Review: Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James #1) by Lou Sylvre

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Loving LukiFrom the moment weaver and fiber artist Sonny Bly James spots cool charmer and security specialist, Luki Vasquez, leaning against his ice-blue Mercedes in town things started to spiral out of control for both men.  Sonny Bly James lives on the outskirts of an island in Washington state and spends his time creating woven pieces of art.  He’s a bit of a recluse,socially clumsy, whose smart mouth is his first line of defense when approached. A gay native american, in a small island town, that doesn’t happen often.

Luki Vasquez?  Well, he’s an ex-ATF agent who wears his scars from life and his childhood inside and out, especially out.  Based in Chicago, Luki is in town with his employees on a job.  But one look at that tall gorgeous man gazing back at him and Luki makes additional plans.

All it takes is “What are you looking at?”, followed by one meeting, and then another at Margie’s coffee shop, its clear that Luki and Sonny ‘s attraction for each other is only getting stronger each time they get together.  But a relationship?  That’s not something Luki is looking for and Sonny’s idea of commitment is rock solid.  Not a great combination to start with.

As they tentatively find their way with each other, an old evil comes to Port Clifton.  Soon it appear’s that Sonny has been targeted by a violent  stalker.  And its not just Sonny at risk but those he cares about as well.   When the evil spreads over the lives of young boys and Sonny’s nephew, the investigation goes deep into the past for Luki as well.  Turns out loving Luki Vasquez is a potentially deadly affair.  Will Sonny and Luki survive the past that haunts them?

After finishing the  first story in the Vasquez and James series by Lou Sylvre my first thought was why have I never read anything by this author before.  The second thought? To reach for the second story, Delsyn’s Blues, and keep reading.  Which I did.  And then to keep reading some more.  One Vasquez and James story right after the other (reviews to follow).  And all are just so amazing that I am astonished that this is my first introduction to the author and this series!

What struck me first?  The beautiful writing with its elegant, almost lyrical descriptions.  And it ebbs and flows with a pattern that ripples along at its own pace and style.  Once you find the rhythm and pacing, you are pulled in and the outside world forgotten.  This is how Chapter 4 begins:

 

Not the kind of person to worry, Sonny put yesterday’s crime and related events out of his mind, letting only sweet sex and the man he’d shared it with flicker through his thoughts. He concentrated on the sheen of dawn newly broken over the straits of Juan de Fuca. He never tired of the scene, every day unique, every morning a study in the possibilities of color and movement, light giving form to everything it touched. Sometimes he watched from the water’s edge; sometimes he ducked nearly naked into the always-frigid water and emerged in a corona of jewel-colored waves.

Then come the  characters Lou Sylvre has created for the Vasquez and James series. Luki and Sonny, those compelling, fascinating damaged characters.  From their initial glances at each other, the reader becomes hooked on them separately and then later as a potential couple.  Sonny, the textile artist, is captivating with his long hair and casual getup. Whether it is his odd, startling sentences or his bemused outlook on life, his social inadequacies and artistic nature comes through on an almost cellular level.  He is grounded in family and the land, with his head  filled with projects, colors and fiber.  There is something so approachable about Sonny despite his sometimes disjointed thoughts and defensive mannerisms.

Then there is Luki Mililani Vasquez, a scarred, self armored Nebraskan of Basque and Hawaiian descent.  Luki has more layers to him that an onion flower.  At the heart of the man Luki has become is the child Luki that was brutalized and left traumatized back home.  That memory is never as far as the scar on Luki’s face and its the key to who Luki has become.  If asked to choose between the two, I couldn’t do it. Both are such emotional and memorable people.  They engaged by affections and interest from the beginning and have continued to hold it through several books and counting.

Then there is Margie, and Uncle Kahalo, and so many others, good and evil.  Their impact is huge and lasting even if their time within the story is not.

The evil of  the story is deep, wretched and raw.  It spills across the pages like so much dirty waste water, a slow trickle that spreads until it washes over everything and everybody.  From one small instance , it grows exponentially with each reveal and the accompanying suspense, angst, and anticipation builds at the same pace.  My shoulders were one tight mess when I finished the story, hunched over my Kindle in the wee morning hours.  This element is so well done that I couldn’t put the book down until it was over.

I loved this story, these characters and this series.  I feel the same way about the author as well.  It’s gripping, absorbing, and a totally great read!  I will be reviewing the rest of the stories throughout the next month or so as I want to spread them out.  Consider Loving Luki Vasquez and all the rest among ScatteredThougthsandRogueWords most highly recommended!  Pick it up and start reading today!

Buy Links:      Dreamspinner Press         All Romance eBooks (ARe)       Amazon     Loving Luki Vasquez

Cover artist:  Reese Dante.  Love that sepia colored cover.  It’s subtle and so very beautiful.

Book Details:
ebook, 1st Edition, 220 pages
Published June 19th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleLoving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James, #1)
ISBN 1615819142 (ISBN13: 9781615819140)
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2377
seriesVasquez & James #1

Books in the Vasquez and James series are to date:

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)