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From the Chrysalis

(The Devereux Cousins #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  36 reviews
A forbidden love affair between a college student and an ex-convict threatens to destroy them both.

Liza's bad-boy cousin, the handsome, magnetic D’Arcy “Dace” Devereux is nothing but trouble. Falling in love with him can only make things worse. Especially for a girl who knows more about books and monarch butterflies than she does men.

The cousins’ mutual infatuation flare
Kindle Edition, 313 pages
Published February 5th 2012 by Karen E. Black
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  240 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
From time to time, I select books with provocative themes, out of curiosity to see how authors tackle sensitive issues like those in “The List” (by Siobhan Vivian) and “Forbidden” (by Tabitha Suzuma), and how well they capture the dynamics and complexities of human emotions and relationships.

[The review below may contain spoilers, depending on how you look at it!]

The story is about Liza and her first cousin, Dace. From a young age, Liza had been drawn to Dace like a moth to a flame. All through
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
From the Chrysalis by Karen E. Black covers a time span of several years and the setting is Canada for the most part. It is a fictional romance with a taste of mystery, violence, and sex. I find other books sometimes have sex that is over done and redundant but that is not the case here since Karen Black has seemed to master a style of her own.

In 1966 Elizabeth "Liza" Devereux is a fourteen year old growing up in a household with her younger twin brothers, her mother, and a step-father who does
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It isn't often that I put down a novel that is so moving and powerfully written that I can't pick up another for a while. This story will dwell in my mind for a very long time. Liza falls in love at fourteen with her handsome, wild cousin Dace who is due to go into prison for manslaughter which was not his fault. There is an immediate bonding between them. Liza, like so many girls, is attracted to the Dark Lover, the inner male that is dangerous, difficult and even destructive - but who ultimate ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“From the Chrysalis” is a love story between a man wrongly convicted of manslaughter and his cousin the innocent Liza. Set in Canada during the prison riots of the 1970s, author Karen Black’s historical romance has a gritty underside that will grab you and keep you reading well into the night. A cross between Grisham and Hart, this is a page-turner.

The characters are well conceived and authentic. Naive Liza who spends more time with books than people and angry, disillusioned Dace are both outcas
Katie Morrell
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"From the Chrysalis" is the bitter sweet story of the incongruous love between a young girl and her convict cousin.Left to fend for themselves--Liza with her grandmother in Dublin and Dace in a Canadian prison that's about to blow--both young people get into "trouble" and struggle to overcome their pasts. Though they eventually come together as young adults,their troubles are far from over. Dace's association with the bikers worried me, but for the most part--for this book anyway,the bikers aren ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The cover of "From the Chrysalis" promised a prison story, so that's why I read it, but it's only partly about that. But "From the Chrysalis" is also a love story, and the development of the Liza character is every bit as good as the male protagonist, Dace. A secondary character called Mel is also very believable. So the book was a bit of a surprise for me. But in fact I found it hard to put down. Karen Black has a flair for fast moving narrative. I hope she is working on a sequel. ...more
 ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
Oct 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
What the hell did I just read?

This was a suck fest of read for me. Aside from the prison riot plot (which is stemmed from fact) everything else surrounding this story was horrible. And I am going to attempt to explain to you why this sucked for me.

1. It was definitely the "Trying way too hard to be lyrical" prose, the author took on with executing this story but also the practically non-existent intense connection we're only told & not shown is there, between the 2 main characters. I have a majo
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Love can be so very complicated. That is what Liza and Dace found out. As cousins their love wasn't approved of, but the attraction made them want to fight the obstacles placed in their way. But that isn't the biggest problem facing this couple. Dace loves trouble. He gets into enough of it to land him in prison. Liza, in her desperation to be near him, goes to college near the prison. It doesn't matter that they don't have much time. It only matters that they have some time. When his "friends" ...more
Karen Black
I had a wonderful time writing this book!
Here's one of my favorite reviews from the inside cover.

"From the Chrysalis" is the twisted and winding tale of Liza and her dashing and dangerous older cousin Dace Devereux. Set in Canada, it is the tale of a relationship blighted by uncomprehending relatives, social conventions, a harrowing stint in Maitland Penitentiary (complete with riots and semi-totalitarian "people's committees"), the well-intentioned galumph Mel, and a conundrum Liza has to bear
Nadia Aislinn
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an unusual love story, beautifully written and very gripping. I was going to write a more detailed review, but I was afraid I'd give too much away.

I'll say this, though--a friend was involved in a similar relationship with an ex-con, so I related to Dace's and Liza's predicament and started to pull for both of them early on. They had choices, but not many, chiefly because he couldn't stay out of jail and neither one of them had much family support. If they'd had more family support, the
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good read...forbidden love,murder, prison riots,bikers and well written courtroom scences. I found myself drawn to Liza and one problem is the ending had me wanting more hopefully there is another book to this story!
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every once in a while you come across a book that takes you from reality and plunges you into its world and you are completely lost in it. ‘From the Chrysalis’ is one of those books. From the second I started reading this book I could not put it down and when I wasn’t reading it I was still thinking about the story and what was going to happen to Liza and Dace next. The story is romantic and tragic, as any good love story should be, and will leave you wanting more. Karen E. Black does an excelle ...more
Suzanne (Lily)
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it

A slightly different read, found it hard to get around the fact that Dace and Liza are cousins. I did however get caught up in the angst of both characters being imprisoned with or without walls. Justice and truth seem almost within reach, their day to day choices to exist drag them deeper into the world that is expected of Dace. Towards the me of the story, I too gave in to overlooking their heritage much to my surprise. Now waiting for book 2.... There surely has to be one with that ending :
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fab I cant wait for sequel!
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Set in the mid nineties "From the Chyrsalis" by Karen E. Black is a story of Falling in love and other challenges associated with it. In real life Karen (the author) work as a reference librarian which I might say not just made this novel more appealing but also historically enriched. The Kingston Penitentiary Riot is at the core of this romance book.

