Lou Sylvre

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.

This author has been favorited by 10 users.

Contact Information:

Email Address: lou.sylvre@gmail.com


Books By Lou Sylvre

The Harp and the Sea - Lou Sylvre & Anne Barwell
The Harp and the Sea SALE

Anne Barwell , Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

July 27, 2020

A Shot of Trust - Lou Sylvre - Vasquez Inc 5
A Shot of Trust

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

April 24, 2020

Sunset at Pencarrow - Lou Sylvre & Anne Barwell
Sunset at Pencarrow

Anne Barwell , Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

January 25, 2020

A Shot at Perfect - Lou Sylvre
A Shot at Perfect

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

January 24, 2020

A Shot at Living - Lou Sylvre
A Shot at Living

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

December 27, 2019

A Shot of Fear - Lou Sylvre - Vasquez Inc
A Shot of Fear

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

November 21, 2019

Falling Snow on Snow - Lou Sylvre
Falling Snow on Snow

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

November 11, 2019

A Shot of J&B - Lou Sylvre - Vasquez Inc
A Shot of J&B

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

November 1, 2019

Vasquez and James V2 - Lou Sylvre
Vasquez and James Volume 2

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

July 26, 2019

Vasquez and James V1 - Lou Sylvre
Vasquez and James Volume 1

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

June 28, 2019

The Holiday Home Hotel - Lou Sylvre - Escape From the Holidays
The Holiday Home Hotel

Lou Sylvre ...

Pairing: M-M

December 15, 2018

The Harp and the Sea

by Anne Barwell , Lou Sylvre

The Harp and the Sea - Lou Sylvre & Anne Barwell
Editions:ePub - FirstPaperback - FirstKindle - FirstPDF - First

In 1605, Robbie Elliot—a Reiver and musician from the Scottish borders—nearly went to the gallows. The Witch of the Hermitage saved him with a ruse, but weeks later, she cursed him to an ethereal existence in the sea. He has seven chances to come alive, come ashore, and find true love. For over a century, Robbie’s been lost to that magic; six times love has failed. When he washes ashore on the Isle of Skye in 1745, he’s arrived at his last chance at love, his last chance at life.

Highland warrior Ian MacDonald came to Skye for loyalty and rebellion. He’s lost once at love, and stands as an outsider in his own clan. When Ian’s uncle and laird sends him to lonely Skye to hide and protect treasure meant for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s coffers, he resigns himself to a solitary life—his only companion the eternal sea. Lonely doldrums transform into romance and mystery when the tide brings beautiful Robbie Elliot and his broken harp ashore.

A curse dogs them, enemies hunt them, and war looms over their lives. Robbie and Ian will fight with love, will, and the sword. But without the help of magic and ancient gods, will it be enough to win them a future together?

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list

SALE!

  • Jul 12 - Aug 10: 40% off! Was $6.49, now $3.89. at Publisher
Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter Five, which relates the same moments twice—once from each character's perspective.

Skye, June 1745

Ian woke with a start, his dirk already in his hand before his eyes were properly open. He glanced around, unable to shake the feeling that something was wrong, although if asked what or why he couldn’t explain it…

The harp was gone!

Memories of the evening before flooded his mind. He’d walked by the beach as he usually did, checking that all was well and there was nothing there that wasn’t supposed to be. Since his run-in with Campbell and his men, he’d made a point of keeping an eye on the area at least twice a day. The harp had caught his eye, the tip of the old wood caught on the white crest of a wave, not quite submerged, or belonging.

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It had taken but a moment for Ian to make the decision to rescue the thing. Part of him identified with it, he suspected. It had been so long since he’d felt he belonged. Sure, this was an important task he’d been given, but it was so lonely, especially since Fergus had died. It wasn’t as though he and the old man had conversed much, but Ian had taken some comfort in the knowledge he wasn’t completely alone. When his uncle had bestowed the task upon him, it was understood he’d keep to himself and not have much to do with the locals. The Harp and the Sea |

It was safer for both him and what he guarded as it didn’t take much for stories to travel and find the wrong ears.

He still regretted not having had the chance to tell his parents the truth behind his banishment. His parents might not have approved of their son’s relationship with another man, but they hadn’t turned their backs on him for it. However, it hadn’t stopped his mam from telling him it wasn’t natural. A fine young strapping lad such as himself should get himself a pretty girl and settle down.

Months spent in only his own company hadn’t stopped him wishing for what he didn’t have, and what he truly wanted. On a cold night, those dreams were both a comfort and a curse.

A firm thigh. A muscular arm. The scent of someone unmistakably masculine.

“Aye, because that’s going to happen,” he’d muttered as he waded out from shore to recover whatever it was stuck out there, neither a part of the sea nor the land.

The water was freezing, but he’d expected that. He’d shivered, but it wasn’t from the cold. One firm yank and the harp was in his arms. His breath hitched, his imagination caught in the same way the instrument had been trapped by the seaweed, a green slimy rope holding it to its watery prison.

The harp was still beautiful, despite the state of it. Once ashore, Ian allowed himself to run his callused fingers over it, marvelling at the smoothness of the wood. Amazingly, the strings were still intact. He plucked at one, and then another, wincing at the following cacophony. It needed a good tuning, but he didn’t possess the knowledge. He had no clue what song it should play, just the strong feeling it was missing something—that like him, it wasn’t complete.

His thoughts snapped forward to the present, his attention taken by the slightly open door of his stone cottage. He’d shut it the night before, he was sure of it.

Ian’s eyes narrowed. Some thieving bastard had been in his home while he slept! Fully awake now, he grabbed his sword and its sheath as he stomped out of the cottage, intent on capturing the culprit and at the very least giving him or her a piece of his mind.

At least it wasn’t Campbell or one of his men. If it had been, Ian would know it by now. Campbell wouldn’t have let him sleep but more likely held a knife to his throat and ensured his waking was a painful one.

“Not very clever for a thief, are ye?”

The tracks leading from just outside the door were clear as day, the red rays of the rising sun highlighting them as clearly as though the thief had left a sign-posted trail for Ian to follow. He didn’t need any further invitation. The harp needed to be kept safe, though if asked he wouldn’t have been able to say why. Still, he had to find it.

The footsteps led him to a clearing some distance from the cottage. A man sat huddled on the ground, clutching the harp to his breast. He seemed lost, afraid, yet for some reason very familiar.

Ian forgot to breathe for a moment, lost in the sight before him. The man was slim and blond, with long hair stretching down to almost his arse. He stared at Ian, his green eyes the colour of the deep sea. Neither of them moved.

And then the harp began to sing.

***

 

The sun finally rose, and Robbie Elliot felt its warm finger skim along his pale skin, seeking his bones to warm them. Every time this moment had repeated itself throughout his long life, for just that blink of time, his existence seemed worthwhile. To feel the sun caress and kiss his skin, to see it spark gold off the knotty locks of hair that hung before his eyes, this one feeling made his heaven. It would pass too soon, but for that instant, everything was perfect.

He looked out at the olivine sea. He loved her, gave thanks to her for the gifts she had given. She was his mother, but she gave with a cold breast.

Heavy footsteps approached; it would be the Highlander who’d been asleep in his cottage when Robbie snuck in to retrieve the harp. The man would be afraid of witchcraft, once he saw Robbie sitting before the harp, legs stretched on either side, leaning over the arc of its neck as if it were an ailing lover.

Robbie hadn’t made it to land yet from his most recent stint at sea when the ruddy Highlander had lifted the harp from the foam at the edge of shore, but he’d been aware. Even before Robbie left the surf and stepped on dry sand, he’d sensed the man who’d touched his harp and felt he’d known him a lifetime.

And the feeling had woken him quickly, completely, mind and body, had pulled him towards the beach as if he were a fish on a line. He didn’t fight it. For the first time in so many that he’d lost count, a man had found the harp! It was a man who’d been drawn to the magic, who’d touched it and touched Robbie, though he—this Highlander who’d found the harp—had no way to know what he’d done. Drawing his first harsh breath of air as he rose from the sea, Robbie had felt such hope that it stung his eyes.

Voice raspy from long disuse, he’d whispered to himself, or perhaps to the sea. “Can it be at last? Can this be the completion of the magic?”

For all he had tried, he had not been able to make the harp sing with any of the women he and the harp had met—be they ladies or housemaids, whether they wanted him or not. And he knew why. He was, despite everything, the same Robbie Elliot he’d always been, and they were women. How could that work?

