Ever since NIGHT PLAY I wanted to find out what was up with Fang but it wasn’t until this weekend that he finally yanked my chains in demand to be reaEver since NIGHT PLAY I wanted to find out what was up with Fang but it wasn’t until this weekend that he finally yanked my chains in demand to be read. BAD MOON RISING begins with a brief history lesson how the animal Katagaria and the human Arcadians came to see the light of day. After this prologue Bad Moon Rising overlaps the time frame from NIGHT PLAY to recent events in the series arc. I received Fang and Aimee’s POV on various events like the death of Fang, Vane and Fury’s sister, Anya, the comatose state of Fang and Nicolette Peltiers accusation of Wren’s inferiority in front of the Omigrion.
While these events weren’t knew to me the reason for Fang’s comatose state was, add a revenge scheme going on against the Peltiers and I was kept pleasantly intrigued throughout this story. What Fang’s reason was for his physical state I won’t reveal but what caught me off guard was the fact that now Archangels and Lucifer’s son were present on the New Orleans playground. How far have I come from the time where I thought Dark-Hunters and Daimons ruled this playground. Of course this new angle and accompanying characters piqued my curiosity but it also furthers to dilute the strength in the cast of characters. There are very few characters who really stick out for me these days in this series as each and every character is interesting, bears secrets to be revealed, and has a large chip on his or her shoulder.
The first hundred pages or so went in to the back story of how Vane and Fang got to a point where they were attacked by the Daimons in the swamp and the budding attraction between Fang and Aimee. I instantly liked the feel of Fang and Aimee together and since much information of the events were already known I could really focus on them both together. Fang is all wolf, has a big mouth, an ego and a macho attitude but will do anything for his pack, his family and will protect females from any harm. With Aimee I got a good dose of Peltier family loyalty, their sibling interaction and she has secrets to hide from her family that were very interesting yet not fully explored what impact it had on her. Since Aimee has so many brothers Fang doesn’t scare her one bit and when he opens his mouth she has comeback’s full of attitude of her own. Still most of all Aimee has a big heart, she has a capacity to love though she knows pain and fear too.
The romance in Bad Moon Rising is sweet, endearing, charming and it speaks of coveting each other while knowing it is impossible. Fang and Aimee have a chemistry that is warm and sizzles at the right times though the outright passionate scenes are not all that frequent. It is the situation they find themselves in that press certain decisions which speaks loud and clear of their feelings for each other. There was no doubt in my mind they wanted and needed each other but the Fates are fickle creatures and will deem them mates or not in the end. Of course when all odds are against a pair I’m the kind of reader who wants it all the more and keeps reading, not for the when, but for how they will overcome all the odds and get to be together.
The romance and plot worked in an even pace that made the story very easy to read. While I missed the acerbic humor at times to counter the suffering with various characters and Fang suddenly figured out all Aimee’s carefully guarded secrets I had a very enjoyable time reading Bad Moon Rising. The story really revolved around Fang, Aimee, Sanctuary and the Peltier family and they pulled me in with quick-witted dialogues, in the moment action and far stretching consequences. It was good to be back in New Orleans with the old and new that headed towards an ending that made me say goodbye to a few characters I did not expect.
BAD MOON RISING is a story that gave me a pleasant buzz, nothing over the top but a story that had me clamoring for more nonetheless. ...more
**spoiler alert** After closing Dreamfever I must say that Karen Moning is the Queen of torturing the reader’s patience in the best of ways. It is bot**spoiler alert** After closing Dreamfever I must say that Karen Moning is the Queen of torturing the reader’s patience in the best of ways. It is both frustrating as it gives ultimate pleasure. It reveals that what I longed to know as it also adds new mysteries. It catches up on all the characters I came to love and hate as it also introduces new ones and I am loving it. I confess that I am not a patient woman, I often want instant gratification, I want to know it all in one book and it mystifies me that Karen Moning has been able to hold my attention and my readers loyalty and love for 4 consecutive years without one real conclusion.
