4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Lou Sylvre, Reviewed by Jules

Review: A Shot of J&B by Lou Sylvre

Title: A Shot of J&B

Author: Lou Sylvre

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 214 Pages

At a Glance: This book wasn’t perfect, but it was still a fantastic story.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. After the rescue, Brian ended his employment with Jackie’s uncle Luki and left the US for England, aiming to distance himself from the confused feelings—not lust, but not brotherly—that then sixteen-year-old Jackie engendered. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust with a dose of D/s rope kink is definitely on the list of possibilities. As they get to know each other, though, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true.

When Jackie moves to London for graduate studies in criminal psychology, he and Brian hope they’ll be able to enjoy each other’s frequent company. But they haven’t factored in the claim Brian’s police job with Scotland Yard will make on his time, especially when the “Gaslighter crimes” sap investigative resources. An abandoned aide dog named Soldier leads to a breakthrough clue, and a chain of discoveries fall like dominoes. As Brian rushes to beat the criminal’s game before it escalates to true terror, he comes to an undeniable conclusion: Jackie Vasquez, the man he loves, is in mortal danger.

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Review: I was so excited when I found out that Lou Sylvre was going to give Jackie and Brian their story. Anyone who has followed my reviews knows I’m a BIG fan of the Vasquez & James series, and, like so many other fans, I knew that Jackie had more to say, and we hoped his story would include Brian. So, here we are with A Shot of J&B. The story takes place six years after Brian helped save Jackie’s life, and, as the blurb suggests, when they meet again, it’s obvious neither one has been able to forget the other.

Lou Sylvre has shown us time and time again that she can craft a great story. She writes wonderful characters, gets us to fall for them, and then takes us on a ride which often includes a super creepy villain whose head you don’t really want to be in, yet you’re enthralled whenever he – or, in this case, SHE – is on the page. A Shot of J&B follows this formula, and for the most part, it works. The beginning is very strong: the introduction to the antagonist, the perfect glimpses of Luki and Sonny, the initial surprise meeting of Brian and Jackie, all are set up perfectly to get you sucked into the story.

I really enjoyed getting to know our two main characters better, particularly Jackie. His strength is amazing. I loved seeing him as an adult, especially with the context of what he’s already been through in his short life. The work he has done to get to where he is able to cope as well as he does is so admirable, and that he has chosen to study forensics is beyond cool. Jackie knows himself so well, and does a wonderful job articulating to his family, and to Brian, what he needs. And, I don’t want to give anything away, but I think I can also safely say I loved that Jackie gets to sort of be his own hero towards the end. He doesn’t just shrink in the corner waiting for Brian to come save him. So, yeah…I love me some Jackie Vasquez.

Brian is also a great guy. Solid, confident, and still completely in love with Jackie after all these years. He has worked hard to become a respected Dom, and is thrilled to see that Jackie is every bit the submissive he suspected he was. The D/s aspect of their relationship in the story also started out strong. I loved the first scene where they are alone together, down by Luki’s rock at the river. So sexy. Strong D/s lines established. Unfortunately, this part of the story didn’t stay consistently strong. That part of their relationship needed to be more consistent and defined. I wanted to see more of Brian actually being a Dom and giving Jackie what he needed as a sub. It brought some flavor to the story, and I enjoyed what the author set out to do – I get that it’s an integral part of who they each are – but I just wanted more.

Another thing that just didn’t work for me, which is directly related to everything I have stated above regarding these strong characters and the roles they play, was the dialogue. I’m sorry to say that it just didn’t fit these guys at all. All of the endearments, the very formal style, and, frankly, the overtly feminine ‘voice’, did not fit the characters of two strong, twenty-something males. Excessive use of exclamation points throughout all of the character dialogue was also a bit distracting.

One last thing I have to mention, and then enough of the concrit… ;) There was a MAJOR time zone error in the book, wherein the time at Luki and Sonny’s house is stated as being two hours later than the time in Nebraska at Kaholo’s house. I don’t know how an error of this size got left in the book – but, sadly, it did take me out of the story and had me shaking my head for a while.

Listen, this book wasn’t perfect. BUT, it was still a fantastic story, with a unique and compelling antagonist, two main characters you will love, and a few cameos from some dear old friends. As always, I can’t wait for Lou Sylvre’s next book, and to see where she takes Jackie and Brian.






You can buy A Shot of J&B here:

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Interview and Giveaway: A Shot of J&B by Lou Sylvre

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The Novel Approach welcomes Lou Sylvre today on the A Shot of J&B blog tour. Lou answered a few questions about her boys, and is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an e-copy of the book AND a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift card. You can enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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TNA: Lou, what was it like handing the world that Luki and Sonny built over to a new cast of characters? Was it at all sentimental for you?

Lou: Possibly a little, but not overly so. Partly because Luki and Sonny will continue to have minor roles, as they do in A Shot of J&B.  But also because it shares the universe, but it’s quite a different story. New locations, new romance situations, and there’s a world of difference between the two couples—they’re at a different stage in their lives and what they need isn’t at all the same. The way they will grow through that will sketch a different arc, I think. And I think it feels natural to move Sonny and Luki into being the role models and (mostly) patient advisors.

TNA: Did you, at any point, find yourself at a particular scene in the writing of A Shot of J&B where you asked yourself, “What would Luki do?” Was Luki’s voice ever present, and if so, can you give us some examples of when he, or Sonny too, spoke loudest?

Lou: Surely you know Luki never shuts up. Right now he’s trying to take corporeal form so he can steal my computer and change this answer. Sonny is, as you probably guessed rolling his eyes.

And yes, during the writing, he had a lot to say. The places where he spoke loudest, for the most part, were occasions when Brian or Jackie needed to talk to him, or he needed to be sure he was taking care of them—especially Jackie. For instance, later in the story—when Jackie finally figures out he’s in trouble, but he can’t get ahold of Brian—Luki thumped me and said, “He would call me, Ms. Sylvre!” Sonny on the other hand likes to point out to me when Luki is stubbornly refusing to give someone something. “You can’t let him do that, Lou,” he says. “Okay,” I say, “then you fix it!” He looked at me for a while, then said, “He’ll be pissed.” I laughed, “Not if you’re sneaky.” Off he went, looking like the bird who knows he’s going to catch the worm.

