Vespertine is a contemporary m/m romance novel written by Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn. Someone in one of my FB groups posted about this book when it was on sale, and since it sounded like something I might like, I purchased it.
Nicky and Jazz (Jasper) grew up together in Maine, and fell in love as teenagers. They were separated as teens, and chose completely different paths: Nicky became a rock star, and Jazz became a Catholic priest.
Fifteen years later, Nicky returns to Maine after a drug overdose. He realizes that he can no longer function this way, and he returns home to sort out his priorities and spend time with his parents. He hasn’t really been home since leaving, nor has he seen Jazz.
Meanwhile, Jasper has established himself as the head of a homeless shelter for LGBT youth, many of whom have been kicked out of their homes for their sexual orientation.
They’re both unsure about what to expect from a reunion. They’ve been apart for a long time, they’ve both changed dramatically, and their reconciliation is tentative at first. But can they remain friends with all of their memories from the past and lingering feelings?
This was an amazing book. It was definitely a slow burn, but when they finally get together- wow, just wow! This book has (the aftermath of) addiction and redemption and angst, and despite being such a heavy book, there are also lighter moments, and times when I laughed out loud. I thought that Jasper’s situation was handled with a great deal of sensitivity; it’s something that he really struggled with, and didn’t just abandon his calling as soon as his high school boyfriend showed up in town. I don’t want to give too much away, but there were other extenuating circumstances that made Jasper reevaluate what the future held for him. His first priority is his youth shelter, and making sure “his kids” have a safe space is not negotiable.
I would absolutely Vespertine to fans of contemporary m/m romance. This is definitely one of my favorites contemporaries, and probably one of my all-time favorites. Nicky and Jazz are just perfect together, and although the book ends well, I would love to see a sequel. Regardless of whether that comes to fruition, I certainly hope to see more collaborations from them in the future. In the meantime, I’ll have to check out the rest of Blake and Vaughn’s other books.