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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Leta Blake (P)2019 Leta Blake

What listeners say about Vespertine

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  • RACHEL REED
  • 2020-12-04

A heartfelt and emotional opposites attract! 🎸⛪️

This was such a sweet opposites attract romance!

A priest and a Rockstar don't have much common ground except that their hearts have been entwined since their childhood days.

17 years ago Jasper left Nico to follow his calling and become a priest.
Now Nico and Jasper are given a chance to reconnect and maybe rekindle the embers of their relationship.

Will they listen to their hearts this time round or will their careers tear them apart again?

This book is so well written and gave me all the feels.
The writing was engaging, touching and heartfelt.
The characters were real, relatable and well fleshed out.

Michael Ferraiuolo performed an amazing and compelling audio delivery.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Neta_BER
  • 2019-12-30

Beautiful, touching and narrated to perfection!

I had this book in my Kindle library for so long, and now that it's out on audio with Michael Ferraiuolo behind the mic I knew this was my chance to get to it! Michael outdid himself here, with rich characters, distinguishable voices and emotion bursting from my earbuds.
I adored Jazz'es voice, Michael made him so gentle and innocent sounding and it fit him perfectly. I was always feeling like he needed a cuddle. I liked his character too, his devotion to LGBTQ+ homeless teens was a central part of the story.
Nicky was, by far, my favorite character. His emotional journey is compelling and so real feeling. I liked that it was not written in an overly dramatic manner, that the drug addiction was something he is getting over and not the focal point of gruesomely detailed events. I also liked that it took them time to get back to the friendship they shared, and even more time to fall back to the romance of so long ago.
This was a story that was a lot less dramatic then I was anticipating, and if you read other books by Leta and Indra in the past this one will not warrant 5 packs of tissues while still having an emotional kick in the guts. I enjoyed it immensely, and I hope there might be another story in this world.

4 people found this helpful

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  • April Reads and Listens
  • 2019-12-27

Just wow. 💖

There could possibly be not enough words to describe how amazing this book truly is. The premise is so unique, so interesting and captivating. Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn took a second-chance friends-to-lovers love story to a different level by adding a unique twist -- one is a rock star and the other an openly gay priest.

I didn't know what to expect when I first started listening to this book. I was curious to see where the writers will take Nicky and Jasper... it seemed a whole lot of "too little too late". I love how the authors wrote this book with so much "realness" in it and I love how the characters evolved through the story. Jasper's faith was so admirable, it was steadfast and unrelenting. But so is his love for his best friend. Nicky's growth as a person who struggled with his own cage, it was amazing watching him learn to consciously open up and learn to accept love from people who truly love him. Once the two got together, it was so beautiful. All the feels!

The story felt like it was a bit slow in the beginning but once it picked up, it became more and more fascinating and you'll find it hard to find a stopping place. The flow of the story and conflict resolution was straight on, there were no unnecessary going back and forth. I love that! I listened to this 14-hour audiobook in one sitting. It was super worth it.

Michael Ferraiuolo's narration was so on point. He purred, prayed in Latin, and was just downright awesome in this book.

Listen to it. You'll find that you wish it was longer (and it's already a 14-hour book)!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Zizawah
  • 2019-12-30

Slow burn romance with wonderful narration

I’m a Leta Blake fan. I’ve pretty much read most of her books. However, I didn’t pick up Vespertine until now because I didn’t think I would like to read about a priest (I kind of saw Thorn Birds when I was very young and was disgusted by Father Ralph). However, with Michael F. narrating (he’s one of my fav narrators), I decided to give it a try AND very glad I did.

Father Jazz (Jasper) is SO unlike awful Father Ralph that I’m rooting for his happiness throughout. He’s honest, helpful, caring, and generous. Nicky, born of an addict mother, has been an addict and now out of rehab, a stone throw away from letting all go, and he’s come home to seek a closure of sorts. Jazz and Nicky grew up together and discovered their friendship morphed into one of desire. However, an unlucky separation divided them from each other for over a decade and neither expected the other to still have feelings for each other.

The story is a slow burn romance — it’s honest and emotional but not overly angsty. The past was threaded into the story so well that you don’t get a sense of displacement that can happen with flashbacks in some stories. Supporting cast was well defined and very real. I love how Jazz and Nicky’s connection to each other gets re-established, strengthened, and became tangible. The ending was perfect though the mixup near the end was very near a tragedy.

As for the narration, there’s a reason Michael is one of my absolute favorites. You can get lost in his narration. He’s soulful, soothing, and just incredibly romantic! The story is addictive once you started. I was lost in it and can’t wait to get back into it when I had to take a break. Definitely recommended.

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  • Stephh Carvalho
  • 2020-11-12

Absolutely AMAZING!

Vespertine was one of my first MM books ans one that I reread on a regular basis. Nicky and Jazz story is emotional, tender, the kind that keeps the reader rooting from the beginning.

Audio: as always, Michael was right on point with the characters and how he voiced them. I could feel their pain, their joy, their happiness. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to laugh and cry and fall in love with the characters.

