Lou Sylvre has always painted the love between Luki Vasquez and Sonny James as deeply soulful and reverent - the power of their genuine and transcendent love culminates beautifully in this satisfying and suspenseful story. ♥ This is book 4 in a highly character driven series - the stories must be read in order.
Ok, I already loved these two to distraction, but wow, Lou Sylvre truly takes that feeling up a few notches with this powerful, touching story. I experienced so many emotions while reading, everything from anger to love, heartache to joy. This included many “shouting at my e-reader” moments! As stated in the blurb, as the story opens, Luki is dealing with PTSD, triggered by his having killed a young guard during the rescue of his nephew. The author presents a marvelous depiction of a man who has always been known to everyone (including himself), as the consummate cold- as- ice bad ass, navigating through despair and emotional fragility, only to emerge even stronger after facing his vulnerabilities. As someone who has grown to admire the strong and confident Luki, I found this scenario both heartbreaking and fascinating to witness.
This story is a profoundly captivating, instrospective view into Luki’s head and… into his heart. Luki’s heart is, undeniably, his husband Sonny. Ahh, sweet, beautiful, talented, patient, Sonny. (Of all of the book characters I have living in my head, Sonny is at the top of my list as being one I’d love to spend time with in reality.) Even Sonny’s considerable and steadfast love and support is not enough to pull Luki out of his tailspin. Reconnecting in the form of their sensual lovemaking helps spark a bit of a respite for Luki, however it soon becomes apparent that Luki actually feels Sonny’s closeness is a detriment (no, I will not spoiler why!). The two agree that Sonny should depart on a planned trip to France to lecture and conduct workshops on weaving, the art form that he is renowned for. Not to worry, during Sonny’s absence Luki enlists the company and wisdom of good friends and family, as well as a good dog ;-) Sonny, while realizing a dream in undertaking this trip, had been hoping that Luki would be able to travel with him, and is still hopeful Luki will be able to join him for part of the trip. Unfortunately Sonny realizes pretty quickly that maybe he should have gone over the travel arrangements more carefully. It comes to pass Sonny’s colleague from the past, and the man who planned Sonny’s travel itinerary, has long had designs on Sonny, and not of an artistic nature. Poor Sonny, it was as difficult watching him come to the dreaded awareness that he had misplaced his trust in a madman, and would possibly never be seeing Luki again, as it was to watch Luki struggling with the PTSD.
I want to commend the author on creating such compelling characters, and for weaving all of the plot points together seamlessly. Elements from Luki and Sonny’s histories were brought to the present in latent and fluid, evil and heroic manifestations. I loved the significance they all represented. Luki’s conflicted emotions were palpable as his inner strength battled to defeat the PTSD, and as he came to terms with the realization that Sonny was probably in real danger in France. I could feel Sonny’s helplessness and bravery, both in loving his husband no matter the presence of Luki’s demons, and in facing the human demon he later became confronted with. It was very gratifying to me that there was no miraculous “the love of my life needs me” cure for Luki. Rather, he worked hard at facing his issues and had significantly conquered them before heading off to save Sonny. In fact, Luki had been feeling well enough to consider joining Sonny before even coming to realize that the silence from Sonny was insidious, and not due to time differences and techno glitches. As Luki devised a plan to save Sonny, we witnessed the new and improved version of his bad ass self at work. I like it. A like it a lot. Sonny does too :-)
As usual I have left out major spoilers – this story is definitely one to savor and experience as it unfolds. The plotting is clever and engaging. It starts out with intense emotional introspection and builds to tantalizing suspense. Surprises come out of left field and serve only to enhance the overall appeal. The love between Luki and Sonny is so profound as to transcend words. It melts me. They melt me. Thank you Lou Sylvre for these beautiful men, and their exceptional love. More please ♥