As a huge fan of Colleen Coble, I always jump at the chance to review one of her books. I have to say that when I first began reading Butterfly Palace it seemed to move slower than most novels by Ms. Coble. In fact, I wasn't so sure I was going to like it and almost gave up on it. But, I told myself I couldn't give up because after all it was written by Colleen Coble and it was worth the read. I was so glad I continued reading as once it grabbed me and pulled me into the story I was in for a wonderful suspenseful and somewhat dark ride.
The story begins in Larson, Texas in 1900 when Lily Donaldson and Andy Hawkins are in love and find they have to sneak around in order to spend time together. One fateful night they are together while their fathers are doing business in the livery stable which is connected to Lily's house. When they smell smoke they run out to see that the livery stable is on fire and there is nothing they can do to save the lives of their fathers. Andy leaves that day never to return and without telling Lily goodbye.
Four years later, after Lily's mother passes away, she finds herself in need of work and journeys to Austin, Texas where she was hired in as a servant at the Butterfly Palace. During her first night, while serving dinner, she sees Andy dining with the guests as if he were of their stature. When he spies Lily he knows he owes her answers so he looks for the chance to take her aside to talk with her. He tells her he goes by Drew Hawkes now and begs her to keep his secret. What he eventually tells her is that he is working undercover as part of the Secret Service.
There are several suspenseful threads woven within Butterfly Palace. There is a serial killer on the loose killing blond servant girls within the city, there is a counterfeit ring that Drew it working on bringing down and there is a conspiracy to assassinate the new Senator Elect and possibly the President of the United States. Ms. Coble does an outstanding job of creating twists and turns and then tying everything up quite nicely. I must admit she had me guessing until the very end.
I have always found that Ms. Coble creates such believable characters that they stay with you long after you finish reading the last page. I will admit that one character grabbed me from the first moment we met on the page, that would be Belle Castle. I loved seeing this 'somewhat of a brat' grow within the covers of the book. Watching her transformation was like watching a butterfly emerge from a caterpillar's cocoon. Simply beautiful.
I would highly recommend Butterfly Palace to mature readers who love a great suspense novel.
On a 5-Star Scale = 5 Stars!!!!!
I would like to thank Thomas Nelson and BookLook Bloggers (formerly BookSneeze) for my review copy of Butterfly Palace. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.
Smiles & Blessings,