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  • Nova
  • 2022-05-23

What a Great Story

Outstanding writing right here. one of the best stories I've heard in a long time. Narration is as always spot on by Michael Ferraiuolo. he gives such life to this story. It's heartwarming and a true deep Love. twists and turns that are unexpected. Give this one a listen. you won't regret it. well worth the credit and your time to listen.

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  • MJ
  • 2022-05-06

Intense book, brilliant performance

I am not OK.

I've spent the last 14 hours listening to Vespertine. (OK, I broke to sleep. Briefly.) JesusMaryandJoseph, that is the most harrowing, ultimately cathartic experience I've had in a long time. I've relistened to the last hour twice now. And my heart is still fluttering and I'm still not breathing right. I think I spent most of that 14 hours with tears in my eyes.

And this right here is what audio does, in the hands of someone as talented as Michael Ferraiuolo. I would've found reading Vespertine intense. And I could've listened to it read by any number of narrators who would have...well, they'd have read it aloud, and that would've been fine. But there are a very few narrators who are gifted actors, and when they read a book, it lives. In Michael's hands Vespertine freaking rocketed to life.

It's going to be a while before I stop thinking about this book, and hearing Michael's voice in my mind, Nicky's low pained gravel and Jazz's smooth sweet tenor. I read so, so much and listen to so, so, SO much and every once in a while, rarely, a book and a performance are so outsized, so unusually good, so memorable that everything else seems pastel and plain in comparison. This is one of those.

It's not a perfect book. In particular, Jasper's calling to the priesthood and his ultimate questioning of that calling, which drive much of the conflict in both the past and present, are ambiguous and inconsistent. His intense sense of being called as a teen changes in a way I found unsatisfying and poorly resolved, and his later choices seem, in contrast, too easy for a man whose life has been so defined and shaped by joining a priesthood he seemingly loves.

That said, it's an extraordinary tour de force of passionate writing. Nicky will break your heart a hundred times. His addiction is harrowing to watch play out, though I will say for readers like me who find it extremely painful to read about active addiction that if you can live through chapter two you at least aren't going to encounter it quite that vividly again. His raw pain and rage pour off the page. His inner sweetness, which you come to see gradually, is a balm.

I find it interesting that many people have trouble with Jasper's character. I can see why, though I don't share that reaction. His calmness when he first reencounters Nicky is almost startling, and as I said above, there are inconsistencies in the way he is depicted that are frustrating. He is a deeply good man and a compassionate, passionate man who I came to love. His commitment to the children he is trying to give a good life to is so strong and so pure. And his love for Nicky is beautiful and informed by his pastoral role; he is determined to love and care for Nicky not simply as a romantic partner.

Vespertine is an experience. I highly recommend it, and strongly suggest any reader consider their feelings about drug addiction and the Catholic Church before diving in, as the former is intense and painful and the latter, well, it's a hell of a complication, and how you feel about religion and the Catholic hierarchy in particular will affect how you perceive the entire story.

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  • Missy Marie
  • 2021-07-18

Achingly Wonderful Slow Burn

A Priest and a Rockstar...I'll admit I was very skeptical of this storyline being just another silly, cliché 2 dimensional romance that I would tire of quickly and not finsh. In truth I only gave it a chance due to the lure of Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo. But I was very pleasantly surprised by the way this story grabbed me and held on tight. Blake and Vaughn really hit the mark with this one. Vespertine is the absolute best I have heard in a very long time. With well fleshed out characters and perfect pacing, it is a truly natural and achingly wonderful slow burn. Blake has a way of bringing her prose to life in such a real and edgy way. You never feel her characters are just another cartoony trope like so many others in this genre. I am not familiar with any of Vaughns other work but will be sure to check it out now after reading this fantastic work. I am grateful that a great story was matched with a great narrator. The performance from Michael Ferraiuolo brought the story to life beautifully. He is one of my top 5 absolute favorite narrators. This will be a repeat listen for years to come.

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  • Trio
  • 2021-06-06

Nicely Done

I really enjoyed this one till the couple got together. The rock star recovering from drug addiction, moving home, and reconnecting with his childhood bestie (and lover). The priest looking to do right by LGBTQ youth, and living day by day in his community and embracing his commitment to his faith.

That was all very interesting and well done.

I knew it was coming, obviously, but I still wasn't thrilled by it. Still Leta Blake went there, and did a good job with it.

Audio performed nicely by Michael Ferraiuolo.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-05-10

A priest and a rock star. This story was wonderful.

This story was recommended in a Fb group. It was so good. Love Michael narration. He brought it to life. Nicholas is a rockstar who finally went to far and needed to find home again. Jasper was his childhood best friend and short time boyfriend. Jasper ended up becoming a priest because he felt the calling and no one could change his mind. After 15 years they are roughly reunited by Nicholas going to confession. This is the starting of a second chance. Such a hard fought battle between what they think should be right and others thinks Gould be right. There is support from family and friends. There is loss and heart ached but this is a good story line.