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

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)
edition languageEnglish
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)

August is Here and the Week’s Schedule at ScatteredThoughts!


Upcoming Reviews

HomeTheHardWay_500x750Unexpected Trust coverLoving LukiHard as Stone Final


Where did the summer go?  August is arriving this week so thoughts of Fall is trailing in its wake.   I have seen ads for Back to School already, and even (hides my eyes) a few for Christmas.  Really, people?  Christmas?  Sigh.  I am still working on my gardens and the work progresses with the weather.   Like the tides, the work and I flow in and then out.  Cool weather?  Then I can work outside and still breath.  Hot and humid? The typical Washington,  oh right we are surrounded by water and were built on a swamp, DC summer?  Well, that sees me inside, knitting,reading, writing, and grateful for air-conditioning.

Surprisingly, this summer has been pretty good, better than good, so far.  Yesterday barely made it into 80 degrees.  It was lovely and appreciated by all here, including the terriers.  Today humid and 90’s.  Tomorrow more of the same and then down again.  A rollercoaster approach that I will take over weeks of constant 90 degree heat or higher.

It’s also been a wonderful summer so far for books.  New authors, old favorites,  and a new perspective on authors whose new stories I have really liked.  The Pulp Friction 2014 series, Elemental Connections, is off the charts in terms of great plots and even better characters.  I have been reading lots of  books with Fae in the plots, and guess what?  All terrific!  Angel Martinez’ Semper Fae?  Unbelievable!   Rory Ni Coiliean’s SoulShares has me hooked too! On the contemporary side, Lou Sylvre’s Vasquez and James?  Love, love, love them.   Shira Anthony has a new Blue Notes story coming out, Dissonance!   I have two in line from TJ Klune waiting to be read.  I will need more boxes of tissues for those I am sure.  What a happy reader I am these days!

♦If you have noticed, I have started to display current and future book tours to the right hand side of the page.  You can click on those and it will take you to the  entry forms associated with those tours!  Also I have joined the ranks of the Amazon,All Romance Affiliates and Totally Bound Affiliates, so if you buy it through the links at the bottom of each post, it will help support ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords and my efforts to continue to upgrade this website.

♦Now, one last thing.  I have been thinking about this for some time and have decided that I need to add another reviewer to help me cover more books coming out and the review requests I am receiving.  I have a standard format and requirements.  If you are interested, contact me at melaniem54@msn.com and we can talk!

Now on to the week ahead at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords:

Monday, July 28:

  • Review: Hard as Stone by Rory Ni Coileain

Tuesday, July 29:

  • Riptide’s and Z.A. Maxfield’s Home the Hard Way Book Tour/Contest
  • Book Blast:  Jennifer Cie’s Down the Other Street Book Tour/Contest
  • Review:  Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield

Wednesday, July 30:

  • Book Blast Book Tour:  Silvia Violet’s Unexpected Trust
  • Review:  Unexpected Trust by Silvia Violet

Thursday, July 31:

  • Virtual Book Tour: That You Are Here by Meredith Allard
  • July Summary of Reviews and Best Covers of the Month

Friday, August 1:

  • Review:  Hero by Heidi Cullinan
  • Review: Gale Force by Rory Ni Coileain

Saturday, August 2:

  • Ink and Flowers by J.K. Pendragon (removed)
  • The Choosing by Annabelle Jacobs


Now stay cool, everyone.  Hope you are enjoying your weekend.  Here’s a summer cocktail to try out!

Cucumber Lemonade Mocktail. A111206 Food & Wine March 2012Cucumber Lemonade Mocktail (no alcohol)

1 paper-thin, lengthwise slice of European cucumber, for garnish
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped dill, plus 1 dill sprig, for garnish
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cucumber juice (see Note)
1/4 cup chilled club soda


Press the cucumber slice against the inside of a chilled highball glass and add ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the chopped dill, agave syrup, lemon and lime juices and 1 tablespoon of water until the syrup is dissolved. Add ice, then add the cucumber juice and shake well. Strain into the prepared glass and stir in the club soda. Garnish with the dill sprig.
NOTES Cucumber juice is available at juice counters. You can also make it by pureeing peeled cucumber chunks in a blender and then straining the puree through a fine sieve. One large cucumber yields about 3/4 cup of strained juice.