Now, sneaking a glance as the finder approached him across the meadow, Robbie thought, But this is truly a man. A ruddy, huge Highlander, kilt-clad and bearing a hand-and-a-half sword across his back.

When the man found the harp, Robbie had still been roaming far out among the waves. But despite the distance, with all the senses of the sea at his disposal, he’d seen and heard with his mind’s eye—and no less clearly. The great bear of a man had hefted the sodden wood of the harp in one massive hand—a hand that Robbie could feel as if it grasped his own flesh—and carried the wounded thing to shore, whistling off-key some song of the Highlands.

And now the Highlander stepped into the glade where Robbie sat in the sun with the harp before him as if ready to coax a tune from her broken strings and warped neck. He strode across the sunlit ground, the red flush on his face and neck betraying his anger, his eyes on the harp, intent.

But when at last the tall, red-headed Scot raised his eyes to meet Robbie’s… Oh, wonder!

The harp began to sing.

COLLAPSE

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About the Authors

Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with Kaylee: a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her. To date it appears Kaylee may be winning the discussion.

In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.  She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ.

Anne’s books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

 


Lou Sylvre

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


Falling Snow on Snow

by Lou Sylvre

Falling Snow on Snow - Lou Sylvre
Editions:Kindle - Second Edition: $ 2.99 USD
ISBN: B081C6FC1F

Seattle sparkles with snow that stayed, and Pike Place Market vibrates with color and starry-eyed shoppers. Beck Justice adds music to the mix, but he doesn’t believe in holiday joy—not until Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to the intricate weavings of Beck’s guitar. While Oleg and his large, loving family brighten Beck’s bleak winter mood, Oleg thinks Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Light and harmony are within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
  • 1 Read list
Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: True Love
Word Count: 27,000
Setting: Seattle, Washington
Languages Available: English
Excerpt:

SNOW IN Seattle is often an ephemeral thing, covering the city by night, gone by day. But this time, contrary to predictions, it not only remained but kept falling, creating sledding hills out of residential streets and blocking doorways with drifts. On Friday, the shoppers still came to the Market, and Christmas music proceeded to echo through the halls, including that produced by Beck’s guitar. If anything, the people were a little less hurried, maybe their smiles a bit more genuine, but they still wanted “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells,” and Beck didn’t think any real goodness resided at the heart of the holiday season, whether white or blue or even rainbow.
The snow stopped Friday afternoon, but started again in the silver dawn Saturday morning, and that day the Market seemed as whisper quiet as the rest of the city. Around four in the afternoon, Beck was performing in one of the Market’s coldest and generally least bustling corners.

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Of the few people passing by, not one stopped to listen, and Beck’s fingers responded of their own accord by simply stopping. He sat down in the corner, his back against the wall, and looked out a long window opposite. The sun shone momentarily, its isolated orange rays slanting through the falling flakes as if giving a wave to remind the city it still burned. The sight was mesmerizing, and Beck didn’t think at all before he started to play a song he loved—a song of a Christmas day grim and harsh, one which, unlike storefronts and Santa photos, might harbor true compassion.
Beck’s fingers coaxed a dark, cold wind from the strings, and he felt the words of the hymn he played rise in his throat and form on his tongue. He let them loose, speaking them like a poem of loneliness, and left them hanging in the air on frozen breath.
“In the bleak midwinter frosty winds made moan.
Earth was hard as iron, water like a stone.”
He wanted to stop the words. They made the music more beautiful, more true than ever, and he wanted to listen to it, to hear what his hands were telling him. This wasn’t the kind of music to play to a Christmas-shopping crowd at Pike Place Market—he knew that. Yet where moments before no one had even looked at his happy caroling guitar as they passed—even if they tossed money into his open case—now he saw through the screen of his eyelashes that people gathered. They waited for something, a small crowd still as a deep winter night.
Despite his reluctance, his words continued to steal out into the world as if they had every right to his voice, but then he heard something else. At first he thought it an echo—the market was full of them—but it gained in strength and beauty, and he understood. Someone had begun to sing. Clear, brave, flawless as Beneventan chant.
Like an angel in a cathedral.
His own words became a whisper, his fingers grew more sincere as they traveled the strings in pursuit of a beauty that would match the singer’s voice. He lifted his gaze to search the small crowd that had gathered, but not one among the men, women, or children moved their lips or seemed to do anything but listen, perhaps as enchanted as he was by the sounds. It seemed a moment touched by something beyond the mundane, and he thought of his grandmother’s rosary hanging as always around his neck, though it meant nothing religious to him at all.
Beck wasn’t, in fact, a man of religion. And though he admitted the possibility that something more existed than what could be seen, the closest he knew to spirit lived right there, in the music. In the tones born in the body of a fine guitar, the passage of breath through the vein of a flute. In the flight of sound on the wings of a perfect voice. Like this one.
“Snow was falling, snow on snow.” The singer wove the words over and under the harmonies Beck offered up with fingers and strings, turned them into something different, something more.
The song ended, as all songs do. But this time, when the words stopped and the echoes died away, Beck felt a thrill of panic, for he still hadn’t located the person who’d been singing. What if he never found the singer, never again heard that soaring voice, never looked into the eyes of the man who sang. Yes, he thought, a man. He hadn’t been sure at first, as the alto voice had reached notes high for the range. But it’s a man, he thought again, and he knew it because of the way the voice had touched him.
He stood and again scanned the crowd. He asked an older couple standing near, “Did you see who was singing?”
They shook their heads, but the woman smiled gently, as if the soul-deep need he felt could be seen on his face, heard in the phrasing of his question. He tried to smile back.
As quickly as he could, he gently laid his guitar in its case and ran. He rounded the corner of the shop and looked up the long, dimly lit hall that sloped up to the next level of the market. A slender man in jeans, with long, curling hair and a loose flannel shirt trailing behind him like a cape, strode quickly away. It’s him!
“Wait!” Beck called, and the man half turned as if to obey, but instead spun back around and kept moving. Away from Beck. He turned a corner at the top and was lost to sight. Beck warred with himself—he wanted to follow and find him, needed to. But he also needed to eat and pay rent. If he followed his heart, the money people had tossed in his guitar case wouldn’t be there when he came back. Nor would his instrument, his livelihood, his only means of staving off damp cold and gnawing hunger. So he turned back, picked up his Seagull, and began a catchy rhythm for “Up on the Housetop.”
He didn’t care about “Up on the Housetop,” and though people were smiling and tossing money in the case, he had never been more certain that Christmas was nothing more than hype and a good sales strategy. “Bah,” he muttered into his instrument. “Humbug.”
Except. Somewhere out there was a man with an angel’s voice.
Gone. Like everyone else. I’ll never see him again.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Patricia Nelson on Goodreads wrote:

Ingredients for the perfect holiday season story.

Beck Justice, a jaded and cynical loner who thinks Christmas is a fraud.
Oleg Abramov, a cheerful man who comes from a large family and believes in the wonder and joy of Christmas.
Soul-sucking loneliness and grief.
A chance encounter in Seattle's Pike Place Market.
A chemistry neither man can resist.
A misunderstanding that threatens to tear them apart.
Throw in a Christmas miracle and you get a beautiful, sweet, grab-you-by-the-feels, poignant, heartbreaking yet hopeful, lovely, and delightful holiday tale guaranteed to leave you saying "Awww!"

Lena Grey on Rainbow Book Reviews wrote:

(Reviewed first edition)
“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago.” ~ Christina G. Rossetti, 1830-1894

For Beck Justice, of 'Falling Snow on Snow' by Lou Sylvre, music is the “medicine” that soothes his pain. It keeps him from giving up even when the world seems to be against him. December is Beck's worst month of the year. Seeing all the so-called joy of people around him only makes him more cynical. Beck earns a living by playing his guitar, bringing smiles, admiration, and hopefully, tips from the people at the mall where he is a busker. One day during the Christmas season, the voice of his guitar is joined by one of the clearest, purest voices he's ever heard. Hearing that perfect voice gives him pause, causing a crack in the wall around his heart. Beck knows he has to find the man with that voice.