I believe it largely lies within the fact that I have attached myself to many characters that make up the Fever world. Mac is the foundation of every book as it is written from the first person point of view. She has her own lingo, I will never think of petunia as only a flower, she is the inventor of the MacHalo, she has gone from all girly girl in pink to a strong, self reliable woman who is in search for many answer to intricate questions. At the end of Faefever all I could think of was how was she going to manage, but Mac did, she showed a resilience that is born from hardship, from willpower, to fight for herself and the ones who matter the most to her. From the ending of Faefever and the first chapters in Dreamfever Mac 4.0 dawned. No more Ms. Nice, she wanted answers, she wanted to kick ass and she was going for it full force.
I was right beside her, charging in to get me some answers too but then things got complicated again with the Sidhe-Seers, with Barrons, V‘Lane, Ryodan and LM. Who said getting the answers were easy? Rowena, the Grand Mistress of the Sidhe-Seers isn’t budging for Mac’s questions and she really got under my skin. Rowena aggravated me with her closed off attitude and at the same time I pondered in what she is up to. What is her reasoning behind all that she is hiding, for in my mind there must be reasons; why else keep Mac from the holy Sidhe grail? V‘Lane is no longer only a devilishly charming Death-By-Sex Fae and full of himself, something serious crept in to him, and with the renewed Mac their relationship alters. V’Lane is a Fae mystery and he is one of those unknown factors that makes you want to unravel it all. He genuinely seems to care for Mac and tries to help her only, there are more strings that yank at him and I wonder what his part really is in the overall plot arc. If there aren’t already enough intricately layered characters in the Fever world Ryodan had to step up to the plate and expand his presence within Dreamfever. He is blunt, apparently on Barrons side, very powerful and part of a group that adds to the “whose side are you on and where do I place you” riddle.
If V’Lane is a mystery than Barrons is a mystery wrapped within an enigma. When Mac went Pri-Ya I thought I would get to know another side of Barrons and while I got slivers of events, images and emotions I was so hungry for more. This is where I got frustrated, this is where my impatience started to rise its head and Karen Moning worked my fascination for this man like no tomorrow. Barrons only became more intriguing, more intricate, more mysterious, more tightlipped-in control-you-will-do-as-I-say-when-I-say-it-Mss. Lane. Until there were moments he wasn’t all that in control, or just plain allowed Mac to rummage in his memory, which is always a possibility too with Barrons. I never got enough of the man and at the same time love the feel he is giving me in this series with the fact I still have so much to look forward to. Of slowly peeling the layers of him and find out what is hidden at the core, what and who he truly is. Mac and Barrons, Barrons and Mac, how they move in this dark compelling, sensuous dance of which they are learning the steps as they go along. There exists something between them that is very unique and one of the reasons what makes me return to this world and series every single time.
The character development is going hand in hand with the plot. Now the plot is moving along, not too slowly that my interest may be lost. But not too quickly either so my thirst for all the answers is instantly quenched and the character development might lose its impact. It is an formidable place Karen Moning is keeping me in as I remain engaged to all that is going on with the characters. It made me want to read Dreamfever fast and slow at the same time. Fast, as to find out all Moning was willing to give me yet slow to let me savor every detail and nuance of the plot and dialogues. Of course there is also action but at times the story was very dialogue driven and Mac was meeting each opponent head on. Still, when there was action to be had, it exploded from the pages and I could see in my mind’s eye; the Sidhe-Seer’s invading Dublin, kicking various creatures petunia left and right.
As I was nearing the end the stakes raised another notch and I got to meet Christian MacKeltar again. I really would like to hear his story. He is just such a MacKeltar and I can’t get enough of these Celtic Druids. As with every Fever book Karen Moning ends with a cliff hanger of gigantic proportions and all I am saying is that I refuse, I just flat-out refuse to believe what is implied in the ending of Dreamfever. Of course now I just want book five or pick Moning’s brain, either one would be fine and just as impossible to get.
I got it all with Dreamfever, I was instantly sucked in the vortex of the Fever world with a renewed Mac to meet. I got thriving action, passion and sizzling dialogues, I got a step ahead in the overall plot arc and I got Fae magic in all its forms. It was an exciting chapter in Mac’s tale and I look forward to its conclusion. Dreamfever gives it all to the urban-fantasy reader.