TNA: In what ways did you determine to make this next generation of Vasquez Security fresh and unique?

Lou: I touched on this a bit in my answer to your first question. As is usual with me, the story is driven by the primary characters, and Brian and Jackie have very different personalities than their predecessors. It didn’t take too much thought to figure out the up-front changes, because many differences were already set in place from Jackie and Brian’s previous appearance in the Vasquez and James series—everything from age, locations, occupations, some history, even basic description. I’m sure the two of them will continue to surprise me, though. Another thing is that I’ve decided this series—Vasquez Secrity, TNG— will have a bit of a different flavor than V&J. More of a typical PI series, but still with lots of romance, including some secondary romances along the way. That’s a change that will become more evident with the next book.

TNA: Do you have the series plotted out to a set number of books? If so, can you tell us how many we can look forward to?

Lou: Oh, my. Assuming you’ve forgotten that V&J was going to be three or four books and ended up seven, I’ll say I have four or five in mind for this one. I know where the next one is going and some ideas about the rest, but I’ve learned not to get ahead too much, because things always change in the writing.

TNA: What do you suppose Luki and Sonny are doing right now?

Lou: I’m not sure exactly, but I did hear Sonny giggling a bit ago, then Luki whispered, “C’mon, baby! Old Sylvre, the witch (I swear he said witch) has nothing to say about it anymore.” After that I heard several doors close between them and me—which I’m thankful for. I’m also thankful, incidentally, for Lisa and TNA hosting me on my tour, and giving me some questions I could answer while having a little fun at the same time. :)

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ShotofJ&B[A]Blurb: Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. After the rescue, Brian ended his employment with Jackie’s uncle Luki and left the US for England, aiming to distance himself from the confused feelings—not lust, but not brotherly—that then sixteen-year-old Jackie engendered. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust with a dose of D/s rope kink is definitely on the list of possibilities. As they get to know each other, though, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true.

When Jackie moves to London for graduate studies in criminal psychology, he and Brian hope they’ll be able to enjoy each other’s frequent company. But they haven’t factored in the claim Brian’s police job with Scotland Yard will make on his time, especially when the “Gaslighter crimes” sap investigative resources. An abandoned aide dog named Soldier leads to a breakthrough clue, and a chain of discoveries fall like dominoes. As Brian rushes to beat the criminal’s game before it escalates to true terror, he comes to an undeniable conclusion: Jackie Vasquez, the man he loves, is in mortal danger.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Pride Promotions

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: A Shot of J&B by Lou Sylvre

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Title: A Shot of J&B
Series: Vasquez Security: The Next Generation
Sub-Genres: Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Suspense, BDSM (light)
Author: Lou Sylvre
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 194 Pages
Release Date: March 16, 2015
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Blurb: Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. After the rescue, Brian ended his employment with Jackie’s uncle Luki and left the US for England, aiming to distance himself from the confused feelings—not lust, but not brotherly—that then sixteen-year-old Jackie engendered. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust with a dose of D/s rope kink is definitely on the list of possibilities. As they get to know each other, though, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true.

When Jackie moves to London for graduate studies in criminal psychology, he and Brian hope they’ll be able to enjoy each other’s frequent company. But they haven’t factored in the claim Brian’s police job with Scotland Yard will make on his time, especially when the “Gaslighter crimes” sap investigative resources. An abandoned aide dog named Soldier leads to a breakthrough clue, and a chain of discoveries fall like dominoes. As Brian rushes to beat the criminal’s game before it escalates to true terror, he comes to an undeniable conclusion: Jackie Vasquez, the man he loves, is in mortal danger.

Pre-order Code For 20% Discount E-book or PaperbackSHOTOFJB

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About the Author: Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. He (Boudreau) invites readers to give their feedback as well!

Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter

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The Giveaway: E-copy of any Vasquez and James Series Book and a $10 Dreamspinner Gift Card

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Luki Vasquez And Sonny James Are Here With An Exclusive Excerpt From “Yes” And A Giveaway

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Professional badass Luki Vasquez and weaver Sonny James meet for the first time in Loving Luki Vasquez, and they might make a sizzling couple if they can ever get past the impulse to run the other way every time romance comes into view. Then again, they have to stay alive if they’re ever to see their wedding day, and tribulation, cruelty, and greed has a way of demanding attention at all the worst moments. Together, they pack a lot of resources to fight for love. If they can hold out, they just might win the enduring love and family they were meant to share. Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Charity Parkerson, Charlie Cochrane, EM Lynley, Erica Pike, GayRomLit, Jeff Adams, Johanna Parkhurst, LM Somerton, Lou Sylvre

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for coming by to see what we have on tap in the week ahead. As always, we’ve got great guests, awesome giveaways, and, of course, a lot of reviews coming up for you.

Have a lovely week!




Monday – Our lead off guest of the week is Jeff Adams and the Hat Trick Blog Tour, with a giveaway

And joining him today is our second guest, Charity Parkerson and the Unequaled Blog Tour and Giveaway

TuesdayCharlie Cochrane joins us today on the Second Helpings Blog Tour, with a giveaway

Wednesday – Today, EM Lynley is our guest on the Bound for Trouble Blog Tour, with a Giveaway

ThursdayJohanna Parkhurst drops by today on the Every Inferno Blog Tour, with a giveaway

FridayLou Sylvre brings the Vasquez & James series Blog Tour to TNA today, with a giveaway

Saturday – Totally Bound presents the “What’s His Passion?” Blog Tour featuring LM Somerton’s Picturing Lysander

Sunday – Finally, Erica Pike closes out the week with a Countdown to GRL giveaway of her book Black Hurricane

And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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4.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Lou Sylvre, Reviewed by Jules

Love Grows, And So Does A Family, “Because of Jade” – Reviewed by Jules


“…for Luki Vasquez the only cure for drifting was Sonny James.” – Lou Sylvre


Title: Because of Jade: A Vasquez & James Novel

Author: Lou Sylvre

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Luki Vasquez receives the news he’s still cancer free after five years, and he wants to celebrate with his whole family. He and his husband, Sonny James, take a road trip south, intending to gather at the home of his nephew Josh, Josh’s wife Ruthie, and Jade—a little girl who was still in the womb when she and her mother helped Luki beat lung cancer.
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Luki Vasquez and Sonny James Get Up To Something A Little Naughty On The “Because of Jade” Blog Tour – And There’s A Giveaway


Hello! Lou Sylvre here, very happy to be back once more with Lisa and company from The Novel Approach. Luki, Sonny, Jade, and I are here at the Vasquez-James home in the (for once) sunny Olympic Peninsula as part of my Blog Tour for the release of Because of Jade, a Vasquez and James Novel. Thank you, Lisa and Jules for joining us and letting me tell some of the boys’ secrets on your blog!

