Book Reviews

Vasquez and James Vol. 1 by Lou Sylvre at Changeling Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Military/Former Military / Officers of the Law / Interracial / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 01-July-2019

Book Blurb

Loving Luki Vasquez: Renowned but reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James masters color, texture, and shape in his tapestries, but when he meets Luki Vasquez, an ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, his heart and desire spin out of control. The heat between them won’t be denied. United by danger, can Sonny and Luki put fear and anger aside, and fight together to save Sonny’s nephew and their own lives?

 

Delsyn’s Blues: Devastated by loss, Sonny James listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. Convinced he’s failed in an all-important life task, he tries to shut out Luki Vasquez and love just when he needs him the most. But when Luki finally breaks through Sonny’s fortress of grief, it’s just in time for the newly reunited couple to face a new, violent, escalating danger.

 

Finding Jackie: When Sonny James asked Luki Vasquez to marry him, Luki’s “yes” was accompanied by a request -- a wedding in Hawaii. Months and many trials later, their hilltop island ceremony is poignant and funny, and every bit as beautiful as they’d hoped. The honeymoon is all sex, surfing, and sunshine… until Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew is kidnapped by a sadistic killer. When it all comes to an ultimate showdown with evil, it’s not only love at stake, but their lives.

 

 

First edition of 'Loving Luki Vasquez' published by Dreamspinner Press, May 2011.

First edition of 'Delsyn's Blues' published by Dreamspinner Press, January 2012.

First edition of 'Finding Jackie' published by Dreamspinner Press, May 2013.


Book Review

Loving Luki Vasquez
There is nothing in the world that I enjoy more than finding a new author, to me, and experiencing their style. 'Loving Luki Vasquez' is the first book in Lou Sylvre's 'Vasquez & James' series, and it is also the first book by this author that I have read. What struck me immediately was the fantastic descriptive style with which the author pens. I felt as if I was there, on the beach, at the loom, getting coffee at Margie's—and I was entranced. There were moments when the pacing was slow and then action sequences where it was jumping off the pages. An interesting and complex dichotomy of slow and fast, with the hardened ex-ATF agent and the artistic weaver. Beautiful. Just, beautiful.

Luki is beautiful, dangerous, and determined to never let anything or anyone hurt him or climb into his heart. He has a big, open heart which he hides by shutting his emotions down to ice. Sonny is beautiful, artistic, and so socially awkward that he hides it behind his smart mouth. He's also a recluse, by choice, and Sonny stays away from friendships and definitely away from relationships. Luki is hardened and sour. Sonny is antisocial and acrimonious. Two men with difficult childhoods, leaving one of them, Luki, with an unsightly scar on his face, coming together and discovering what it means to love and be loved.

Someone is stalking Sonny. Whoever it is, they've destroyed some of his work and they keep writing 'FAGGOT' all over the crime scenes. It's up to Luki and Sonny to get to the bottom of this, and find out what's going on. Luki may be an ex-ATF agent, and he may own his own agency, but he isn't a cop and the answers aren't right at hand. Sonny has another problem: his missing nephew, Delsyn, who lives with him. Delsyn is never around a lot, but he usually comes home every week to ten days. But, now, he's been gone for ten weeks and Sonny is very worried. Not to mention that Luki and Sonny are falling in love, slowly. Luki has never stayed the night with anyone before. He's never slept in someone's bed and no one has ever slept in his. Sonny, with his reclusive ways, is inexperienced with love. Falling for Sonny is scaring the hell out of Luki, but he doesn't know how to stop it. Of course, being a man, Luki manages to screw things up, more than once.

I now know my first Lou Sylvre book won't be my last. These were interesting characters and the author has made me want more. Luki was so sad, in many ways, and when he opened up to Sonny about his childhood trauma, it about broke my heart. Sonny is a talented artist but he's closed himself off for so long, and falling in love with Luki was no easy task. The ending of the book was very climactic and exciting. Thank you, Lou, for an engaging story and I look forward to the next book in the series.

