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Butterfly av Kathryn Harvey
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Butterfly (urspr publ 1988; utgåvan 2005)

av Kathryn Harvey

Serier: Butterfly-Stars (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2921167,865 (3.67)4
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.
Medlem:gephydroxx
Titel:Butterfly
Författare:Kathryn Harvey
Info:Authors Choice Press (2005), Paperback, 364 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:fiction

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Butterfly av Kathryn Harvey (1988)

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This book is about far more than simple seduction and erotic fantasies. The author spins a deep and engrossing tale that spans decades, showing what the drive of one young women can build over time. Butterfly is a unique and exclusive club that caters to women’s fantasies. The men, staff, and clients are all hand picked for their ability to be discrete. As a counter to that, there is the simple, elegant, and irreproachable Beverly Highland, who has become quite the businesswoman over the years. Her support of the evangelist-turned-politician Danny MacKay has helped him rise to his high station. But does she have ulterior motives? This book also has several engaging flashbacks to Rachel Dwyer in the 1950s. We meet her as a 14 year old girl and follow her through her troubles, watching her eventually transform into something else.

I’m sure this book has been labeled erotica or chick lit or romance and none of those labels do this book justice. True, it does have some of those elements, but they combine with other elements (suspense, historical fiction, etc.) to become something much more impressive. First, all the characters are so engaging. Even if I didn’t like some of them, I understood where they were coming from and wanted to know more about them. Second, the setting was interesting too. The modern-day parts happen mostly in Beverly Hills, California. The historical fiction elements happen in Texas, New Mexico, and California. Third, the plot had several unforeseen elements that kept me pleasantly surprised and turning the pages (well, listening to yet the next MP3 file and the next and the next).

The book opens with Dr. Linda Marques. She has a few failed marriages under her belt and that’s mostly due to her frigidity problems. She can’t seem to find joy in the bedroom. Her recent visits to Butterfly, where she dons a mask, have helped her start to face the deep reasons for her lack of enthusiasm. Trudie, who is head of a pool construction company, wants a man that considers her an equal, but she’s having a hard time finding such a person. Her regular hook ups at clubs and the occasional dalliance with someone else in the construction business have all left her unsatisfied. Yet her experiences at Butterfly, which often entail having entertaining arguments over brainy books, have shown her just how good things in the bedroom can be. Jessica, a lawyer for the celebrities, has a controlling and dismissive husband. She’s never really considered what she might be missing, that is, until she gets an exclusive invitation to Butterfly. There, she finds that she can call the shots in romance and it thrills her.

Now let’s bounce back to the 1950s and Rachel Dwyer, who was my favorite character. At age 14 she has to leave home as her father has made it quite clear, in his drunken abusive way, that she can’t stay there. She plans to head to California to beg a job from her mom’s friend but things go astray and she ends up on the wrong bus. Without enough money to make it to California, she feels stranded. That’s when she meets the young Danny McKay who offers to take her to his family’s farm and help her find a job. She instantly becomes smitten with him and they start a romantic relationship. Things become twisted when he places her in a house of prostitution. Rachel, still being somewhat naive, holds onto the hope that she will marry and have kids, that her love for Danny isn’t wasted. Rachel’s story shows us a woman who reaches her breaking point and at that point instead of accepting that life is awful and there’s no real escape from it, she becomes completely determined to find another way. At first, I thought Rachel’s story was one of those train wrecks that you can’t look away from, but really it’s about a young woman metamorphosing into something greater.

The men, while fewer that the female characters, are no less interesting. Of course, Danny MacKay is the lead male in this drama. We know from Rachel’s story that he’s not a great guy. From present-day Beverly Highland’s story, we see Danny for the political powerhouse he has become. He has the backing of his religious evangelical organization, plus other business people like Beverly. He has also invested in several properties and businesses over the decades, making him rich in his own right. He’s well known and now hoping to run for President. He’s still a very cruel man. I enjoyed very much hating on him throughout the book as he gives us so many reasons to dislike him.

This book does have several sex scenes, giving it an erotic flair. The scenes are quite varied showing what women desire at Butterfly, but also what they experience in the average, every day world (which usually lacks in quality when compared to Butterfly). A few of the scenes are violent and/or abusive (such as some of Rachel’s experiences) but the author doesn’t linger over them nor use them as shock factors. Instead, they reveal key points about the characters’s natures.

This was just an immensely satisfying book. I didn’t expect to like it so much when I dived into it. Quite frankly, I was expecting 16 hours of erotica with maybe 2 hours of character and plot development. What I got, which is much more desirable, is the opposite; the author built these amazing characters and did an excellent job revealing the plot. Going into it, I had no idea what Rachel would become, how Danny would rise so high, how Beverley would execute her end game. Truly, there is much more here than first meets the eye.

