Authors: Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn
Pages/Word Count: 396 Pages
At a Glance: This book blew me away.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Can a priest and a rock star obey love’s call?
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.
“In the end, forgiveness was easy like a flowing river, like the tides in the cove. It came in and covered the worst sins and carried them away to the depths of the sea.” – Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn
This book blew me away. Blew. Me. Away. It was surprising in the best way. I don’t know why I was surprised, really…I’m a big fan of Leta Blake’s books; and Indra Vaughn, though I hadn’t read her work previously, definitely has some popular titles, but I had no idea this one would be this good. The blurb intrigued me; I just didn’t know how the authors were going to pull it off. I mean, he’s a priest, you guys. Ha! But, pull it off they did. Vespertine is beautiful, emotional, raw at times, funny at times, definitely sexy, and just a gorgeous, gorgeous love story.
I fell in love with Jasper immediately. He’s such a gentle soul, so good-natured. It was also obvious that God truly did shine through him. He was so at ease in the priesthood that I couldn’t imagine him NOT being a priest – furthering my concern over how the authors were going to make this work! Jazz and Nicky’s relationship felt so organic, though, so meant-to-be, that when they fell back in love – not that they ever truly fell out of love – it was completely natural.
There were many, many beautiful moments in this book. Chapter one, when Jasper is getting dressed and preparing for Mass, the imagery is so vivid and breathtaking…chapter twelve, the scene where Jazz discovers and reverently touches each of Nicky’s tattoos, is unforgettable…the epilogue is fabulous…but chapter sixteen is one of the most beautifully perfect chapters I can remember reading. A couple of snippets…
“The rock under Jasper’s shoulders was hot, his skin dry, and deep inside his chest a warm comfort bloomed, a feeling of such safety and pure perfection it made the hairs on his arms stand on end. How could anyone not believe in God when moments like these existed? The bright light made his eyes moist. Love, he thought. Still. Always.”
“In reality the fort was nothing but a wooden square with a roof on it, a door, and a few windows. But I can still feel the magic. Like their happiness had permeated the sand and the rough grass and the trees, like their love and laughter had been life’s blood, soaked up into the roots of the island so that coming back here would be a step back in time. Lying in wait for them, no matter when they came.”
So, yeah…this is a fantastic read. There are too many kickass bits and characters to mention them all. Nicky’s story is hard to read at times – addiction is such an ugly thing, and a tough topic to tackle, but these guys did an amazing job. I wanted to squeeze him throughout the entire book. Jazz reminds him about all the best parts of himself, though, and together they are wonderful. The authors did an unbelievably brilliant job at making the story flow seamlessly and bringing all of the elements together. I wholeheartedly recommend this one! I will definitely be reading it again.
You can buy Verspertine here: