Author: Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Jazz and Nicky
Release Date: September 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Seventeen years ago, Jasper Hendricks and Nicholas Blumfeld's childhood friendship turned into a secret, blissful love affair. They spent several idyllic months together until Jasper's calling to the Catholic priesthood became impossible to ignore. Left floundering, Nicky followed his own trajectory into rock stardom, but he never stopped looking back.
Today, Jasper pushes boundaries as an out, gay priest, working hard to help vulnerable LGBTQ youth. He's determined to bring change to the church and the world. Respected, admired, and settled in his skin, Jasper has long ignored his loneliness.
As Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter for the band Vespertine, Nicky owns the hearts of millions. He and his bandmates have toured the world, lighting their fans on fire with their music. Numbed by drugs and fueled by simmering anger, Nicky feels completely alone. When Vespertine is forced to get sober, Nicky returns home to where it all started.
Jasper and Nicky's careers have ruled their lives since they parted as teens. When they come face to face again, they must choose between the past's lingering ghosts or the promise of a new future.My Review:
This story broke my heart (and no, don't freak out...it doesn't have a sad ending.) It's just these characters...yeah, emotional angst is definitely the word combination for this story.
When the book starts out, Nicky is in such a bad place. For the last 17 years, he's been on the road doing whatever to his body with his band, Vespertine. But after 3 of the 4 members in the band basically broke down, the managers in charge of them have told them to clean up and get sober. So Nicky goes home.
Nicky's story is heartbreaking. He has attachment disorder. After being abandoned as a baby, he has a REALLY difficult time making connections with other people. The only person he ever really managed to do this with was his childhood friend and high school lover, Jazz.
But Jazz abandoned him too...and chose God instead. He became a priest. Nicky has spent the last 17 years trying to bury the hurt of that ultimate betrayal.
These two men have really not been around one another since that happened. But as they become friends again, it's quickly obvious that the feelings between them haven't gone away. That pain...and want...and need...literally echo off the page as I read this book. My heart broke for them, but especially for Nicky. He's so broken.
And Jasper...is not. On the surface. Jasper is completely at peace with his choice. He's happy, fulfilled, and content in his life with his God.
Note...I am NOT religious and cannot handle even the mention of religion in books normally. It bugs me. This book did not bother me. Mainly I think because for Jasper, his religion is so much a part of him and how he gets through the day. There is a serenity to him when he's going through the motions of his religion and as a reader, I could understand his choices...even when I hated what they did to Nicky.
But just like Nicky has buried his hurt in drugs and other people, I think Jasper has buried his feelings in the ritual he has in his world. He doesn't have time to think. Every day through out the day he has a set way to go about doing his job. It's full-time...and in his downtime, he's found other coping mechanisms that keep him from thinking too much...yoga specifically. He doesn't take time off. He's completely a part of every aspect of his church and his Blue Oasis LGBT Children's Home.
Neither one of these men is living a full life and as they become closer as friends, that becomes more and more obvious.
The book is INCREDIBLY well done. It takes a lot of courage to take on this subject matter, but the authors did it brilliantly. The story is completely engaging and heart-shreddingly beautiful. It's a slow unfolding story, but I wanted to read it even slower because I wanted to savor every word on the page. This is one of those books that as I read it, I mourned the countdown on my kindle to the end. I didn't want it to end, but when it did, I was so happy that I had the chance to read it. Yes, it's that good.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.