My theme for this tour has been, The Further Adventures of the Vasquez-James Family. On Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews, I told the story about the time Luki threw away Jade’s favorite My Little Pony and had to dig through—
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A.J. Corza, Amelia C. Gormley, Dan Skinner, EM Lynley, GayRomLit, GotYouCovrd, Josephine Myles, Kate McMurray, Lou Sylvre, Poppy Dennison, Rafe Haze, Rain Carrington, RJ Scott, Skylar M. Cates, Sneak Peek

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week!


Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had an outstanding week!

We’ve got another busy and fun filled week coming up, with more great guests, giveaways, GRL Celebration fun, and, of course, more reviews.

Here’s what’s on tap for the week ahead.

MondaySkylar M. Cates kicks off the week on her The Only Guy Blog Tour, the follow up to The Guy From Glamour

Amelia C. Gormley drops in as well, on her Saugatuck Summer Blog Tour

TuesdayRain Carrington is our guest today on the Honky Tonk Series: Book Three Blog Tour.

EM Lynley is also with us to do a Cover Reveal of her new novel Bound for Trouble

WednesdayPoppy Dennison stops in on her Belligerent Beta Blog Tour

A.J. Corza is back today with Got You Covered, and another great cover art review

ThursdayKate McMurray is dropping by to talk about her new novel The Silence of the Stars

Rafe Haze is also back today on his The Next Blog Tour as part of our GRL Celebration Countdown

FridayRJ Scott is our guest with the second GRL Celebration visit of the week, to promote her book A Reason to Stay

Dan Skinner also drops in to kick off a blog tour for his newest novel The Price of Dick

SaturdayJosephine Myles is our guest on the Stuff Blog Tour, the follow up to Junk

Sunday – And finally, to wrap up the week, Lou Sylvre is here for a visit, and she’s bring along a little Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James

And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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Dreamspinner Press, Lou Sylvre

There Is Only One Mission For Luki Vasquez: “Saving Sonny James”



“Life means so much more, when there’s someone.” – Lou Sylvre


Loving Luki Vasquez hasn’t always been easy for Sonny Bly James, but it’s always been worth the risk to have given his heart to the man who’s made of ice but melts at the sight of a husband he treasures above all else. This time around, that love is put to the ultimate test in Saving Sonny James, a story that picks up several months after a dramatic rescue in Finding Jackie, and finds Luki waging a war and loosing his footing against an adversary that won’t blink, no matter how hard he stares it down–PTSD–brought on by a snap decision in a life or death situation that put one young man on the losing side of Luki’s gun.
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Lou Sylvre Is On A Backseat Road Trip – And Look Who’s Come To Visit!



Vasquez and James Road Trip Blog Tour: Lou Sylvre’s Saving Sonny James (Book 4) out 10/18 from Dreamspinner Press!

Hello, I’m Lou Sylvre, and I’m grateful to Lisa and The Novel Approach for agreeing to host me and my characters from the Vasquez and James series yet again. Last time we visited, Luki Vasquez cooked for us, and while we sat around the table, he and Sonny and some other characters from the series answered a bunch of questions from readers. We all had fun, except for perhaps Luki, who seemed a little put upon. (See below for a link to that conversation if you’re curious.)

This time, I’m excited to invite you to the TNA kickoff of the Vasquez and James Road Trip Blog Tour. The fourth book in the suspense series, Saving Sonny James, is officially released today. There’s a blurb and a cover here, the publisher’s buy link, and even a brief excerpt, which I hope you’ll find tantalizing. And there are prizes to be had. Here! Now! Just comment below and your name goes in the hat, and I’ll announce the winners right here and elsewhere on the 25th.

First prize: Signed paperback (e-book if you prefer) of Saving Sonny James and a $15 gift certificate for Dreamspinner Press.

Second Prize: Saving Sonny James e-book.

So, you ask, “Why a road tip?” If you’ve read the series (or even the blurbs) you know already that these two sexy men are always off on some adventure, but most of them are not by choice. This time, having survived the most horrendous near-calamity yet, Luki and Sonny decided it was time to take a vacation of their own design. Well, mostly Sonny’s design, because he’s a Mustang driving, engine-loving, road trip kind of guy, and Luki does whatever Sonny wants. He’s smitten, still, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing. This will not be just any road trip, though: they’ll cross the Atlantic and the South Seas, roam the USA, venture into another world, and possibly even attend Bent Con in Burbank, California… oh my!

After coercion, the husbands (yes, they got married in book 3, Finding Jackie) have agreed to allow me to ride along in the back seat. What they don’t know is that the backseat is an awful lot like one of those fantasy phone booths that a seemingly infinite number of people can crowd into, so there’s plenty of room. Please, pack a bag and come along! We’re starting the trip in France, because… well, that’s where Saving Sonny James ends. To explain, here’s the blurb:

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Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.

===

France turned out to be a pretty scary place, complete with tiny token Lesbian gendarmes, tunnels filled with bones, and an old flame of Luki’s (who is also hot and ginger, and kind of badass, too). But that’s their location when the story ends—France, and getting across the English Channel to visit former Vasquez Security agent, Brian Harrison in London. (Yes, this is the very same knitting young badass you met if you read the earlier books.) Early this morning, they left the country house they stayed in while the embassy got Luki out of trouble and Sonny got healthy, headed for Paris, where they breakfasted on café crème and pastries, then headed for the station to board the train for Coquelles, near Calais—about 150 miles from the City of Light. From there, they’ll board a Eurostar train for the trip under the sea to London.