Quote Mac: “You are the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen,” I tell him. “You are perfect.” He makes a strangled sound and mutters something about how I might seriously reconsider that at some point. I ignore it. He says many mystifying things. I ignore them all. I admire the prenatural grace of his body. Dark, strong, he pads like a great beast, muscles rippling. Black and crimson symbols cover much of his skin. It’s exotic, exciting. He is large. The first time I almost couldn’t take him. He fills me, sates me completely. Until he is no longer inside me and I am empty again. ...more
I’ll have to warn all who haven’t read QUEEN OF SOUL AND SONGS that it has no true beginning; since it starts where King Of Sword And Sky left us, andI’ll have to warn all who haven’t read QUEEN OF SOUL AND SONGS that it has no true beginning; since it starts where King Of Sword And Sky left us, and no true ending; which will be given with The Tairen Soul. I would rather say; be prepared to open this book where the Shei’tanitsa bond is getting deepened, where the stakes are getting almost insurmountable high and where the war turns even grimmer then before. The opening scene is one that instantly triggers the ‘oh no, don’t let that happen’ response from the reader and I will not guarantee to anyone who is familiar with this series you won’t feel it again.
The story delves in to various facets of the romance between Ellysetta and Rain, the angst, the love, the risks and the rewards. C.L. Wilson has a knack to make me feel it all via her lyrical writing style but most of all; she makes it all so understandable. Each action brings along its own consequence and there are just no easy choices to make. It gradually builds the tension between Ellysatta and Rain but also showcases the depth of their love. When they first met in Celieria, and Rain claimed Ellysatta as his true mate, their feelings were fresh, new and exciting. Over the course of this series the love has matured, deepened and gained in strength but the bond madness lures for Rain as it remains incomplete. Yet with all the dangers that surround Rain and Ellysetta it is the beauty of their love that also forms a stark contrast to the evil of the Eld Mages.
If there is one thing I love to hate is a true-to-the-core evil and C.L. Wilson conjured it with High Mage Vadim Maur. There was one scene in which he had to make a sacrifice in order to remain his power and it is where I found a new low point for his character. The Eld Mages are plotting and scheming away and as a reader I got an overall view of what they were up to, making the threat towards the Fey all the more tangible. The threat and the danger is an essence that is felt throughout every angle of the story but also gave the Elves a more prominent role to fulfill.
If there is one secondary character that instantly ranked himself with my favorites of Belliard and Gaelen then it is Elven King Hawksheart. Next to the almost omnipotent vibe surrounding him there are also heart shattering personal details revealed that made me want to know all about him. The Elven place in this world blends the ethereal with the more earthly nature and once again the vivid details brought this place to life in my mind’s eye.
Rain and Ellysetta with their Shei’tanitsa bond along with the war receive the most attention and many side characters I’ve come to treasure provide a wonderful supportive cast. Belliard, Gaelen, the incomparable Tairen Steli, Tajik and many more in Fey, Ceilierian, Eld and Elven world accelerate this story. Questions receive answers and more questions arise from it and truths present itself with painstakingly honesty. It is a double-edged sword where I reveled in as certain things finally come to light and then in its wake leaving new mysteries to unravel.
Without a doubt QUEEN OF SONG AND SOULS is another emotion-laden story, I was engaged from first till last page and C.L. Wilson took some bold choices. One that had me at the end of the story where it brings a reality to the Shei’tanitsa bond I wasn’t expecting. I will say that this is a novel for the readers invested in this series since it is essentially a deepening of the story and where the plot reaches a level of `all-or-nothing’ for the main characters.
I treasured this read because I’m so very attached to all the characters playing their role in the grand scheme of things but I also long now for the conclusion and a happily ever after for a couple that takes me breath away in their awe-inspiring love. QUEEN OF SONG AND SOULS is by far the darkest episode in Tairen Soul series and a preparation for the finale title; Tairen Soul. I’m counting the days until its release, as always with a novel from the hand of C.L. Wilson!...more
When I stumbeled the author, Erastes and read the blurb of TRANGRESSIONS, I was very much interested hu the unusual couple. I had no clue what was inWhen I stumbeled the author, Erastes and read the blurb of TRANGRESSIONS, I was very much interested hu the unusual couple. I had no clue what was in store for me but I was more than willing to find out how this romance would affect me. Well, I can tell you it affected me alright! It was a bit of a different approach to the romantic progress but one that delivered all the same.