I received this audiobook at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Narration: Laura Jennings did a pretty good job with this book. I really liked her distinct voices for all the ladies. However, several of her young male voices all sounded very similar. She did well with the older male voices. She was excellent at imbuing the text with emotions, and there were plenty of them in this book, several of them subtle. I also liked her Spanish accent for Carmella. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Sep 19, 2016 |
4 "An Empire Built to Destroy Another" for the story and 4.5 Stars for the narration!

The best phrase to describe this epic saga that spans decades and transcends dozens of interconnected lives is: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Lovers of deep meticulous revenge plots will love the message of this novel. Moreover, this novel will leave you with a very strong feeling of female empowerment.

As I mostly read and listen to romance titles, I do want to note that Butterfly reads more like historical fiction (taking place in the US in the 60s/70s/80s) and women's literature than romance. However, for those romantic suspense lovers who love to dig deep into plots and character evolvement, Butterfly will satisfy the most inquisitive of minds. One additional caveat is worth mentioning. Butterfly deals with some darker subjects like physical and mental abuse, adultery, and rape. Interestingly, however, this is not a story about a BDSM club--which had been my original impression going in. Instead this is a story about how and why a very exclusive, private club where women's fantasies are catered to was built and how it affected the lives of several of its patrons.

Among the exclusive clientele of the Butterfly Club are a lawyer (Jessica), a surgeon (Linda), and a luxury pool builder (Trudie). All are extremely successful women and all have very special reasons for needing a place like Butterfly where their secret desires can be catered to or where they can be free to let go of their particular inhibitions and fears in order to experience pleasure. This story will take you through each woman's successes, quandaries, and how and why they find themselves at Butterfly as well as how Butterfly ultimately changes each.

But who built Butterfly and why? And just who is instrumental in this intricate plot and why? This is a much longer story which will take you to some heart wrenching places before ultimately vindication reigns.

Rounding out this intriguing saga is the talented narration by Laura Jennings. This was my first experience with Ms. Jennings and I was impressed. Ms. Jennings creates unique voices for each one of the many characters. Not only does she create genuine sounding female and male characters, but even within a particular gender she manages to create distinguishable differences with accents and intonations. And from her Southern accent to her Mexican American one, each renders the story that Kathryn Harvey has penned that much more tangible and real.

Ms. Jennings also pays close attention to the timing of her delivery. From the high suspense scenes to the more sensual ones, Ms. Jennings delivers each with maximum effect to heightening the particular mood being created by the book.

All in all, I highly enjoyed the suspense and detailed plot of Butterfly. This story is part of a trilogy, and I can't wait to see what new adventures await in Stars (Book 2 in the Butterfly trilogy).

Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  B.J.O. | Jul 17, 2016 |
I should begin by saying that going into this book, I thought it was published in 2005 & was a contemporary romance. As I began reading, it became evident that this was not a story in that time period. I then found it was originally published in 1988. The many references in this book definitely made sense in that context but it became a bit of a distraction because there were so many brand names mentioned that are no longer "high end" (Lear instead of Gulf Stream, Pierre Cardin, Members Only, etc) or even recognizable. Furthermore, it didn't set the time in the way a story by Bret Easton Ellis can, it just felt like it was pushing "wealthy L.A." in a heavy handed way with all the name dropping.

I found the first chapter intro to be very compelling because you don't know who has died or who the woman who put it all into motion happens to be. I thought the mystery/revenge set up would get going much earlier on but instead we go back & forth in time getting to know the main female characters. While that was somewhat interesting, I found that it was mostly tedious because I wanted to get to the mystery. The main women we follow have all been on the rough side of relationships with men & other life circumstances but they excel in their professional lives & so seek liberation & freedom in Butterfly. I am a fan of stories of empowered women & certainly love stories where women take charge of their own happiness but none of the characters were very compelling in the long run. There was nothing new here & nothing that will stand out as revelatory or have lasting impression.

This may well have been an edgy story when it was originally published (what with women running & patronising the brothel) but by today's standard, it is quite tame. There's nothing sexually graphic or kinky here. And there's nothing wrong with that but I wouldn't even say there was anything in this book that felt like it belonged in "romance". It is a broad chick-lit ensemble where the b-story revenge plot is the most interesting thing going on. Don't go into it looking for more & it should be a satisfying telling. If you're looking for a romantic & erotic story of a woman patronising a brothel, pick up Robin Schone's "The Lover".

This is the first in the Butterfly Trilogy but I don't have any desire to read the remaining installments. ( )
  anissaannalise | Jan 1, 2014 |

OMG!!!!!! I loved it! Total opposite of Christian and Anna! It will keep you going till the end. You never see it coming! Amazing!
( )
  Bettyb30 | Jun 24, 2013 |
This is my go-to trashy novel to recommend at the library. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Kathryn Harveyprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Stewart, SharonRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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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.

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