Luki doesn’t really want to do this. As often is the case, he’s agreed to it only because Sonny is fascinated by the train and the idea of a tunnel beneath the sea. Here’s a bit of what is transpiring as they wait on line to board.

===

“Sonny, you are so kissable right now!”

“What? Did you see this, Luki? They say the trains run on electricity. I suppose that’s cleaner.”

“I don’t care, sweetie. I don’t even want to get on that train.”

“What are you talking about now, Luki? I know you’ve been a lot of places, but for me this might be a once in a lifetime chance. I can’t wait.”

“Yeah, but that tunnel reminds me of the catacombs—I mean, only because it’s underground, but still.” Luki let that lie, but Sonny said nothing in response, only crinkled up his brow as if wondering what kind of creature Luki really was. So finally, Luki added, “Baby, I had to run through those tunnels under Paris on my way to find you. It was awful. The only blessing was I wasn’t alone and I was so busy thinking about saving Sonny James that I hardly had time to quake in fear. There were bones, and rats, and… I think there might have been fish. It was horrible.”

“I’m sorry you had to do that, husband.”

“I’d do it twenty times more if I had to, Sonny, but that’s why this tunnel idea doesn’t seem like a fun thing. But I do like watching you—all excited like a little kid.”

“Little kid! Take that back, and I’ll let you kiss me as we cross the border from France to England.”

“Ah, now there’s an interesting offer,” Luki said, and started pensively chewing his bottom lip. He brought Sonny’s hand to his lips for a quick smooch and made a counter-offer. “We may have a deal, baby, but only if I also get to touch you inappropriately if it’s possible to do so surreptitiously.”

“Surreptitiously?”

“Yes, surreptitiously. I went to college.”

Sonny put his hands on his hips and said, “Husband, anything inappropriate you can manage surreptitiously in that tunnel—you’ve got a green light to do it.”

Luki took a deep breath and sighed. Under his breath, he said, “Fuck! It’s going to be awful hot on that train.”

===

I, Lou Sylvre, am not getting on that train either, mostly because I don’t want the guys to embarrass me with all that inappropriateness. So I’m catching a shuttle flight, and I’ll meet them in London. You can meet us there, too—please do!

Here’s a link to my blog, where you will find a rundown of the planned stops on this road trip blog tour: http://www.sylvre.com. And here are the other links I promised:

The buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4269 .

The link to Sonny and Luki’s previous visit on TNA: http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/2013/06/13/look-whos-come-for-a-visit-its-lou-sylvre-and-shes-brought-some-special-guests-with-her/ .

In the meanwhile, here’s a brief excerpt from Saving Sonny James. Remember to put your name in the hat for the prize drawing! Enjoy the excerpt!

===

TWO days later, Sonny hoped maybe a chance had come to try to talk to Luki, as Kaholo had suggested. He could hear Luki brushing his teeth—something he didn’t always do on days when he had no therapy appointment. It spurred Sonny to take a chance. “Luki,” he called through the bathroom door. “Honey?”

“Yeah,” Luki said, his husky voice monotone, disinterested. But at least he’d answered.

“I’m going to sit outside to drink my coffee. Shall I bring you a cup?” He waited. Nothing. “Will you join me?”

Nothing… two… three… four….

“Yeah, sure. Thanks.”

Sonny’s knees nearly failed him right then and there. Could this be a turn of the tide? Could there be a flicker of hope? He had to fight his urge to wait right there by the door and make sure Luki came out, but he won that battle. “Okay,” he said, hoping he sounded casual. “I’ll see you out there, then. How many tons of sugar today?” That’s it, Sonny, make it normal, like nothing ever happened… but….

Luki was quiet. But then, like something magical was happening, he chuckled, and joked. “A half ton’s plenty, baby.”

So they sat together on the driftlog that had seen so many of their previous conversations, even their first fight. This time there was no gun, and no cigarettes, so that was a little different, but once again Luki was clad poorly in a pair of Sonny’s ill-fitting jeans, wrapped in a blanket, his chestnut curls swirled this way and that like the finger painting of some childish god. Sonny passed him his coffee. He drank, said, “It’s good.”

Sonny nodded, but found now he didn’t know what to say or do, or for that matter what not to say or do. He had too many hopes that had been lifted too high by this one little gift: Luki had come outside for coffee.

How could Sonny speak without dashing it all to the ground? What could he say that would be safe?

“Sonny,” Luki said, just loud enough to be heard over the small sounds of the straits in endless motion and the light September breeze. Sonny looked at him with something close to alarm. Luki met his gaze—something he hardly ever did these days. Then he licked his lips and said a little louder, “I love you. That hasn’t changed.”

Sonny was left speechless. Time went by, and ultimately Sonny did stretch around his fears and answer as expected. “I love you too, Luki. Lots.”

“I know that. When are you leaving?”

“What?”

“For Europe?”

“What?”

“Sonny, I’m crazy, not fucking deaf or blind.” Luki suddenly sounded angry, but what he said pissed Sonny off enough that he didn’t—for once—spare worry for Luki’s feelings.

“You’re not fucking crazy!”

“You only say that because you can’t get inside here!” Luki jabbed at his temple. “Maybe you can’t see it, but believe me, some crazy-ass shit’s going on in there.”

“Then why won’t you go to the psychiatrist, or the therapist? Why won’t you make even the slightest effort to fix whatever the fuck is wrong….” Sonny trailed off. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be.” Luki gathered up his blanket and his coffee mug. “Don’t be,” he said again and trudged back toward the house.

As Luki walked away, kicking up small clouds of fine gray sand in the breeze, Sonny stripped and went to the water’s edge—his almost daily habit. But this time he stood staring at the watery September morning sun. “No,” he said and then shouted, “No! You fucker,” though he had no idea to whom the comment was addressed. “You’ve taken everyone I’ve ever loved from the time I was a little kid! You can’t do this!”

He waited.

He waited.

For what?

Oh fuck it, he thought and ran into the low rolling waves of the Juan de Fuca current.