Oleg Abramov is a Russian immigrant whose greatest joy is to perform with his large, loving family. Oleg knows he's more fortunate than most because of the acceptance and compassion he has at home. He's lonely and, sadly, to slack his physical needs, has anonymous encounters in bars and alleys that leave him feeling even emptier than before. Due to his family, he knows what a loving relationship feels like and, more than anything, that's what Oleg wants for himself. When he hears Beck playing one of his favorite tunes in the mall, Oleg can't help but sing. When his eyes meet Beck's, he feels a real connection, a possibility of something more, but he's so afraid he will fail and end up heartbroken, he runs away from it instead.

Beck is puzzled when Oleg leaves so suddenly but is still hopes to run into him again. For the first time in a long time, Beck feels something for another man and, although perplexed by Oleg's reaction, he decides that he wants to know more about the beautiful young man who sings like an angel. Fortunately they run into each other again at a church where Oleg and his family are practicing for a concert. Oleg invites Beck to come hear them perform and he agrees. Oleg is ecstatic; he's finally met a man with future possibilities and can't wait to see Beck again. Unfortunately, life isn't that easy. Beck runs into his alcoholic stepfather, the one who threw him out of the house for being gay at fifteen. He is down on his luck and very ill. As furious as Beck still is at the man who ruined his life, he also has a good heart. Beck can't leave anyone in the cold in that condition, even his stepfather. Unfortunately, helping his father prevents Beck from attending the concert he is so looking forward to. Beck feels defeated once again. He figures that Oleg will assume he's stood him up and their relationship will end before it even has a chance to begin; he also prays that, if he gets an opportunity to explain, Oleg will understand and forgive him.

Lou has created a powerful, emotion-packed story about two broken, kind-hearted young men, who are brought together through the universal language of music. Both are loners, desperately needing to be with someone who appreciates them. They've both about given up on that ever happening. Lou's descriptive prose is carefully crafted affording me the opportunity to experience what her characters feel. It's an emotional roller coaster at times, but ultimately fulfilling as Beck and Oleg's barriers are broken down by what could be described as a Christmas miracle.

This is a story of despair, hope, joy, forgiveness, and redemption. The happy ending touched my heart and made me smile. Thanks so much, Lou, for the awesome holiday read.


About the Author

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


A Shot of J&B

by Lou Sylvre

A Shot of J&B - Lou Sylvre - Vasquez Inc
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: B07Z4XJGYT
Pages: 158
ePub - First Edition: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: 2940160989310
Pages: 158

Gay American Dom with a fabulous sub juggles romance and bondage with Scotland Yard police work.
Book 1 in the the Vasquez Inc series, spinoff from Vasquez and James.

When Brian Harrison first met Jackie Vasquez at a Hawaiian wedding, Jackie was sixteen and troubled. Six years later they meet again; Brian’s career at Scotland Yard is budding with promise, while Jackie’s student days at the University of Nebraska are rolling toward a strong finish. Magnetic mutual attraction pulls them insistently toward one another, but the ocean separating their lives makes for a simmering romance.

When the waiting ends and they get together for a weekend in Denver, Dom Brian and sub Jackie both know they’ve tapped into something scalding hot, and much deeper than sharing an artful session. Shibari, lust, and love are all on the agenda -- but for Brian, so is his police career, and a strange series of crimes seems poised to threaten their romance -- and maybe their lives.

This book is on:
  • 2 To Be Read lists
  • 1 Read list
Published:
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Badass Hero, Fated Mates / Soul Mates, Rescue
Word Count: 45,000
Setting: Olmpica Peninsula, Nebraska, Denver, London
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

Port Clifton’s shops yielded gifts for Brian’s hosts: a huge bouquet of red and white lilies accented with ferns, salal, and baby’s breath; a six-pack of Full Sail Amber Ale; a bottle of 2009 La Lagune, Haut-Médoc -- a fine cabernet from France, the merchant said -- and Batdorf and Bronson’s Sulawesi Toraja coffee, which the label promised to be earthy and sweet with hints of pineapple and black pepper. He hadn’t planned on so much, but he hadn’t been able to decide if Sonny would love the rich colors of the flowers more, or his favorite ale, or if Luki would get more pleasure out of the fine French wine or a special coffee. He knew it could be seen as an embarrassment of riches, so to speak, but he hoped his friends would understand.
As he approached the door, he faced the more immediate problem of how to knock while juggling it all, but he needn’t have worried. Sonny must have seen him stumbling from his car, and he swung the door wide just as Brian arrived.

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“Come in,” Sonny said, and calmly unburdened him, laying the presents carefully aside so he could wrap his long arms around Brian in an enthusiastic hug, which he obviously considered a proper greeting. He let go and backed away a step. “Good to see you!”
The wonderful thing about Sonny, Brian thought, was that he never would have said such a thing if he didn’t really mean it. Brian’s own smile grew, and he nodded. “You too,” he said. “I brought you flowers and beer.”
“Thank you!” Sonny laughed. “Such wisdom in one so young.”
“And coffee and wine for Luki,” Brian added, having no idea what else to say or why he was stating the obvious.
Luki strode up just then, apron clad, and chestnut curls -- sprinkled now with silver, Brian noticed -- in disarray. “Perfect,” he said. “What Sonny said -- wisdom!”
Luki’s face seemed so familiar yet transformed somehow. He didn’t grin, but he smiled a little, and joy fairly danced in the pale eyes that most often used to seem so cold. Brian knew Luki had survived a nearly fatal bout with lung cancer -- in remission less than a year -- and he thought maybe that had given him some gift of contentment. But after Luki thanked him and gave him a quick hug, Brian saw his gaze settle on Sonny, and he recognized that the true source of Luki’s joy was his husband, and the love that had deepened through the years they’d spent together.
Distracted by the familiar wave of envy he always felt in the presence of this couple, wishing he could somehow express it, Brian missed much of what Sonny said as he followed them to the kitchen. He tried to marshal his attention back to the present, and caught Sonny saying he didn’t think he’d ever seen lilies so red. Brian nodded, and murmured agreement, but then he caught movement out of the corner of his eye.
He turned toward the motion, and there stood Jackie Vasquez. All grown up -- and apparently fresh from a shower. December sun poured through a window at his left, and it lit the red in his hair, making it smolder despite being darkened with damp. Brian hadn’t noticed before that Jackie’s gray eyes were like a warmer version of Luki’s blue, very pale, and similar in size and shape. Perhaps it was a trait traceable to Luki’s father -- Jackie’s grandfather. But there the similarity stopped. While Luki’s pale eyes shone in contrast to his brown skin, Jackie’s somehow harmonized with his pale, dark-haired, dark-freckled coloring. The effect, though, seemed to Brian no less singular.
After a few seconds, Brian realized that while he had been standing there silently analyzing the evidence of a common gene pool between the two remarkable-looking men, Jackie had actually been speaking to him.
“Jackie,” Brian said, then thought to add, “Um, it’s good to see you again.”
“You seem surprised.” Jackie absentmindedly scratched at the center of his chest, which was bare and still damp, and where fine russet hairs formed a diamond between healthy, smooth pecs that clearly belonged to a man. Nothing boyish remained in Jackie’s physique, though he still had what might be called a boyish smile, or youthful, at least.
“Yes,” Brian nodded. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude. I had no idea you would be here.”
Luki spoke up. “We didn’t expect him to be here, Brian, or I would probably have mentioned it on the phone. He was supposed to fly out yesterday.”
“I got bumped,” Jackie explained, and shook his head, apparently unhappy with the airline. “So the uncles agreed to put up with me for another day, and Sonny said he’d drive me to the airport tonight.”
Brian felt a little tongue-tied, which wasn’t a familiar feeling at all. He nodded.
Jackie squinted and cocked his head to the side. “I mean it, though, Brian. I’m glad to have a chance to talk to you. I… I don’t remember things clearly from… but I know you did a lot, and I’ve always wanted to thank you in person.”
That shook Brian’s tongue loose, and he said, “Jackie, there is nothing at all for you to thank me for. I’m glad I was there and was some help. I’m grateful you came through okay.”
Brian saw color rise in the pale skin between the freckles of Jackie’s cheeks. Jackie bit his bottom lip -- very reminiscent of his Uncle Luki -- and then looked away. He glanced back, said, “Well, I’d better put clothes on… I mean, a shirt… You know.”
Brian heard Sonny giggling. A delightful and always unexpected sound.
“Hurry up, Jackie,” Luki said. “Food’s on the table.”

