Nocturne, (Hours of the Night 2), Irene Preston, Liv Rancourt
Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance
Vampires, supernatural suspense, M/M romance – what’s not to love? This is a great series but don’t start here, read books 1 and 1.5 or you’ll be lost.
Even though I’ve done that there are times when i needed to do a mental backtrack just to recall who fits where and how…There are some great characters here but the cast gets larger, with each book building on both short and long term story arcs, and that makes the whole thing pretty complex.
Sara: I love him, open, cheerful, confident in his sexuality and very much in love with Thad. He’s 23 and has a wonderful joy about him that makes him feel young, but not immature. He’s on the fence about the Monks, but respects Thad’s devotion to them, his quest for redemption.
I’m with him about them, not so sure they are the good guys they appear to be, and irritated at the way they use Thad’s guilt over what he is for their own ends. They withhold information to suit themselves and don’t worry about danger to Thad, seem to see him as dispensable.
There’s one bit where they are meeting with Brother Michael – I think it was him – and Sara remarks on the surrounds, very luxurious and Michael says that the monks give up all material wealth when they join. As Sara thinks you’d imagine that would mean they live frugally, but somehow they make it so they’re living in the lap of luxury. Pretty much like real life religion for many…..
Thad: He’s young in age, about 30ish I think but actually 115, and he’s got that historical mindset in many ways.
He was going to become a monk- or was one – when he was changed, and carries such guilt about what he is, calls the vampire part Le Monstre, and his work with the Monks is to atone for that. Like Sara, I think they use his guilt for their own ends.
It must be hard when so long has been spent suppressing his sexuality, thinking it a sin, and then finding Sara and falling in love. I love the way we get the closeness, the tenderness between them without need for overt sexuality. Some books it fits to read about characters sex lives in detail, in this one it would just feel wrong, the way its handled discreetly is exactly the way Thad would be. Anything more just wouldn’t fit his personality.
There are new and old characters here, Mardi Gras festival celebrations, Demons and Witches and lots of supernatural issues. They still need to track down the missing book, and Michael also tasks them with finding out who killed a relative of his and protecting his young twin relatives, Jo and Sep.
Its a tangled tale, and of course Nohea, Thad’s awesome kick – a$$ assistant is still angry about her missing baby niece, and they’re trying to track her down.
A busy book for the trio, full of the usual suspense, dangers, twisted clues and the Monks machinations. another great read.
Stars: four and a half, it didn’t quite rivet me as the first two, I found parts a little confusing, but still an excellent read.
ARC supplied for review purposes by authors.
Vespers (Hours of the Night 1), Irene Preston , Liv Rancourt
Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA
I’d read and loved Irene’s A Taste of You, so when I saw she’d teamed up with another author to write this m/m novel featuring vampires I was intrigued. I do love paranormal romance, especially that with vampires.
It took me quite a while to get in to the story, to really feel I knew the characters. Sara is pretty open, I could feel fairly quickly the kind of man he was, but Thaddeus Dupont was a harder read. We just don’t see enough of him early in the novel, he comes over as some kind of mysterious hermit.
By halfway through though I was well into the story. First books in a series have a such a hard job, introducing new characters, scenes and a plot that will keep readers attention is a difficult task, so I wasn’t surprised it took me so long to get to grips with this one.
Its a very different Vampire novel, one where Thaddeus works for The White Monks, some sort of religious order that has partnered up with him, getting him an assistant to feed from and another who works with him on despatching the baddies!
I’d have liked to have known a bit more about the Monks, some of them don’t really seem very compassionate, and they’re holding a sword over Thaddeus in a way “ work for us and maybe, just maybe, your sol can be redeemed.” He’s been doing that for many years now but its a pretty solitary and thankless task.
Once I was past halfway I felt I understood more, about not only the characters, but what dangers they faced – and they were very real, they were dancing with death each time they leave the house, with the Demons behaving very uncharacteristically.
It seems where the usual odd disorganised Demon pops up and needs despatching this time someone is behind them, working them in groups, something previously unheard of, and using them for a personal attack. That part was very interesting, and worked well.
The connection between Thaddeus and Sara was very sensual, a pull that had more than just attraction behind it, with Sara able to do things that seemed to bode more between them that just sexual connection. The sex scenes weren’t overdone, fitted the story, especially given that Thaddeus has up to now been celibate.
Stars: Four, a good start to a new series.
ARC supplied by authors
I love romance reads, and gravitate to M/M ones because they so often have that sensuality and real tenderness that others often lack, so when offered the chance for review I jumped at it.
Poor Carlo, he’s been in love with Garret for so many years, and yet Garret seems oblivious, doing his usual flit from man to man….and Carlo’s heart dies a little more each time. This time he gone too far though, when he returns from filming he’s not stuck to his usual routine, and Garret is ruled by routines and everything in its place, so Carlo is wondering what’s wrong…Then he meets Garret’s latest man, when he’s installed as Chef de Cuisine over the current chef. They are partners in business and always discuss changes together, but not this time. Not only that but Garret is opening a new restaurant that means he’ll be away even more than he currently is. Carlo doesn’t know how much more he can take and it affects him at work. He decides its time he had a back up plan and starts to organise reopening a new version of the restaurant his family ran for so many years, in partnership with his cousin Joey. The staff notice how distracted Carlo is, how upset he seems to be, how he’s different from his normal unflappable person. They’ve seen for ages how he feels though he doesn’t realise it, seems everyone bar Garret knows! Two of them are discussing it, without naming Garret when he hears them and decides he needs to separate Carlo from this jerk who’s using him….His words to himself over this made me smile, he just still couldn’t see who it was and what he was doing. Carlo thinks its a dream come true when Garret stays over, and soon they’re together more and more. Garret though is still very vague, makes it clear he’s not Carlos boyfriend and poor Carlo still isn’t really any better off, always waiting for the moment when Garret calls time on their relationship.
There’s a host of side characters, from the Ransom staff to Carlo’s extended family, and its a book full of tenderness and also despair. A great mix so when it all comes right it feels so much sweeter.
I loved this read, its shortish at 146 pages, but packed with emotion from sadness to laughter, along with some scorching sensuality at times.
Stars: Five, fun, spicy read.
ARC supplied by author