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Dreamspinner Press, Lou Sylvre

Look Who’s Come For A Visit – It’s Lou Sylvre, And She’s Brought Some Special Guests With Her

As the author of the Vasquez and James books, I called a number of the characters together for a meeting because readers had been asking questions—questions I couldn’t answer—and I thought it was time to put their concerns to rest, once and for all. When I called to make arrangements, it seemed at first as if the plan would come off without a hitch. Sonny answered the phone.

“Sure, we’d love to,” Sonny said, after I explained about wanting to do a group interview. “Where did you want to meet?”

“Well, I was hoping you might be willing to come down to my place,” I said. “I’m just down here off Budd Inlet, near the Capitol.”

“Oh, yeah. Love that area! It’s a nice drive down the canal, too, and Kaholo’s never been that way…. I guess I’ll have to take the Merc, since it’s a little bigger. What with two extra men and Bear.”

“Perfect,” I said. “I have a couple of questions for Brian, too, and I’ve got a pretty good sized yard for Bear to investigate.”

Sonny laughed, that sweet, deep, rolling chuckle that always lightened my heart. “Okay, it’s all set, then. And if Bear digs holes I’ll make Luki go out and fill them in.”

But then, a distant, deep, scratchy, grouchy-sounding voice in the background. “Give me the phone, Sonny.”

Sonny must have put a hand over the mouthpiece, because his reply was muffled. “Luki, it’s just Lou. She wants us to meet at her place for an interview.”

“I am quite well aware that Ms. Sylvre is trying once again to manipulate our lives. Just give me the phone, please.”

“Fine. But we’ll talk about this later.” Then, into the receiver again, “Lou, Luki wants to talk to you.”

Next thing I know Luki was on the phone and growling at me. “No, we’re not coming to your house, Ms. Sylvre, and that’s final. We’re finally here at Sonny’s home—”

“Your home, Luki.”

“Right, my home, but that’s between Sonny and me. The point is in the entire plot of Finding Jackie you never let us be home for even a day. We’re here now, trying to recover, and we’re staying here. I mean, who the hell knows where you’ll send us next—could be fucking France or something.”

“Um.”

“Oh, don’t tell me! France? Really?”

I decided it might be wise to try to placate him. “Anyway, that’s fine, Luki. I’ll just come to your place again.”

***

And so here we were, once again on Sonny’s beautiful land by the Straits of Juan de Fuca, surrounded by forest. This time, though, we’re driven inside by a steady summer rain. It’s just cool enough, off the water in the shadow of the Olympics, to warrant a small fire in the wood stove in the living room, and we’ve gathered round the kitchen table with very good coffee steaming in our cups—except for Brian who has a glass of milk. Luki, to my surprise, is busy finishing up appetizer offerings. Already, we each have fluted, pedestaled, shallow carnival glass dish set before us with something he calls Aloha crisp—pineapple, bacon, nuts, coconut, and only Luki knows what else in there. He sets down a tray of mini-kebobs with pork, peppers, onion, and pineapple, and a mountain of rice-prickly glazed meatballs, each with its own toothpick handle, and finally he sits down in the seat next to me.

Everyone else is digging in and licking lips. Luki is watching me. I’m overwhelmed.

“Is everything all right, Ms. Sylvre? You need something?”

Yes, Luki, I think, I need to figure out how not to cry. “No, everything’s beautiful. I just didn’t expect it, that’s all. Perhaps you should have been a chef?”

An odd look crossed his face, and I wasn’t sure if he was wondering if I could get any stupider, or if he was touched by what I said. Sonny caught his eye, and that’s where Luki was looking when he answered. “My uncle taught me to cook. I enjoy it.”

“Thank you,” I said, remembering my manners.

“You’re welcome, Ms. Sylvre. Can we eat and get this questioning business over with at the same time?”

***

LS: Okay, guys. I was going to interview you each one at a time, but I’ve decided that we’re all gathered around Luki’s beautiful pu-pu—

Luki: Watch it, Sylvre.

LS: Uh… Anyway we’ll just ask questions of the appropriate person as we come to them. First, a couple of questions from Traci.

Q: Sonny, what is something that you do on purpose to drive Luki nuts? Is it funny to see your favorite bad ass lose his shit over something?

Sonny: (Note that to his credit, Sonny did not look toward Luki to see if it was okay to speak.) Well, Lou and Traci, I hate to start off with a boring answer, but I really can’t think of much I do on purpose, although I do tease him about the bucket loads of sugar he puts in his coffee. And well, when he was in the hospital under the influence of pain medication, he was pretty easy to string along. That was kind of fun. He does kind of get all wound up about things when I change my mind suddenly, stuff like that, and its really cute. (Here, Luki inserted a silent eye roll.) But I don’t do that on purpose, I’m just being me. But, the thing is, I’d never drive him to seriously lose his shit on purpose. He needs to be in control, and it’s really hard on him when he’s not. The only times he’s ever totally lost his cool around me were not good memories. They were painful for both of us.

Q: Luki, Traci’s question for you is this: what is your favorite part of everyday life that you share with Sonny? Something that is small & simple that you never would have thought as being enjoyable.

Luki: (Luki looks at Sonny, eyes perceptibly wide with surprise, and when Sonny smiles at him, kebob juice dripping from his chin, Luki actually, clearly smiles back. It’s beautiful. Then Luki turns to me, ready to answer.) Ms. Sylvre, Traci has asked a very good question. Problem is it’s so hard to choose just one. I love seeing him next to me if by some miracle I wake up before he does; I love hearing the rattle of his looms when he’s working; I love seeing him go for his quick dip in the cold straits in the morning; I even love his off key singing as long as he’s in another room. But I guess if I have t choose a favorite, it would be our walks on the beach in the late afternoon, just the two of us and Bear. I can’t say why. It just makes me feel… maybe happy.

Q: Bluesimplicity has a a question for both of you, Luki and Sonny. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve each learned about yourself now that your married?

Sonny: This might sound silly, but I’ve been surprised to find out that I was lonely out here, before.

Luki: This is maybe cheating a bit, because I think I learned it before we were actually married, but it shocked the hell out of me to find out I like sleeping—I mean actually sleeping—with the man I love. I never had anybody sleep in my bed before Sonny.

Q: Jackie M. has questions for everybody. First, Sonny, she’d like to know how long you’re going to… um, now these are her words, okay? Not mine. How long are you going to let Luki make you wait for kids.

