Original posted at:http://twlibreviews.com/2011/08/review-loving-luki-vasquez-by-lou-sylvre/Rating: 3.7The first scene in Loving Luki Vasquez by Lou Sylvre opens with a beautiful scene of an idyllic summer in Nebraska, when the kids are out of school, having fun in the river surrounded by rolling hayfields. I can almost smell the opened, clean air, and hear the birds whistling in the trees. The imagery is a time of relaxation and the joy of just being young.That same scene transforms into cruelty. The tone eases from joy to hate. Based on the quality of the first scene, I just knew I was in for a treat in reading this new author.Fast forward to the present, Sonny sees Luki and he’s immediately attracted to him. Luki stares at Sonny and now the attraction is going both ways. Sonny, though, is inept in flirtation. He asks Luki, “What are you looking at,” in the tone of smart ass. A mannerism that will become adorable throughout the story. Sonny is an artist but he’s absolutely no pushover, and can be rather temperamental and easily angered.At first blush, Sonny and Luki appears pole apart in personality. They had one thing in common, their walls of defense was ready to topple.Luki Vasquez is of Hawaiian descent, an expert in the security field. Of the two, Luki comes across as the most damaged and the most sympathetic character. What he suffered as a young teen is unpardonable and it broke my heart, but it makes him the person he is today. A man who hides behind expensive clothes, vain hair styling, guns, martial arts, and managing his security firm. Luki thinks of himself as a monster. He projects a cold exterior preventing people from getting too close, but in reality, this is his wall of defense.Sonny is a bit of a mystery. The author gives a few details about his education, his birthplace (Germany,) and that he’s Native American. Sonny is a talented Weaver, the price for his artwork in the thousands. He’s also a wonderfully fiery person and has a rude mannerism that is endearing comes out as charming and endearing. None of the information showed me why Sonny was reticence about forming relationship.They are ice and fire and fire does meltdown the ice.The romance is well done considering the personalities of these two men. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, sex scenes not necessarily explicit but romantic and sweet. Fear sets in Luki as Sonny’s beautiful smile and his caring ways worm their ways into Luki’s heart. He has lived long in a detached world, of one night stands of sexual gratification. The meltdown begins. Luki wants to run from Sonny.I love stories that present deep conflicts whether the major drive of the story is from the romance, crime, mystery, or fantasy. Lou Sylvre is a new author. She has the ability to write suspense filled with tension. Some of her writing is gorgeous as exemplified by the first scene.There are awkward wordings I didn’t linger over because they are minor quibbles. There are incomplete phrases. I found if you just keep reading the author’s intention rises to the surface.Although we are introduced to the romance and suspense almost at the same time, the author focuses on the romance and slowly slips in the details of the mystery in increment.Sadly, the mystery doesn’t pan out well. I was disappointed because I think the author has good writing skills. I did love how the romance carries over into the mystery, giving its own life. I didn’t enjoy the unexpected reveal of the identity of the stalker. The person I thought as the culprit turns out as a red-herring.When I read a mystery/suspense, I expect to see numerous and appropriate clues so I can figure out who is the suspect. I love speculating. It’s the fun part in reading this type of novel. Some suspense novels are complex, convoluted, have many characters, all requiring me the reader to draw up a list of the suspects and their actions.Loving Luki Vasquez didn’t offer me this opportunity. There was one paragraph and after re-reading it, I thought, well okay. Really, the clue is insufficient. Would a reader remember it while engrossed in a 220 page story? If I had followed the BMW thread, would I have guessed at the right conclusion? Should a reader work hard with so little information? Did the author do the reader justice withholding information but that one paragraph?I don’t have the answers to my queries.What I do know, I’m perfectly shocked at the revelation. I’m questioning, what is the quality of a good mystery story.Will I read more Lou Sylvre’s stories? Absolutely. She is a good writer and she writes a good romance story with complex characters.