When Nicole Whitcomb's car runs off a Colorado mountain road during a blinding snowstorm, she is saved from death by a handsome, fascinating, and enigmatic stranger.Snowbound with him for days in his beautiful home high in the Rockies, she finds herself powerfully attracted to him. But there are things about him that mystify her, filling her with apprehension.
Who is Michael Tyler? Why does he live alone in such a secluded spot and guard his private life so carefully? What secret--or secrets--is he hiding?
Nicole has secrets of her own and a past she is running from--but Michael understands her better than anyone she has ever known. Soon, she is falling as deeply in love with him as he is with her--a profoundly meaningful experience that is destined to change their lives forever.
As the sexual tension between them builds, however, the clues mount up. When Nicole learns her host's terrifying secret, there is nowhere for her to run but into the blizzard raging outside, and Michael may be the only one who can save her life.
Syrie James is the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author of thirteen novels of historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction and romance, which have been published in 21 languages.
Los Angeles Magazine dubbed Syrie the “queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings.” Syrie’s novel “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” sold at auction to HarperCollins in a bidding war and became an international bestseller. Her passion for love stories and the paranormal led to her critically acclaimed and award-winning novels “Dracula, My Love,” “Nocturne,” and the popular YA series “Forbidden.” Her love of English historical romance led to her Amazon bestselling Dare to Defy series.
Syrie’s books have won numerous accolades and awards, including the national Audiobook Audie Award for Romance, and the Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association (“The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte”); Best New Fiction by Regency World Magazine ( “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”); Barnes and Noble’s Romantic Read of the Week and Bookbub’s Best Snowbound Romance (“Nocturne”). Her novels have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, hit many Best of the Year lists, and been designated as Library Journal Editor’s Picks of the Year.
Syrie is also an award-winning screenwriter and WGA member who has sold or optioned numerous scripts to film and television. Syrie's successful adaptations of books to screen include the movie based on Danielle Steele’s bestseller “Once in a Lifetime."
In demand as a speaker across the U.S., Syrie is also a playwright whose work has been produced in New York City, California, and Canada.
I don't think I'd be spoiling anything by saying this is a Vampire story, the title and blurb seems to make it's point obvious, but if your expecting a story that is scary and action packed and gripping, you wont find one in this book.
Nocturne is, foremost, a love story. A beautiful haunting forbidden love story that is paced at a slow steady stream of inner thoughts and inner battles. It is meant to be read unhurried and treasured for it's intimate details as the story unfolds. This is a simply, tender and quaint story about a women named Nicole who had an accident after leaving a friends wedding, and Michael, the lonely complex man who lives deep in the isolated woods that saved her from certain death. But like every forbidden romance, this story has it's complications, dark secrets and a burning passion that only love can ignite. Remarkably well written, told in both characters point of views we get a clear cut path to the most intricate thoughts of two very different worlds, but one same beating heart. I absolutely adored Micheal and Nicole story, the stolen time, the absolutely irresistible, if not unbelievable, setting and the many different things that was shared between the two. While I almost wish for a different ending, I wouldn't have changed one single moment.
My only advise to readers is to wait to read this for when your in a quiet, sentimental mood for the full effect. This one isn't a story to be rushed, but savored.
I began NOCTURNE on Christmas Day and finished it Boxing Day morning. It was a gorgeous read for the festive season, a true romance with a delicious bittersweet ending that brought tears to my eyes.
When Nicole gets caught in a dangerous snow blizzard and veers off the road, a man called Michael comes to her rescue and takes her back to his gorgeous house in the hills of Colorado. Bound by snow falling on all the surrounding roads, it becomes clear that leaving is not an option, which means Nicole and Michael have to spend the next four days together...
Syrie James has a wonderful way with words and very cleverly writes Nicole's realisation about who (or what) Michael really is - skillfully done in my opinion because I believed it. I think it's very difficult for a writer to make the dawning of a mythical creature such as a vampire realistic, but I believed Nicole's thoughts and fears, her disbelief and then of course her acceptance of the truth.
Michael is a great tortured hero, he's also touching and sweet. The descriptions of him physically are subtle and not over the top but give you a sense that this man is handsome and physically scrumptious. His past is frightening and cruel, but it has taken him centuries to become the man that Nicole meets and falls in love with.