Delsyn’s Blues
'Delsyn's Blues' is the second book in Lou Sylvre's 'Vasquez & James' series about Luki, ex-ATF Agent and owner of a highly successful security firm, and his lover, Sonny, a reclusive weaver who lives in the woods on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Before you ask me, yes, in my opinion, these books must be read in order for all the history and backstory that comes along in each. I really enjoyed the first book and its climactic ending which involved Sonny's nephew, Delsyn, so I was excited to jump into this installment. I wasn't very happy to begin the book and immediately be sad, but I understood where the author was taking me so I forgave her.

When Delsyn slipped into a coma after a fall, Sonny sent Luki home to Chicago, wanting only to be alone with the nephew he loved. Sonny didn't even call Luki when Delsyn died, but Luki shows up at the graveside as Sonny is being arrested for the murder of Delsyn. What?! Sonny is being accused of turning off the machines that were keeping Delsyn alive. Sonny is so depressed and despondent that he doesn't even really care. So whether he wants him there or not, Luki is going to make sure to clear Sonny's name. But Sonny does want Luki, they just have to weather some storms to get back to where they began. One of those storms is the possibility that Delsyn died because he overheard something…by someone who might've been a friend.

One of the things I liked the most about this book was getting more history on Sonny and Luki. Discovering Sonny's drug addicted youth and Luki's painful memories of clubbing almost broke my heart. Sonny has spent his life just ignoring the bad stuff and Luki has gone one better by trapping all emotions behind an icy wall. So when these two men hit a rough patch, neither can help their ingrained and instinctual responses. But I wanted to smack them both upside their heads. Men. Hmpf. Luckily they came to their senses and realized what the important things in life are.

I think I liked this second installment even more than the previous. Once again there was a mystery to solve and a whole lot of action adventure, but there was more understanding of these main characters and I responded very well to that. The tempo and pace of this book seemed to flow better and I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading the next adventure with Luki and Sonny.
 
Finding Jackie
Because of falling crazy in love with both Sonny and Luki in the previous installment, I was very excited to jump into this third book of Lou Sylvre's 'Vasquez & James' series. Don't get me wrong, I seriously enjoyed the first book in the series, but everything seemed to click for me in 'Delsyn's Blues' and so I knew that I would love 'Finding Jackie'. The more I discover about Sonny and Luki, and the more I watch them together, the stronger my fascination is with them as individuals and as a couple.

The wedding in Hawaii was perfect and now Sonny and Luki are embarking on their honeymoon, which actually consists of three parts, the final being their long-awaited RV road trip in the States. What I found very fascinating, and rather brilliant of the author, was that she didn't make the assumption that Luki and Sonny knew everything about each other, which would've been unrealistic, and, instead, they've just gotten married, and are constantly learning new things about each other. I guess what I'm trying to say is that they are still pleasantly surprised by each other and that made me happy because marriage should be that way. Of course, Luki going behind Sonny's back to get reinstated with ATF didn't go over very well and was not a pleasant surprise.

It's while they are traveling to Nebraska, via RV, that Luki gets the call from his uncle that his nephew, Jackie, has run away. Now Luki and Sonny are on the hunt for Jackie, and running smack-dab into mobsters who hold them accountable for deaths that occurred in the previous book. Jackie is sixteen and struggling with who he is and what he wants, specifically sexually, and the more Luki and Sonny track down, the more scared they are for Jackie and what they'll find. That doesn't prevent them from going after Jackie and the men, they discover, who implemented his running away, which has now become a kidnapping.

This was another exciting addition to this series which culminated in a massive gunfight. As usual, I spent the final pages in white-knuckle agony waiting to see how it'll turn out and to make sure I don't get any unexpected surprises. Thank you, Lou, for another excellent adventure with the guys. I'm looking forward to the next one.

 

 

 

 


DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Changeling Press for the purpose of a review.

 

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Collection/ 3 novels, 743 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-June-2019
Price $6.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.changelingpress.com/vasquez-and-james-vol-1-vasquez-and-james-1-b-2894