Vasquez and James
by Lou Sylvre
An M/M Contemporary Romance Series
From Dreamspinner Press
Professional badass Luki Vasquez and weaver Sonny James meet for the first time in Loving Luki Vasquez, and they might make a sizzling couple if they can ever get past the impulse to run the other way every time romance comes into view. Then again, they have to stay alive if they’re ever to see their wedding day, and tribulation, cruelty, and greed has a way of demanding attention at all the worst moments. Together, they pack a lot of resources to fight for love. If they can hold out, they just might win the enduring love and family they were meant to share.
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Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James, #1)
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.
“Loving Luki Vasquez isn’t all that easy.”
Wow, what a roller coaster! Luki is a tough guy with many insecurities, quirks and a rough past. While Sonny, sweet on the outside but strong on the inside, likes control and keeps himself away from any form of emotional attachment, except when in regards to his nephew Delsyn.
These two are thrown together in the most unusual way. At first, the story was dragging and I could not connect to any of the characters. But as the story progressed I totally understood where they were coming from and that in a way, they were the perfect match.
“What are you looking at?”
I thoroughly enjoyed the dialog between these two. It was filled with humor, banter and deep emotion. Lou Sylvre managed to give a very deep insight into each character’s personalities and struggles. With each detail that was revealed I felt more connected to them and they became more real to me. Their insecurities were very easy to relate to, which in turn, made me more intrigued in their story.
“You’re crying most of the time, and everyone knows it but you.”
I liked that Sonny could ‘see’ Luki right away. That he could look beyond his scars and accept him and love him even when he usually kept himself closed off. Luki had this wall of ice so firmly in place that at times I thought it was a hopeless situation for Sonny. There was a point in the book that I just wanted to shake some sense into Luki (really, I wanted to smack some sense into him, but I’m trying to be all proper here!). I did understand his struggles but he broke my heart in that moment. But, I am a sucker for romance and this is fiction, so I forgave him and he made it up to me…err, Sonny along the way. So, all is good.
“You’re a jackass, Luki, not a monster.”
The writing was very good, although the pacing was a bit slow there in the beginning. However, I think it was more a personal thing than anything. I really just wanted to connect with Luki and Sonny and it took me a while. In the end, I am glad I took my time and waited out my impatience because it was worth it. Looking forward to the next installment. This was a great read!
Delsyn’s Blues (Vasquez & James, #2)
Sonny James and Luki Vasquez are living proof that the course of love never runs smoothly. Ambushed by grief, Sonny listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. While revisiting the sorrows and failings of his past, in the here and now he puts up a wall against love. Just when Luki chips through that barricade, the couple becomes the target of a new threat from outside: an escalating and unexplainable rash of break-ins and assaults.
Thoughts of infidelity rise between them, a threat that may strain their newly mended love past its limits. To come through the trials alive and together, Luki and Sonny will have to unite against enemies who were once friends and overcome crippling hatred and overwhelming fear. If they succeed, maybe then they can rekindle the twin flames of passion and love.
Unexpected Loss. Unbearable Pain.
I consider this more or less Sonny’s story. Within it we find out a lot of the sweet, caring man who has captured Luki’s heart. The same man who struggles with pain from both the present and the past. The one that loves Luki, but keeps him at a distance.
“If the heart can truly cry, Luki’s did. It hurt with overwhelming and bittersweet joy.”
When tragedy strikes, Luki returns to his Sonny. But the man standing in front of him is not the same one he left behind. Gone is the man who made Luki smile with a simple phrase. In his place is a man struggling with pain so deep that lashing out is the only way he knows to keep his composure.
Secrets revealed. Obstacles.
I love Sonny and Luki and to see them fighting for their love was heartbreaking at times. However, I loved every minute of that struggle.
Lou Sylvre did an amazing job of bringing forth the emotions Luki and Sonny struggled with–both as individuals and as a couple. As Sonny’s past revealed itself we see how far Sonny has come in life and how his past has shaped him.
We also see another side of Luki. He is more open about his emotions, more protective of Sonny and more emotionally invested in what their future holds.
Their connection, although somewhat threatened, continued to strengthened. Especially once they decided to give their relationship another try. There were times when I wanted to throttle them both for being too stubborn to realize their were being fools. Thankfully, their loved shined through with their every interaction, even during their arguments. It was a a treat to read Luki’s thoughts when he was mad at Sonny and vice versa. These two are so right for each other that I was grinning even when I was fuming.