Nicole on the other hand irritated me at first with her inability to understand why a man who lives alone and chooses to be a hermit would not feel some resentment or be uncomfortable in her presence. Before her knowledge of who Michael is, Nicole snoops around his home knowing it would upset him but continues to do it anyway. However, after a while I began to warm towards her, she has a certain amount of strength, especially with regards to the ending.
The atmosphere of NOCTURNE is just wonderful. I could feel the bitter winter cold, smell the winter air, see the bright white landscape of newly fallen snow. Ms James does a fantastic job describing the world surrounding Nicole and Michael and I settled down in my soft cosy chair, with the fire on and just melted into the story.
When they both realise that they are falling in love it is very tender and sweet between them. Although there is only one real action scene in the entire book, this didn't bother me at all. The story between Michael and Nicole is enough to drive the story forward and kept me wanting to read the next chapter. There may be a few disappointed HEA fans, but I thought the ending was the only real outcome for these two characters and I liked it.
NOCTURNE is a wonderful read with a beautiful romance that pulls at the heart strings. A must read for any romance fan.
Sometimes I add books to TBR cuz a reviewer I don't like trash them. ☺☺ Not nocturne. One of my lovely GR friends the wonderful Michelle says it's a good book and now I NEED!!!! *aims* *throws to top of 30 ft TBR pile*
Returning home after attending a Colorado ski-wedding, Nicole’s car runs off the snowy road and crashes in the mountains. She’s rescued by the reclusive Michael who reluctantly takes her to his cabin. He’s alternately rude and caring, and the mysteries surrounding him don’t quite add up—until they do, and Nicole realizes he’s a vampire.
She freaks at first, but she’s forced to rely on him for survival. She gets over her fear. They realize they have much in common, and then fall in love.
Bet you’re expecting an HEA, huh?
No spoilers, except to say there’s no HEA or an even HFN. Nocturne is a decent story despite the ending, but I won't call it a romance without that HEA/HFN.
I don't even know where to start with this one. Let me just warn you in advance it's going to get pretty vehement. I'll try to keep it coherent.
Okay, so Michael rescues an injured Nicole from her car, which veered off the road during a snowstorm. Almost the first thing he notices about her, despite the situation, despite the blood gushing from her temple and all over her face, is how beautiful she is (duh. This is a romance novel, after all). Later, while trying to save her from hypothermia, her "perfect" nudity distracts him (she does have "perfectly proportioned legs," after all). Is this really something that crosses someone's mind, even a vampire's mind, when a life is in danger? Sheesh, learn to control your hormones a little, you 260-year-old vampire. To be fair, the first thing Nicole notices about Michael is his looks (he is "uniquely masculine," whatever that means). On pg. 71 there is a laughable scene where he's undressing the wound on her head and she wishes he were "undressing a very different part of her body." Hilarious. She can't stop her "wanton thoughts," which is too bad because he is "out of her league." Does no female literary character have any sense of self-worth anymore? I'm no poster child for self-esteem but I never thought a guy was out of my league. If anything, I thought the opposite (ha ha).
Anyway, there's a mutual attraction. Michael wonders how it's possible Nicole is not involved with anyone, because of course it's UNTHINKABLE that a reasonably attractive woman wouldn't have a man attached to her. If she did have a boyfriend, Michael concludes he must be an idiot on pg. 34, because why else would this imaginary boyfriend let Nicole attend a wedding on her own? I'm sure she would have asked permission or risked a black eye, perhaps.
Now that Nicole's life is no longer in danger, Michael seems to be regretting his decision to save her. He yells at her about his privacy and storms off whenever he gets a chance, even knocking pictures off the wall while doing so and not bothering to pick them up, because, even though he's 260 years old, he's still prone to childish rages, apparently. Hey, Michael, if you didn't want Nicole in your house you should have just left her in the snow to die. Or at least made a better attempt at hospitality. As for Nicole, she gets rightly upset about his rudeness, but what did she expect? Run of the house? She should stop trying locked doors and bemoaning the choice of food and be glad she's alive, because really, it was pretty stupid of her to attempt a mountain pass with a coming storm in the first place, no matter what the hotel clerk said.
Of course, Nicole begins to have suspicions about Michael and comes to the conclusion he's a vampire after less than two days and with scant evidence. She decides he NEVER eats or drinks, since she hasn't witnessed him doing so in LESS THAN TWO DAYS. Also, him not having a water glass in the bathroom apparently warrants suspicion. Well, she sees his fangs and red eyes, but thinks that's "impossible." I wish characters would stop doubting themselves and own up to what they see! Anyway, she does find his stash of human blood (conveniently labeled "Human Blood", because evidently the supplier deals in animal blood as well?).
