Hi there! In keeping with my pre-Halloween “it gets weird” posts I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M paranormal romantic suspense novel from the writing team of Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt. NOCTURNE is the second novel in their Hours of the Night series that features Thaddeus, a devout Catholic vampire who works to aid the White Monks in ridding his corner of Louisiana of demons, and Sarasija (Sara) Mishra, the Indian assistant who provides Thad with needed nourishment…and sexytimes. I loved VESPERS (book 1) and BONFIRE (book 1.5) and think this series is best enjoyed in order.
About the book:
It’s Mardi Gras, cher, but this year le bon temps kick off with murder…
For generations, the White Monks have treated the vampire Thaddeus Dupont as a weapon in their battle against demons. However, when a prominent matron drops dead at a party, Thaddeus and his lover Sarasija are asked to find her killer. Their investigation leads them to an old southern family with connections everywhere: Louisiana politics, big business, the Church, and an organization just as secret as the White Monks.
Meanwhile, an esoteric text containing spells for demon-summoning has disappeared, Thaddeus is losing control of le monstre, and Sara is troubled by disturbing dreams. These nightmares could be a side-effect of dating a vampire, or they could be a remnant of his brush with evil. As the nights wear on, Sara fears they are a manifestation of something darker – a secret that could destroy his relationship with Thaddeus.
Thaddeus Dupont has been a dutiful servant of the White Monks for eighty years. He abstained from his unnatural carnal desires and only fed, as needed, from women–so he wouldn’t be tempted. His assistant Nohea hired “Sara” sight-unseen to be Thad’s source of blood for a year-long contract, unknowing that Sara was a man. An out-gay man of Indian heritage. And Thad found Sara irresistible. They now work together on Thad’s mission to rid the world of demons, and they are carnally aware of each other in many of the ways that Sara desires and Thad…well he desires it too, but the Catholic inside him is still a bit shamed…
This case is different–it’s a personal favor to Brother Michael, a White Monk, for Thad and Sara to track down whomever murdered his boisterous Aunt Berta at her own Mardi Gras party. It’s clear from the moment they arrived at Berta’s residence that they were being ensorcelled by the charismatic family. Sara’s nearly charmed by Jo-Jo, the double team twin grandchildren, Josefine and Josef, of Berta, and these two do not let up. They want Sara, and Thad, in their powers, it seems. This night also marked the beginnings of a series of nightmares for Sara. Thad thinks the nightmares stem from Sara finding Berta’s body, but it definitely runs deeper than shock.
Meanwhile, Sara wants to continue hunting a grimoire that is sure to hold secrets to the demon-summoning issue they’d investigated previously, and Nohea’s frustrated they still haven’t found her missing niece–lost in while in the White Monks’ care. Are some of these issues linked? Sara’s sure they must be when he’s sent on a fool’s errand to locate the grimoire and is nearly killed–all while Jo-Jo had been trying to dissuade him from the mission. What is up with Jo-Jo and their family? Why do the wiccans of New Orleans give them a mile-wide berth? And what’s happening with Thad? Is his rapid shifting into vamp mode an indication of jealousy, or something deeper?
This is a well-paced romantic suspense that goes far deeper into the murk of demon-hunting and magic than either of the two previous books. Thad is recognizing he has more human feelings than he’d expected after 80+ years of vampirism. And, he’s far more aggressive a lover than he’d been previously. Sara loves that, and loves Thad, so he’s troubled by his attraction responses to Jo-Jo, particularly Josef. It’s hard for him to sort out all the riddles of these interactions, but he’s sure there’s magic involved–if only he could parse out what’s happening with his dreams! The more he digs, however, the more dangerous this web he’s caught in becomes–which nearly puts Thad over the edge, again. I really enjoyed getting to know Thad and Sara more and watching their relationship deepen in this book, and I’m totally on board with finding out what happens next!
About the Authors:
Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.
About Liv Rancourt…
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!