Monday, April 21, 2014

Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble

Overview: Elegance and wealth. Privilege and politics. The extravagance of the Butterfly Palace overwhelmed Lily’s senses and nearly smothered her painful memories. She pushed away her misgivings . . . She was perfectly safe in this huge house.

Austin, Texas—1904: Abandoned by the love of her life and still mourning the loss of her mother, Lily Donaldson has turned her back on the pain and come to Austin for a fresh start, working for the Marshall family as a kitchen maid in their luxurious mansion, the Butterfly Palace. The tasks before her are legion, and her mistress less than pleasant, but at least Lily’s new life will be, if nothing else, distracting.

But one night, while serving at a dinner party, Lily recognizes the man who abandoned her, Andy, her liaison from the livery stable, the blacksmith’s son . . . sitting among the distinguished guests. Though he recognizes her, Andy does not acknowledge her aloud, and Lily is left reeling, flabbergasted, and irate.

But before she can get an explanation, the path of the Servant Girl Killer swerves very close to the Butterfly Palace, sowing terror among the maids. Having come to Austin to start anew, Lily suddenly feels trapped in a spider web. How can she know who to trust in a house where lies come dressed in fine suits and deceit in silk gowns the colors of butterfly wings?

My Review:  I really cannot get enough of this author. Colleen Coble knows how to write a great story that captivates the reader from beginning to end. I was trapped from the first chapter of the book to the very end. Most of the time, I can kind of figure out what's going to happen or who the villain is in a mystery/suspense story. However, there were so many twists and turns to this story, I didn't figure anything out until the characters did! I loved that about it!

The characters, main and secondary, were very well developed. Lily Donaldson knows heartache and pain. In spite of all she's been through, she still cares deeply for others and has a strong sense of self (even when she doesn't realize it). She has her faults and she's not perfect, so that makes her more real. She is definitely a character one could look up to. Andrew Hawkins (Drew Hawkes) is not your typical self-assured male lead. He questions himself, especially where Lily is concerned, and he has his doubts like any human being does. Even the secondary characters of Emily and Belle were essential to the development of Lily and Drew as people and romantically. I hope to hear more of Belle's story in a later novel!

The message of the book was subtle, but none-the-less important. As Colleen says in her note to her readers, "Struggle and pain aren't something to fear. We all face trials while here on earth. What matters is how we're dealing with the challenges that come our way." God is continually molding us under the refiner's fire. Do we let these challenges make us stronger or do we give the devil the satisfaction of breaking us? Overall, I can't say enough great things about this book. Get your copy today!!

About the Author: Lonestar Angel, the 4th novel in Colleen Coble’s popular Lonestar series won the 2012 Carol Award in Romantic Suspense.

With more than 300 products nominated, industry retailers chose the titles to receive the Retailer’s Choice award. The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble, received an award in fiction: historical romance. When hearing the news, Daisy Hutton, vice president and publisher for Thomas Nelson’s fiction division had this to say: “The Thomas Nelson fiction team is delighted that Colleen Coble’s work has been recognized by retailers through this award. Colleen is more than a Thomas Nelson author; she is a part of our family, having celebrated her 10th anniversary with us this summer. We greatly appreciate the support that retailers have given to Colleen throughout her career, and we join her in celebrating this achievement.”

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