This review is going to go on forever if I keep on like this. Let me just list a few more annoying things: both characters are ridiculously talented and highly accomplished at their various talents, and the book seems like a venue to showcase how awesome Michael is; Nicole silently questions everything (including the lack of a glass in the bathroom); there is a scene where Michael talks about watching Nicole sleep (and WHAT THE HELL IS WITH ALL THE WATCHING-THE-GIRL-SLEEP SCENES IN BOOKS THESE DAYS??? And how is it exciting or gratifying to do so? Jeez); Michael has a boring and predictable backstory and the same characteristics as every vampire ever, yet we are still treated to several pages of a question and answer session between him and Nicole; she apparently went to some crazy college where even undergrads celebrated students who flunked tests and dropped out; lastly, there was a mountain lion attack . . . AND THEN, RIGHT AWAY, A SECOND ONE.
Lastly (again), where is this guy's mythical housekeeper? Better question: why does he even have a housekeeper? He creates more mess and trouble for himself by employing one, since he has to shop for food to keep up appearances and put dishes in the sink every now and then. I know men are messy, but how much mess can a single vampire make? Surely he can clean up after himself. Perhaps he wastes all his energy making his horses run super fast.
P.S. Self-loathing is a turn-off. Not to mention tired and frustrating as a character trait. Also, I don't care how luxurious your stupid comforter is.
This book is the most touching, emotional, and bittersweet stories that I've read in a while. I started this in the morning and finished it the same day. I could not put it down. Ms. James did an excellent job of keeping the readers interest in a story where there are only two characters interacting with one another the entire time. The story and events are told from both Michael and Nicole's POV. Which I thought was great. Because these two people are stuck together for 4 days through no choice or fault of their own, they must interact. What I found enchanting and romantic was the way they related and how they got to know one another. Through their discussions, their reactions, and how they read one another, it was quite believable that these 2 could actually fall in love with each other in such a brief time.
And the fact that they had so much in common with one another also made this believable. I've seen quite a few reviews about how some did not like the ending, or they wish it could have gone another way. I found the ending true to real life and circumstance, and I felt it was a perfect ending to their story. This book had me in tears quite a few times. Especially when Nicole and Michael shared their demons from their past. I do not want to give anything away for those who have not read this book. But it is Haunting, Romantic, Sexy, Emotional, and Bittersweet. I highly recommend this read.
Okay, so let me get the “scary” stuff out of the way. There is a vampire in the book. Ok, done. That’s all.
Now for the amazing coincidences. This very handsome vampire happens to live isolated on a mountain and happens to come across a very beautiful young woman. They (the aforementioned beautiful vampire and beautiful girl) happen to both love literary classics, playing the piano and happen to both work in the field of medicine (actually, both happened to have previously worked in the field of medicine- again amazing coincidences). You couldn’t find a better match if you searched them out on match.com.
If you want a sweet and tender romance, this is your book. If you want an urban fantasy, run away.
I didn’t mind the end especially since I read the author’s note.
Overall, I liked it enough to finish it but it just was too sweet, and simple for my taste.
Quite possibly one of the most disappointing reading experiences I've had in a long while. I picked up this book, long neglected on my shelves, as a way to indulge a bit on a snowy Thanksgiving at home. Unfortunately, the book's premise (a long reclusive vampire takes in a woman stranded in a snowstorm) didn't come together due to poor characterization and poor writing.
The best way I can think to describe this book is as "vampire wish fulfillment" with little beyond that. In addition to being stunningly handsome, the standoffish vampire hero Michael is an accomplished pianist, a doctor, an internationally bestselling author (and conveniently the heroine's favorite), and a master horseman who can "meld" his mind with his steeds. If that weren't enough, he's also sworn off feeding from humans for the past 200 years and he makes handcrafted music boxes. When Nicole, the foolish woman who drives her rental car into a winter storm, gets saved by him, he finds the one thing he's been missing his entire life: an equally perfect woman that he describes as such.
I've read many a case of instalove before, but never one as blatant as this; the couple has no real connection, but they are swearing their love to one another in mere days and their lovemaking is described in rapturously overdone similes and metaphors. Because the writing employed so much telling and very little showing, I never felt a connection between the couple and the whole situation came off as completely implausible, even when negating the vampire angle. If I was supposed to fall in love with these characters and ache for them and their doomed love affair, it didn't happen.