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Tappy on Amazon wrote:

This story is full of intrigue. Our heroes, Brian and Jackie, fill these pages with enjoyment. The mystery didn’t stop just because this particular book ended, no, it simply whet your appetite for more. The characters were extremely well written and the story very well told. The conclusion, though it left me frustrated because I wanted more, which to me is an excellent sign of a good book, it heightened my desire for the next in this series.

Tajuana Munday on Goodreads wrote:

When Lou Sylvre originally offered a ARC of this book for her fans in her Facebook group Sylvre Linings I wasn't going to take her up on it because I had read the original release of "A Shot of J&B". (Which I loved) FORTUNATELY I had sense enough to ask if she had changed anything, or added new content to this version! To which she replied that this version was a greatly expanded version of ONLY the first half of the original, (which was written in 2 parts, you can see this in the blurb of the original found in Goodreads) And that there will be a expanded version of the second part in a follow up book. So of course I opted to throw my name into the hat for the ARC at that point. (The original Kindle edition was a total of 224 pages for the entire book. THIS edition, only covering part one of the original is 158 Kindle pages long! Do you think Lou will fit the next book, covering part 2 in the remaining 66 pages? NO! This shows how much more information she has added to this part of the story!)
That being said... I think I need to do a 2 part review here. I review for those readers who, like me, HAVE read the original, and a separate review for those who HAVEN'T. (*note: You do not need to read the original book in order to enjoy this one. However if you want to know more about Jackie and Brians background stories which are alluded to in this book, I do recommend reading the 3 book omnibus "Vasquez and James, vol.1" prior to this.)
For myself I would give this book a 5 star rating, but because it may draw readers new to the stories, who may find it a bit confusing, I am only giving it the 4 star rating.

For those readers who HAVEN'T read the original:
This is a beautiful love story between 2 men who reconnect after nearly 6 years since their original very brief meetings. (this book includes the first meeting, and mentions the events of the second meeting, which is told in the Omnibus story Finding Jackie).
In this story Brian is a well defined Dom, (more into Shibari bondage than inflicting pain), with enough experience to make him well able to perceive the needs of each individual sub he encounters, and the care and ability to be able to fulfill those needs.
On the other hand Jackie knows he's a sub at heart, but doesn't have much experience, (has no knowledge of Shibari) and so hasn't defined his needs for himself yet. He really wants to explore this with Brian, as well as getting to know Brian better, who he's been crushing on since their first meeting. (Brian also hasn't been able to get Jackie out of his mind since then either.)
The biggest problem is Brian lives in London, working for Scotland Yard, while Jackie is finishing up as a college student in Nebraska. So their interlude here will eventually end, and they will have to continue their romance long distance, via email and text messages. However since the true focus of this book is about both Brian and Jackie learning about each other as men, as well as setting the stage for the events which will follow in the next book, it works. But because of this, this book DOESN'T end with "happily ever after". Instead it ends with "to be continued".
And this is something the reader really needs to understand. All the content herein regarding the Gaslighter case Brian is working on for Scotland Yard, Jackies hobby of geocaching, and the excerpts about the Professor in England are all building up to the events that will be in the next book. They won't seem to tie in here, but truly are important in giving insight into the next book.

For those who, like me HAVE read the original:
OMG I absolutely LOVE how Lou fleshed out the story here! This is, as I mentioned, only part 1 of the original. So if you're expecting all the exciting action and suspense, kidnappings and chases of the entire original book, DON'T! That all comes along in the second half of the original! (check the blurb for the original and you will understand that!) This book instead basically fleshes out the initial romance between Brian and Jackie, and gives us more information and thus insight into the Gaslighter case, and the antagonist we all know and hate in the second part of the original book! (That part here is both eerie and chilling!) As I said in the above, this book sets us up for the one to follow. I can't wait to see how much more exciting the NEXT book will turn out to be, with all the fleshing out she's going to do there as well! (And dang it Lou, how long will we have to wait?!!) Like I said, for me, this book warrants 5 stars!
2 people found this helpful


About the Author

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


A Shot of Trust

by Lou Sylvre

A Shot of Trust - Lou Sylvre - Vasquez Inc 5
Editions:Kindle - First edition
ISBN: B08739DHHR
ePub - First editionPDF - First edition.

Deep love, hot kink. Secrets call for a shot of trust when true danger lurks in LA's hidden places.
__________
Brian Harrison wants to keep everyone safe -- especially his beloved sub, Jackie Vasquez -- and he’s convinced the only way to do that is to dig ever deeper in a forbidden investigation. Keeping his activities secret from the State Department means keeping them from his own boss, Luki Vasquez, and keeping secrets from Luki means Jackie can’t know either.

Meanwhile, Jackie keeps his own secrets as his kind heart and indomitable spirit drive him to find and help a mysterious homeless woman, who may be connected to a kidnapping. Both men dance around dangers lurking in LA’s hidden places.

Love continues to grow, adventurous kink heats up, and a marriage proposal still hangs in the balance. Can a willing shot of trust keep them together and alive when secrets collide?

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
  • 1 Read list
Published:
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Tropes: Blackmail, True Love
Word Count: 48000
Setting: Los Angeles
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

Luki’s face had gone dark with controlled anger as he read the missive, then he’d passed it to Brian. While Brian read and fought down the urge to hang his head as if the letter was a scolding and he a misbehaving teen, Luki sat unmoving except for chewing a matchstick—his stress replacement for the cigarettes he’d quit half a dozen years ago.

Luki had stayed in LA for a week after what Brian was now calling “the Espen incident,” helping Brian through the red tape that had resulted from those events, and, once again, to help put VSI Los Angeles back in good order. The office’s most experienced agent, Lonny, had turned in his resignation, and on the evening of the day the State Department letter came, Luki hosted a small retirement party for him at the Brown Derby. Edith, Lonny’s wife, had been so happy she was practically shining the whole time.

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On their way back to the apartment, Brian listened to Luki say more words at one time than he’d ever heard his boss string together.
Luki made it clear he was pissed at the perpetrator of crimes against what he called “his people.” He explained that he wanted to find the “doers” who had “subverted” Espen, a man whom Luki described as a “formerly decent guy.” He wanted to catch the “low-life fuckers” who had threatened an innocent, disabled woman. These “jerkwads,” he proclaimed, had put his nephew Jackie at risk by invading his—and Brian’s—home, had caused a situation in which he himself as well as Brian and Lonny could have been “barbecued” or at least “smoked to death,” and had put Sonny, Jackie, and Margie at risk of “bad shit,” like arrest, at the very least. And the “whole fucking mess” had generally “screwed with” Luki’s company and his life for months.

“If I don’t catch them and make sure they pay, maybe nobody will.” Luki went silent for a moment after that. Then he said, “Sonny would say I’m not being reasonable.”

Brian grunted to show he heard, because he wasn’t about to touch that.

Then Luki said, “I would tell him I don’t give a fuck.”

As chilling as it was to see his boss so pissed that he’d defy the husband he all but prayed and sang hymns to, for Brian, that wasn’t the worst of it. It wasn’t only Luki’s people threatened by the situation, it was his own.

In fact there was a lot of overlap—almost one hundred percent—and Jackie was at the top of both their lists. Beautiful, precious, wounded, strong, remarkable Jackie. Luki would protect him with his life—Brian knew that. But that was not an inch farther than Brian would go. Jackie filled a place in Brian’s heart no person or thing could ever replace. He suspected he wouldn’t survive losing him—he’d come close enough to that awful loss to know it would gut him. So yeah, Brian wanted the bad guys just as hard as Luki did, if not more.

But what he could do about that probably depended on Luki, and now that Luki’s federal resource had dried up, maybe Luki’s hands were tied. So as they pulled into the driveway that evening, he asked, “What are you going to do, boss?”

“You don’t need to know what I’m going to do, Brian. Your attention belongs on what you’re going to do. You—and VSI Los Angeles—are going stay miles away from anything to do with Espen or this mess he wrapped himself up in. If you can’t do that, then I will fucking fire you, and close the office. Am I clear?”

