1904, Austin, TX. Lilly has had so much disappointment in her life, but she is determined to keep going. Her father was killed in a tragic fire when she was young, and now her mother has died. She is grateful for the position she has obtained in the Marshall family mansion. While she has never been in service before, she quickly learns her job and is able to help the mistress with her hair and dressing.
At a fancy dinner party she sees Andy. She has not seen him in 4 long years, since the night her father died. What is he doing here? Now? And why is everyone calling him Drew? Drew makes himself known to her, and makes her keep his secret: he is working for the secret service to uncover a counterfeit money operation.
This is a well written novel, with a lot of detail to the characters, fashion, and butterflies- that the master of the mansion collects. I enjoyed the book and was able to easily read and get caught up in the flow of the story.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are my own.
I really enjoy Colleen's writing, especially the Hope Beach novels. I was so excited about this book and sadly I was very disappointed. The characters weren't very likable to me except some of the secondary people. The overall story line is very much like Downton Abbey so I felt like I had read this story quite a few times before just in a new setting. I did enjoy the butterflies and all of the details with them, hence the name of the book, there is a lot of butterfly info. There is a twisting mystery that flows through the book and romance neither of which really grasped my attention. The ending of the book was the best part of this read and for a simple historical romance this book was alright. I give it three and a half stars.
Though I will be looking for more Hope Beach novels from Colleen!
"I received this book from Booksneeze for free in exchange for an honest review."
Though I did find the mystery interesting and well-plotted - it took a variety of twists and turns that I honestly didn't see coming- there were a few things that did bother me. It was mostly the romance between Lilly and Drew; it is stated that in their past they did not keep their relationship pure, and although by the time they meet again both of them regret their past mistakes, there's still an awful lot of kissing involved. (The uncomfortable, mushy kind) I didn't find it difficult to skip those parts, and there was certainly more to the story than that. But still, it was a disappointment.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was Lilly's mistress, Belle, who starts out as an incredibly dislikable character...until later in the book when she begins to change. Normally characters like that don't change and are just the one-dimensional, spoiled and annoying rich girls who exist only to make life harder for the heroine, and though Belle started out that way, by the end of the book she was one of my favorite characters because she was interesting.
In the end, though I wasn't amazed with this book, and found some of the content that continued to pop up rather annoying, I do give it points for having a detailed mystery and few intriguing characters.
I received this book for free from booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review.
You will meet Lily Donaldson on the opening pages of Colleen Coble's latest novel, Butterfly Palace.
You encounter Lily, as she is sneaking off for time alone with her beau, Andy Hawkins. Within moments, Lily and Andy discover that her house and stables are both on fire with both of their fathers inside!
Flash forward four years and you find Lily moving to serve in a wealthy family's home, the Butterfly Palace. Shortly after her arrival, Lily "runs" into Andy, now going by the name, Drew Hawkes. Her confusion over why her former love is in this place only adds to the overwhelming task of learning to live in this new place.
As Lily begins to blend into the Butterfly Palace, another mystery surfaces: 3 young girls have been recently killed. The frightening fact is they all looked very similar to Lily!
This book keeps you turning page after page, as you seek to resolve all these questions in Lily's world!
Butterfly Palace By Colleen Coble is a stunner. This novel is set in a time of superior elegance and just as much deceit, both of which make for a fabulous read. Lily, our heroine, is having to start anew in Texas after being abandoned and although I know this is only a story I know what she is undertaking. The time frame is a century ago but the circumstances are always the same. Woman loves man, man leaves woman broken hearted. The struggles of love and the fight for ones life are timeless. The only difference is that Coble shares these struggles in such a beautiful way making them poignant and ravishing. The best part is that while your read the story becomes you and you become the story, you travel along with Lily and all the life she is existing. The power of Coble's verses are encompassing. Her words are like air and I just cannot seem to be able to get enough.