The two leading males in this novel are; David Caverly, a blacksmith’s son, a pretty boy and one who wants to get everything out of life as he possibly can. This doesn’t only mean work, responsibilities, work, church, prayer and more work. This also means enjoying a sunny day at the creek, swimming naked and enjoying time with friends. When his father brings home an apprentice he meets Jonathan Graie. Jonathan is a Puritan, a hard worker, devout, eager to learn and respectful to those around him. He is focused on his daily tasks and has little need for anything else. I don’t think Erastes could have created two more opposites then these two men and she told their stories in three parts.
The first part was all about David and Jonathan as young men, about a developing camaraderie and bonding of two very noticeably different men. I instantly took to the way David and Jonathan reacted and interacted with one another, full of youthful exuberance and vigor. Of course other feelings are budding besides the camaraderie and because this part encompasses a longer period of time Erastes created a believable and gradually increasing of intimacy. It also portrays the difference of personalities and how they individually handle this deepening of intimacy. David is introduced to man love via a soldier and suddenly gets more grip on his feelings for Jonathan and wants to explore this new side of their bond. As opposed to Jonathan, who shares the connection with every profound emotion but there is also a fear instilled in him by his religion and simply by the person that he is. While Jonathan has more inner conflict going on, David has outward conflicts pressing down on him to make certain choices.
As their relationship grows events occur and as a result their paths separate and this is where I was surprised by the author. The story evolved in an entwining of singular storylines regarding David and Jonathan. Their characters undergo a growth they need to become seasoned men and while I was reading about their separate trials and tribulations I still felt they were connected at the core, that neither was truly complete without the other. While they were divided they did both develop feelings for another man and valuable lessons were learned. It is here where Michael Giddings and Tobias become intricate to the story. If there is one man that rubbed me the wrong way but in a good way for the story, then it was Michael Giddings. He belongs to a group of Witchfinders, is fanatically devout and does not shun from violence and torture. His indoctrinating ways, his double standards of what is sinful and his ways of how to purge a person got a rise out of me like no other element in this story save the romance.
As I followed these two leading men through the years of their lives I got a fabulous background of war torn England, of fanatical Witchfinders executing women for practicing witchcraft and worshipping the devil. The old English tongue of Jonathan with thou, thee and whilst enhances the feel of the time period even more. In the historical detail I noticed the competent knowledge of the author and with that it gives TRANSGRESSIONS a lifelike feel of what England must’ve been like in the seventeenth century and has her characters act like it accordingly. As the story is very much focused on the progress of David and Jonathan it has more the feel of a life’s story than anything else. There is also a good deal of male lovemaking that adds a certain pizzazz to a sometimes grim background of war. It is given in the right amount and emphasizes on the emotions of the male protagonists to create a lasting bond of love between them.
I was bound to the two men telling their ‘coming-of-age’ stories, giving up their most inner thoughts, desires, secrets, happiness, doubts and fears. And with that Erastes won me as a reader. I had no doubt that David and Jonathan were made for each other, that while they had to go their own way they would also find each other again. Part three, the conclusion of this story, surprised me, touched my romantic beating heart and while it could’ve been more elaborated it was emotionally very satisfying.
The journey of David and Jonathan is steeped with everything a romance should have; star-crossed lovers, passion, love, obstacles and perseverance. TRANSGRESSIONS holds out on nothing!
His suppressed emotions tore to the surface like bubbles trapped underwater, the love he felt emerging, suffusing his soul, and joining him to David as surely as if they were manacled together. He would do anything David asked, anything. But how can this be love? Yet how could this be anything else? How could he be so sure of one thing, but be so very confused at the same time? ...more
THE UNSUNG HERO from Suzanne Brockmann leads me back to the days I couldn’t get enough of romance suspense and I remembered why I had such a burning tTHE UNSUNG HERO from Suzanne Brockmann leads me back to the days I couldn’t get enough of romance suspense and I remembered why I had such a burning torch for this genre. I felt I got three romances packed in one novel, each one connected, detailed and steeped with a range of emotions. There are not many authors who can pull of such a feat without surrendering some of the story quality. Each duo, may it be it Kelly and Tom, Mallory and David or Joe and Charles, irrevocably drew me in to a story that made me an instant fan of the TROUBLESHOOTER series.
