Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nocturne - review

*** Woohoo! strange blogger issues are now over - pictures and links have been added! 1/6/11 evening. And author Syrie James was kind enough to stop by my blog to leave a comment complete with links to excerpts - two links for excerpts, in fact - scroll down and take a look.
**Blogger is being strange right now, and will not let me post links, or for now, you only get to read about my review....

Syrie James

The cover of Nocturne is a beautiful and dramatic cover. There are trees, snow, darkness is implied (scenery) and one single rosebud with some blood scatters in the snow. Dramatic. Good cover.

Nocturne has just been released January 4th, in hardcover by Syrie James. Syrie James wrote Dracula, My Love; The Lost Memories of Jane Austen; and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte.

The story reminds me a bit of the old gothic stories I used to read when I was the 1970's. They were the precurser to the romantic suspense that is popular today. There was a bit of a formula with them...a dark mysterious hero. A woman, sometimes rather naiive, sometimes pretty smart who ends up having to spend a lot of time with a mysterious, dark (attitude, not skin) man who is at times pleasant and other times unpleasant; who makes her feel safe and yet at the same time makes the heroine feel like she's in danger. There are times when the woman feels like she's very attracted to the man, and other times when she feels like she might be murdered by him...

In Nocturne, a woman who has just spent a ski weekend with her friends is trying to drive to the airport through a Colorado snowstorm...not a good thing to do. She ends up going off the road, crashes, injured and bleeding, getting colder and colder....

A man, who lives by himself and has some distrust and self-loathing for some of his past actions sees the crash and even though he doesn't want the complications, or to be exposed to her...saves her from freezing to death.

Nicole and Michael then spend some time stuck with only each other, going from one end of the trust/mistrust spectrum to the other. At times funny, other times dramatic, Nocturne is an interesting book. On the whole, I enjoyed it. There were a few things that had me chuckling...the dramatic tone to Michael's few rages....the reaction of Nicole to Michael's rather extreme changes of mood (I myself, would keep my distance from someone like that...but then some have this bad-boy attraction syndrome). Nicole herself is hiding something from her past....there are memories - quick memories when all that's mentioned is blood - blood everywhere, but it's not til later that you find out what happened, and it wasn't what I expected.

The ending of the book is bittersweet - definitely not a happily ever after, but rather two adults who make decisions and follow through. This was different from your average paranormal novel, mainly because the characters do not always do what you might want them to. This isn't what I would call a paranormal romance, although there is a bit of romance - or an urban fantasy, although there is some supernatural goings on. Rather it's a work of fiction with fantasy, romance and suspense elements all blending together.

Most of the dialog was believable (dialog is a thing with me) and yet there were a few instances where I found myself rolling my eyes at Michael's behavior...but then I roll my eyes at my husband's drama-king moments also. LOL

I would recommend this to those who enjoy the unexpected. There isn't a lot of gore, or raging fights....there is a very different pace to it, and it felt like a good old-fashioned gothic romance...and yet it wasn't. Confused? It was a good read. Try it for a change of pace from the blood, gore and fighting of horror or urban fantasy books, and a change of pace from straight up fiction. :)

**I hope to clean this post up later, with proper pics of the book cover and links to the author's website. Hopefully there is an excerpt somewhere. At the moment, I still can't post links or pics for some odd reason - but that won't last.:)


  1. I am looking forward to reading this book! It should be a fantastic read :) Great Review and sorry blogger is being persnickety!

  2. Hi Mardel,

    Thanks for the awesome review of my novel. You can find the book cover image and excerpts from NOCTURNE on my website at and on the book's dedicated website I also posted a longer excerpt (Sneak Peek) at :

    Thanks again, and Happy Reading!

  3. It sounds intriguing--thank you for the review! On to the ever-expanding TBR. :P

  4. Golden Eagle - I know all about expanding review piles...mine is getting bigger, and yet my reading is slowing down..Ah Well, I do have the rest of my life. :)

    Ms James...thanks for stopping by my blog. I added the links and also edited in a sentence for people to read your comment. :) Now Blogger is behaving better.

  5. Good review. I like your insights into the characters.

  6. Jan - Really? Sometimes I think that I don't do as good a job at reviewing as others, because I don't go in depth into character's choices, where the book is going, logical jumps in the books, motives, etc. But then I think I read differently also - expect different. My expectiations are good dialogue and to simply be entertained.