A MelanieM Review: Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James #3) by Lou Sylvre

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

FindingJackieLGAfter the heartbreak of Delsyn, Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James are hoping for some peace and quiet.  And a honeymoon.  Luki and Sonny are heading to Hawaii to get married, and then off for an RV honeymoon.  But once again their past comes back to shatter the calm and put all they love in danger.

An informant from Luki’s old days at ATFA has a message for Luki.  It’s a little garbled but another clue appears when one of Sonny’s art pieces is missing and a note written in blood marks its reappearance.  The final clue comes from a phone call from a drug lord whose path Luki and Sonny crossed when Delsyn was kidnapped and drugs found on Sonny’s land.  It was a time marked by deaths of the guilty as well as the innocent and the reverberations are still continuing to haunt their lives.  To make Luki pay, his nephew Jackie has been kidnapped by a sadist.

Now the hunt is on to save Jackie.  To do so, Luki has to return to the FBI, a move Sonny is extremely unhappy over even if he understands the necessity.  Luki and Sonny put their future on hold and gather their resources to hunt for a loved one once again.  It will take a family to save one of their own.  Luki’s, Sonny’s, and those that work for Luki. Even a dog named Bear.  And even if they are in time to save Jackie, will there still be a sane  Jackie left?

Outstanding. Finding Jackie was outstanding in every way a story needs to be.  Compelling, anguished, layered, and detailed only where it needs to be, this story continues the events started in Loving Luki, the first in the Vasquez and James series.  After the gut-wrenching plot of Delsyn’s Blues, this story finds Luki and Sonny already married, having done the deed in Washington State where its legal.  But Luki and Sonny are men with emotional overtones and layers that reach into their pasts and heritage, so a marriage in Hawaii suits them spiritually as well as setting the stage for the first part of their new life together.  It’s there we find them gathered together with family and friends to celebrate a union as deeply complicated as the men themselves.  And their bliss and happiness is as shortlived as the readers.

For DA Marcone, the drug lord whose step children ignited the events in the first book, is looking to revenge their deaths and deal out paybacks for the damage his reputation suffered in the bargain.  In his employ is a sadist who is Marcone’s top man and his “go to” killer.  As Marcone starts “tying up” loose ends from that disasterous drug deal, he targets Luki’s fragile nephew Jackie as his target to make Luki pay and deliver a message to all who might want to take on Marcone in the future.

Sylvre’s plot is horrific and it will tear into your hearts because you have been there along the way from Luki’s initial discovery of the boys, their damaged pasts, and their settling in with Luki’s uncle in Oklahoma.  They should have been safe in their new home.  But unbeknownst to all, Jackie’s vulnerability had already caught their notice and his safety was an illusion. As is most peoples.

Sylvre understands the damage inflicted on the innocent, that its impact may be lessened but it is never forgotten.  Whether it is the  pain Luki carries on his face and soul, or the damage from the abuse Jackie and his brother suffered at the hands of their insane father, its complications and imprint is lasting.  Luki has continued to suffer from the effects of that day at the lake when those he thought were his friends carved up his face and his emotional foundation. Jackie’s father sexually abused him and his reasons were both insane and grounded in family as well.  How each boy moved forward was in keeping with their support or lack of it and their own emotional base to start with.  Lou Sylvre brings us into their minds and emotional makeup in a manner that’s both intimate and crushing.  This especially comes into play when we enter Jackie’s mind while in the hands of the sadist.  Every moment feels like we are in the mind of a teenager under physical and emotional duress of the worst kind.  We don’t, thankfully, get the details as to what has happened to him since his capture but just enough to feel his terror at what’s coming next.  It will put your stomach in knots as you wait along with Jackie for his rescuers to arrive.

That element intertwines with Luki, Sonny and company trying to figure out where Jackie is being held and by whom.  Sylvre builds this aspect of the story in bits and pieces as they fit together separate clues to form a whole and a destination.  The climax is arrived at skillfully and with great suspense.