When Nicole Walker runs off the road in a blinding snowstorm after attending a friend’s wedding at a Colorado ski resort, she wakes up to find herself stranded at the remote mountain house of a handsome, enigmatic stranger. She lives and works in a fast-paced, high tech world; he is cultured and modern yet lives a quiet life in self-imposed exile. They are both powerfully attracted to each other, but there are things about him that mystify her and fill her with apprehension—and Nicole can’t shake the feeling that he really doesn’t want her there. She soon discovers that he’s a famous, reclusive author, renowned for his highly detailed and authentic historical fiction, and fiercely protective of his privacy. No wonder he was so reluctant to take her in, Nicole thinks. But he hides a far darker secret. As the sexual tension between them builds, the clues mount up. When Nicole realizes that her host is an ages-old vampire who thirsts for her blood, there’s nowhere for her to run but the blizzard raging outside, and he’s the only one who can save her life. By now there is no turning back; they have both fallen deeply in love, and share several passionate days together while waiting out the storm—a deep, meaningful, and dangerously seductive experience that will change them both forever.
I loved it. Not your typical vampire story. I know there were a lot of mixed reviews with this one but this is not your typical story with a girl that falls in love with a vampire. I guess why I liked it so much it was different. Nicole being stranded and off the road during a snow storm is spotted and taken to shelter by a total stranger which saved her life. Not knowing where she is or with how she learns that her savior is a recluse of a man who keeps to himself and away from the limelight.But,since her savior is very private about his life she doesn't know that he was a doctor in a previous life. He is a vampire who writes books about his previous life during the war turning fact into fiction that was based on his life spinning them into tales that end up on the best sellers list. Even though he has little contact with his guest which peaks Nicole's interest. But gradually he begins inter grading himself with her and is enjoying it even though he knows that it is dangerous and he might give himself away.Besides writing he has a passion for craving things out of wood and writing and horses etc not your typical vampire he is full of surprises. Before long a budding romance forms and you fall in love with a man you admired always wanted to meet , what more could a girl ask for ?But, when you think there is going to be a happy ever after you might want to think again....hummmmm what a surprise ending!
I had many problems with the novel. If there's something that I really liked is the author's writing, her prose is impeccable, the pace is fast, the sexual tension is great and when the time comes ... uff! How hot and how beautifully described it.
Now the problem is that it offers nothing new. In terms of vampires is more of the same and I think there isn't a background that sustains itself Michael. Who BTW, can leave home on cloudy days.
As the novel progressed I expected some action but didn't arrive and when this came, lost in my hands, totally. Everything happens in a week, so they are seen, blablabla and they're in love. Michael is a character tormented, lonely, romantic novelist, embittered by the way he became a vampire and his life was ruined. Nicole is running from her life with a past that haunts her and not let her get ahead. But both suffer a catharsis in the days that they meet. I didn't understand, is that in such a short time they had told all his/her life, open they heart to complete strangers and were in love in few days.
I finished reading Nocturne and I thought I had received a damaged ARC, with missed pages, but no. The end don't like. Is too abrupt, incomprehensible and heartbreaking. I didn't understand Michael, do things for love, true, but somehow I didn't quite fit everything I had. Maybe one more chapter to explain what happens next, would have been better. But even so, I'm not sure.
Nocturne I think could be better. But the novel remains in the middle, it felt like any other paranormal romance novel, only that it gave a rough cut to give a different twist and forbidden, but I'm afraid that didn't work. Me at least, didn't.
If you'll read, I recommend some tissues at her side. A lot of understanding, little hope of deep characters, and times that you have nothing better to do. Although as with everything, every head is different. You decide.
-Vanguard Press provided me a copy of Nocturne for a honest review.
Immediately from the first page I knew I was going to love Nocturne. Syrie's writing style was very clean and simple. The story takes right off with Nicole driving in a horrible snow storm trying to catch her flight home. She had no idea what fate was about to hand to her. Everything moves at a fast pace, but not fast enough for you to feel the story was just rushed and unreal.
In Nocturne you quickly fall in love with the characters. The emotions Nicole and Michael feel towards each other was really touching. They both had a broken soul and found comfort in each other. They helped each other move past certain things in their lives and they both learned that love does exist and is a very powerful thing. Reading Nocturne made me want to fall in love all over again. There's nothing like that feeling when your first falling in love.
