Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Of Moths and Butterfiles by V.R. Christensen

A beautiful novel and story reminiscent of Jane Austen's work!

Archer Hamilton is a collector of rare and beautiful insects. Gina Shaw is a servant in his uncle’s house. Clearly out of place in the position in which she has been discovered, she becomes a source of fascination . . . and curiosity. A girl with a blighted past and a fortune she deems a curse, Gina has lowered herself in order to find escape from her family and their scheming designs. But when she is found, the stakes suddenly become dire. All Gina wants is the freedom to live her life as she would wish. All her aunts want is the money that comes with her. But there is more than one way to trap an insect. An arranged marriage might turn out profitable for more parties than one. Mr. Hamilton is about to make the acquisition of a lifetime. But will the price be worth it? Can a woman captured and acquired learn to love the man who has bought her?

I loved this novel. It reminded me of all those timeless classics by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters – a nice, long, book that truly swallows you up and makes you oblivious to the world around you.

Imogen Everhard is a woman who is desperate to escape her dark past. Exploited sexually by her loan shark of an uncle/guardian to please his shady clientele, Imogen is shocked to learn she has inherited his wealth upon his untimely death.

Leaving everything behind, she flees to the country, and using the alias of Gina Shaw, seeks work as a servant in the mansion of Archer Hamilton, a man also ruled ruthlessly by his callous uncle, Sir Edmund Barry. Love blossoms between them, but it is fraught with trouble from the start as Archer tries desperately to coax her from her protective shell and help her trust again. But the secret of her true identity is found out and one of her aunts takes her back home to find her a husband.

Archer tries desperately to convince her to marry him, while behind the scenes Sir Edmund Barry is secretly trying to arrange a marriage between them to get his hands on Imogen’s money.

What was truly fascinating about this novel was how the author built suspense throughout. Secrets kept, misconstrued intentions, and a hero who was undaunted in his pursuit to convince the heroine to trust and love once again! Christensen takes the reader deep into the thoughts of the main characters. Her ability to paint a vivid story through strong descriptions and detail helps the reader sink deep into the story.

One cannot help feeling sympathy for a heroine who was forced to fall from grace by an unscrupulous uncle. It truly depicted the hardships women faced in history where they had no control over their lives, always subjected to the whims and desires of their male relatives.

Beautifully written, perfectly edited, and wonderfully descriptive, this novel is definitely one to read – especially for fans of Jane Austen. This is a very lengthy novel, one where every page made for excellent reading, yet the story kept me in suspense throughout and the characters drew me in and fascinated me. This is a definite keeper, one well worth the wonderfully reasonable price of $4.99 for the Kindle version. A beautiful novel! 

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