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Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble
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I absolutely love the author's style. Butterfly Palace was so well written that I was continually guessing who the bad guy was. Although I am not usually a fan of murder-mysteries, this novel, which is actually a love lost-and-found story set in 1904, involved a serial killer, a possible assassin, and a murderer from the past. All along I thought two of the three were the same person. Boy was I wrong. It is obvious Coble did her research for that era with her descriptions of clothing, transportation and daily life. ( )
  kaylynvh | Aug 23, 2016 |
This book just wasn't well written. There were too many characters that were undeveloped and several loose ends. Also, events were way too convenient (people running into each other just too conveniently). Also, I don't like books that have repeated phrases (like "heat rushing to my cheeks") - just a pet peeve and this book had a couple of examples. I do not recommend. ( )
  sbenne3 | Sep 25, 2014 |
This book lured me in early with its excellent plot and exciting Prologue. However, the storyline lost its momentum and became drawn out and my interest waned. The tempo did pick up again towards the middle of the book and developed into a satisfying conclusion.

The author manages to weave many elements into the storyline. They include a story of love and loss, with an engrossing mystery that keeps you guessing. There are various scenes in the book that I found to be deeply touching. The book had very slight religious overtones – in fact, I’m not sure that it qualifies as a Christian read.

A few negative comments – There was a large cast of characters with complex issues. I became confused at times. The dialogue was sometimes hard to follow – it seemed disjointed – going in too many directions. I found the story to be implausible, failing to convince me.

I’ve read some excellent books by this author, but this one fell a bit flat for me. It was just lukewarm and not one I would enthusiastically recommend. 3/5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are solely my responsibility ( )
  wrbinpa | May 9, 2014 |
Butterfly Palace
Colleen Coble

Book Summary: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?

Review: This was a thrilling read!! I loved the premise and all the characters. They were well written and enjoyable. Lily was a great hero. She cared about everyone. Belle who had started off with a heart but arrogance due to her class turned into a great woman. Drew exciting and dashing. I loved that the secret passage in the house. It was sad when victims were killed and well written. It was the last 20 pages when the events intensified that I slowed down. So much was happening so fast in 20 pages it made it difficult to keep going. I just loved the entire story. The position of Lily as a maid was the gem in this story. Someone with so little power, yet she was able to be helpful and a sleuth.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson -ficton for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. ( )
  Robin661 | Mar 26, 2014 |
Title: Butterfly Palace
Author: Colleen Coble
Pages: 314
Year: 2014
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Drew Hawkes works for the Secret Service, but he is keeping some secrets of his own. He is on the trail of the man he believes murdered his father and has been tracking him ever since he left Larson, Texas four years ago. Drew left behind his fiancée without a word to track this criminal and never contacted her again. He has convinced himself he did this for her own good as he wouldn’t be able to keep her safe and he wasn’t worthy of her love. Drew is stunned when he sees Lily walk through the door. He immediately tries to disappear again, but to no avail.
Lily Donaldson has just buried her mother and now must find a way to support herself. Her father had been killed with Drew’s father four years ago. She takes a job at a wealthy senator’s home as a maid. Who should she run into her first day, but Drew. What is he doing there she wonders? Does he really have feelings for Belle, the senator’s niece? Lily and Drew talk and he tells her what he is doing at Butterfly Palace and soon she is helping him in his investigation.
I didn’t really like this book. The characters fell flat, the boundaries between social classes were crossed, which I felt wasn’t realistic, and the dialogue was disjointed or in some cases didn’t make sense. I just couldn’t relate to the characters well. I did like the twist at the end of the story regarding the guilty people, who had been committing many crimes. That is the only reason I rated this book as a 2. I have read other books by this author and enjoyed them, so I’m not throwing in the towel on reading her books. Every once in a while there just is a book that is just not up to par, and this is one of those books. I cannot recommend this one.
My rating is 2 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/. Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Feb 16, 2014 |
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"Lilly secures a job as maid in a grand manor in Austin, Texas. But even far from home, her past lurks around every corner.When Lilly Donnelly arrives at the Cutlers' famed Butterfly Mansion in 1899, the massive house and unfamiliar duties threaten to overwhelm her. Victorian Austin is lavish, highly political, and intimidating, but with the help of the other servants, Lilly resolves to prove herself to her new employers.Then, while serving at an elegant dinner party;Lilly recognizes one distinguished guest as Andrew, the love of her life, who abandoned her without a word back home. He seems to have assumed a new identity and refuses to acknowledge her, leaving her confused and reeling.Before Lilly can absorb this unwelcome news, shes attacked. Could it be the sinister;Servant Girl Killer who has been terrorizing Austin? Or is it someone after something more personal someone from her past?Does she dare trust Andrew to help or is he part of the danger threatening to draw Lilly into its vortex?"--… (more)

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