Liza is fourteen, fascinated with butterflies is like a free spirit but contained, shy, and a normal teen none the less (while I don't recall any t
brandy oliver
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Interesting and very rare, one that I won't be forgetting anytime soon.
This author has made an enormous impact with her debut, and I am anxious to read more from her!
I started to read this book, and within the first couple pages, this book really jump started and kept my attention, very surreal, and had me wondering what was coming on the next page. One of those books that you do not want to put down, but you have to change a diaper or something;) and you are trying to hurry back because you wa
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a bit unusual. I was expecting more of a romance--and it is--but it really doesn’t fit into a genre. The author has a different kind of writing style, but it’s very fluid. She really got inside the heads of her main characters too: Liza, a young college student and her cousin Dace who’s ended up in prison and can’t seem to break away. I found myself pulling for both of them. Some sex, some violence (especially the riot) so I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody.
Sibila Vargas
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved 'From the Chrysalis'. The story grabbed me right from the first sentence. It's beautifully written with a unique story line and exceptional characters. Told from the heroine's and hero's points of view, it's fast paced and full of insight into the criminal justice system. I would have no hesitation in recommending this book-read it! I’m really looking forward to the sequel. (For readers over 18!) ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I read on my new Kindle! No way I expected a freebie to be so good. I was looking for something a little like "Prison Break" and this book is, but it also turned out to be an unusual romance with a great plot. Really moves along. I couldn't put it down. Some sex scenes and some violence, so I recommend it for over 18. ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not my typical read (it's a bit mushy), but I really enjoyed the writing style and the story pulled me in. I remembered the Kingston Penitentiary Riot well. Actually knew somebody who was in it--a friend of a friend. ...more
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this story very much. It took me a little bit to get into it but once I did it was hard to put down. Liza has been attracted to Dace, her first cousin, since she was very young. Eventually he returns her feelings, but ends up going to jail shortly after they spent a special bit of time together and each discovered how the other felt. What follows is years of unending devotion between the two.

I especially liked Dace's narrative. With his life in prison and the riots there his story is s
Caitlin Janke
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wait-what
From the Chrysalis starts out a little strange. There is no real explanation or climax to the character’s relationship at first and I thought the beginning was a bit strange. I then felt it skipped the first few years a bit quickly where there could have been a bit more but once you get farther into the novel it becomes more of a flowing story. I was glad when I kept going farther into the novel because it followed two lives that mix to make an unforgettable story. Half the story is set during a ...more
Susan Davis
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Richly developed and intriguing characters of Dace and Liza come together in this fast-paced story of love, danger and obsession. At first, the naive Liza and ex-con Dace seem like good girl meets bad boy, but in just a few pages, the reader discovers that their love is so much more. This one's a keeper; I could see it gracing the big screen some day. ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was a little hesitant about this book after reading that it had to do with a love story between cousins but I read the sample and decided to give it a go. I'm so glad I did. It is well written and you root for the couple to make it. Great bad boy/ good girl romance.
Paul Seneca
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am really into books where the author "draws you in" no matter what the style and this author just does that! You'll find yourself emotionally invested in the characters and unable to put the book down so you ca find out what happens next! A great read full of unexpected twists and turns! ...more
Craig Rowland
It is the unfortunate state of self-publishing that authors forgo the time and expense of having their works properly edited. No printed work, whether by a large or small publishing house, or even a self-published endeavour, should escape editorial scrutiny. To leave a work unedited only does the author a disservice. How could Karen E. Black, the author of From the Chrysalis, not have thoroughly reread her manuscript--or have had someone else do so--before sending it to print? Based on the super ...more
Courtney Bettevy
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Only A Bit Taboo

The story begins with a young sixteen-year-old Liza who has big dreams to further her education and a reckless nineteen-year-old Dace being on trial for murder. Liza has been in love with her first cousin, Dace, for as long as she can remember. However, Dace gets sent to prison for murder that he may or may not be guilty of committing. As the book progresses on, the two lovebirds become involved once Daces circumstances change when suddenly Dace gets into trouble once again. Liza
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book so I really wanted to finish it.... it was hard because I never cared about the characters and never felt drawn into their lives. This is book one I would like to have seen the characters more developed. Story was superficial other than the steamy sex this book would be suitable for a teenage girl.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I have problems in reviewing this book as my attitude towards it depends upon which part I may be considering. It works well in places but in others I struggled to maintain interest.

It starts well. I thought the early parts which dealt with Liza's infatuation with her elder cousin to be well written. Although technically bordering on incest I never thought that this dreamt about relationship was in any way crossing lines or challenging any taboos. The separation, especially with her going to Ire
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This was close for me...probably more of a 2.5 than a 3 star review.
The premise was interesting and that's probably why I rated it higher than I would have normally.
What did me in was the writing, it felt kind of fractured, especially the dialogue. Everytime that I had the mental image during a scene painted for me, it felt like it would skip unnecessarily due to the dialogue.
It's a shame since I really liked the main characters and was really involved in their story otherwise.
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