And then there is Bear, the chow mix, who went missing at the end of the last story.  Bear is back!  Apparently he never left and is a huge part of this story as it evolves.  Love Bear too.  You almost need this element here to bring a leveling agent to a story so full of anger, pain,and horrific crimes against the young and innocent.

And finally, Lou Sylvre brings her story full circle in a manner that is totally satisfying and emotionally needed.  Did I love Finding Jackie?  Absolutely!  And so will you.

Consider this story one of ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords highly recommended reads and series.  Pick up the first story and then just keep going.  The series is over but not your enjoyment and journey into the minds and romance of Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James.  Make their acquaintance today!

Cover Artist:  Reese Dante.  Love these covers, love the series.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press           All Romance eBook (ARe)      Amazon              Finding Jackie

Book Details:
ebook, 270 pages
Published May 17th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 16th 2013)
ISBN139781623804893
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3812
seriesVasquez & James #3
Books in the Vasquez and James series to date in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events that transpire:

Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James, #1)
Delsyn’s Blues (Vasquez & James, #2)
Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James, #3)
Saving Sonny James (Vasquez & James #4)
Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)
Because of Jade (Vasquez & James #5)

On Tour with E.E. Montgomery’s Ordinary People (contest)

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Book Name: Ordinary People

Author Name: E E Montgomery
Author Bio:

E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.

Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.

Author Links:

You can contact E E Montgomery at eemontgomery11@gmail.com,
on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1, or at
her web site and blog: http://www.eemontgomery.com/.

Ordinary People

Title:  Ordinary People by E.E. Montgomery
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press           All Romance eBooks         Amazon

Blurb:

When Queensland Police Force Constable James Laramee raids a hotel room, he finds Vinnie Canterbury on top of a naked, dead man, covered in blood. Vinnie promptly vomits all over James’s shoes. 

Thanks to a cocktail of horse sedatives and Hendra vaccine, Vinnie’s memories of his ordeal are fractured. Finding the culprits and the reasons behind his abduction will be a challenge. With his apartment trashed, his building set on fire, and his clothes, phone and wallet gone, Vinnie needs a place to stay. To his surprise, James not only takes him in, but also lets him cry on his shoulder. It must be true love. Vinnie has plans for his future with James all mapped out, and he hopes he can get James on the same page.

 

Excerpt:

His bed was stripped to the mattress. The shredded mattress. Foam stuffing bubbled up between the slashes like pus weeping from an infected wound. He tore his attention from the bed to find his sheets and duvet scattered all over the floor. In pieces. He whimpered.

“I just bought that set.” He pressed his fingers against his lips. Even in his shock he recognized the inanity of his comment. His gaze was drawn to the freestanding full-length mirror beside the windows. Black writing marred the polished surface.

NEXT TIME DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD FAG OR THE SAME WILL HAPPEN TO YOU.

He turned to see Laramee beside him, his hand again clamped on Vinnie’s arm. “What was I told?” he whispered. “I don’t know what I was told.”

It was too much. He flung himself at Laramee, buried his face in the warm, slightly harsh fabric of his uniform, ignored the button digging into his forehead, and burst into tears.

“I don’t even know your name. I can’t sob all over you if I don’t know your name,” he wailed.

 

OrdinaryBadgeTour Dates & Stops:

7/3 – Emotion in Motion
7/10 – Smoocher’s Voice
7/17 – Prism Book Alliance
7/24 – MM Good Book Reviews
7/31 – Velvet Panic
8/7 – Because Two Men Are Better Than One
8/14 – Decadent Delights
Hearts on Fire
 Love Bytes
8/21 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One of three e-copies of Ordinary People, must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the rafflecopter link above to enter and for additional contest details.

