Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nocturne Final Review

Hello all! Here I am, finishing up the book review that I started in last week's post--

Amanda DeWees' newest book, Nocturne for a Widow, is vastly entertaining and consuming. It took me about two days to read the first half, and as such I decided to write a "pre-review". Blame moving and wedding planning and other "responsibilities" on how long it took me to get through even that much...can reading 8 hours a day be a responsibility? I will gladly take that one on.

In any case, the second half of the book took me about three hours to read, as I could not put the novel down.

Ms. DeWees has a tendency to do this to me. Her first book I purchased when I read the intro that was available on the webpage, finished, and thought "Wait! What? That's it!? No! I need more!!!" And so my readership of gothic romance novels began.

Ms. DeWees certainly hasn't disappointed with her newest book. The two main characters are witty, sharp-tongued, and intricately likable. Although the main hero is not without his punch-able moments.

I guess that was the thing that attracted and intrigued me most about Nocturne. Sybil Ingram, the heroine, is vastly engaging, unique, and funny throughout the story. Her struggles and yet indomitable will to put up with all that life throws her is appealing. Roderick Brooke, the hero, is included in that list of struggles. He is proud, loud, and infinitely determined to get this actress woman out of his life. He's so frustrating that there were several moments I wanted to throttle him. And even more, I couldn't put the book down. How was Ms. DeWees going to bring these two together?

In most stories of this nature, the head-butting couple end up being thrown together in their love for each other all in one moment. In Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice and Benedick are caught when letters declaiming their potential love for each other are read aloud-- even when not five seconds previously they were declaiming the exact opposite. It's very quick and sudden. While effective, I've always found such a method rather unconvincing (and don't understand me: in my mind, Shakespeare is the highest of all theater). If ever someone annoyed me that much, you can be sure I wouldn't spend enough time with them to fall in love in the first place.

But Ms. DeWees captured a believable, seamless, and absolutely convincing progression of romance between the hero and the heroine. Their repartee turns from pointed and biting-- to sardonic and understanding-- to finally even a bit playful. Throughout the book, their level of understanding of each other as one and the same species is not only amusing but also new weight and also new gentleness to their teasing. In the end it is absolutely clear that there is no other way their relationship could be...and Ms. DeWees depicted it splendidly.

I am already anticipating the next novel in the DeWees repertoire, and I know it won't disappoint. For now, I suppose I will have to be patient.

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