Review: Nocturne (Hours of the Night, #2) by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

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.

Back in the Big Easy again and it never felt so good!

And confusing...

Seriously, like, WHAT IS HE????

Never mind that now. No sense dwelling. But it seems fairly obvious the series will continue since we're left with a whole mess of dangling threads or should I say beads since NAWLINS, Y'ALL!

Nocturne picks up where Vespers left off, so this should not be read as a standalone. They are almost immediately thrust into a murder mystery complete with witches, warlocks and demons and all smack dab in the middle of Mardi Gras!

These authors capture that whole anything can happen/sorta spooky/there are things that go bump in the night thing that surrounds New Orleans superbly. The essence and mystique of not just the city but of Louisiana as a whole is almost a character entirely in and of itself. It addS a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole series that I like. Plus, y'know, French. *eyebrows*

I mentioned it in my review of Vespers but it bears repeating that these authors do a sensational job with these characters in all ways but particularly their voices. The story jumps between them frequently and not once was I ever confused about whose head I was in.

Thad's manner of speaking and being speaks to his age, wisdom and the church, which he's devoted most of his life to. I love all the pomp and circumstance of Catholicism and the authors know of Catholic guilt and they know it well. It permeates Thad. Persistently he grapples with his faith and his feelings for Sara.

Sara, on the other hand, oozes millennial from his speech to his attitude to his outlook. He persistently challenges Thad's beliefs with logic and he keeps him on his toes. Their interplay continues to be a source of amusement for me.

The authors have integrated relevant issues into the story that added authenticity without seeming preachy. This is a fairly diverse cast of characters who have entanglements with law enforcement, because they find themselves in pickle after pickle. Those run ins with the law added credibility and relevancy to the narrative, not to mention some discomfiture.

I'm not sure if there were just a million things going on for me personally, but it seemed like this started slower then gained more and more traction as it progressed. The last 40-50% I was on the edge of my seat and trying desperately to keep up with all the developments, which is my bread and butter. I like being challenged because it keeps me engaged and engaged I was. It was fun. Nohea kicks ass all over the place. Thad vamps out. Something freaky's happening with Sara. Eccentric twins. Explosions. Weird witchy things. FUN with a capital FUN!

Sara and Thad are an established couple at this point. Though they're still working the kinks out, so to speak. Their bond and connection is unwavering, but if you're interested in lots of sex, this isn't that book. Also, those that struggle with communication issues may lose patience. As a general rule, I don't have trouble when it comes to lies of omission between couples and for the most part I didn't here either. The pink elephant between Sara and Thad is burdensome and weighs heavily on Sara. As much as I wanted him to trust in Thad, I understood his fears and why he just couldn't.

As I mentioned at the start, there are so many questions left unanswered that I don't even know what to do with myself. I guess just wait like schlub for the next one to come out. Hopefully soon. *pleading eyes*

Recommend to UF and PNR romance fans.

An ARC was provided.

Trivia Question: When do Archer & his best friend's dad, Mallory, meet for the first time? 15 pts

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