16 February 2010

Review: Deidre Knight - Butterfly Tattoo


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Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (February 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605045446
ISBN-13: 978-1605045443

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters; Michael Warner, Rebecca O'Neill & Andrea
Book Origin; Personal E-Book Library
Challenge: Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Cover Summary:
Michael Warner has been drifting in a numb haze since his lover was killed by a drunk driver. As the anniversary of the wreck approaches, Michael’s grief grows more suffocating. Yet he must find a way through the maze of pain and secrets to live for their troubled young daughter who struggles with guilt that she survived the crash.

Out of the darkness comes a voice, a lifeline he never expected to find—Rebecca O’Neill, a development executive in the studio where Michael works as an electrician.

Rebecca, a former sitcom celebrity left scarred from a crazed fan’s attack, has retreated from the limelight and from life in general, certain no man can ever get past her disfigurement. The instant sparks between her and Michael, who arrives to help her during a power outage, come as a complete surprise—and so does her uncanny bond with his daughter.

For the first time, all three feel compelled to examine their inner and outer scars in the light of love. But trust is hard to come by, especially when you’re not sure what to believe when you look in the mirror. The scars? Or the truth?

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 
 

 “Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees.” This is what Michael at some point said in this story and the quote stuck with me because it reflects so beautifully what this story is all about. The love in BUTTERFLY TATTOO transcends this story from an endearing romance to an emotionally gripping experience. Love is the still epicenter where every imaginable emotion is born from and to me BUTTERFLY TATTOO is romance and love in its purest form. While I had my initial doubts about this novel I was told to 'just buy it' and start reading. So that is what I did on my Sunday afternoon, and from very early on in the novel Michael, Rebecca and Andrea didn’t let me go.

The first thing that was a surprise for me was the alternating POV chapters between Michael and Rebecca but it gave a sublime picture of both their personal issues as well as how they both felt about their growing attraction. Deidre Knight delved deeply in to the psyche of her characters and uncovers all the raw emotions that come with hard-to-deal with topics like death, grief, letting go and surviving a horrific attack. It delivered a profound depth to the character development that it hooked, line and sinker me. I was emotionally attached, I went through the motion with Michael, Rebecca and Andrea separately, as well as their growing interconnected relationship.

Michael Warner is a man who has found true love in life with Alex Richardson. But when a tragic accident takes Alex away from the picture Michael is left with the broken pieces of their life, including an eight year old daughter. Michael is torn up inside about falling for a woman at one hand while at the other hand he still loves and grieves over Alex. Two very opposite emotions that brings a sharp contrast between certain events, emotions or conversations. Michael is a handsome man with an average day job but it is his personality what makes him so utter irresistible. He is trying hard to be a good dad for his emotionally damaged daughter while unexpectedly falling for a woman who once was a well known actress. My whole heart went out to him in his trials and tribulations and he became so very lifelike, recognizable and heartwarming via the pages.

Rebecca O’Neill has known fame, the best and the worst side of it, and now she bears to scars both inside and out. She is a secluded woman, doesn’t let anyone into her inner circle easily, but when she meets Michael there’s a click that is so naturally she can’t ignore it. Rebecca has backbone yet as I got to read her POV there is also a vulnerable side that brings the understanding of how devastating the attack was and how it still affected her everyday life. Rebecca has different issues yet she brings something unique to the relationship of Michael and Andrea. It forms a foundation and throughout the story that foundation is tested on numerous occasions showcasing the resilience of this incredible woman.

Andrea Lauren Richardson is eight years old and daughter to Michael and Alex. She is just as much a part of the story as Michael and Rebecca are. She brings another kind of emotion to the story, the kind that is innocent but just as heartbreaking in her feelings of the loss of her daddy. There is a common denominator between Rebecca and Andrea that births understanding and dialogues that yanked at my heartstrings. Andrea, in her own way, rises the level of the emotional complexity of BUTTERFLY TATTOO and it became a better story for it.

There are just a few more characters I want to mention, Alex Richardson, for a deceased person he has a far-reaching effect on the story and via the pictures, videos and memories of Michael he truly gave that true love vibe to the relationship he had with Michael. Alex made the loss of his presence in everyone’s life real, it was felt through every memory that was shared by multiple characters and their description of the kind of man he was. Of course there were friends from both sides in the picture but two protrude from that circle; Casey Porter, a ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ gruff man with a heart of gold and Trevor, the best friend and assistant for ages to Rebecca, a man who has been there with every up and down in her life. They were both a touchstone for Michael and Rebecca to bring some perspective to difficult situations or emotions.

The topics in this story may not be light hearted but it makes the good things soar so much. The love between Rebecca and Michael grows gradual, with confusion, challenges, misunderstandings, first kisses and dates. The kisses were so good, they were absorbed in each other and kissed like there was no tomorrow. It broadcasted that falling in love vibe that makes the sun shine brighter, the food taste better and gives wings to your heart . It was at these moments that their bond, their connection grew stronger and later on that strength was tested. From every up and down was learned, emotions uncovered, truths faced and by the end I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, they were going to make it. That true love was found, treasured and it made the future for all characters an incredible adventure to look forward to.

