Nocturne, by Syrie James:
From the author's website:
A Haunting Story of Forbidden Love
"Lyrical, lush, and intensely romantic." —Library Journal
Nicole Whitcomb is snowbound for days and falls in love with a fascinating, mysterious stranger—a profoundly meaningful experience that is destined to change both of their lives forever. But who is Michael Tyler and what dark secrets is he hiding?
"Each incredible revelation kept me turning pages long into the night." —A Simple Love of Reading
With praise like that, I delved into this book, eager to discover how a writer known for writing fictionalized biographies of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte would interpret the whole vampire trope. I must warn you that, if you're hoping to read more about vampires that sparkle or engage in life and death battles with werewolves and their own kind, then this is not the book for you. This is more of a psychological take on the vampire tale. It deals more with the life - or lives - of the vampire hero rather than any earth-shattering scenario that finds him fighting for his life and that of his love. Personally, I found that rather refreshing.
In many of the other entries in this genre, the pace is fast, the action non-stop, and the focus on the beast the hero has become - and how that affects the heroine. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's very easy to feel like you've read that story somewhere else. There's also the tendency to feel as though something is missing and for me, that something is the reminder that the hero used to be human. What I liked best about James' book was that she highlighted the fact that Michael was once human - and in a very eloquent way. I will not give it away here, but I really enjoyed how she chose to portray Michael's life before he met Nicole. Very clever. It made me want to know everything about him, just like Nicole.
I felt like the characters were real people and I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that Michael wasn't obsessed with the idea of someone trying to drive a stake through his heart (no such characters in this book) and Nicole, except for one flight of fancy once she realized what he was, wasn't obsessed with the idea that he was going to kill her or turn her into a vampire. In fact, if you took away the fact that he was a vampire, you would still have what this book essentially is: A love story between two lost souls. And as love stories go, it was a beautiful tale told in a wonderfully uncomplicated manner. I really appreciated the way the author allowed the story to unfold, the way she weaved in Michael and Nicole's backstories, and allowed them to grow as characters.
So the bottom line is: If you're looking for a fix for your vampire love and you want to read a different take on the genre, definitely pick this book up and give it a try. Hopefully, like me, you won't be disappointed. You will be swept away.
Author's website: http://www.syriejames.com/