SE Jakes is On Tour with Not Fade Away (Hell or High Water, #3.5) (contest)

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Prophet and Tom are Back! And SE Jakes’ got them!  Don’t miss out on this interlude in the Prophet and Tom saga!  You can find the entire series here at the Riptide Hell or High Water page or check out my reviews of all the previous stories:  Daylight Again,   Long Time Gone,  and Catch a Ghost.

 

NotFadeAway_500x750Not Face Away (Hell or High Water #3.5) Blurb:

Truth or dare.

Ever since superspy Cillian moved into Prophet’s building, their game of Steal the Couch has been funny to Prophet, but a thorn in Tom’s side. Then Prophet gets bored one night during an ice storm and insists on playing another simple game with Tom: Truth or Dare. In exchange for one of Prophet’s truths, Tom steals the couch one last time.

But Prophet’s truths are never easy—Tom should know that by now—and this one raises questions neither of them quite know how to answer. In response, Tom finds himself laying claim to Prophet in the most basic way he knows how. And also finds that he doesn’t mind it in the least when Prophet returns the favor.

This novelette is set between book 3 and book 4 in the Hell or High Water series.

 

 

Book Details:

Author: SE Jakes
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-099-4
eBook release: Aug 18, 2014
eBook Formats: pdf, mobi, html, epub
Print ISBN: 978-1-62649-220-2
Print release: Aug 18, 2014
Word count: 8,400
Page count: 52
Type: Part of a Series
Cover by:L.C. Chase
This title is # of the Hell or High Water series.
See more, read more at Riptide‘s Not Fade Away Book page.

The previous books in the Hell or High Water series are:

Hell or High Water Series

NotFadeAway_BylineOnly

NotFadeAway_3DcoverSMAbout the Author

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…
SE Jakes is the alter ego of New York Times bestselling paranormal and romantic suspense author Stephanie Tyler.
Connect with SE:
• Website: sejakes.com
• Tumblr: sejakes.tumblr.com
• Twitter: @authorsejakes
• Facebook: Facebook.com/SEJakes
• Email: authorsejakes@gmail.com
• Goodreads author page: goodreads.com/S_E_Jakes
• Goodreads author group: Ask SE Jakes

VBT: Lilah Suzanne’s Pivot and Slip Tour, Interview and Contest!

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Lilah Suzanne has stopped by today on her Pivot and Slip Book Tour to take a moment to answer some questions and talk a little about her latest release, Pivot and Slip.  Along with a terrific contest with multiple winners outlined below, there’s an excerpt to read to pull you into the story!  Read on……


Contest: Lilah will be awarding a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Barnes and Noble GC and a print edition of Pivot and Slip (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter,  To enter the contest and for more details, use this Rafflecopter link!

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Now on to my interview with Lilah Suzanne…magnifying glass and focus

STRW:  What was your inspiration for the story?

Lilah: I was intrigued by the sort of opposites attract idea of a boxer falling for a yoga instructor, but as I wrote it I really wanted to explore this idea of dreams and failure and what that means, as well as finding someone who wants to stick by you during the hard stuff.

STRW:  Do you have a muse?

Lilah:  I don’t think so, but I usually have a cat or two hanging out at my desk so maybe they’re my muses and I just don’t know it.

STRW:  Do you work on one project at a time or many?

Lilah:  I do tend to have a few things going at once, I guess I’ve gotten used to juggling multiple things and now I can’t stop!

STRW:  Hero or Antihero?  Who would you chose and why?

Lilah:  Hero. I like writing about people making difficult choices and doing the right thing even when it’s not easy. Though there is something to be said for trying to figure out why someone would do the wrong thing and how it may not seem that way to them.

STRW:  People say write what you know.  Do you think that is right or even important?

Lilah:  I think there will always be parts a writer in a story, even if they try to make it the total opposite of what they know. So in that sense, yes it’s important because it lends itself to authenticity. But only sticking to characters who are like you and to experiences like yours is boring and won’t get you very far. As long as I can find the core of a character and a sense of understanding I feel like I can go a lot places. I may not know what it’s like to be a boxer, for example, but I do know what it’s like to watch a dream slip from my fingers.

