Monday, September 14, 2015

LGBT Monday: Vespertine

VespertineAuthors: Leta Blake
               Indra Vaughn
Series: Standalone
Released: September 10th 2015
Publisher: Ledra
Length: 420 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

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. 

What could be more difficult (and more improbable) than a catholic priest and a rock star who’ve been deeply in love since childhood? It is a question Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn decided to explore together, and I dare say they found the perfect answer in their new novel, Vespertine.

Nico Blue has reached an all-time low. Things just don’t hold the same appeal they used to, not the fans, not the music, and certainly not the drugs. Being a rock star isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, not when you’re doing it without the most important person in your life. But Father Jasper Hendricks is a distant dream for Nico Blue. He was once everything to young Nicholas Blumfield, but then he decided to follow his calling and dedicate his life to God. It’s been years since the two last laid eyes on each other, but with Nico desperate to recover, he has nowhere to go but home.

Once there, Nico becomes Nicky again, and tries desperately to let go of anger and resentment, which is a lot harder than it seems with Father Jazz around to show him what he’s lost. But Jasper himself isn’t as firm in his determination to stay away from Nicky. His calling might be honest, but it maybe isn’t strong enough to hold against Nicky’s appeal.

The progression and the trials of their relationship seemed very honest to me. Neither of them was quick to jump into it and let go of years of different expectations. They had very different plans and they took the time to get to know each other as adults before they decided that their love was strong enough and worthy of giving up everything else. The book also highlights the dark side of both worlds, that of rock stars and the church and both men have to work together to find common ground after all that time.

Aside from being almost torturously romantic, Vespertine brings to light some major issues of LGBT youth. Jasper’s work with these kids is equally as important as his love for Nicky and that part of the novel was handled with great care and sensitivity.

Vespertine is everything you want a romance to be: it’s painful, exciting, emotional, deeply romantic, at times desperate, joyful and even illuminating. Aside from being a story about two complex, wonderful men, it makes us think (more) about the problems of kids who don’t quite fit the social norms. Highly recommended.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. yeah..they seemed to be totally unrelated from the looks of things in the beginning, but glad that it works out

  2. I was so very intrigued about this one after your chatterview with the authors, and I'm even more after reading your review!
    A priest and a rock star are truly the an odd pair, and I'm glad that it was done so very well!

  3. This sounds fantastic, Maja and very intriguing. I want to read it myself to see how things work between them even though I tend to stay away from rockstar books. These authors seem to know what they are doing and I want to read something by them.
    Lovely review!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the turously romantic side of the story and the issues it brought to light as well!
    Lovely review, Maja :)

  5. This ends well though right Maja? RIGHT? I can endure deal with tortuously romantic only if the couple ends up together in the end. These two sounds like they have a number of enormous obstacles to overcome, but I'm rooting for them already:)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Yay for slow building romance but I'm with Jenny, this ends on a HEA doesn't it!? Because I need my HEAs!

  7. I love that their story felt honest and a slow building romance is the best :)

  8. This sounds REALLY good! I'll have to add this one for sure!

  9. Slow burning and honest romance stories are the best. The chatterview already had me interested in picking this one up.

  10. Wow, a catholic priest and a rock star... Sometimes, I really do think I'm very boring indeed. Some people have all the greatest ideas! Fab review, Maja - have an amazing week (with less rain, if possible!) Hugs

  11. Almost tortuously romantic sounds a but too much for me

  12. Usually this would be my sort of thing but I can see that their relationship is honest and raw and that's what I love about relationship. They are the best. Will put this on my TBR. I see your reading TROUJLH, so am I. How are you enjoying it? I'm loving it so far.

  13. I just read a book very similar to this - thinking that it was this book. lol

    Oh well - I'll wait a bit to read Vespertine so that it doesn't' seem repetitive but I'm looking forward to it.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  14. This could be a book that could easily become fluff by missing important issues. The fact that they explore the darkness on both sides is interesting. I wouldn't have expected that, but then I didn't expect their chosen occupations for a romance novel either. :) Oh this is interesting and you have me curious.

  15. Whoa. Impossible, improbable. Forbidden to the Nth degree. Wow.


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