Authors: Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo
Run Time: 14 hours and 18 minutes
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: Listening to Vespertine was like visiting an old friend. I enjoyed hearing Mr. Ferraiuolo bring Nicky and Father Jazz to life. Definitely a recommended listen for audiobook lovers!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: 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.
Review: Nicky and Jasper were childhood best friends who fell in love with each other as teens. They shared a particularly intimate and special summer together when they were seventeen, but then circumstances, and Jasper’s decision to join the priesthood, tore them apart. Jasper went off to seminary, and Nicky started a rock band and moved to LA. The years were hard on Nicky, though, and years of bad choices on the road and a nearly lethal overdose land him back in his hometown of Little Heights, where Father Jasper Hendricks now lovingly presides over his congregation. Nicky is still angry at Jazz for choosing to join the church, but also realizes that he could really use a friend, and Jasper for his part desperately wants to be in Nicky’s corner and help him with his recovery. So, they agree to a truce and starting over as friends. However, rekindling just a friendship might prove to be impossible with Nicky pushing Jasper’s buttons and shamelessly flirting every chance he gets—a constant reminder of what they once had, before Jasper chose a different path.
Vespertine was one of my favorite books of 2015. I remember having such a visceral reaction when I read it… In fact, I can’t believe it’s been almost four and a half years! So, when I saw the audiobook had been released, and performed by a narrator whose work I have enjoyed in the past, I was super excited to revisit the story. Admittedly though, I was also a tiny bit nervous. I’m always a little worried about how old faves might hold up to a re-read. Will it still resonate? Will it still feel relevant? Maybe my tastes have changed, or I’ll find I no longer like whatever the trope is. There are any number of reasons why years later, something might not hold the same magic it once did. Well, I’m happy to report that for the most part, Nicky and Jasper’s beautiful love story did hold up, and Michael Ferraiuolo did an admirable job with the narration.
I still love Jasper so, so much—he’s the yin to Nicky’s yang in just about every way—and I liked the softer tone Ferraiuolo chose for Jasper’s voice; I felt like it worked well for him. But I loved what he did with Nicky’s voice. Super gruff and sexy, and just the right amount of sharp edge added in some of the angstier scenes. I also loved how he would soften him up just a bit in some of the sweeter moments with Jasper, but not so much that he was out of character. In fact, I enjoyed Ferraiulo’s performance as a whole, with the exception of one character. I just couldn’t get on board with his version of Ramona, one of Nicky’s bandmates. As I was listening, I kept thinking, ‘I don’t remember disliking her this much when I read it!’ Heh. But to me, his tone choice for her character, even in some of the obviously more lighthearted or friendly dialogue with Nicky, made her seem so bitchy. Artistic license and all that though, of course… I imagine other listeners may not even give it a thought, especially if they are experiencing the story for the first time on audio.
Listening to Vespertine was like visiting an old friend. I enjoyed hearing Mr. Ferraiuolo bring Nicky and Father Jazz to life. I got hearty eyes all over again for Nicky’s growth and attitude changes. I was once again in awe of Bishop Thomas and the love and support he showed Jasper throughout the story. Nicky’s parents were fantastic, and I loved their portrayal as well. And, of course, I swooned hard over the romance. “I can’t not love you, Nicky. You’re in my soul.” Guhhhh. Such good stuff. Definitely a recommended listen for audiobook lovers!
You can buy Vespertine here:
[zilla_button url=”https://adbl.co/3ca38Ub” style=”black” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Audible [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”https://apple.co/2VmHmGQ” style=”black” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] iTunes [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”https://amzn.to/2VnyfWu” style=”black” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon [/zilla_button]