The prologue immediately sets the pace for the whole story though at first I got a whirlwind of character introductions where the names dazzled in front of my eyes. I got to meet Tom Paoletti and his elite SEAL team 16 a.k.a `The Troubleshooters’. I decided to just go with the flow instead of trying to remember who was who and I was confident that the recurrent characters would stick out. As it turned out only two from the team became recurrent characters in this tale but each of the whole team, with their short and sweet introductions, captivated my interest.
For me what qualifies as a good romance suspense is where the threat is luring at all times, increasing the feeling of looming dangers for the characters and the intensity of the doubts and fears felt by them. Where a passion takes root that is scintillating and it doesn’t matter if it is a slow-burn one or a flaming inferno, you get to live it all up via the characters. I got that in a high dose from Suzanne Brockmann and more. I got Tom and Kelly who have a history together, what started in their teen age years is picked up now that they are adults. I got this sweet, budding romance with David and Mallory; he is a comic artist, she is trash of the town but together they connect and just fit each others quirks. And then there are Joe and Charles.
Now if I only got Tom and Kelly with David and Mallory and the mystery of the terrorist I would’ve been content, I would’ve loved this novel too. But the WOII story of Joe and Charles added such a profound, bittersweet intensity to the blend of this story that I was in a constant state of emotional involvement. Things happened in the fifty-fifth that put Charles and Joe in the center of all the action. At the present they are life-long friends, through the good and the bad and you can feel that through all they do or say. Without a doubt these two friends elevated this novel to greater heights for me.
Tom and Kelly together are the common thread throughout The Unsung Hero. Tom’s head injury brings credibility to his doubts of whether he actually spotted `The Merchant’ or if it was a figment of his imagination. His internal struggles are a major tension factor and I kept going between the yes and no team of whether this terrorist was real or not. Tom is the kind of SEAL hero that makes my toes curl in female delight. A bad-boy rebellious teenager grew in to a man who lives life on the edge with his Seal team. He is competent, sexy, has a magnetic personality, hasn’t lost all of his bad-boy habits and it is all wrapped up in a muscular package that make women go weak in the knees. Still his injury also gives him a vulnerability that makes him so very human. Tom is a romantic suspense hero to the core and he had me from his introduction. Opposed to Tom there is Kelly, and underneath the exterior of the nice, girl-next-door persona, hides a brazen, dead-honest, live-life-to-the-fullest woman for Tom to explore and get to know. The chemistry smoldering between them is off the chart good and it surprised me how mild the actual physical eroticism was. The emphasis was on that tantalizing increasing attraction, magnified to a delicious intensity that made me crave that physical release almost as much as the actual pair. In this I recognized the romance I loved to read in my mid-twenties and I hungrily devoured every page.
Another thing was how three major story threads were interwoven together, it all connected on various levels and managed to keep hold of detailed characterization, the pace and that intensity. It is with this kind of storytelling that I can read in to the middle of the night, I just had to know how all the things would find a conclusion. Last but not least, Mallory and David are young, vibrant yet serious for their age, and I was endeared by their budding romance. Everyone who ever felt like an awkward teenager will recognize something in these two and they will bring a smile to your face.
Whether or not `The Merchant’ is real I leave for you to find out as you might pick up your own copy. I was mesmerized by the dynamic storytelling of Suzanne Brockmann, how she managed to pack this novel from first till last page with characters who tell a story that almost overflowed with emotional ups and downs and a threat that lures around every corner. This is the kind of romantic suspense I will never grow tired of reading. Suzanne Brockmann has blown me away and she took the saying to heart; `You never get a second chance to make a first impression’. The Troubleshooter series has started with a bang and I’m still recovering from the aftershocks!
“I thought you were in a hurry to get out of here tonight.” David said evenly. ”Me? No way. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be than right here, wearing my lovely little speedo, flexing my abs, playing superheroes with my new friend Mallory.”
So, okay, maybe she was a little bit nice. But so what? Weren’t nice women allowed to want heart-stopping passionately sex? Wasn’t she allowed to long for the exhilarating sensation of Tom’s incredible body out of control inside of her? As if nice women would only want polite, careful sex…
As if nice women didn’t sometimes have healthy, short-term, no string relationships simply for the sake of fulfilling a lifelong fantasy, for the sake of feeling that powerful carnival ride, stomach dropping, I’ve-got-a-crush-on-you-attraction, for the simple sake of having someone to hold on to when the night got particularly dark and lonely. (<- I could only think; “Rock on me fellow “nice” sista!”) ...more
“We want to be in a situation under maximum pressure, maximum intensity, and maximum danger. When it is shared with others, it provides a bond which i“We want to be in a situation under maximum pressure, maximum intensity, and maximum danger. When it is shared with others, it provides a bond which is stronger than any tie that can exist.”- SEAL Team Six Officer.
