Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Loving Luki Vasquez by Lou Sylvre

Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.

While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.

Okay, you read the blurb. That’s the story. I’m elated that my rule to not get into plots still stands in force because these characters and Ms. Sylvre’s writing were so luscious I don’t want to waste time on the story line.

Where on earth do I begin? Maybe first by trying to wipe the giant grin off my face that has been there since I finished the book?

Loving Luki Vasquez reminds me of one of those wonderful trips. You know, the kind where you get to the destination, marvel at how fast you got there, then turn around and look at the road behind you and think, Damn, how did I cover so much ground so fast? The story was just such a journey. A well-planned, tightly packed—not to mention pulse-racing—adventure that beautifully paces itself to a perfect ending.
Luki Vasquez. I have a terrible crush on him now. I don’t even want to know how Lou Sylvre managed to tie a hurling (yes, as in puking), cigarette smoking, angst ridden, scar-faced creature into such a phenomenal, gorgeous, masculine, cold as ice yet warm as hot chocolate, sexy, sensual, I-gotta-have-that-man dark-haired bundle. I just know she did and I love him.

And the other main character, Sonny James. An exquisite picture in every way. Sensitive, handsome, an artist who weaves tapestries, a recluse. A polar opposite of Luki, yet the only man imaginable for him.
I was immediately drawn to the book, simply by the catchy title and the sexy cover. But, even so, I wondered if the story itself might take a dark, brooking tone. Well, I was in for a huge surprise.

Sure, the story is a serious one, a fabulous drama. A well written, good-as-any-television-show suspense saga.

But Ms. Sylvre’s writing is one of the most eloquent, lyrical, humorous styles I’ve seen in a long time, and I found it extremely delightful. It took the edge off a story which could have been stormy and sinister and magically transformed it into a nice mix of drama and clever comedy.

For instance, in reference to Luki’s smoking habit, I found this one snippet from a scene to be particularly cute and adorably described the way his internal battle over his love for Sonny drove him to want to smoke, It was like Sonny was a big, man-shaped, flashing, neon sign that said “SMOKE HERE NOW.”

Sylvre’s turns of phrasing often very beautifully—but with an economy of words—got the message across loud and clear. For instance, this powerful thought on Luki’s resistance to the feelings that crept up then blindsided him, Luki….feared friendship more than he feared enmity.

Or this unusual wording, He pulled his captive out into the corridor, where he found a lot of shadows that were not harboring Sonny and some crates that Sonny was not sitting on.

It was that kind of voice that made this book like poetry for me—sweet, lilting poetry so oddly and mystically used to tell such a serious story. I love, love, loved it.

One more snippet, I promise. But I adored this reasoning in Luki’s mind when he found himself crying for the first time in a long time, Something tightened in Luki’s throat, something foreign, something painful, and with a shock he recognized what it was. Tears. Oh my God, tears. They welled up in his eyes and flowed over. His face felt wet, and heavy drops ran down his scar like a river bed, like that was the reason the scar was made, to give the tears a place to run.

If you’re looking for a book that makes short, easy work of a full-sized story simply because the writing is THAT good, then you will need to check out Loving Luki Vasquez.

Oh. And I double dog dare you to try and read this book and NOT immediately and fondly think of beautiful Luki and Sonny when you hear someone say, What are you looking at?

That precious banter alone is practically worth buying the book for.

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