Brian heaved a sigh. “Crystal, boss. Fucking crystal.” In truth, Brian had never heard Luki speak like he did that day, and his carefully controlled tone and cold demeanor rendered it ultra-scary. But Brian knew there were still some criminals out there wearing, in Brian’s mind, a target. He wasn’t likely to forget that.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Tappy on Amazon wrote:

New excitement opens up
5 stars
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2020

Brian and Jackie return in this continuation of a great series. Secret menaces are threatening our heroes and that’s just unacceptable. Brian is working on uncovering secrets while Jackie has his own mystery to solve. Yes, the two will intersect and, once again, our heroes are on a mission. This book reintroduces the previous situations and opens up new excitement. The story ends without answers which certainly whets the appetite and gives the reader an urgent desire for more.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Kathleen on Amazon wrote:

An Amazing Read!!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United States on May 1, 2020

Great storyline and character development made this book a hot and enjoyable read!

Extremely entertaining, captivating and interesting sexy read. I could not put it down. Wonderfully written with strong, intriguing characters. I want to read more from this author.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.


This series is a spinoff from the Vasquez and James series. It isn't necessary to read that series first in order to understand and enjoy this one, but some readers have said knowing the characters and history from Vasquez and James made their reading of Vasquez Inc even more enjoyable.

About the Author

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


Sunset at Pencarrow

by Anne Barwell , Lou Sylvre

Sunset at Pencarrow - Lou Sylvre & Anne Barwell
Part of the New Zealand Romance series:
  • Sunset at Pencarrow
Editions:ePub - Second Edition
ISBN: 9781646562091
Kindle
ISBN: B08465PB83

A New Zealand Romance

Fog at Wellington's airport leads two men to an impromptu road trip. Destination? Could be love!

Kiwi Nathaniel Dunn is in a fighting mood, but how does a man fight Wellington's famous fog? In the last year, Nate's lost his longtime lover to boredom and his ten-year job to the economy. Now he's found a golden opportunity for employment where he can even use his artistic talent, but to get the job, he has to get to Christchurch today. Heavy fog means no flight, and the ticket agent is ignoring him to fawn over a beautiful but annoying, overly polite American man.

Rusty Beaumont can deal with a canceled flight, but the pushy Kiwi at the ticket counter is making it difficult for him to stay cool. The guy rubs him all the wrong ways despite his sexy working-man look, which Rusty notices even though he's not looking for a man to replace the fiancé who died two years ago. Yet when they're forced to share a table at the crowded airport café, Nate reveals the kind heart behind his grumpy façade. An earthquake, sex in the bush, and visits from Nate's belligerent ex turn a day of sightseeing into a slippery slope that just might land them in love.

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
  • 2 Read lists
Excerpt:

About that time, Rusty followed Nate onto an even narrower track that took off to the right -- the sign marking it as Browns Track. He had to pay attention to his footing now. The trail was truly steep -- muddy and slippery in places.

Immediately on thinking those words slippery in places, he felt like it was about something besides the muddy ground of the Orongorongo forest. He associated the phrase with his own intentions, coming out here with a man who -- okay, I'll admit he pulls at me like sex on toast. If he wasn't so sure he didn't want anybody, he'd think he wanted Nate. And yes, he knew he was skirting the truth.

Is that a rock in my shoe? Hard to think about anything else, really, with that irritant. He needed to do something about it. "Nate, hold up. I have a --"

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A rolling blast of thunder cut his words short. In his mind's eye, he saw explosions all around him in a cornfield around a sleepy, dusty town in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. But he'd come a long way since leaving that year of his life behind, and he knew almost instantly that he wasn't there; the sound he heard wasn't war.

"Fuck! Earthquake," Nate said.

That made perfect sense -- especially as the ground suddenly lurched beneath Rusty's feet, knocking him off-balance. He fell forward, and gravity carried him downslope against Nate, who went down under him. Instinctively, he tried to shield Nate's head from hitting the hard ground, cradling it against his chest with his hands. The packs on their backs weren't bulky, but were enough of a lump to keep them from rolling far. Instead they slid, and by the time they came to a stop, they'd nearly reached the river.

Rusty lay still, concentrating on steadying his breath, but when he realized his body lay spread over Nate's like butter on bread, his heart took off racing all over again. Trying to rein in his senses -- ignore the feel of the man, the scent of him, the rush of his own blood heating his veins -- he pushed up onto his elbows.

"Are you all right?" he asked.

"Yeah. Dandy."

The breathy sound of Nate's voice seemed to belie his words, and Rusty turned sharply to meet Nate's gaze. He looked pissed again, and Rusty couldn't blame him. He pushed up farther, intending to rise and then help Nate to his feet. But from that slightly higher perspective, Rusty suddenly saw he'd been reading Nate all wrong.

Yeah, maybe there was anger in that smoldering gaze, but it wasn't anger at Rusty. The man's as hungry for me as I am for him! Rusty knew that without a doubt. Of all the incongruous things, he could even smell Nate's arousal mingling with his own. It smelled damn good.

And fucking dangerous.

He told himself his arousal was just a reaction to the shock of the quake, or it was from being thrust into proximity with Nate for the last twenty-four hours, or maybe he was hypersensitive, having gone so long without a man. He steeled himself to pull away from the man -- the damned desirable man -- who lay beneath him. But before he could put the intention to the test, Nate clutched the front of Rusty's shirt in one strong hand and brought the other one up under his jaw, either holding his head or caressing his face. God, it was a sexy move.

Nate spoke, his glorious green eyes widening as if he shocked himself with what he said. "It won't mean anything, right? It won't… change anything. It will just be sex."

How could the word "sex" harden Rusty's cock to the point of pain? But he knew the word was coincidental; it was Nate unleashing possibility that made him fall headfirst into the desire he'd been trying to hold at bay.

He glanced around. They'd ended up some yards from the trail behind a tall rock formation and some brush, which screened them from the path and the river -- and from anyone who might pass by. It seemed as if the earth had deliberately shaken things up, conspiring with fate to land them there. They were alone.

Nate let out a rush of heated breath, and seemingly the last of his inhibition flew away with it. He sat up long enough to strip the pack off his back and toss it aside, and Rusty did the same. Without any further warning or delay, Nate pulled him down and kissed him hard, smeared their lips together, licked across Rusty's mouth, plunged his tongue deep.

Rusty felt on fire, flame burning away every emotion but want. He vaguely realized he didn't usually want quite this hard, that the extremity of desire might have something to do with the nature and identity of the man he grappled with, but that was nothing more than a rumor behind the yearning that loomed huge, front and center.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Lisa K. on Amazon wrote:

Enjoyable Read

This was a sweet story of two seemingly different men. Neither of them realized how much they had in common until they learned to accept their pasts and move on with their lives. It was an enjoyable read. This was my first book by these authors, and I can't wait to read more.


About the Authors

Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with Kaylee: a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her. To date it appears Kaylee may be winning the discussion.

In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.  She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ.

Anne’s books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

 


Lou Sylvre

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


A Shot of Fear

by Lou Sylvre

A Shot of Fear - Lou Sylvre - Vasquez Inc
Editions:Kindle: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: B081BDX3BZ
Pages: 158
ePub: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: 2940163187553
Pages: 158

A Dom learns to love while Scotland Yard claims his time and a sociopath lays a trap for his sub.
This is book 2 Vasquez Inc, a spinoff series from the popular Vasquez and James series.

Jackie Vasquez knows he needs to submit to a Dom he can trust—just as much as he needs to manage his own life. He found the right Dom in Brian Harrison, and then romance beckoned them both beyond bindings and safewords. They take the first steps toward a life together in London, where Brian is pursuing his dream career at Scotland Yard, and Jackie is working toward a master’s degree. Their private hours deep in the night brim with both heat and beauty as Brian’s artful vision for bondage makes a masterwork out of Jackie, body and soul.

But time together becomes scarce as a series of horrific gaslight crimes keeps Brian at work and out of reach for Jackie much of the time. Though Jackie is faithful, he isn’t the type to sit and wait for his lover’s attentions. His self-assured ways and his geocaching hobby lead him to a dangerous discovery—all is not as it seems at the University. Trapped in the Gaslighter’s web, he’ll need to use every trick he knows to stay calm and buy time. But will Brian unravel the knot of mystery in time to save the man he loves?

This book is on:
  • 2 To Be Read lists
  • 1 Read list
Reviews:Kitty on Goodreads wrote:

So this is the sequel to the newly released A Shot of J&B, which was an expanded retelling of only the first half of the original book by the same title. So this is the expanded retelling of the second half of the original A Shot of J&B. My point is, if you haven't yet read the newest version of A Shot of J&B, stop here and go read that first. This isn't a stand alone and the first book needs to be read first.

