Because of Jade
Title : Because of Jade
Author : Lou Sylvre
Series : Vasquez & James, Book 5
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 210 pages (e-book)
Published : May 23, 2014
Rating : ★★★★★
A Vasquez and James Novel
Luki Vasquez receives the news he’s still cancer free after five years, and he wants to celebrate with his whole family. He and his husband, Sonny James, take a road trip south, intending to gather at the home of his nephew Josh, Josh’s wife Ruthie, and Jade—a little girl who was still in the womb when she and her mother helped Luki beat lung cancer.
Halfway to their destination, Luki learns Josh and Ruthie have met a tragic death. The horrible news lays Luki low, but he pulls himself together in time to be the family’s rock and see to the dreaded business of tying up loose ends. The most important business is Jade, and when Luki and Sonny head home, they take Jade with them.
Luki and Sonny must combat self-doubt and fear and help each other learn to parent an unexpected child—and they must also nourish the love that has kept them whole for the past ten years. A relative’s spurious 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.
First of all, a big thank you to the author for writing a story for Luki and Sonny that comes post “Yes”. It was wonderful to see Luki healthy, happy and as in love as ever with his husband, whom Luki lovingly calls “the most beautiful thing that ever happened to the world.” 🙂 With that being said, as someone who has read (and re-read) this entire series, and taken the characters into my heart, I found the blurb upsetting! I had to steel myself for the read, but of course, through Lou Sylvre’s signature artistry, she navigated the pain of Josh’s death, and subsequent events with utmost nurturing love and compassion. 🙂
The story begins with happy anticipation. Luki and Sonny have been together for ten years. Luki’s cancer is in remission. The two men are more in love than ever, and are feeling, well they are feeling very alive. Luki’s nephew Josh and his wife Ruthie are expecting a baby to add to their family, which already consists of 5 year old Jade. Jade is known as “little girl that I love” in the hearts of her uncles Luki and of Sonny. Tragedy strikes and the men find themselves named as custodians of Jade. The two men are devastated, but rise to the occasion and take care of business – Josh’s brother Jackie had come from London to visit, but he is still too emotionally fragile to handle the arrangements surrounding his brother’s death, not even with his lover Brian by his side.
Make no mistake – this is not a book about death and tragedy. It is a story of love. Love that is absolute, strong and pure. Luki and Sonny have such a love, and it is due to this that they are able to fold Jade into their arms and their home so seamlessly. The story consists largely of adjusting to day to day life with the five year old. How it changes the men – for the better. They both have more room in their hearts for Jade than they would have thought, and they all make a marvelous transition, albeit with a learning curve. Jade is a stoic, intelligent and lovable little girl. She loves her uncles and at times they find themselves learning as much from her as she from them.
I am so grateful the author avoided such potentially obvious scenarios such as Jade refusing the guys home and love, or of one of them being envious or not on board with raising Jade. The three of them fit believably well. One particular aspect that I loved was how the men utilized the fact that their beloved dog, Bear, (whom Jade had met) had passed on when speaking to Jade about her deceased parents. These scenes where they spoke of Bear and visited his burial site were written with undeniable beauty and emotion, and Jade demonstrated great comfort from them. I wept. There are plenty of lighter moments, such as the little family shopping for a mini-van and Sonny organizing a car pool with other kindergartner families. The men have their close friend Margie as well as other friends and family – including Luki’s uncle Kaholo – who adore Jade. Together, they all become her extended family.
Of course, in typical Luki and Sonny fashion – nothing can stay peaceful in their lives for long. Trouble brews, starting with the bigoted father of one of Jade’s fellow classmates and culminating with someone crawling out of the woodwork with evil intent. The author ties all of this back to some seemingly benign facts that were brought up earlier in the story. Luki of course spends some time kicking himself for not being more on top of things, but he calls on his crack team of investigators to come to the rescue. Ultimately, the disturbing events end up ensuring a secure future for Jake, Luki and Sonny.
So you might ask, do Sonny and Luki lose any of their intimacy? That would be a resounding -no! One of the most romantic and sultry scenes I have read in a long while takes place in this book on the night of Luki and Sonny’s tenth anniversary. The scene is particularly moving because it is Luki who planned it all, without Sonny knowing ahead of time. Gah, swoon, and melt. These two have one of the most intense, moving, loving relationships of any pairing I have read in fiction. I love them, their fierce love for each other and those people close to them – especially Jade. Luki remains ever the bad- ass, however his softer side definitely shifts close to the surface in this story. It has been brought to light by Sonny’s love, his maturity in general, his cancer survival, and now by because of Jade – and his love for her. ♥
Lou Sylvre, please do not ever stop gifting us with tales of Luki and Sonny, and their family. 🙂
Rated 5 stars by Dianne