Michael was just so gentle and sweet towards Nicole, and she was just your average type of girl. The book is strictly Michael and Nicole and that was also another thing I really enjoyed. Michael has always lived alone and pretty much hid from the world. He's been in love before and had many girlfriends, but when Nicole enters into his world, he discovers life again. Nicole has experienced a lot in her life and wasn't really looking for love. Michael just entered her life and made a big change. They were just perfect for each other. From their first meeting to the end, you will have butterflies in your stomach.
Nocturne is a really sweet and beautiful story. It was also beautifully written and not your normal happy ending. It does have a happy ending, but it is not what you would expect. I loved it! I was really touched by this story.
A poignant, heart-wrenching love story which tells the story of an unlikely romance between a man with secrets and the woman who comes to love him.
When she wakes up, Nicole sees a gorgeous but aloof man. She feels flutters in her tummy when she hears his English accent. Strangely, while seeming to be concerned with her health, he stands as far as possible from her. He seems to be attracted to her and then repulsed by her.
Michael values his privacy, spending his days writing and woodworking. When he pulls Nicole from the wrecked car, he first notes the blood. Then realizes how pretty she is, even covered in blood. He feels attraction and lust for the first time in a very long time.
They both have secrets. In a moment of passion, Michael kisses Nicole. When he pulls back, she is dazed and notices three things: the light is flickering, his eyes appear red and he has sharp looking teeth. This, when taken into account with several of Michael's other idiosyncrasies, leads Nicole to a conclusion that has her freaking out and taking off on his cross country skis in the middle of a snow storm.
James' characters came alive for me in this engrossing story. This is another book I read in one sitting. I cried like a baby at the unexpected ending. Didn't see that one coming.
I think paranormal romance fans will enjoy this story.
I won this book as a Goodreads First-Read. Thank you to Syrie James and GoodReads. :)
I am a sucker (no pun intended- ha) for a good romance and vampire story. So to find one that had both sounded like it would be fun. And it was.
The story starts out with a Misery-ish scenerio. Our heroine, Nicole, is rescued from a snowstorm car wreck by the handsome, mysterious and weird Michael. Of course there is the ususal "I love you, but I hate you" scenes. However the entire story involves just these two characters. I thought that they were nicely developed and enjoyed seeing life from both of their perspectives.
I really don't want to give away the plot on this. Just suffice it to say, if there is a part two in the works, I am going to make sure I read it.
I give this book a solid 4-stars for a light, quick, enjoyable read. A litte romance, a little adventure, and nice character development.
My eyes hurt from rolling them as I read this novel. I was looking for a fun, "escape" read to start the summer and picked up this book from the library thinking it was a twist on the Beauty and the Beast story. It was not. Standard Vampire fare. Lackluster romance. The guy trains horses, writes best-selling novels, grows flowers in his own state-of-the-art greenhouse. Oh, and he makes furniture. And music boxes. And plays the piano. And he's a doctor. And if you want to read 200 pages of how he does all these things and has no flaws (except for being a vampire, but these days, that's really a plus...) and she doesn't have any flaws either and they have perfectly boring conversations about following dreams and yadda yadda yadda, then maybe you'll like this book.
I went to see a very short play version of this story and then was inspired to read the book. It's funny to see how a short but full-length novel (basically, girl meets vampire) can be boiled down to its essence. And then reconstituted! I am not a huge vampire fan, but this was fun.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
If you’re a fan of the romance genre, you’re probably familiar with ‘Cabin Romances.’ That refers to stories where the couple is largely isolated from the rest of the world whether in an elevator, jungle, deserted island, or most commonly a cabin. Cabin Romances were always my favorite because they usually have the most deliciously intense buildups because the characters literally can’t escape each other. NOCTURNE is the perfect cabin romance because not only does it feature two strangers snowed in on a mountain, but one of them happens to be a vampire.
There is an initial Beauty and the Beast vibe that worked beautifully in NOCTURNE. Michael was understandably aloof and gruff with Nicole at first as she was a constant temptation to him. She would begin to draw him out only to meet his sudden temper when he was in danger of losing control. Nicole was of course confused and hurt by these rapid changes but very much still drawn to the kinder glimpse she saw.
NOCTURNE is very much a traditional romance with two characters who each have their own personal baggage that they help the other overcome: his a vicious early life as a vampire, hers a personal tragedy that she still blames herself for. There actually isn’t a single other character in the book (unless you count the animals), so that coupled with the intensity and isolation of their circumstances does advance the romance rather quickly, but the blossoming attraction turned affection turned love still feels very authentic and natural.
