Title: Loving Luki Vasquez
Author: Lou Sylvre
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Luki Vasquez, Sonny Bly James
POV: 3rd person
Setting: Washington State
Cover Rating: 4
Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.
While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.
Back in 1982, in Oak Flats, Nebraska, a young Luki Vasquez was taught a harsh and vicious lesson. In a single moment of adolescent cruelty, Luki was schooled in the subjects of hatred and intolerance, forever branded as different, the consequences of which were so entirely malignant that it set its scars deeply and irrevocably shaped who Luki would become.
The incident served to stain and alter the relationship between a boy and his father, stealing Luki’s innocence, labeling and isolating him, and finally, teaching him that the means of survival in a world that has marked him as different will mean closing himself off and finding the strength to protect himself both physically and emotionally. Luki’s life becomes a study in maintaining a cool demeanor, keeping feelings hidden behind a façade of chilly detachment. Both life and work are a methodical exercise in keeping to the shadows, not getting too close, not letting anyone get too close him.
The problem with resistance, however, whether it’s resisting temptation, feelings, a particular someone, is that eventually you’ll meet an opposing force that is stronger than your ability to defy or deny. For Luki, that man is Sonny Bly James: artist, enigma, and the man who conquers Luki’s resolve. The power to resist becomes the law of attraction, and when the rules change, nothing will be the same for these two men.
Luki and Sonny are irrevocably joined, first by a horrific crime, then by the mysterious disappearance of Sonny’s nephew, and finally, by a need so utterly tangible it feels as necessary as breathing. And denying themselves the love they so obviously want and need works about as well as denying themselves breath. Their relationship is a transformation, a hard fought lesson in the truth that sometimes it takes far more strength to let someone in than to let someone go.
”Loving Luki Vasquez isn’t all that easy.” At least not for Sonny. For me, loving Luki and Sonny was the easiest thing I’ve done in a long while.
A perfect blend of romantic tension and criminal suspense, Lou Sylvre’s debut novel is truly something to celebrate. Every sentence is an indulgence, beautifully composed to draw the reader into the lives of two men who, ironically, might be uneasy with the scrutiny. It’s impossible to resist, though, so why would you? Reading Loving Luki Vasquez should be on everyone’s list of things to do.
Reviewed By: Lisa