Jessica (a GREAT read)'s Reviews > Nocturne

Nocturne by Syrie James
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's review
Aug 20, 2011

really liked it

Wow. I didn't know what to expect from Syrie James's Nocturnal. I became deeply entranced with the cover when it was released in hardcover but felt reluctant to buy it. Then when I saw it in paperback I was ready to take the plunge because I was still fascinated by the cover and the description. And it totally blew me away!

My first thought upon reading the cover description was that it reminded me of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. And in more ways than 1, that notion is true. While I couldn't find anything in the author's comments about it being an inspiration of sorts, I firmly believe it's true.

First, we have a mysterious man who lives in a house in the woods overlooking a hill or whatever. He's very secluded and keeps to himself. There's also the fact that he takes Nicole in under his care for awhile. She cannot leave his house, she's not a prisoner but a guest, until the roads clear and she can get back to town and to the airport. And he forbids her to enter the west wing! Okay, it was his study. ;)

Nicole at first feels scared yet grateful towards the stranger for rescuing her. Her reactions are reasonable, she wakes up in a strange man's house. Who wouldn't freak at first. She is perturbed when she learns she cannot leave for at least 4 days til the storm dies down and the roads clear out. She learns that her rescuer is not exactly a people-person either. He has his secrets that he keeps guarded.

There are moments when he is terrifying and has outbursts--much like a certain beast! But after a day or so, the two get to know one another and talk to each other. They discuss many things, some ordinary and some personal issues. But Nicole still can't help but wonder what other secrets Michael is hiding. It does become obvious to the reader what his secret is. In fact we learn before Nicole since the story is in third person p.o.v. and goes back and forth between Nicole and Michael.

The romance between the two that develops is truly romantic. There's nothing else to say about it. It's not hot carnal sex that we tend to see in other UF and PNR books, this is like pure love. Nicole even admits that it's weird to feel this way after such a short time, but it's there. They each help one another with their inner struggles in ways that they couldn't imagine. They have both sub-comb to the lives they lived, never expecting a change.

The ending was heart touching. Can't say more than hat. Some issues that I did have was that not much happened plotwise other than the romance. I get that they were stuck in a cabin, but there was hardly ever any action. Not much danger--from an outside source. There was no real enemy. It was more of a self discovery between the characters and their getting over their own problems. I would have liked a little more of a conflict or something that presented a threat to the couple.

But overall it was a nice read. A good modern day fairy tale. Truly lovely!

Overall rating 4/5 stars

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