For those who HAVE read the first book, you know it is mostly centered around the romance between Brian & Jackie, and only a little bit about Brians "Gaslighter" case. This book however is just the opposite. This book is more about the "psychological thriller" aspect than the "romance" aspect. Between Brian constantly being called in to work long days, forays into the psyche of the "Gaslighter" villain, and Jackie adjusting to a new University, living in a new country,and trying to make new friends, the romance tends to get "benched" quite a bit. The romance IS still there, it's just consigned to the back burner, frustrating both men, until the end of the book and it's ultimate HEA.

So does this mean it's a bad book? No of course not! Not so long as you like psychological thriller romances. The story gave me chills at times, thanks to the twisted psyche of the villain! And yes, while the romance is for the most part sidelined, the guys DO manage to get together a few times for some hot D/s action! (and 1 of those scenes has Jackie learning something that helps save him later!) So yes, it's a good book, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Lou Sylvre takes us from here in the Vasquez Inc series!


About the Author

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


The Holiday Home Hotel

by Lou Sylvre

The Holiday Home Hotel - Lou Sylvre - Escape From the Holidays
Editions:Kindle - First Edition
ISBN: 1230002862101
Pages: 101

Daren Novak and Gunny Schuler have known each other since freshmen days at the University of Washington, where they'd started a romance Daren assumed would last. But at the start of winter break, Gunny bowed to the dictates of his lifelong religion and his overbearing father and left UW never to return.
After a failed marriage, Gunny built a quiet life embracing his gay identity, and left his North Dakota home, his marriage, and his father's business for a forestry and teaching career in Oregon. Meanwhile, Daren has built up his own life around managing a unique holiday venue, the Holiday Home Hotel, and performing for the guests in drag as "Dare."
A decade has passed since they last saw each other, but now winter’s harsh weather brings them face to face—helped along by a minor goddess and powerful forest spirit. Too much hurt might lie between them now to fix things, but interfering supernatural beings are determined to force them to try.

This book is on:
  • 1 Read list
Excerpt:

"Why did you come, Lelia?" the forest spirit asked, short-tempered as always. "Your time isn't here yet. The trees need to dream through their winter sleep, and if I wake them up for anything it'll be shenanigans, not some of your silly-sweet mercy."

"Spring is months away, yes, Leshy, but I have other concerns, and don't be so mean. Without my lovely springtime, your trees will dream their winter right up to the end of eternity, won't they? Besides, we're friends, aren't we?" She rolled onto her side, wanting as much contact with the cool green earth as possible and not caring a whit about the mud that would cake in her thick white fur.

Also, she knew Leshy would like the pose and she wasn't beyond taking advantage of the soft spot he harbored for her. "You look good as a bear, by the way. Consider golden fur next time you take this form, though. I love golden fur."

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"Don't change the subject." He pushed his long snout against his great, black paw, a gesture of frustration.

Of all the goddesses, Lelia could be the most exasperating—though Leshy admitted he wasn't immune to her energetic charm, and this wily-dog form she'd taken only added to her allure. He closed his eyes and let himself fall to the ground beside her. Glancing up after a satisfying squirm in what was now well-churned mud, he caught sight of the ancient red cedar that often housed his spirit in this place, an ocean and many years from the forest he sprang from, a place he'd sought out as his old forests had met with annihilation. The cedar—his 'old man' tree—was 'empty,' one might say, while he played bear, but still it seemed to send a scowl his way and say, back to business, you old fool.

"What concerns, Lelia?"

"Hmm?"

"Pay attention, hound. What 'other concerns' are you on about?"

Lelia jumped up to all fours and snarled at Leshy—in this form only a little bigger than her present shape. "I am no hound! I am a shepherd. Belgian, to be specific."

"A dog's a dog." Leshy grunted, and he was pretty sure Lelia wouldn't realize he was laughing at her.

"And soon a forest spirit is going to be a squashed bear, if he keeps it up, because this dog's a god."

"Goddess, minor."

"Less minor than a Leshy."

"What concerns?"

"Luck, of course. And love—"

"Love is your mother Lada's territory."

"And I'm my mother's daughter. Besides, when a human I'm fond of is miserable without love and won't do anything about it, then mercy is needed, and I'm all about mercy." She sat down, and wagged her bushy tail through the leaf mold, very satisfied with that argument.

"Is mischief involved?"

"Absolutely."

"I'm in, big sister. What do you need me to do?"

"Bring snow, Leshy. Lots and lots of it." She stopped to sniff the breeze and detected just a touch of the particular human scent she was waiting for. "Yes. Right about now, I think."

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


Vasquez and James Volume 1

by Lou Sylvre

Vasquez and James V1 - Lou Sylvre
Part of the Vasquez and James series:
Editions:ePub - Second Edition
Pages: 743
Kindle - Second Edition
ISBN: B07T74KPH7
Pages: 743
PDF - Second
Pages: 743

The first three books in the Vasquez and James series gathered into a single volume.

When badass meets artist, sparks and bullets fly. Blazing romance, chilling suspense, enduring love...

*Loving Luki Vasquez: Renowned but reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James masters color, texture, and shape in his tapestries, but when he meets Luki Vasquez, an ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, his heart and desire spin out of control. The heat between them won’t be denied. United by danger, can Sonny and Luki put fear and anger aside, and fight together to save Sonny’s nephew and their own lives?

*Delsyn’s Blues: Devastated by loss, Sonny James listens to a voice singing the blues from beyond the grave. Convinced he’s failed in an all-important life task, he tries to shut out Luki Vasquez and love just when he needs him the most. But when Luki finally breaks through Sonny’s fortress of grief, it’s just in time for the newly reunited couple to face a new, violent, escalating danger.

*Finding Jackie: When Sonny James asked Luki Vasquez to marry him, Luki’s “yes” was accompanied by a request -- a wedding in Hawaii. Months and many trials later, their hilltop island ceremony is poignant and funny, and every bit as beautiful as they’d hoped. The honeymoon is all sex, surfing, and sunshine… until Luki’s sixteen-year-old nephew is kidnapped by a sadistic killer. When it all comes to an ultimate showdown with evil, it’s not only love at stake, but their lives.

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
  • 2 Read lists
Published:
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Badass Hero, Honeymoon, Hurt / Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Queer Wedding, Rescue, True Love
Setting: Hawaii, Washington State, Seattle, Nebraska, Umatilla NF
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:
Reviews:Monique on Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews wrote:

On Loving Luki Vasquez 1st edition: 4.5 Stars for this amazing book which is emotionally charged and full of action, Lou Sylvre has such a way with words, she is truly a gifted author… she had me encapsulated in my own little world, just me and the guys and a few friends on a journey so vivid in my imagination and heart… I was euphoric and a mess! Great start, loved it, Woohoo… now onto the next!!!

(Note: this is a brief excerpt from a long review. Follow the link to read it in it's entirety.)

Sandi ♥'s way too many M/M books's Reviews on Goodreads wrote:

I am so in love with these 2 beautiful men. 5 heart pounding beautifully written stars. Better than the 1st installment. You learn so much more about these 2 men in book 2.

Luki a wonderfully beautiful insecure man who loves Sonny with his whole being. And smokes way to much!

On Delsyn's Blues 1st edition: Sonny a heart broken artist who lost his nephew Delsyn to an unspeakable crime, Pushes the man he loves away basically to grieve it’s all he knows to do. But Luki strong and determined will not let Sonny do this alone. He is an amazing man. And together they have to deal with so many ups and downs twists and turns to make it through the events following this tragedy.

Their love is beautiful and true and makes me smile! I did hate the Richard aspect and Sonny even considering it grr, that whole scenario tore me apart.

I can’t wait until the next book. Sonny to Luki….. What are YOU looking at?

Dianne on Live Your Life Buy the Book wrote:

On Finding Jackie 1st edition: This book is part of a series that needs to be read in order, with the titles Loving Luki Vasquez, followed by Delsyn’s Blues, having come prior.

Yay! It is so exciting to have Sonny and Luki back. I’m happy to acknowledge that I have been in love with both of them ever since reading the first 2 pages of “Loving Luki Vasquez.” An apropos title in many respects. Both characters are very well drawn, charismatic, compelling, and are portrayed in equal depth. Sonny definitely does not get short shrift simply because Luki is a badass law man and investigator. The reader is treated to significant character growth as both men adjust to life as a couple, and recognize the essential need to measure their individual desires and actions against how it will affect their relationship.

