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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Butterfly ~ Kathryn Harvey

Once upon a time, before Anastasia met her 'Fifty Shades', before Eva 'Bared' it to Gideon, there was a Butterfly…..

A seductive, sensual and mesmerizing Butterfly……

A book about making hopes and dreams a reality.

A story, that tells the tale of women in search of having their wildest fantasies fulfilled.

A tale about the thirst for power and the desire for ultimate revenge.
You will be entranced. You will be enthralled. You shall be warned.....

                                                         This is NOT a love story! 

I was so excited when my package finally arrived in the mail! I tore open the yellow envelope, made sure my toddler was amused with her toys and immediately sat down and started to read! (Thank God I had completed my chores for the day!)
Written under the pen name 'Kathryn Harvey' Butterfly is one of those novels where you have to clear your schedule well in advance to read. There is a lot going on within it's pages and it needs your full attention. (I will sign a note saying I have given you permission to ignore the housework if anyone complains... I've got your back!) I was torn the other night between watching 'Love In The Wild' and reading Butterfly. Not wanting to miss out on either, I compromised and read during commercial breaks. It took all my spare time, made me late for bed, forced my husband to complain about my sleep habits, but it was well worth it!

Trying to write a blog review on this novel is a difficult task. The reason? Because if I say too much I may spoil the mystery of the plot. I don't want to do that to the reader. So I will keep with the spirit of Butterfly and the characters by revealing only tidbits I feel can be shared.........

Let's start with the description from Amazon:

"An arousing, passionate story of three women's hidden desires and the place called Butterfly, where dreams are kept and where fantasies come to life.
Above an exclusive men's store on Rodeo Drive there is a private club called Butterfly, where women are free to act out their secret erotic fantasies. Only the most beautiful and powerful women in Beverly Hills are invited to join: Jessica, a lawyer who longs for the days when men were men, and women dressed to please them; Trudie, a builder who wants a man who will challenge her - all of her - with no holds barred; and Linda, a surgeon, who uses masks to unmask the desires she hides even from herself. But the most mysterious of them all is the woman who created Butterfly. She has changed her name, her accent, even her face to hide her true identity. And now she is about to reveal everything to realize the dream that has driven her since childhood - the secret obsession that will carry her beyond ecstasy, or destroy her and everyone around her."

 My take:

"Butterfly" flits back and forth between it's characters weaving a spell over the reader. It spans over several decades to tell the complex tale of the mysterious owner of Butterfly, and how the club came to be.
We follow several different characters, some of them over time, others in just their present day situations.
The subjects of sexism, racism, homosexuality, sex, ethics, politics and religion are themes that appear throughout the story. In my personal opinion, the author did a fantastic job capturing the attitudes and struggles society faced in the mid nineteen-hundred's. (I'm still waiting on Marty McFly to show up with the Delorian so I can go back and check things out for myself) The terminology and slang smoothly transitioned between the decades which set an authentic tone to the novel. 'Kathryn Harvey' captured the thoughts and challenges of the poorer classes in the fifties, especially those pertaining to women with no education and the harsh attitudes of men who believed women had a place and it was either the bed or the kitchen. We hear the thoughts of a poor ignorant white man, and how he feels about the African American help. We read about J.F.K assassinated in his prime and how it effected and changed not only people in the country but the course of characters lives in the book. We see the freedom and sexual liberation of woman in the sixties. (You get the picture) I could keep going all the way until the book takes you to the 'present day' of Butterfly which is the nineteen-eighties.
I especially enjoyed as the story progressed to describe the Hippie Movement in the late sixties. One line made me chuckle and I will share it as it is not in any way crucial to the plot: The following is in response to an inquiry of a secretaries whereabouts:

 "I don't know. She just came in this morning, announced that she was no longer Debbie Schwartz but Daffodil, and that she was going to go out and find her karma"

(Oh the things that amuse me)

I found myself nostalgic as I read about the days when things were still kept in filing cabinets. When we used typewriters and people had to actually 'wait' for their phone calls. (And YES, I am old enough to have used both a typewriter and a rotary phone, but if anyone asks I am twenty five!)

 I don't think I would even classify this novel as 'Mommy Porn'. There is a depth to this novel that puts it in a class of it's own.While Butterfly does have imaginative and erotically charged sexual encounters, there is a rock solid story line full of intensity and drama. We don't see 'as much' sex as we saw in the other novels I have reviewed and what we do see in Butterfly is written with class, not crass. (Newsflash for those who think this is a straight up tale about erotic sex. It's NOT!)  May I be so bold to say that if you didn't find Fifty Shades Of Grey to be your cup of tea, than Butterfly may be more suited to your tastes! (And if Fifty Shades was your style, it doesn't matter read this book anyway!)

Let's take a quick peek at the characters!

Dr. Linda Markus: A surgeon with two failed marriages, and some serious sexual issues. When she’s not trying to work herself to death, she is at Butterfly using it as her own personal ‘sex therapy' session. Will she ever be able to fix her problem? Or is she doomed to be alone forever.

Trudie Stein: Fun-loving, single and looking for love in all the wrong places. She’s the most sought after female builder in a business. A business that is dominated by men who see her as more of a pain in the ass than anything. She has a veracious sexual appetite and just needs to meet Mr. Right… Butterfly helps her get her jollies off in a safe and fun environment while she figures out what exactly she needs in a man.

Jessica Franklin: A young, successful and shrewd Entertainment Lawyer by day and a suppressed, emotionally abused, submissive wife by night (or whenever her douchebag husband is around) Her friend Trudie introduces to her the idea of Butterfly and wants her to join. Will it help her heal from her husband’s domineering ways? Will cheating solve her problems and give her the confidence she needs?

Rachel Dwyer: A lost, lonely and embarrassingly naive little girl who gets caught up in a world of prostitution. She's an avid reader for someone in her age and social class. She loves to get lost in a book and will do anything improve her life. For someone who didn't grow up with a lot of love, she has a lot to give.

Danny MacKay: A despicable low life, hell bent on being the most powerful man he can be. His ego and skill at cunning knows no bounds!

Beverly Highland: The best and only word to describe her is..... 'Enigma'

More Information

Kathryn Harvey is a pseudonym for best selling author Barbara Wood. This book was originally released in 1988 and has been re-released by Turner Publishing! Butterfly is the first in a trilogy, followed by 'Stars' and Private Entrance. I have added both to my reading list, along with every title Barbara Wood has ever written. She is an extremely talented author, and I look forward to discovering more of her work. (She has a LONG list of books I need to catch up on!)

In my personal opinion, Butterfly can be enjoyed by both women AND men. In fact, I challenge my male audience to read this as I would like to hear a man's take on it! (If you are a kick-ass guy and will read the book, send me an email and let me know your opinion so I can share with everyone!)

 I will reiterate again that the book is one hell of a story and there is more to it than a 'fantastical' bordello and what goes on inside it's walls.

The many characters, story lines and flashbacks, twists and events taking place, that it makes a truly captivating read.

I can assure you this is not the last you will hear from me about this trilogy or author (pen name or not!)..........

What if I were to tell you there is a GIVEAWAY copy up for grabs?

Would you want it??

I know your answer is a resounding YES!

Details to follow..... in the meantime........

Happy Reading!!

**Have an e-reader? Visit right now for an amazing deal on a Kindle Edition copy!! Get it while the deal lasts!You can't beat $1.95usd for a book like this!**

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