28 January 2011

Book Review: Nocturne (Giveaway)

Title: Nocturne
Author: Syrie James
Publisher/Year: Vanguard Press / 2011
Date Finished: 27 January 2011
Source/Format: ARC / Print

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

Challenges: TwentyEleven Challenge,

The Short and Sweet of It
A bittersweet romance, Nocturne tells the story of the growing love between an unlikely pairing. While I found the story a bit familiar and predictable, it was nice to have a quick, sexy read.

A Bit of a Ramble
It has been a long time since I've read a straight up romance. I used to devour Nora Roberts, partake of some Elizabeth Lowell, and nibble on Sandra Brown, but for the past few years my guilty pleasure reading has come from YAL rather than the sexy stuff. When I was offered the chance to review Syrie James's new novel though, I jumped at the chance. I adored James's Dracula, My Love and wanted to read some more by this relatively new-to-me author.

Pam from Bookalicious has this to say about Nocturne: "Think Twilight but actually emotionally stable. Micheal having a lot of traits that Edward displays, such as not wanting to hurt the girl he loves and what not, actually pulls it off without the annoying or creepy factor." I could not agree more. I was continuously reminded of Twilight while reading primarily because of the overwhelming passion may cause your death angle; however, unlike Twilight, this angle isn't overplayed to the point of ridiculousness, and it's not quite so freaky. While reading Twilight, I wondered why Bella desired a boy who wanted to kill her so badly; in Nocturne, I got it.

I don't want to suggest that the two books are overly similar though. Nocturne is like Nora Roberts meets Twilight, you know, consenting adults, some logical assessment of emotion, more bittersweet than fuzzy happiness, etc. Nora Roberts actually popped into my mind well before Meyers. The beginning reads like the start of your typical romance: a caring, positive woman is rescued by a dashing and dangerous man. The two are trapped together, secluded from the world, and while each has their secrets and their painful past, the forced intimacy brings them together. Sliding into the story carried the same feeling I would get when I sat down with Roberts - warm and easy.

I did have a few hmmm moments with the book. Much of it was quite predictable - not necessarily a turn off in a romance novel, but still a hmmm moment - and I was offput by the contrived similarities between the two characters. He plays piano, she plays piano. She likes to garden, he has a garden extraordinaire. She loves to read, he loves to read. As a matter of fact (minor plot spoiler ahead), she idolizes one particular author, and lo and behold, he is that author. On a side note, Misery flashed into my head at that point. :)

Overall, the plot was a bit formulaic, but for a down and dirty read, Nocturne is a good choice.

I would love to pass this on for someone else to enjoy, so if you would like to win my copy, please let me know in the comments and leave your email address!


  1. Haha, the thing about the guy being the author is so old. I wanted to mention a book where I've seen it before, but to do so would be a spoiler for said book, so suffice to say it's from the early twentieth century :P

  2. I don't want to add my name to the giveaway when I may not read it for who knows how long. But my daughter loves the Twilight/Shiver stuff. Is this appropriate for young teens? If so, then yes! Add our name to the list!

  3. I have heard such good things about this book, and have to admit that it sounds like it would be an excellent read for me. I like the fact that it's like Twilight, only more healthy and stable. I would love to be considered for your giveaway, so please do enter me!


  4. Hehe, I read the little spoilery bit and that made me laugh. Yeah, does sound a little contrived, but I have heard good things about this book here and in other reviews. Sounds like a good romance.

    Please enter me: jennala(at)cfl(dot)rr(dot)com

  5. I would love to read this. Count me in if it's international please.


  6. I've never read Syrie James yet (shockingly!) and am dying to do so -- would love to win your copy -- thank you for the lovely giveaway!

    unabridedchick at gmail.com

  7. I've actually been curious to read this one after reading a few reviews. Sounds like a good one for when you just need to give your brain a rest. :) Please add me to the giveaway list! :)


  8. Sounds like a good one to read when I'm in the mood for romance!

  9. Sounds like a good read. I love unlikely pairings. :]


  10. Sometimes predictable is a good comfort read. Count me in :)
    stacybooks at yahoo


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