It wouldn’t be a Vasquez and James story without having Sonny and Luki facing some sort of danger. This time around it comes from an unexpected source, which added to the thrill of it. Especially when Lou Sylvre kept adding twist and turns to the story.
I admit, it was a bit overwhelming keeping track of the players. However, my curiosity won out and I stuck it out. I’m glad I did because that resolution was as intense and it was funny. Let it be known that Lou Sylvre writes a very entertaining villain, which paired with Luki’s sarcastic remarks make for some great reading.
All in all, an interesting adventure in Luki and Sonny’s journey to a happily ever after.
Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James, #3)
Luki Vasquez and Sonny Bly James finally have their Hawaiian wedding, and it’s perfect, almost. But their three-phase honeymoon is riddled with strife. Luki’s status as a working badass spells discord for the newlyweds. A former informant from Luki’s days with ATFE brings a troubling message (or is it a warning?) from a Mob hit man. When Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew, Jackie, is lured into capture and torture by a sadistic killer, the honeymoon is well and truly over.
The couple put aside their differences and focus on the grueling hunt, which takes them from leather bars to dusty desert back roads, and calls on Sonny’s deep compassion as well as Luki’s sharpest skills. Their world threatens to fall apart if they fail, but their love may grow stronger than ever if they succeed in finding Jackie—before it’s too late.
Luki and Sonny have finally tied the knot. It was such a treat to see these two finally reaching that point in their life, especially after having to struggle with so many things to get there. But of course, Sonny and Luki don’t ever have it easy. This time around, they are called in from their honeymoon to search for Jackie, the boy Luki saved in Loving Luki Vasquez.
This story was a mix of the sweet, the romantic and the heartbreaking.
As a married couple Sonny and Luki continued to shine. Their banter was superb, their sex a mix of sweet and intense and their sense of loyalty unwavering. Sonny and Luki were not perfect by any means, but their connection and commitment was ever present. And it only grew as they went in search of Jackie.
Although Jackie had made great strides since moving with Luki’s uncle, he still struggled with his past. And what a past it was! Lou Sylvre did an amazing job in bringing forth Jackie’s story. She managed to bring the range in emotions Jackie felt in a way that would impact the reader the most. My heart had gone out to Jackie when I first read about him, but after reading his full story I only wanted to take his pain away.
What I loved most about this story was the way the author went about strengthening Luki and Sonny’s relationship while still delivering Jackie’s story. I loved seeing Luki and Sonny together, watching them grow as a couple and struggling to adjust to the new status of their relationship while working together to find Jackie. I also enjoyed the emotional roller coaster Jackie’s story brought about.
I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Luki and Sonny.
Saving Sonny James (Vasquez & James #4)
Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.
Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.
Ha! And here I thought Sonny and Luki might catch a break in their struggle to maintain their happily ever after. The joke’s on me!
In this installment in the adventures of Vasquez and James we find Luki struggling with the events that took place in the previous book. Plagued by depression and PTSD, Luki retreats into himself–leaving Sonny to figure out how to help heal his husband and failing miserably.
I don’t blame Sonny. It was hard for me to see Luki acting this way myself and I wasn’t at the receiving end of his behavior. So even though I was sad to see Sonny go, I was supportive of his decision. But in Lou Sylvre fashion, the story had only started.
From the way the author went about bringing the effects of suffering from PTSD to the way she never wavered in strengthening Sonny and Luki’s love for each other, Lou Sylvre did an amazing job in bringing forth another emotion-packed story where Sonny and Luki once again fight their way through in order to be together.
What I have come to love about these characters is the fact that they are flawed. They get mad at each other, push the other away, question and hesitate, but still their love is always present. As a follower of the series, I have enjoyed seeing them grow as individuals and as a couple. And it is in this installment that we get to truly see the strides they’ve made.
Lou Sylvre always manages to surprise me with the way she weaves the story to include the conflict, the emotions and the mystery without taking away from Sonny and Luki’s relationship. Through every twist and turn, the journey that is Sonny and Luki’s romance stays at the forefront–at times sweet, at times intense and always compelling.