STRW:  What is the first book you read that really meant something to you?

Lilah:  “A Wrinkle In Time” is probably the first book that I remember just being really astounded by and I felt changed after I’d finished it.

STRW:  What do you find sexy in a person?

Lilah:  It’s a cliche, but in a man or a woman I really find a sense of humor and kindness and the type of confidence where someone is just genuine and honest about who they are really attractive. Physically I’m a sucker for tattoos and pretty eyes.

STRW:  What’s next up for you?

Lilah:  I’m actually just starting the process of editing my second book, “Spice” a romantic comedy about a sex advice columnist who is struggling a bit with his own love life and searching for his happy ending. That will be coming out early next year so stay tuned!

Cover_PivotAndSlipPivot and Slip
by Lilah Suzanne
Publisher:  Interlude Press
Buy Link:   Interlude Press

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Blurb:

Former Olympic hopeful Jack Douglas traded competitive swimming for professional yoga and never looked back. When handsome pro boxer Felix Montero mistakenly registers for his Yoga for Seniors class, Jack takes an active interest both in Felix’s struggles to manage stress and in his heart, and discovers along the way that he may have healing of his own to do.

Faced with the ghosts of his athletic aspirations, can Jack return to his old dream or carve out a new path, and will their budding romance survive the test of Felix’s next bout in the ring?

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Excerpt:

Felix settled his hands on Jack’s shoulders, positioning him directly in front of the punching bag. “Now, plant your feet, like that, yeah. And bend your knees.” Felix’s hands slid from Jack’s shoulders and down his arms as he moved in closer, speaking into Jack’s ear from behind. “Keep your arms tucked in. You always want to remember to be defensive and not just go in for the attack. Keep your guard up.”

Jack bent his arms in front of his face and tried bouncing on his toes, though he imagined the effect was more Tigger than Tyson. Felix chuckled, his warm breath puffing against Jack’s neck and spreading heat across his skin.

“Focus on using your shoulders and legs for strength.” Felix’s hands trailed back up, from shoulder to shoulder, then fleetingly touched Jack’s thighs. “You have really strong shoulders. I always admired that about swimmers.” He lips brushed Jack’s ear. “Always had a thing for blonds, too.”

Jack shivered with the touch but narrowed his eyes and tried to focus on sending energy to his core, on breathing deeply, on trying not to think about the heat of Felix’s body; the tremors left in the wake of his hands; the heady scent of him, inviting and inebriating; his voice murmuring low in Jack’s ear, breath hot against the shell. “Excellent focus. Now, Jack.”

He hit the bag one-two, one-two, one-two, the blows reverberating through the gloves and his skin and humming in his bones.

“Good, right?”

Jack turned, his eyes finding Felix’s hopeful and searching.

“Yeah,” Jack replied. “That was… pretty intense.”

Felix circled around him and reached out to remove the gloves from Jack’s tingling hands.

“That was power. Strength. The only time I ever felt safe was when I was fighting, as strange as that sounds.” Felix tucked the gloves under one arm, opening and closing one dangling strap with a harsh rip of velcro.

“It makes sense,” Jack shrugged. “Like you said, you have to keep your guard up.”

Felix offered a half-smile. “Maybe I could try letting it down a little.”

Jack’s heart gave a little flutter in his chest. “Well in that case, I solemnly swear that I will not knock you out.”

Felix tipped his head, eyes low, lips softly curved.

“I think it may be a little too late for that, Jack.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:VBT_PivotAndSlip_CoverBanner

Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community.
lilahsuzanne.com

Contact Lilah Suzanne at:

  • Website : lilahsuzanne.com
  • Twitter: @lilahsuzanne
  • Pinterest: pinterest.com/lilahsuzanne
  • Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Lilah-Suzanne/653282624749516
  • Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/8281044.Lilah_Suzanne

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