The ending was heartbreaking and very bittersweet. I imagine there will be quite a bit of controversy. I had to think about it for a long time before deciding that it was the right ending. I’m still hopeful for a sequel, but I think this was planned as a stand alone novel. Still, NOCTURNE is the perfect novel to read on a cold winter night, curled up in front of a roaring fire and let this impossible romance sink into your soul. Just beautiful.
Sexual Content: Several moderately graphic sex scenes
Nocturne is one of those books that I can't decide if I liked it, if it was just okay for me or I just didn't like it. The writing style was well done, the story's pace moved at a rate that kept me interested but not completely captivated, the characters were for the most part likable if at moments unrealistic and convenient, and the ending I absolutely disliked. The ending left me feeling very dissatisfied.
The ending had meaning but it didn't go over well with me and I really can't be real specific without giving anything away. But I will say my main dislike of the ending was because the story leading up to it didn't fulfill the epic feel that was the ending. Very vague I know. Also, a bit a unrest comes from knowing this book is a stand alone so that means how it ends is how it ends.
I think this book will be one where readers will love it, dislike it or be very reserved about how they feel about it.
First, I must confess, I don't do vampire novels. Until now, I had read only one vampire book in my adult life, that book being this same author's Dracula, My Love. I read that one because I was curious about the classic tale being told from the woman's viewpoint. I liked it, thus when I was offered a copy of Syrie James' latest, Nocturne, I decided to give it a go.
I really liked this one. Perhaps it was simply what I needed today. It was simple, romantic, entertaining, and even made me shed a few tears. There is only two characters, Nicole and Michael. There is only one setting, a remote cabin in the Colorado mountains...
To read full review and see some pictures, please click on the link below:
This novel was a cross between "Bridges of Madison County" without the adultery & Misery without the hobbling and the crazy hostage situation. It was a really sweet and engaging love story. The character of Michael first had me a little scared because he is not what he appears to be. The other character Nicole almost appears to be run-of-the-mill love interest in this story, but there are many layers to her as well. This book could have nosedived into a cheesy love story. I am very happy to say that it did not. The writing was very good and the story was fascinating up until the end. I ws completely captivated by the story and I couldn't wait to read more. I don't want to reveal a lot of the plot because, I definitely think that this book is well worth reading.
Near-death experiences, a charming and enigmatic stranger, concealed dark secrets, forbidden love – Syrie James latest novel is an exquisite feast of passion, turmoil, adventure and intrigue. Diverging from her magnificent and highly acclaimed historical/biographical fiction novels (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë , Dracula, My Love), Syrie James traverses a new path in this contemporary romance about two star-crossed lovers being snowbound together in the Colorado mountains.
I took my daughter to the Branham Library in San Jose to pick up her summer reading. I myself did not read much, but this book was brand new on the shelf and caught my attention. Syrie James made an avid reader out of me. Her writing pulled me into the story and allowed me to escape my duties and responsibilities. Reading is now my new hobby and Syrie James my favorite author for igniting my passion for reading. Thank you Syrie for bringing me into the world of books. This book was excellently written. The ending broke my heart just a little, so that is why I rated it four stars instead of five.
i honestly got halfway through, then skimmed the rest. maybe i've read too many romances where the main characters fall in love after two conversations and BANG! its instant true love... but this was incredibly boring.
but it did however introduce me to my new favorite female naughty part euphemism... ladies and gentlemen, may i present PRIVATE SANCTUM.
i had a whole extra joke about that but it just wasn't coming out right.
This was "The Room" of vampire books. If British novelist-hermit-horseback-riding vampires who drive lawn mowers in the snow to rescue TSTL heroines is your thing, you'll love this like a fat kid loves cake. If you have any self-respect, you'll read this for laughs like I did. I laughed so hard I woke up hubby, then he laughed, too. How can you not laugh with such gems as two mountain lion attacks in the same 5 minute span?
Quick & Dirty: A nice romance with likable characters, but this story lacks depth and believable conflicts.
Opening Sentence: It began snowing at nine.
On her way to the airport, Nicole Whitcomb gets caught in a dangerous blizzard in Colorado and has a car accident. Bleeding and unconscious, Nicole is lucky enough to be rescued by the handsome and enigmatic Michael Tyler. Unfortunately, Nicole doesn’t know that Michael has a terrifying secret. Michael reluctantly decides to help Nicole, not really wanting to open himself or his home to a complete stranger. As they get to know each other, they begin to develop feelings for each other. Nicole and Michael try to fight their undeniable attraction. Nicole eventually discovers that Michael is a vampire. She has to decide what’s more dangerous: braving the blizzard or staying with the blood craving Michael?