As the story opens, Sonny and Luki are enjoying their wedding in Hawaii....

(Thus begins a longer review which can be found through the link.)


About the Author

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.


Vasquez and James Volume 2

by Lou Sylvre

Vasquez and James V2 - Lou Sylvre
Part of the Vasquez and James series:
Editions:Kindle - Second edition
ISBN: B07VD67F28
Pages: 478
ePub - Second edition
Pages: 478
PDF - Second edition
Pages: 478

Three book volume, books 4, 5, and 6 of the Vasquez and James series.

Together, badass Luki and artist Sonny survive chilling trials. Romance sizzles, love endures, and a family is made.

Saving Sonny James: The events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki -- loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back have left gaps in his emotional armor. Sonny says yes to a European tour with Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent promoter 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.

Yes: 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 consuming Luki's lungs. Sonny tries to control every thread just as he does when he weaves, but still Luki dances with cancer alone—until he gets a startling reminder of the miracle of life.

Because of Jade: Still cancer free after five years, Luki finds out his nephew Josh and wife Ruthie have met a tragic death. Luki and Sonny must help each other learn to parent an unexpected child, Jade, and still nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years. A relative's 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.

This book is on:
  • 2 To Be Read lists
  • 1 Read list
Published:
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Varies During Story
Protagonist 2 Age: Varies During Story
Tropes: Adopted Child, Age Difference, Badass Hero, Hurt / Comfort
Setting: various
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

(From Saving Sonny James)

Luki Vasquez had been his usual self when he and his still newlywed husband, Sonny James, had driven home to the rainy Olympic Peninsula from Nebraska, even though he’d been shot in the thigh -- again.

Well, Sonny thought as he backed his yellow Mustang -- his baby -- out of the old barn where he parked it, Luki was mostly his usual self then, when we first came home.

READ MORE

Because at times he’d still been in a lot of pain, and a few times he’d had plenty of -- too much -- pain medication, and then there had also been those other, weirder times that Sonny couldn’t explain. Luki would just check out right in the middle of a conversation, stay completely blank until he’d suddenly say, “He was just a kid,” or, “He had the greenest eyes.” Those times never lasted long, though, and Luki’s pain got less and less, and Sonny just didn’t expect the thing that happened to Luki not long after they got home. It was almost like Luki… died inside. Like whatever made him Luki drained off and left Sonny a handsome and heart-wrenching Luki-like shell.

It didn’t really matter that Sonny knew psychological trauma did this to others: soldiers, agents of the law, people who relied on violent skills to guard the world against violence. This development in Luki astounded Sonny. The very idea that Luki Mililani Vasquez could be so overcome, so incapacitated that people felt the need to watch over him, medicate him, counsel him, be careful of him, for God’s sake. It was like weaving a wall-sized tapestry, spending hours with it and knowing every warp and weft intimately, and then one day discovering the image had changed from day to night, ocean to desert, rock to dust. How could it make sense?

But Sonny also knew immediately that he didn’t have the power to bring the real Luki back. So he lived his daily life keeping Luki always in his field of vision -- at least figuratively -- and he did what he could to help him find what was real from one moment to the next, make sure he got where he needed to go when he needed to be there. Theoretically, that wouldn’t be difficult. But Luki, even broken as he was, always wanted to do things Luki’s way.

Luki was supposed to go to psychotherapy, as he was obviously having trouble processing the fact that he’d shot and killed that young guard, whom he insisted on remembering as an innocent kid, completely discounting the indisputable fact that if he hadn’t shot first the green-eyed kid would have killed him. Luki still had the badge he’d so sneakily reenlisted for behind Sonny’s back before they even knew Luki’s teenage nephew Jackie was missing. Sonny hadn’t wanted him to do that, but the agency shield had come in handy when it turned out Jackie’s sicko kidnapper also happened to be a large-scale moonshiner. Who would have imagined such a coincidence!

Sonny still harbored no great fondness for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, but he had to admit his pleasant surprise. The powers that be at ATF wouldn’t let Luki resign, not until they saw to it that he took advantage of every resource they could throw at him that might make him well. What was happening to Luki wasn’t unusual, Sonny had learned. Agents of the law sometimes killed people and -- if they were good people themselves -- it messed with their heads. Or hearts, perhaps. So agencies like ATF had a response in place involving professional care, and they enforced -- by means Sonny didn’t understand -- their directive that the sick must be treated. And Luki seemed to take the Bureau’s no, you can’t resign at face value.

So Luki was supposed to go to the therapist, and he was supposed to take the pills the agency psychiatrist prescribed to go with the counseling. One for depression. One for anxiety. One for nightmares. Sonny thought Luki might have tried them all, but he knew for sure that after the first few days he wasn’t taking any of them, and he certainly wasn’t meeting with the psychotherapist twice each week. Not even once a month. For the most part, what Luki did was lie in bed, sometimes sleeping but sometimes not. And when Luki wasn’t sleeping, he spent a great deal of time staring, and sometimes patting Bear, who looked annoyed but long-suffering. Luki would turn the TV on and not watch it. He’d read but never turn the page -- wouldn’t even remember to put on his reading glasses. He would come to the dinner table and not eat. Some days he stayed in bed, got up to piss, maybe drank some water, asked, “What time is it,” and went back to bed no matter the answer.

Thank goodness for physical therapy; if not for that scheduled activity, the physical demand, and maybe exactly the right kind of guy for a therapist, Luki might never have left his bed except to go to the toilet or the couch. Sonny couldn’t begin to explain what was different about PT -- why Luki would do that but nothing else.

Whatever the explanation, on PT days, Luki showered and dressed, actually had coffee and breakfast, and with Sonny behind the wheel of the Mustang, rode to Sequim to the clinic. He went in and listened to instructions and tested his muscles to their full capacity, and sometimes he stayed dressed and out of bed until dark.

He went to PT three times a week, thanks to Sonny, who had begged Luki’s doctor to make that a must, because Luki wouldn’t go to psych therapy, and an extra PT session was better than no extra session at all. His physiotherapist, Val, was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and himself suffered PTSD -- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a fitting name for the condition. Sonny didn’t think Luki’s assignment to Val’s caseload was an accident. Luki didn’t talk to Val, of course. He didn’t talk to anyone. Not even Sonny or his uncle Kaholo. No one. Well, no one except Bear. But when Val talked to Luki, which wasn’t a whole lot, Luki seemed to listen.

And though Luki’s mind, heart, and soul gave no sign they might be healing, his body regained its fitness. Sonny had never truly realized just how monster strong Luki’s deceptively compact muscles had been. He’d never tried to quantify it in any way until he watched Luki squat well over three hundred pounds before the thigh muscles were even firmly healed. Rather than having lost any strength, by the time Val had worked with Luki for five or six weeks, Sonny thought Luki was probably stronger than ever.

And he was utterly beautiful. And now, having backed the Mustang out and pulled it around to the house, Sonny sat with the engine idling, watching Luki, the only real lover he’d ever had or ever wanted, approach the car with the same sure stride and icy gaze he’d always had. He wanted him. He lusted after every inch of soon-to-be sweaty skin and well-trained muscle. Wanted to drag his tongue up every salty valley, mouth every rise and mound, coax him hard, and suck the cream from his cock.

But -- even on PT days -- Luki wasn’t interested. He rolled over and went to sleep before Sonny could so much as kiss him good night. Or if Sonny reached out to hold Luki, or tried to walk into the shelter of his arms, his blessed arms, he gave Sonny a quick squeeze and platonic peck on the cheek. And Sonny really, really needed holding.

“Give it a little time,” Kaholo had said on the phone.

Sonny knew he might be right -- they’d only been home three and a half weeks.

“Don’t give up on ‘im, Sonny.”

That pissed Sonny off. He was the one who was there every day, trying to keep their life in some kind of order, trying to outlast Luki’s trouble. “I’m not,” he said, sounding more vexed than he’d intended. “I won’t, I can’t. But I don’t know what to do. I can’t just wait for him to get over this when he isn’t even trying.”

“Well… I know a little bit about this, about how it might be for him. Did Luki ever mention to you about the time I was in Vietnam? What my job was?”

“You were a sharpshooter, a sniper.”

“That’s right. So of course you know that the only job a sniper has is to kill the man in his sights. The thing is, even back then we had good optics, good enough to get a really good look at the human being on the other end. For me, well, I’m fairly practical.”

