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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.
I liked this book! I’m actually a little lost for words with this one, but I did like it a lot. Really. Okay, so there were a few moments when I thought I’d never get through it, but those were very early on and once I hit the flow, it was all good.
Any time religion plays a major focus in a book, I kind of inwardly cringe and I have this automatic reaction of negativity. Honestly, I’m not a believer so when a priest in a book starts praying, like a lot, I get squeamish. Have no fear because as I read on, I got the importance of his prayers.
Told from differing point of views throughout, we delve into the minds of both Nicky and Jasper. Nicky, the rock star with bad habits, and Jasper, the boy he loved who decided to become a priest. After seeing each other for the first time in so many years, Jasper often turns to prayer to help him through his feelings, and for guidance. It was a bit much for me in the beginning. Too much, too much, too much. On the opposite side, we have Nicky who turns to sarcasm and in appropriate jokes at Jasper’s expense. He’s not malicious, but he definitely knows how to push Jasper’s buttons.
The thing is, after getting a few chapters into the book, I began to see. As Jasper starts to find his way, and Nicky becomes stronger, I stopped cringing. Jasper’s faith is such a huge part of him, but he’s more complex than that. He’s a very strong advocate for LGBTQ youth and homeless. He’s passionate about getting kids off the street and out of horrible situations, and helping them find a better way of life in a safe and comfortable place where they can grow. He’s work is so much more than just about being a priest and preaching the word of God. It’s through his understanding that I came to love Nicky for who he really is. He’s not Nico Blue. No, he’s just Nicky. A guy who loves music, wants to share it, and he still loves his best friend from childhood. He’s a simple man in need of friendship and support, and love from people who are good for him. He’s caring, giving, and when he sees someone in trouble, even if he’s scared to deal with it on his own, he’s brave enough to try and help them.
I could probably go on and on about a lot of things in the book. Thing that were maybe too easy. Things that were probably to conveniently fixed. Little sub-plot issues that were a little bit over the top. There are things that are too easily at times, but they never really took me out of the story. I came to understand the characters, who they were, what they stood for, and I loved them. It’s not a perfect book, but it’s still really good.