Sonny: Um… I never thought about kids, Jackie. I mean, I enjoy them. I just can’t see me… Well, I had Delsyn with me, of course, but I don’t think I did that great of a job. I had help, thank heaven, but… I never asked Luki about this either. Oh my god. How could I have married the man and never even thought about asking him…

Luki: Hey, baby. It’s okay. The nice reader didn’t mean any harm. Listen we’ll talk about it later, if you want, but there’s no problem here. ‘Kay?

Sonny: ‘Kay. I love you, Luki.

Q: Well, I’m sorry that turned out to be a much tougher question than I expected. Um, but while we’re on the subject—”

Luki: We’re not.

Q: Amy wants to know whether there are children in your future, Luki?

Luki: After you just made Sonny so miserable, you’re going to ask that? (Luki’s eyes are really quite disturbing when he’s glaring right at you. I almost peed.)

LS: Don’t shoot the messenger? (I meant that literally)

Kaholo: Now, Luki.

Luki: Alright, fine. I’m sure Amy meant no harm either. And just to shut up the subject, I’ll try to answer, for my part anyway. Here’s the thing. I have no idea how to be a father. Where would I ever have learned? If Sonny decides he wants kids, I’ll try to make myself into a parent, but although one part of me would love to raise a child, the greater share of my intelligence tells me that wouldn’t be kind. My mother—I know she was wonderful, especially before she got sick, but I barely remember that. And my father, well, I would never want to do that to a child. (I glance at Sonny and see he is nearly in tears. He reaches over and lays a hand on Luki’s shoulder. Luki doesn’t answer the look, but he does put his hand over Sonny’s and give it a squeeze.)

Brian: You had Kaholo.

Luki: (To my surprise, Luki doesn’t scold Brian or give him a fear-inspiring look, and Kaholo doesn’t respond. When Luki speaks, it’s to Brian.) Brian, Kaholo is the most wonderful uncle anyone can hope for, but he’s not my father. My dad loved me, but you know, that isn’t enough.

Q: Okay, Luki, on a lighter note, I hope, Jackie also wants to know if you might ever learn grass dancing to surprise Sonny?

Luki: (Bursts out in actual laughter.)

Kaholo: You know Luki did dance, when he was young, before…things happened. He was still learning but he was pretty good at it. If the readers want to go this You Tube video, it’s the kind of dancing he was learning:

Q: Kaholo that actually brings me to Jackie’s question for you. She’s wondering when you are going to find a nice woman and settle down.

Kaholo: Well, I am pretty settled down, and (He laughs his deep, bass laugh, and bobs his bushy eyebrows.) I do know some ‘nice’ women.

Q: Listen, Kaholo, I have a question here for Josh. Can we get him on the phone, do you think? (There’s a little fussing, Josh is in Nebraska with Jackie, who is still, understandably hospitalized, getting some intensive therapy. When he comes on the line, on speaker, I ask him Jackie’s question.) Josh, a reader named Jackie M. wants to know what you see yourself doing in the future, careerwise. Do you think you will follow in Luki’s footsteps?

Josh: No. Not in Luki’s footsteps. I don’t have whatever it is that takes. Right now I just want to get me and Jackie through high school—I’m almost done. Then I want to get a job, something physical. I like tools and things, and working outside.

LS: Thanks, Josh. You remind me of my brother. And speaking of brothers, Jackie M. also wants to get a message to your brother Jackie. She says, “I hope you work it all out, sweets.”

Josh: Tell her thank you, okay. I gotta get back. I’ll tell him.

Q: Carol wants you two, Sonny and Luki, to sum each other up in one word.

Luki: What the fu…?

Sonny: Honey that’s probably true but it’s more than one word.

LS: Stop it, you two. Carol is serious and it’s a very god question. But I don’t want you to influence each others answers. So I’m passing each of you a sticky note to write your answers. (It took them no time at all, they both scribbled their answers quickly and passed them back. Sonny’s said, “everything.” Luki’s, surprisingly said, ”sanctuary.”)

Q: Okay, moving along. (It had grown pin-drop quiet.) Amy also asked why you trim your toenails before sex, Sonny. She thinks it’s weird.

Sonny: (Sonny happened to be standing pouring more coffee, and his free hand went straight to his hip in indignation.) Not weird at all. I don’t want to scratch Luki with my toenails. You would do well to be considerate in that fashion as well, Amy!

Q: And that sort of leads us right into the next question, which Lisa couldn’t resist asking, she says. Luki, how long did it take for you to realize that when Sonny’s hand goes to his hip, you’re in big trouble?

Luki: (A surprised laugh bubbles out, even though Luki isn’t smiling.) Well, just look at him. It didn’t take me any time at all. I mean, formidable, right?

Q: Well this one, too, then, Luki, from Lisa. What’s the one thing Sonny does without even realizing he’s doing it that takes your breath away?

Luki: That’s hard to answer! There’s something during sex, but I’m pretty sure he knows. And then, well, there’s… oh, wait. He calls me ‘husband’. (Sonny turns purple and Luki’s chewing his lip.) I hope now that he knows he won’t stop, or become self-conscious. I love him so much.

Q: (I clear my throat and surreptitiously wipe my eyes.) Brian, this one is from Lisa for you, okay?

Brian: (Looks surprised.) Oh, okay.

LS: If you could wish for one thing and have that wish come true, what would it be?

Brian: (Smiling.) That’s easy. I would wish for Jackie Vasquez to be whole, healthy, and happy.

Q: Kaholo, the question for you is, what about Luki are you most proud of?

Kaholo: The question is difficult because I can think of nothing about him that doesn’t make me feel proud. But I guess we’re usually proud of those we love for doing things that are both good and difficult for them. The hardest thing, and also probably the best thing, that Luki has ever done, to my knowledge is learn to let Sonny love him. That wouldn’t be hard for everyone, but for him, monumental. And, proud? God yes I’m proud of Luki everyday. (Luki scratches head, clears his throat, chews his lip, and looks everywhere but at somebody. So suddenly he almost knocks his chair over, he gets up and says Bear needs a walk. As soon as he and Bear stepped out, Kaholo nodded and spoke up again.) Mission accomplished, eh?