Sonny smiled at the understated description, even though Kaholo couldn’t see the expression a thousand miles away in Nebraska.

“So,” Kaholo went on, “I figured a job is a responsibility, and a soldier’s gotta take the job he’s given, and in a war some jobs are less… desirable than others. Time and again I’d get my mark in my sights and shoot him dead. In my mind I said words for the stranger -- which is just my way -- but then I forgot him. But one time it turned out different.

“My platoon was hidden, see, in a gulch, thick vegetation down there, and we knew we couldn’t be seen from camp, even though it wasn’t far. But we had to move -- we had to join up with the rest of our company. We figured out a way to go -- we wouldn’t be in their line of sight if we crossed the stream and headed up behind a rise. But every time we made a move to get out, the enemy knew, and they hit us hard and we’d go running back to hide. We couldn’t figure out how they knew our movements. Finally, my lieutenant spotted motion on a tiny ledge high up on a rock face perpendicular to the cleft we’d taken cover in.

“‘That’s where they’re getting the news from, Hula Boy,’ he said. ‘That’s your mark.’ So I did my job, got the Viet Cong soldier in my sights. But he wasn’t much more than a boy. He was alone, looked scared. I started to lower my rifle -- no man wants to shoot a child. But just then our soldiers started to move, the first two stepped out to cross the creek, and I saw the boy pick up a flashlight and start to signal. I lifted my gun, took aim, and fired. It was part of my job to make sure I killed the mark, so I watched through my sights. He looked right at me, his eyes liquid brown and resigned. A red fountain poured down the side of his head, and then he fell… Shit,” Kaholo said. “It’s hard talking about that, even after all this time.”

“Kaholo, you didn’t have to --”

“No, Sonny, I didn’t have to. But I thought maybe, if I told you how that tormented me for months -- hell for years, off and on, maybe I can help you understand my nephew a little bit -- maybe understand all he’s going through and all he’s putting you through.”

“Yes,” Sonny said, feeling overwhelmed.

“Luki and me, we’re not much the same, Sonny, except we’re both big Hawaiian dudes.” Kaholo laughed, and it gave Sonny permission to do the same. But then Kaholo continued. “And then too, his heart’s as soft as mine, maybe softer. He told you about that guard, right? No more than a boy, green and scared and undoubtedly regretting signing on with Marcone’s bunch -- though if his family owed loyalty he may have had no choice. A man can see all that, you know? When you look at your mark, if you have any experience of violence… of a soldier’s life, a cop’s life, Luki’s kind of life… You can see that scared boy and you know him like he was your son or your brother.”

“Green eyes.” Sonny swallowed. “He keeps saying the kid… guard had green eyes.”

“Yes, and I’m thinking that’s like code, Sonny. It’s shorthand for everything he thinks he saw. Luki saw all that in a flash. And then he fired his gun and killed the kid.”

Kaholo went silent for a moment then, just when Sonny was going to try to figure what to say, the old man spoke up.

“The thing is, Luki’s just the kind of man who’s going to have a hard time putting that aside, I think.”

COLLAPSE
Reviews:alias 11 on Amazon wrote:

5 stars—Fantastic Continuation

Three more wonderful and exciting stories about Luki and Sonny. I love the interactions between the characters, the love and strength. The duo face and stand against sorrow, pain, tragedy, and uncertainty with fortitude and love. Love these characters!

Christy Duke on Rainbow Book Reviews wrote:

(Each of the three books in the volume reviewed here individually!)

Saving Sonny James
Lou Sylvre, you really know how to start off a book, huh? Introducing me immediately to the deranged mind of a narcissistic psychopath. Since my enjoyment of the 'Vasquez & James' series has increased with each book I've read, it stood to reason that I was instantly hooked from the very first sentence. That is also the sign of a good writer. 'Saving Sonny James' brought me back to my guys, to the mystery, the action, the heartbreak, and to the love. So much love.

"But whatever the act of shooting that green-eyed guard had done to Luki's brain, Sonny couldn't get past it. He wanted to help his husband, but this thing today… Luki leaving, more than anything else… It had finally opened Sonny's eyes to the cold, hard fact that he couldn't do anything for Luki because Luki wouldn't let him."

It was physically painful for me to experience, with Sonny, the changes the PTSD and depression wrought in Luki. Seeing Luki doubt himself, and not feel strong, confident, worthy, or deserving, was more than heartbreaking. Dramatic? Maybe. Honest? Yes. Luki is such a strong character that it threw me for a loop and forced me to see him in a more realistic light. Of course, when the psycho stalker freak abducted Sonny…well, there was no place on the planet, or off, where he could hide from Luki's wrath.

I enjoyed this fourth book in the series. As always, the author has provided me with strong characters and an interesting tale. I would have been interested to see the rescue of Sonny occur in a not so hasty manner, as I think that could've been fascinating to watch Luki be pitted, mentally, against the protagonist. However, it was not to be and the author showed me an excellent time. Thank you, Lou.

Yes
I believe I've said it previously, but it bears repeating, I really enjoy a novella in the midst of a series. 'Yes' is exactly that, set between books two and three, and Lou Sylvre did a great job. Of course, she also did something totally mind-boggling by setting this five years in the future and having Luki sick with lung cancer. Really, Lou? You just had to give me heart palpitations and have me practically hyperventilating, huh? No matter. I love these guys and the author.

What I found when I read this novella was it wasn't about the cancer so much as it was about the love, the devotion that Luki and Sonny share. A diagnosis that changes lives is incredibly hard on a marriage, no matter how strong and secure the relationship. Trust me, I know. So, these were new, confusing times and often, couples can fracture from the stress, the anxiety, and they end up losing the most valuable support they have. Certainly Luki and Sonny struggled, as there was anger, guilt, fear, and more anger. Their love never changed, though. Luki might've gotten frustrated at being babied and Sonny got so angry that Luki smoked at all, terrified that he would lose him, but when the chips were down, they were each others’ rock.

A beautiful story about the miracle of love. Thank you, Lou, you made me cry.

Because of Jade
It seems so difficult to believe that I'm already at book five in Lou Sylvre's 'Vasquez and James' series. It's been five years since Luki went into remission and he's still holding cancer free. I can't believe that Luki is fifty-one years old already. No matter. He and Sonny are still two of my most favorite characters and they continue to be insanely electric together. Of course, 'Because of Jade' is going to bring a whole new dimension into their world, something they never really contemplated. Fatherhood and the fears, worries, and all-encompassing love that it entails.

Death is never pretty and it's never easy. The death of two incredibly loving parents and truly good people like Josh and Ruthie is more than sad. It's heartbreaking. They've left this incredible little five-year-old girl, Jade, to grow up and never really know her parents. It wasn't their fault. They certainly didn't choose it. It's still hard to watch even knowing that Jade is going home to live with Sonny and Luki. Out of all the wonderful things Josh and Ruthie did for Jade, the most important, the most vital thing that they did, was to ensure there was paperwork designating who they wanted to care for Jade in the event of their deaths. A priceless gift that eliminated a legal battle. Or so they thought.

Sonny and Luki knew that parenthood wasn't going to be easy. A minivan, really? But it was the things they didn't think of that sometimes brought them the most joy, love, and sorrow. First day of kindergarten. First school field trip. Being accused by another parent of inappropriate touching of a child. Laughter and giggles over hot chocolate at Grammy Margie's. Getting started on adoption proceedings only to have Ruthie's long-lost sister climb out of the woodwork to file for adoption. That's not even the worst part because Luki, with the help of his amazing admin, Jude, found enough dirt on the judge to get custody granted to Sonny and Luki. Unfortunately, by then, the Jacobs had disappeared and taken Jade with them during their court appointed visit. Oh, hell.

'Because of Jade' is my favorite of the series, so far. I have no idea whether the author plans any more, but I think it would be a shame if I never got any new Sonny and Luki stories. This was such a great addition to the series and I loved watching the change Jade brought to Sonny and Luki's lives. Thank you, Lou, for this truly beautiful book.


About the Author

Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and often very, very sexy. How cool is that? She loves to hear from readers on her blog, Facebook or Twitter, or via e-mail.

As if you'd want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman, a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. When he lets her have a break, she drinks strong coffee, plays guitar, practices Reiki, communes with crystals, grows flowers, walks a lot, and reads. Besides books and music, she loves friends and family, wild places, wild roses, sunshine, and dark chocolate.