This storyline has been tackled many times. Unfortunately, Ms. James didn’t really explore it in a new, believable or creative way. You have to really want to believe in true love and the power of love at first sight. Nicole and Michael are both sympathetic characters. While the characters are relatable, they aren’t well developed. Their relationship progressed rather quickly. Nicole and Michael are desperate to escape their self imposed prisons, but are hard pressed to find any real solutions. Michael’s life is filled with despair and isolation. Because of his past, he prefers to detach himself from any real connection, emotion, and human interaction. Nicole is letting her life pass her by. She is miserable doing a job that she doesn’t enjoy, and withdrawn from her friends and family. The bottom line is that most people aren’t able to work through their deep seeded issues over just a few days, and with a complete stranger.
When I finished reading Nocturne, I was left with mixed feelings. Ms. James has beautiful prose. Nocturne has both happy and heartbreaking moments, but I didn’t like the ending. As I thought about the book, some things made perfect sense, but ultimately, I felt that Michael’s conflict didn’t hold weight. Nocturne focuses on the only two characters in the book: Nicole and Michael. There isn’t any action or excitement. The vampire lore is a bit thin, and what there was of it was too incredible even for a romance novel.
Overall, Nocturne is just a so-so read. I was never completely captivated by the story or characters. While this novel has great potential, there are a few issues. Nocturne lacks enough gripping conflict to carry the story. Some may not like the ending, and be left with feelings of a weak conclusion. This story does have romance and should appeal to those who like light and uncomplicated vampire stories.
The first man nodded with a smile, tipping his tricornered hat. Suddenly, the cloaked figure pounced, yanking the young man toward him with such uncanny speed that his victim barely had a chance to cry out. The young man struggled futilely against his attacker’s superior strength. His cravat was ripped from his neck. The cloaked man opened his mouth wide, revealing sharp fangs. With a ferocious snarl, he instantly sank his teeth into the whiteness of the young man’s throat.
Nicole gasped in terror. The cloaked figure continued feeding until his victim was limp and lifeless, then unceremoniously dropped the body into the river. He turned now, staring at Nicole from the dark folds of his hood with glowing red eyes. Who or what was he? Had he smelled the blood on her hands? Did he mean to kill her next? He began moving deliberately in her direction. Nicole screamed.
Nicole’s eyes flew open and she sat up in bed, breathing hard, her pulse still racing.
The Nocturne Series:
FTC Advisory: Vanguard Press provided me with a copy of Nocturne. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
When it’s snowy and blustery out, there are two kinds of books I really love to read: books that whisk me away to a balmy paradise, and books that are set in a snowstorm so that the real weather enhances the mood of the novel. Nocturne is one of the latter, taking place in the Colorado Rockies during a blizzard.
Twenty-nine-year-old Nicole is driving back from a friend’s wedding when she crashes her rental car in the aforementioned snowstorm. She is rescued by Michael, a reclusive man who lives alone in his palatial mountain home. The weather prevents either of them from leaving for several days. Michael is strangely brusque at times, and at first Nicole thinks he is angry about her presence, but before long they establish a connection.
Syrie James invokes classic fairytale tropes to draw readers into a state of enchantment. There’s a room Nicole is forbidden to enter, for example, and a mysterious rose. One plot twist, I think, may be a homage to an old favorite book of mine, L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle, which itself draws heavily on fairytale themes. Yet James doesn’t let the fairytales constrain her story; events don’t always happen as you might expect. That forbidden door swings open with surprising alacrity, revealing one of Michael’s secrets, and another revelation about him follows shortly. The closed doors within Nicole’s mind — hiding nightmares and dreams she’s suppressed for years — take longer to open.
With a tiny cast (two characters, plus a few animals) and a single setting, James spins a story with plenty of drama and character development. Much of the plot unfolds through dialogue. I do have mixed feelings about some of the dialogue. Sometimes, when Nicole and Michael talk, their speech seems a little too expository. For example, when they discuss books, they can sound like they are teaching a class or maybe writing a book review rather than speaking casually. (This worked better, I think, in Dracula My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker, with its intentionally old-fashioned writing style.) On the other hand, it’s so refreshing to see a paranormal hero and heroine whose relationship is based in large part on conversations about their shared interests. It makes Nocturne more satisfying than books in which the romance is based solely on great sex or on a magical soulmate bond imposed by an external force.
