Vespertine by Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn ~ Book Review by Caroline

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00075]Title: Vespertine

Author: Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn

Publisher: Ledra

Cover Artist: Unknown

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 09/10/2015

Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)

Genre: M/M Romance


Can a priest and a rock star obey love’s call?

Seventeen years ago, Jasper Hendricks and Nicholas Blumfeld’s childhood friendship turned into a secret, blissful love affair. They spent several idyllic months together until Jasper’s calling to the Catholic priesthood became impossible to ignore. Left floundering, Nicky followed his own trajectory into rock stardom, but he never stopped looking back.

Today, Jasper pushes boundaries as an out, gay priest, working hard to help vulnerable LGBTQ youth. He’s determined to bring change to the church and the world. Respected, admired, and settled in his skin, Jasper has long ignored his loneliness.

As Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter for the band Vespertine, Nicky owns the hearts of millions. He and his bandmates have toured the world, lighting their fans on fire with their music. Numbed by drugs and fueled by simmering anger, Nicky feels completely alone. When Vespertine is forced to get sober, Nicky returns home to where it all started.

Jasper and Nicky’s careers have ruled their lives since they parted as teens. When they come face to face again, they must choose between the past’s lingering ghosts or the promise of a new future.

My View:

Books in this genre that are loaded with religion are not usually my thing. I love angst in my stories but I hate guilt … but Leta Blake, so yeah I had to give it a try.

Jasper is a deeply religious man. He is a gay celibate Priest who works within the Catholic Church to help members of the LGBT community. His views and policies are not always popular either with his congregation or the hierarchy. He is also a man that has been in love but when his calling came he walked away from that love and all that it could have been and he has never totally settled that choice in his conscience. It’s not something he battles with daily but it is something that still plagues his memories and thoughts.

Nicholas Blumfield, or Nico Blue as his adoring fans know him, is a hot mess with a drug habit whose life has gone way past spiralling out of control to the crashed and burned stage. Life didn’t start out well for Nicholas when he was found in a dumpster as a baby. As much as his adoptive parents tried to connect with him he never let them in all the way. The first and probably only person to really connect with him was the boy next door. Jasper and Nicholas became fast friends with a deep bond and as they became teenagers that friendship developed into affection then love. They were each other’s firsts and Nicholas was ready for Jasper to be his one and only. He was completely blindsided when Jasper chose a life with God and for the next few years made some dangerous decisions.

When Nicholas joined a band and was a huge success the lyrics to the songs the band performed were his feelings for Jasper. He bled for his fans and for the life he should have had. The drugs sustained him, kept him numb and eventually became his new best friend. His record company used poor judgement and fed his habit to keep him going, until the last concert where it finally became too much and he ended up in rehab. On his first tentative steps to recovery he finds himself back home and being sober sees Nicholas making some alarming and devastating discoveries. He vows to make more effort with his parents as he sees a different side to them and realises what he may have messed up and missed out on over the years. The other demon he has to face is Jasper, who is now the local Priest, and as he discovers when he first sees him his feelings haven’t lessened over the years and there is a whole lot of anger and hurt there that needs to be dealt with.

As Jasper and Nicholas try to work out the minefield that is their friendship and their past it feels both old and new. I think what made the book for me was that Jasper never hid behind his vows or took on a holier than thou attitude. He was very much human and didn’t run away from the part he had played up until this point or the part he could play in helping his friend now. He was always honest even when it went against everything his life was about now. He was hurt for Nicholas and wasn’t too afraid to admit that he still loved the man. He questioned his life and his choices but didn’t lay down guilt either on himself or Nicholas. That’s not to say he still didn’t take his vows extremely serious – look how devastated he was after waking up from a wet dream!

Part of the excitement of this book was never knowing what was going to happen. I knew what I wanted to happen of course but when you are dealing with one man who is battling his addictions and another man who has made serious vows to live his life a certain way how can you truly be sure? It wasn’t quick (it’s a long book!), it wasn’t easy but in the end it did feel right.


Vespertine on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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