BUTTERFLY TATTOO is a very character and emotion driven story that put me through the emotional wringer. I tumbled from bittersweet memories in to butterfly feelings of falling in love, back to the angst each character had to go through. I was crying, I was smiling, I was endeared and pulled in to a story that was life itself. Deidre Knight portrayed all the intricate emotions with an uncomplicated writing style and though this isn’t a short story by any means it reads so very easily and before I knew it I read the story cover to cover.

Nothing prepared me for the experience that is titled; BUTTERFLY TATTOO. A story of depth, of unusual storylines and characters that will get under your skin. The emotions saturate the pages and all I can say I keep your hankies ready for this one. “Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees.” And Michael made me believe and feel every word of it!
 

4,5 stars 

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20 comments:

  1. I did hear it was great, but yes sad too, and tragic. I happy to see you enjoyed it

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  2. I saw this on the bookshelf yesterday at Borders and almost picked it up....I really wish I had! Great review Leontine!! :)

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  3. Wow, this sounds like a really good read. I like the emotional heart wrench every once in a while. So, I'm adding this to my TBB list now. Great review, hon :)

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  4. @Blodeuedd - It's the joy and the sadness that rings so very true in this novel and I heart it all the more for it!!

    @Blanche - I didn't even know it was released in deadtree LOL I hope BT will be there when you go next time :D

    @Janna - I think the romance is going to really appeal you!

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  5. Great review, Leontine.

    I was at Borders on Sunday and recommended this to my BFF because of the unusual storyline and I had heard great reviews. Perhaps I can read her copy once she's done. Now glad I told her about it.

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  6. I'm buying it right now! I mean litteraly! :)

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  7. Great review and I've heard interesting things about this book!

    I have added this one to my TBR pile and I really like the cover!

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  8. I've been wanting this one ever since it came out in e-book form and got such great buzz. Now that it's out in print, it's in my shopping cart at Chapters - just waiting for one more book to be published so I can hit order now!

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  9. I read this book when it first came out in only ebook format last year and really enjoyed it too. It gave a whole new meaning to love. Michael's love was so strong for Alex and he was so surprised to find love again with Rebecca. He, and we, find out that gender doesn't matter where love is concerned. It's how that person makes you feel that determines love.

    These characters were so realistic and this was an emotionally heavy read, but well worth it.

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  10. Only you Leontine could make me reading contemp romance that isn't m/m.


    P.S. I still haven't forgiven Tor (Bareback)

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  11. Looks like a very emotional read. Sometimes I get into mood to read something that pulls some strong emotions out of me. Thanks, I've actually been eyeing this one even though contemporary romance isn't one of my usually reading genres.

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  12. I've had my eye on this one. I even tried to win a copy on GoodReads. Didn't win darn it. Sounds like a good read, great review L.

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  13. Great review Leontine, it sounds like an intense read!

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  14. I've heard so many good things about this one and "characters that will get under your skin" makes me want it now, will have to get this one soon. Great review!

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  15. Okay, I'm kinda skimming this review cause I just received BUTTERFLY TATTOO in the mail and I'm planning on reading soon. The quote you mentioned at the top is romance truth in its purest form. You are so very right about that.

    Hugs, VFG

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  16. I've heard that this is good, and now I do really have to get this.

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  17. @Armenia - Great rec you did and hope you get your chance to, but hey, what are friends for right *wink*

    @Janna - You go girl, I can't wait to talk to you about it!!

    @Razlover - And this is one of those covers that actually holds meaning to the story...as I discovered later on.


    @Kristie - Enjoy the read!!

    @joder - I don't mind emotional intensity and I loved the book for the fact it has unusual storylines. It made the romance all the more poignant.

    @Smokinghotbooks - Perhaps one day you'll read it *grin*

    @Fiction ixen - Oh I so hope you get to read this story, it is so gripping and uber romantic :)

    @Marissa - Intense it is hon!

    @tricia - I really like it when characters in books sweep my in to their lives and emotional ups and downs.

    @VFG - Oh I love to talk to you about this book!!

    @Silver - I hope you enjoy the read too Silver!

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  18. I totally agree with this:
    "A story of depth, of unusual storylines and characters that will get under your skin. The emotions saturate the pages and all I can say I keep your hankies ready for this one. “Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees.”"

    Great review for a great book!

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  19. This was one of my favorite books from last year. Oh, how I cried...

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  20. @Chris - I read a few reviews when it was published in e-book format and back then it already caught my interest. ONly I didn't have an e-reader then so I forgot about the novel. When buzz started again in January I bought the novel to read it on my Xmas pressie, you can guess it, an e-reader :) I cried various times with Butterfly Tattoo too, huby was looking at me like I was nuts LOL

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