I read this quote at the beginning of the prologue and instantly was taken to Africa where a situation unfolded that was maximum pressure, intensity and danger. It was where Jake rescued Isabella from her captor and instantly a connection is formed. From the moment I read her “confession” to Jake and Jake in return revealed a secret of him I wanted to dig into their motivations. What had happened with Isabella prior to her rescue? What was her connection to her captor? And where was this all going? The prologue was one where my curiosity was triggered and the suspense was already anchoring me to the story. The other thing I immediately was drawn to in HARD TO HOLD was the characters Stephanie Tyler brought to life, yet it is the numbers of that group of characters that initially threw me off.
After the rather intense prologue there were many set-up of storylines; Jake, Nick and Chris with their past, Jake and Isabella with their romance, Jeannie, mother of Isabella, with the general Cal, Clutch and Sarah, and then there’s also Rafe McAllistar who has his role to play out too. While it all was interconnected it initially tempered my connection with the story until I was firmly adjusted to the writing style and got more in sync with the characters. Besides the fact of the many POV’s I had a bit of trouble surrendering to the fact Jake was so very young when he entered the army. At one hand I could believe that due to his past he had the emotional maturity to go through army training, and after that, SEAL training. Yet at the other hand I saw a 15 year old in front of me that didn’t fuse with the needed expertise of an extreme tough soldier.
Even though I had some issues with HARD TO HOLD Stephanie Tyler hit the bulls’ eye for me with Jake, Nick and Chris as men. They are an addictive combination of male toughness, attitude, vulnerability, virility and skills. They are a tight unit together that will stick by one another through the good and the bad. In their teenage years their bond as brothers by choice began and through all those years it never wavered, leading up to a point they now know each other like the back of their hand. So Nick and Chris knew when Jake offered Isabella a place to stay at their house that there was more going on then Jake just protecting Isabella.
While I tried to get my grip on the several storylines the romance was heart rendering beautiful. Isabella’s emotional healing process spoke of resilience, overcoming fears, courage and uncovering the naked truth of the past and the present. I think Isabella’s road to recovery was done in a believable way; it was an internal sparring of the strength to get her life back and yet feeling the fear and the pain of what was done to her. Jake is a great opposite for Isabella and they emotionally fit together like white on rice, still their strong personality’s clash where they create a fiery friction and have passionate dialogues. Neither is willing to back down easy but the underlying hunger for each other is evident in many choices, gestures and conversations. I loved how Jake restrained his libido to a certain level so that Isabella held the power yet at other area’s Jake is all take charge and a man not to be messed with.
Another romance that caught up with me is that of secondary characters Clutch and Sarah, who reside in Africa. They have their own romantic battle to fight but by pursuing an enemy are connected to the larger picture. Stephanie Tyler gave me another intriguing set-up with an organization named; GOST, and as I didn’t get a conclusion regarding this supporting storyline I am fiercely hoping I will get to meet Clutch and Sarah in book two again.
By the second half of HARD TOO HOLD past secrets, the present dangers, the romance and the characters worked together in a way I finally could feel the full effect of this author’s voice. The plot was in full swing and gave some more time for Chris and Nick and while I really liked all the characters Chris sealed his fate with me with his offbeat attitude and his two different colored eyes. What can I say; the man had me at hello. Now that I was firmly hooked I read the chapters, one right after the other, to deliver an ending that was nail biting good.
HARD TO HOLD had a somewhat rocky start but it only got better and better that by the end I could feel the eagerness for book two humming through my veins. ...more
"Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees." This is what Michael at some point said in this story and the quote stuck with me"Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees." This is what Michael at some point said in this story and the quote stuck with me because it reflects so beautifully what this story is all about. The love in BUTTERFLY TATTOO transcends this story from an endearing romance to an emotionally gripping experience. Love is the still epicenter where every imaginable emotion is born from and to me BUTTERFLY TATTOO is romance and love in its purest form. While I had my initial doubts about this novel I was told to 'just buy it' and start reading. So that is what I did on my Sunday afternoon, and from very early on in the novel Michael, Rebecca and Andrea didn't let me go.