Q: Sonny, Lisa wants to know what’s the most challenging thing about loving Luki?

Sonny: I have to name two things, sorry. I can’t pick one. First, he has a hard time accepting help no matter how badly he needs it. Second… well, sometimes I know he’s hurting, usually because of some memory or whatever, but he usually won’t share it. I just have to be there with him and trust that he knows that if he wants to tell, I’ll listen. Those are hard times.

Q: Sonny, one more, much easier, I hope. (Just then the screen door banged lightly and a damp Bear trotted past on his way to the fireside. Luki poured coffee for anyone who needed it before sitting down—even got Brian another glass of milk. He seemed completely recovered and made it a point to run a hand along Sonny’s shoulder on his way to his chair. He said nothing, so I went on with the question.) Lasha wants to know, Sonny, if you had it to do over again, big Hawaiian wedding, or Vegas.

Sonny: Oh, definitely Hawaii. I would do it again, and again, and again. It was wonderful.

Q: Sonny, I have two more questions for you. For this first one I’m going to have use my time turner and then wipe everyone’s memories, afterward.

Kaholo: What’s a time turner?

Brian: You have a time turner?

Luki: Where in the hell did you get a time turner?

Sonny: Wipe our memories?

(I put the time turner on the table, holding onto it with one hand to stop inquisitive or bratty grabbing, and told everyone to hold on to me. They grumbled and bitched, but they did it and that was a weird feeling in itself. Then I turned the turner, a lot, so that we ended up roughly 5.333 years in the future, after Luki’s cancer.)

Q: Sonny, Lisa asks, if you could weave a tapestry of Luki’s illness, chemo, and recovery, what colors would you use, and what would the image be?

Sonny: It would be so hard to crunch that whole experience down into one tapestry. Probably, I wouldn’t. But if I did, the colors would be, I think the ordinary colors of life. I weave pictorial tapestries, and this one would be no exception. The primary image would be a road, or a path, I think. In the foreground it would be dark, muted, winter. The dimension would be wide rather than tall. There would be obstacles, there might be comfortable resting places. But at some point the road would fork and one side would lead back into desolation, while the other would lead back into life. Not glory, but the colors of sunrise on the straits, out here. I suppose.

(I brought us back with the time turner, and wiped memories succinctly.)

Luki: Why are we all sad and don’t know why? And I asked you before, where did you get a time turner?

LS: Dumbledore of course.

Luki: Dumble…!

Q: Now if you don’t mind I have one more question Sonny. Anne wants to know something about your weaving.

Sonny: (Scrunches his eyebrows.) Seems familiar.

LS: (I clear my throat.) Anyway, Anne says, “I love the description of colors in your weaving and how you see colors. Now that you and Luki are married, what colors would you use to weave a piece that represents both of you together?

Sonny: Oh, what a sweet question. I think Anne and I would get along well. Hard to answer though. There would be a certain amount of simple comfort to it—maybe the deep blue of the sky around here in autumn, maybe for the refreshing and always surprising wakefulness, awareness that there is between us, that bright, light gold of morning on the water. But there would be fire too! I don’t weave with red anymore, but deep to bright oranges and yellows and the blue that you sometimes see at the base of a flame. Finally, the cool moonlight meadow where one comes to rest. The colors are “almost colors.” Silver light.

LS: Oh that’s beautiful, Sonny. Thanks. I have just—”

Luki: No. Absolutely not. (He’s actually holding his hand up right in my face.) It just so happens, Ms. La-di-dah Sylvre, that I too have been in touch with Jackie M. and Lisa. So we’re going to get some straight answers from you! First, when is there going to be another book in the series?

LS: Hopefully this year. I’m waiting to hear from the publisher. And let me tell you, Mr. La-di-dah Vasquez, you are not having much fun in that book.

Luki: Why you little—

Kaholo and Sonny: Luki!

Luki: Fine. Well listen to what else Jackie wants to know. If you could learn a skill from Sonny or me, would you want to be the… hm hm, hardass… Luki Vasquez, or would you be the artistic Sonny Bly.

LS: It’s a difficult choice. Sonny is, I’m sure you’ll agree, so extraordinary. And I’ve done some art things and enjoyed them. But I could never live up to that beauty and grace. No, I’d like to play with guns for a living and know how to knock someone over with a finger or a mean look. I’d like to be a Luki Vasquez.

Luki: Of course you would. Well, one more. Lisa wants to know what is the one thing that happened as you’ve been writing the series that completely shocked you when you wrote it because you didn’t see it coming.

LS: I cannot pick one thing, sorry Lisa and Luki. The characters have surprised me at every turn. There is one thing that was most surprising to me, but it hasn’t yet been published, so I’m going to keep mum on that one. In the meantime, I’ll name something about Sonny, and something about Luki. In regard to Sonny, when he revealed his history, including but not limited to the stint in prison, it left me completely confounded. For Luki, I think I’d have to say the bit that is revealed about his youthful forays into the world of man-sex in Finding Jackie. In both those cases, I spent some time arguing before I agreed they needed to be in the story.

Luki: I knew I shouldn’t have told you that shit. You just ran with it didn’t you?

LS: Luki, it made the story make more sense. And it made me love you more. So shut up. I have one more question from Lisa for both you and Sonny. Where do you go from here?

(They answer at the same time)

Sonny: Bed.

Luki: To get a hamburger.

(Sonny’s mouth opens, and his hand rests on his hip.)

Luki: After bed, I mean. Or before if you prefer. Or hell, we can get the hamburger and have hamburgers in bed… Or no hamburger… Or… Whatever you want sweetie, really….

(End)

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Dreamspinner Press, Lou Sylvre

Lou Sylvre Is Bringing Luki, Sonny, Kaholo, and Brian Over For A Visit This Week!

And she’d like to know if you have any questions for her guys. If you do, you’ll need to act quickly because she’ll need time to interview them and get their answers typed up and sent to us to post, so no dawdling! :-D

Click HERE to be directed to Lou’s Facebook Author Page and ask away, and guess what?! If you ask a question or two, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a $15 gift card for Dreamspinner Press! That’s good stuff, yeah? Go. Ask. Be nosy and it just might pay off!