Yes-A Vasquez and James Novella (Vasquez & James #4.5)
Professional badass Luki Vasquez and textile artist Sonny James have been married for five years, and despite the sometimes volatile mix, they’re happy. From their first days together, they stood united against deadly enemies and prevailed. But now the deadly enemy they face is the cancer thriving inside Luki, consuming his lungs.
As Luki’s treatment proceeds, Sonny hovers near, determined to provide every care, control every thread of possibility just as he does when he weaves. But he can’t control the progress of the cancer or how Luki’s body reacts to the treatment regime. Sonny tries, but Luki dances with cancer alone—until he gets a startling reminder of the miracle of life. With renewed determination and mutual love, the two men emerge from their coldest winter into a new spring day.
Sonny and Luki have gone through so much. And to have this thrown at them brought tears to my eyes. Sonny and Luki’s journey in this story was as heartbreaking as it was beautiful.
There’s not much I can say about this story. It’s just one of those stories that you just have to experience for yourself, especially if you have followed these two from the very beginning. Just trust me when I say that with only 60+ pages of content, this novella packed a hell of a punch.
Because of Jade (Vasquez & James #5)
Luki Vasquez receives the news he’s still cancer free after five years, and he wants to celebrate with his whole family. He and his husband, Sonny James, take a road trip south, intending to gather at the home of his nephew Josh, Josh’s wife Ruthie, and Jade—a little girl who was still in the womb when she and her mother helped Luki beat lung cancer.
Halfway to their destination, Luki learns Josh and Ruthie have met a tragic death. The horrible news lays Luki low, but he pulls himself together in time to be the family’s rock and see to the dreaded business of tying up loose ends. The most important business is Jade, and when Luki and Sonny head home, they take Jade with them.
Luki and Sonny must combat self-doubt and fear and help each other learn to parent an unexpected child—and they must also nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years. A relative’s spurious claim to Jade threatens the new family, and even if they prevail in court, they could lose their little girl unless they can rescue Jade from evil hands and true peril.
After Jade’s parents died in a tragic accident, Sonny and Luki are left taking care of the little girl. Clueless as to how to go about it but determined to make their best effort, Sonny and Luki fight their way through self-doubt only to have danger thrown in their path–again.
Kudos to Lou Sylvre for this amazing story. Once again, she managed to bring about a heartfelt story where Sonny and Luki fight for what they love. This time around they are fighting to keep Jade.
I was such a treat to these men happy and thriving as a couple after Luki’s fight with cancer in Yes. They have gone through so much in their ten years together and now they come across another challenge. They know nothing about raising a little girl, but they do know what to avoid so that she has a better childhood that either of them had. It is this sentiment that drives them as they struggle to figure out their new status as parents.
I appreciated the fact that the author didn’t pull any punches in bringing all the complexities that this situation would bring. I loved watching the dynamic between Sonny, Luki and Jade. Each one making their way and trying to adjust to a life together. It was interesting to see how that dynamic shifted between them since Luki and Sonny had to find the way to relate to Jade not only as a couple but as individuals.
I also liked that Lou Sylvre maintained the character’s trademark humor and sarcasm. Mostly, I loved that Sonny and Luki’s relationship continued to grow. Their sex scenes were still as hot and passionate as they were in the beginning. And their love for each other even more intense.
Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)
[Luki] woke up in profound darkness, aware of Sonny still beside him, but held rigid now while small, strangled noises escaped from deep in his throat. Even if it hadn’t been for the give-away sniffle, Luki would have known. Sonny was crying. Not that “I’m sad” kind of crying that was more a glorified pout. No. Sonny fought for all he was worth not to let a sob fly loose. His heart had a great big, hurting hole in the middle of it, and Luki had put it there, and still Sonny tried to protect him. If he couldn’t stop from crying, by God at least he’d do it quietly and let Luki sleep. But he and Luki had loved too long, too deep, too close for Luki not to hear it anyway, to register it even in his sleep, and understand. And feel it, too, like what Sonny felt.
Luki rolled over and put his arms around the man who, when all was said and done, he loved and would love forever.
About the Author
Lou Sylvre hails from southern California but now lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State. When she’s not writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s usually smiling and laughs too much, some say. She also loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, a Chihuahua named Joe, and (in random order) coffee, chocolate, sunshine, and wild roses.