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Vespertine

Written by: Leta Blake, Indra Vaughn
Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
Length: 14 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: LGBT
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

2 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Magnus
  • 2020-04-06

So GOOD

Read the book and had to get the audio book when I saw Michael Ferraiuolo did the narration. Originally was a bit hesitant when the topic of addiction was mentioned but it does not overpower the story, it part of the story but not all. This will be a roller coaster ride of emotions but so worth it. You will love Jasper and Nico.

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  • Carol
  • 2020-04-04

Everything I could want

Wonderful emotional story. Great characters and relational development. Medium angst, just right. And of course outstanding narration by Michael F. A bit of a slow burn and It’s a long audio. I didn’t feel it was time wasted with filler. Highly recommended

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  • Aurie
  • 2020-03-29

Sweet and Touching

As always, Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn's Vespertine touched my heart and soul. One of my favorites that I will never ever forget.

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  • JAW
  • 2020-03-08

OMSTARS

I felt every emotion every hurt every laughter the pain the withdrawals their love for each other what an amazing book a book that makes you feel vulnerable and emotional is a book that I would totally recommend because been there done that and I'm not going back

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  • Sin2sea
  • 2020-02-25

An angsty forbidden romance with all the feels

I have been dying to listen to this book because I have heard great things and it was everything and more. It was raw, heartbreaking and I just want to wrapped them in my arms and sob. Michael’s narration truly elevate the book to the n degree. He wrapped you up in their lives and experiences and made you empathize with their story.

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  • Jill K.
  • 2020-02-24

SO GOOD

This book is so freaking good. Stop reading this review and buy it now. I just loved it. Probably one of my favorites of the year. Michael Ferraiuolo does such a good job. LOVED IT.

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  • The Book Wench
  • 2020-02-05

A good story, but so painful

This was a really hard story to listen to. There was so much happening, so much suffering, so much grief and joy, so much love between the Reverend Jasper Hendricks and his old lover-turned-enemy-turned lover again Nicholas Blumfeld -- aka Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter to the world-renowned band Vespertine. The story begins in so much fragility, so much woundedness, so much guilt and grief that it weighed me down and I almost gave up on it. And though there are many warm and happy moments, many hopeful and sweet moments, and some heated times, the dark overtones remain. I loved the way they came back to each other, and I appreciated the way the writer taught us about what it's like to be an addict in recovery. I listened to the end but never managed to completely shed the pain I felt at the beginning and all the way through. Michael Ferraiuolo did a great job of differentiating the characters and emoting at important points, whether in laughter or tears, whether in tender or heated moments.

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  • Claudia CG Lezar
  • 2020-01-21

as great as the ebook

The story is always full stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook.

The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. Michael Ferraiuolo is one of the top 5 narrators for me, I can listen without break and have no problems to follow.
I'm just not yet finish with the book, but I listen enough to give a review.

PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!!

To my ratings:

5* - very very good
it's like an A+

4* - very good and will be often re-listening
it's like an A

3* - it's more then a one-time-listening.
it's like a B