Audio Review: Nocte/Verum by Courtney Cole

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Title: Nocte (Nocte #1)
Author: Courtney Cole @Court_Writes
Narrator: Simone Tetrault and Stephen Dexter
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 10 hours and 30 mins, 320 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis

My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole. My other half—my twin brother, my Finn—is crazy. I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me. I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline. Dare DuBray. He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. He has the power to destroy me. Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt. Why? Because of a secret. A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming. You won’t either.

Grace Review

Story – 4.5 stars
I love when authors reinvent themselves and/or take a chance on a new genre.  I’ve read 2 other series’ from the author:

Beautifully Broken series, which is NA and full of angst
Confessions of an Ally Cat, which is Rom Com and I wish there were more books in the series.

With this series, the author tackled Romantic Suspense, which as you may know, if my favorite genre.  So of course, I’m all in.

This story has everything I look for:
***Intriguing characters
***An unpredictable plot
***Sexual tension
***Two mysterious male leads, both with secrets (not a love triangle)
***A twist I didn’t see coming.

I think I missed some details through audio, but this is a story I wouldn’t mind reading again.

The story itself, alternates POVs between Calla and Flnn, twin siblings.  Where Calla has a calm personality amongst the chaos, Finn counterbalances with a manic and scary personality.  I had my concerns about Finn and whether he could be trusted.  His journal and the “voices” say a lot about someone who is on the edge, and should be in a lot more treatment that just occasional group therapy.

Calla is a likable heroine.  She has moments of strength and weakness.  Her moments of weakness were justifiable.  It’s really interesting how the twist impacts her, I actually felt bad for her. And that’s really all I can say, without giving the story away.

Then there is Dare Dubray (great name, BTW), the sexy Brit who captures Calla’s attention.  With their 20 questions game, we get brief glimpses into who he is, but not enough.  I have no idea what he is hiding.  The big twist exposes part of his secret, but we clearly aren’t given all the pieces of the puzzle yet.  Which leads us to a big cliffy!

Performance – 5 stars
This audio alternates between Calla and Finn’s POV, and I thought both were great.  Calla’s voice has a soothing quality, just like her character.  And I thought she did a good job with Dare’s British voice, very sexy.  Finn’s voice also captured the character’s personality.  A bit scary, a bit loving.

Overall – 4.5 stars
From the first word spoken, I was engaged in this story.  I have a ton of questions, and I sort of love that I have no idea where the story is going.  On to book 2 . . .

– Grace

Audible

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Title: Verum (Nocte #2)
Author: Courtney Cole @Court_Writes
Narrator: Simone Tetrault
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 6 hours and 59 mins, 288 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis

The truth shall set you free.

My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

Grace Review

Story – 4 stars
I was confused at the beginning of this story and even more so at the end.  WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!

I have no idea who is dead or alive.
I have no idea who is sane and who is mental.
And most importantly, I still don’t know Dare’s BIG secret!!!  Argh!!!!!

This is who I do and don’t trust after this book:
TRUST
Dare
Sabine
Finn

DON’T TRUST
Dare
Sabine
Eleanor
Olivia

Did you see that some people are on both lists?  That’s how confused I am.  To make matters worse, some people on the list above may not be alive.  *suspenseful music*

This book, like the first one, is unpredictable.  However, it was almost too much.  Too many twists. Too many secrets.  Yes, there were small revelations but it felt like a tease.  “Here’s one of my secrets, but no, that’s not the big one.”

We are meant to think that at the end of book 1, we are just about to hear Dare’s secret.  So now I’m done book 2, and I still don’t know what it is.  That was frustrating, and I have a feeling the build up may be bigger than the actual secret.  Guess I’ve have to wait and see if I’m right . . .

Performance – 3.5 stars
While I really enjoyed the narrator, like the first book, I think this is a story that is probably better off read then listened to on audio.  I felt like I missed details and it was hard to go back and re-listen to parts, which I still did several times.

Also, the narration brought out something I was beginning to tire of, the 3 word repeating.  Black, black, black as night, for example.  This is throughout the story, and got to be a bit overdone in my opinion on audio.  I’m guessing it was used to show some mental imbalance to the character, it just was a little too much filler for me.

On the plus side, this story unlike the first, has a single narrator, and she does all of the voices really well.  From the snooty Eleanor, to the creepy Sabine, to the sexy voice for Dare, she carried out each voice with distinction, something not all narrators can do.

Overall – 4 stars
After this story, I definitely have more questions than answers.  And I’m really hoping these answers come soon.

-Grace

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