The first thing that was a surprise for me was the alternating POV chapters between Michael and Rebecca but it gave a sublime picture of both their personal issues as well as how they both felt about their growing attraction. Deidre Knight delved deeply in to the psyche of her characters and uncovers all the raw emotions that come with hard-to-deal with topics like death, grief, letting go and surviving a horrific attack. It delivered a profound depth to the character development that it hooked, line and sinker me. I was emotionally attached, I went through the motion with Michael, Rebecca and Andrea separately, as well as their growing interconnected relationship.
Michael Warner is a man who has found true love in life with Alex Richardson. But when a tragic accident takes Alex away from the picture Michael is left with the broken pieces of their life, including an eight year old daughter. Michael is torn up inside about falling for a woman at one hand while at the other hand he still loves and grieves over Alex. Two very opposite emotions that brings a sharp contrast between certain events, emotions or conversations. Michael is a handsome man with an average day job but it is his personality what makes him so utter irresistible. He is trying hard to be a good dad for his emotionally damaged daughter while unexpectedly falling for a woman who once was a well known actress. My whole heart went out to him in his trials and tribulations and he became so very lifelike, recognizable and heartwarming via the pages.
Rebecca O'Neill has known fame, the best and the worst side of it, and now she bears to scars both inside and out. She is a secluded woman, doesn't let anyone into her inner circle easily, but when she meets Michael there's a click that is so naturally she can't ignore it. Rebecca has backbone yet as I got to read her POV there is also a vulnerable side that brings the understanding of how devastating the attack was and how it still affected her everyday life. Rebecca has different issues yet she brings something unique to the relationship of Michael and Andrea. It forms a foundation and throughout the story that foundation is tested on numerous occasions showcasing the resilience of this incredible woman.
Andrea Lauren Richardson is eight years old and daughter to Michael and Alex. She is just as much a part of the story as Michael and Rebecca are. She brings another kind of emotion to the story, the kind that is innocent but just as heartbreaking in her feelings of the loss of her daddy. There is a common denominator between Rebecca and Andrea that births understanding and dialogues that yanked at my heartstrings. Andrea, in her own way, rises the level of the emotional complexity of BUTTERFLY TATTOO and it became a better story for it.
There are just a few more characters I want to mention, Alex Richardson, for a deceased person he has a far-reaching effect on the story and via the pictures, videos and memories of Michael he truly gave that true love vibe to the relationship he had with Michael. Alex made the loss of his presence in everyone's life real, it was felt through every memory that was shared by multiple characters and their description of the kind of man he was. Of course there were friends from both sides in the picture but two protrude from that circle; Casey Porter, a `tell-it-like-it-is' gruff man with a heart of gold and Trevor, the best friend and assistant for ages to Rebecca, a man who has been there with every up and down in her life. They were both a touchstone for Michael and Rebecca to bring some perspective to difficult situations or emotions.
The topics in this story may not be light hearted but it makes the good things soar so much. The love between Rebecca and Michael grows gradual, with confusion, challenges, misunderstandings, first kisses and dates. The kisses were so good, they were absorbed in each other and kissed like there was no tomorrow. It broadcasted that falling in love vibe that makes the sun shine brighter, the food taste better and gives wings to your heart . It was at these moments that their bond, their connection grew stronger and later on that strength was tested. From every up and down was learned, emotions uncovered, truths faced and by the end I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, they were going to make it. That true love was found, treasured and it made the future for all characters an incredible adventure to look forward to.
BUTTERFLY TATTOO is a very character and emotion driven story that put me through the emotional wringer. I tumbled from bittersweet memories in to butterfly feelings of falling in love, back to the angst each character had to go through. I was crying, I was smiling, I was endeared and pulled in to a story that was life itself. Deidre Knight portrayed all the intricate emotions with an uncomplicated writing style and though this isn't a short story by any means it reads so very easily and before I knew it I read the story cover to cover.
Nothing prepared me for the experience that is titled; BUTTERFLY TATTOO. A story of depth, of unusual storylines and characters that will get under your skin. The emotions saturate the pages and all I can say I keep your hankies ready for this one. "Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees." And Michael made me believe and feel every word of it!...more