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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Book review of Butterfly by Kathryn Harvey



I was recently offered this book to review and was so excited as soon as it arrived through the post. On first thoughts, I couldn't wait to get reading. It is written by Barbara Wood who is writing under the name Kathryn Harvey. The cover is intriguing - although there are different copies, I received the one which had the same cover as above - a lady in a lace masquerade mask with deep red lips, looking mysterious. I already knew from the blurb that one of the main themes based within this book was fantasy so the cover went hand in hand with this but also drew me in more because I was eager to discover what fantasy exactly it represented.

Being that Butterfly is also a New York Times Bestseller, I also knew it would be an amazing book. The copy I received was 511 pages long as well, which I thought was ideal as I knew it would be a long book. Being a fast reader, I often find that I read some shorter stories over a few days and I regret reading them so fast - whereas with Butterfly, I really indulged myself and loved that it lasted longer.

But onto the story - the story of Butterfly was amazing. It's been a long time since I haven't been able to put a book down but Butterfly did this. The story was so mysterious and gripping - every time I told myself I'd finish a chapter then put the book down, the chapter would end on a cliffhanger or just draw me in more and before I knew it I was reading the next chapter! 

The blurb reads -

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.

I loved how many different issues the story drew upon - revenge, fantasy, abandonment, courage and more. It definitely opened my eyes to a lot of things - such as the way prostitution, paying for sex or just sex alone is viewed differently between men and women. Each different character have their own issues to deal with - some that are so common that you may find yourself relating to them - and others that may just open your eyes like they did to me.

Each character was so different as well with different qualities, dreams and fantasies, which refrained from getting confused between each character as there were a few central main characters. I thought the characters were extremely likeable as well - each of them were proof that you never really know what's going on inside someone's head or someone's life so you should never judge someone when you don't know them.

I loved the two sides of the main business it explored as well. The story explored behind the business - why it was set up, who it was set up by etc and also the way the business was enjoyed, such as why the women 'used' the business so to speak, the fantasies they enjoyed and their own issues that led them to the business. 

The idea that, in this story, an exclusive members club where women can essentially pay for not only sex but a way to act out their most out there and erotic fantasies, was quite interesting. The fact that we live in a world where prostitution is very prominent but not really in a safe environment, it's almost weird to think that somewhere like Butterfly doesn't already exist. The business employes only good looking male models who have to go through a long process to work there - including background checks, tests that they are 'safe' so to speak, and the promise to complete secrecy. Members who attend never reveal their names and have the chance to safely act out any fantasy they please, each of which is completely centered around their idea, down to even the smallest detail such as decor, costume, accent and more. It's interesting because the story addresses that women are much more imaginative when it comes to sex - yes, as women we can be basic like men and just do it, but women tend to be more about the fantasy element with details being just right, whereas this isn't something that particularly concerns men.

I found myself constantly reading about plot twists and shocking revelations, as well as feeling different emotions. Some parts I laughed at, others I felt close to tears when reading - Butterfly was definitely the ultimate life changing revenge story and among everything, you'll find yourself feeling inspired by this book as well.

I felt there wasn't really anything I disliked about this story, even though it's not the type of book I've really read before. It was very inspiring in that it definitely had a major underlining 'girl power' feeling to it which I loved!

I'd definitely recommend this sizzling story!

I've also had the opportunity to interview Kathryn Harvey about the book, the issues within the story and more. Check back tomorrow for this interview and to hear more about the story!

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