm such a fan of history, romance and where this one bought me but in a raw dynamic that's fun and vivid to read.
151 reviews
October 19, 2020
Grosse Pointe by Natalie Barnes is a great historical fiction read. The way the author describes everyrhing makes you feel like you are back in the 1920's. If you like books with a bit of action and romance, this is the book for you. I couldn't put it down until I had read it cover to cover! This was my first book by this author and I am definitely on the hunt for more!
1,399 reviews10 followers
October 22, 2020
I love historical fiction and this one “had me at hello”. I love the time period we got to visit and loved the layers with the characters and their backgrounds. Throw in the mafia and a romance - coupled with prohibition - you know it’s going to be jam packed with amazing details. My thanks to Barnes for a great book - I truly hope to read more from you very soon!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews

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