Because of Jade (Vasquez & James Series) - Lou Sylvre
This is a 4.5 star review

There is such a beauty about the way Lou Sylvre writes these characters. A pureness. A sort of reverence. If I had my way, there would be new Vasquez & James books until the end of time. I know that’s not possible, of course, so I’m sure glad that Jade needed her story to be told badly enough to bring us this fifth novel in the series – Because of Jade.

In this book, Luki has just gotten the news that he is still in remission, and is now 5 years cancer free; and he and Sonny have been married for 10 years. If you’re doing the math, that means that Luki is now 51, and Sonny is 39. Let me tell you something, though…Luki Vasquez, at 51, is every bit as sexy as he was at 41. Maybe more so. He and Sonny still have the most amazing chemistry, and their relationship is stronger than ever.

While organizing a get-together to celebrate Luki’s news, Luki and Sonny learn that their niece-in-law Ruthie isn’t doing so well with her second pregnancy, and decide to take the party to California. Halfway through their road trip, however, they get the news that both Ruthie and Luki’s nephew Josh have died tragically, and Sonny and Luki must quickly get down there to be with the family. Josh’s brother, Jackie, is having a tough time wrapping his head around the idea of planning the memorial service, so Luki must take charge as usual, thus bringing one of my favorite passages in the book:

“By the time you reach fifty, you’ve figured out what “just do it” really means. It means slaying the dragon of your own invention that stands in the way of you doing what you need to do. It means laying your dead to rest properly even though you’d rather run as fast as you can to the nearest corner to cry. It means thinking about other people, even the ones you don’t know, who will want something to hold on to.”

While helping with the arrangements, and sorting everything out, Luki and Sonny learn that they have been named as the guardians for their 6 year old grand-niece, Jade.

Jade is an absolute delight. I love the way she brings out Luki’s softness in much the same way that Sonny does, and how we get to see both he and Sonny in such nurturing roles. Throughout the series they have always taken care of each other…but, getting to see them as ‘parents’ is entirely different. They take to it effortlessly, and Jade is a perfect fit, creating a little family for the two men.

It wouldn’t be a Vasquez & James novel if we didn’t have some drama and a bit of heart-pounding action, though, and Lou doesn’t disappoint. Here we see one of the worst evils – evil in the form of family – but, Luki and Sonny in fierce “daddy-uncle” mode are a force to be reckoned with.

I really loved the storyline here, and think Lou did an amazing job of showing us yet another fabulous side to our heroes, and bringing us another book that will beg to be reread again and again. I hope Luki and Sonny keep speaking to Lou Sylvre for years to come!

Reviewed by Jules at The Novel Approach