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Dreamspinner Press, Lou Sylvre

Loving Luki Vasquez And Sonny Bly James Really Is So Easy – Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James #3) by Lou Sylvre

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. – Song of Solomon

If you’ve thought about picking up Finding Jackie and have prepared yourself to watch Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James stroll off into a sedate life of wedded bliss…yeah, you might want to rethink that. Don’t get me wrong, though; the bliss part is definitely there, but Luki and Sonny are anything but sedate in this installment of the Vasquez/James series.

And we wouldn’t want it any other way, now, would we?

Luki and Sonny almost had a quiet honeymoon, but someone else had very different plans for the badass agent who’s guilty of nothing more than loving his family and being very, very good at his job.

Jackie Vasquez, Luki and Sonny’s nephew, is caught in the crosshairs of growing up: sixteen, uncomfortable in his own skin, gay, vulnerable, and the survivor of a past abuse that has left him floundering in a sea of conflicting feelings about who he is why he needs some of the things he needs, and it makes him the perfect mark to throw into the crossfire of revenge. Jackie falls head over heels into the trap of a predator who tells the boy everything he wants to hear and lures him into the dangers of social media, something the boy may not survive.

Leaving home to discover himself wasn’t the best choice Jackie could’ve made. Running away from home and into the arms of a virtual stranger who made Jackie want to do things he’d never done before and feel things he’d never felt before, delivers him directly into the clutches of a sadistic psychopath whose strings are being pulled by a deadly enemy, and now it’s up to Luki, Sonny, Josh, Agent Brian Harrison, and the four-legged, furry hero Bear to find and rescue Jackie before time runs out for the boy. The question for Jackie, though, is whether his rescue will come too late or too soon, and the answer depends entirely upon his will to survive.

Lou Sylvre strikes a great balance once again in the romance between these two beautiful and mercurial men, with all the action and suspense I’ve come to expect since I read Loving Luki Vasquez nearly two years ago. Luki’s life is never going to be common, but that’s the perfect complement to the very uncommon man he’s fallen in love with and who keeps him grounded in ways Luki very much needs.

There’s another fast paced, adrenaline pumping sequence to wrap up the drama that showcases not only Luki’s talents but also introduces a much anticipated and much needed (for me, at least) promise of a spinoff for Jackie and a certain someone who could very well join Luki and Sonny for a position on my “Most Loved Couples” list.

And I have to say that having read Yes, which was released between Delsyn’s Blues and this book, but actually takes place in the post-Finding Jackie timeframe, it made this book just that much sweeter.

You can buy Finding Jackie here:

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Dreamspinner Press, Lou Sylvre

Yes (A Vasquez & James Novella) by Lou Sylvre

“Where there is great love, there are also miracles.” – Willa Sibert Cather

Loving Luki Vasquez has always been pretty easy for me. For that matter, loving Sonny Bly James has been a non-effort too, because of their strength, because of the way they’ve fought courageously to get where they are, because now, six years later, they need that strength and courage more than ever before when the threat to Luki’s life comes from something other than a bomb or the barrel of a gun.

This time it’s cancer that’s out to get him, and it’s coming at Luki with a vengeance, showing no mercy, giving no quarter, and taking its toll on everything and everyone Luki cherishes.

Yes is a heart-wrenching and sometimes very difficult story to read, especially if cancer has threatened or stolen someone you love. Lou Sylvre has woven a beautiful and effective story that illustrates perfectly how overwhelming and unrelenting this disease is not only in the way it attacks its victims but also in the way it does its best to destroy the lives and relationships of everyone involved.

This is a story of loving and fearing and dying and living. It’s a story of hope in the face of hopelessness, faith tested by helplessness, endurance diminished by the cruel nature of illness, courage that doesn’t mean being unafraid but means looking at the nightmare head on and living in spite of that fear. This is a story in which love is tested by the desire to let go and to give in to a disease that kills indiscriminately but, in the end, drawing upon the strength of that love and knowing the fight to live is worth the cost of waging that war.

Buy Yes HERE.

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Lou Sylvre

Delsyn’s Blues by Lou Sylvre

Delsyn's Blues (Vasquez & James, #2)Delsyn’s Blues by Lou Sylvre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

”Sonny James and Luki Vasquez are living proof that the course of love never runs smoothly.”

If ever there was a single sentence that set the tone for a novel, this is it. Not only does the course of love never run smoothly for Sonny Bly James and Luki Vasquez, but Lou Sylvre strategically throws some crater-sized potholes in the path, too, just to keep things interesting along the way. Interesting and heartbreaking and nerve wracking and anxiety inducing. And romantic and sexy and quite lovely. Delsyn’s Blues encompasses them all.

Loss, the ensuing grief, and the pain of guilt throw the first set of roadblocks across the path to happiness for Sonny and Luki. Add danger, jealousy, and the betrayal of a once trusted friend, and it becomes abundantly clear these men will have to suffer for the sake of their love. And suffer they do, but amidst the chaos, there is also the desperate need for each other that is sometimes strength, sometimes vulnerability, always present. There are endearments and affirmations and symbols that acknowledge commitment, although even those were not enough, at times, to overcome the doubt that insisted upon intruding on their plans for the future.

Learning more about Sonny and his chequered past provided not only a fair amount of insight into his character but also provided for more than a few surprises along the way. And it’s that less than flawless past that contributes to the turmoil he and Luki encounter on their journey—a former lover and Sonny’s biological father (to use the term loosely) play a part in the murder and mayhem, suspense and action that the author weaves into the conflicts in Luki and Sonny’s relationship.

So much of their connection is about trust: trusting in their bond, trusting in a future together, trusting that their love is enough of a foundation on which to build a life together, believing that when one falls, the other will be there to catch him. That faith didn’t come easily and its lack nearly tore them apart. But one thing they did discover through the heartache and despair is that in order to know whether they could trust in each other, they had to take the risk and simply trust in each other. It was a hard fought, hard earned lesson for Sonny and Luki, one that I hope to see payoff in a sequel.

Delsyn’s Blues is a crime drama, to be sure, though the romance did its best to eclipse that part of the plot. These men are charismatic, enigmatic, and magnetic, so becoming invested in their personal relationship was a welcome indulgence.

BUY LINK

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