It’s probably not much of a spoiler to say that this is a vampire novel. James raises questions about how a vampire and an ordinary woman fit into each other’s lives, and rejects the easy answers.
A bittersweet love story set against a beautiful wintry background, Nocturne is a curl-up-on-a-cold-night book par excellence. Once you’ve read the ending, you’ll want to read the author’s note that follows. I hope James will revisit Nicole and Michael one day.
Nicole Whitcomb is on her way home after celebrating her friend’s wedding in Colorado. She spent the time skiing and relaxing, and now must go back to her hum drum life. She makes the mistake of driving to the airport to catch her flight knowing that a possible snowstorm may hit the area. She is in peril as the snow grows worse and ends up crashing into an embankment. Nicole is bleeding and miles from help and passes out.
When Nicole gains consciousness, she finds herself in a warm bed. She has been saved by a Michael Tyler. Michael doesn’t seem too pleased that Nicole has invaded his privacy, but allows her to stay and recover until the storm dies down. Nicole finds Michael to be polite, but distant, and an enigma. As she gets to know this recluse of a man, she finds a few things odd about him. There’s barely any food in the house, Michael doesn’t eats and he warns her not to enter certain rooms. She does find out one major thing about Michael, and that he is her all-time favorite author, Patrick Spencer, who she has always admired and adored. But then Nicole figures out that Michael is something a darker and sinister than just an isolated author. He has a deep thirst raging inside, and each day Nicole remains close to him, he can’t control his urges. Nicole must decide whether or not to brave the dangerous storm to escape, or allow Michael to drink from her, for he is a vampire.
Nocturne should appeal to those fans who enjoy a dark, brooding hero, and the heroine who comes along and makes him smile and enjoy life again. This is a character based novel with not a great deal of action. Most of this action is through dialogue and internal thoughts, and because of that it falters. I found this to be a dull read because nothing exciting happens at all.
The feeling of isolation is strong, especially from Michael’s point of view. And even with Nicole entering into his life, he barely shows any real emotion to really grab the reader’s interest. Nicole doesn’t fare much better as she ends up questioning the majority of the time. These two barely have a connection and their sudden attraction is very tepid. We’re given reasons why these two should be together, but overall it didn’t work.
Nocture takes the vampire myth and tries to give it a twist, but just isn’t engaging enough or with well-written characters to recommend this more than blasé book by Syrie James. In a word, Nocturne was boring and read more like a failed experience at vampire fan-fiction. And the fact that this book is priced at $19.95 and under 300 pages would give me major pause in buying such a lackluster read.
Nocturne is a novel by Syrie James and a Paranormal Romance from Vanguard Press.
When Nicole Whitcomb’s car runs off a Colorado mountain road during a blinding snowstorm, she is saved from death by a handsome, fascinating, and enigmatic stranger. Snowbound with him for days in his beautiful home high in the Rockies, she finds herself powerfully attracted yet mystified by him, filling her with apprehension.
Who is Michael Tyler? Why does he live alone in such a secluded spot and guard his private life so carefully? What secret—or secrets—is he hiding? With her own secrets and a past she is running from, Michael understands Nicole better than anyone she has ever known. Soon, they are falling deeply in love—a profoundly meaningful experience that is destined to change their lives forever.
However, as the sexual tension between them builds, the clues mount up. When Nicole learns her host’s terrifying secret, there is nowhere for her to run but into the blizzard raging outside, and Michael may be the only one who can save her life.
Nicole Whitcomb has spent the last few days at a ski resort in celebration of a friends wedding. Now on her way to catch a plane back home, a snow storm catches Nicole by surprise with its intensity. Running off the road into a snow embankment, Nicole fears she will not live through the night.
Michael Tyler sees Nicole run off the road and despite his instincts to avoid people in general - he can’t just leave her to the elements.
Bringing Nicole into his home turns out to be everything Michael feared. His secrets are revealed, his past exposed and his heart placed in jeopardy.
Nocturne was for me, an okay read. Though the paranormal element is there in the form of a vampire - the story in itself is a romance at heart.
Not enough action for my liking.
But for those of you who are fans of romance - especially the tortured kind, Nocturne is a must read for you.
I give Nocturne 2 out of 5 stars.
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Vanguard Press (8-2-11) Language: English ISBN-10: 159315674X ISBN-13: 978-1593156749