POV: 1st Person (told in alternate chapters by hero and heroine)
My Grade: C+
I suspect every reader at some point or another has found themselves reading a much-hyped book and not being overly impressed by it. I sometimes wonder if an abundance of glowing reviews gives me unrealistic expectations which few books can live up to. Perhaps this explains my lacklustre reaction to Deidre Knight’s Butterfly Tattoo. It wasn’t a bad book, but I certainly wasn’t blown away by it like so many readers were.
Butterfly Tattoo is the story of Rebecca O’Neill, a former soap actress who was left badly scarred after an attack by a crazed fan, plus Michael Warner, a bisexual electrician who is still grieving for his dead lover. Rebecca now works as a development executive in the studio where Michael is employed as a set electrician. Rebecca is deeply traumatised by the attack and finds it difficult to trust people, especially men she doesn’t know.
Michael is struggling to keep himself together after his partner was killed in a car accident the previous year, an accident which also injured their daughter, Andrea. Since then, Andrea has retreated into herself and refuses to express her grief. A chance encounter with Rebecca changes all that. Rebecca’s visible scars help Andrea to deal with her internal ones. Slowly but surely, Andrea and Rebecca help each other to take the first steps towards recovery.
Michael is grateful to Rebecca for her help with his daughter. She’s also the first woman in years to whom he’s felt sexually attracted. Rebecca also feels attracted to Michael but initially dismisses it as she’s certain he’s gay. This being a romance, naturally Rebecca and Michael get together and begin the slow and painful journey towards rebuilding their lives.
Butterfly Tattoo is not a bad book. It’s well-written and the romance has the original twist of Michael being bisexual. However, I felt the characters lacked depth, and that most of the emotion was supplied by their tragic back stories. In many ways, I preferred some of the secondary characters, such as Rebecca’s friend, Trevor. I’m also not a fan of romances in which children play a prominent role, and Andrea annoyed me.
Perhaps my chief objection to Butterfly Tattoo is the premise. I’m not convinced by the notion that two deeply damaged people can heal through the power of love. Judging by all the glowing reviews, many readers disagree with me, but I think people need to recover individually before they are in a position to love.
re. Butterfly – sometimes I think people enjoy a book more for it’s differences than it’s quality if that makes sense?
It is like Madness of Ian Mackenzie, if that book hadn’t had Ian as he was, realistically the book would have just been another average historical release. (Mind you I did enjoy – but I will freely admit I just enjoyed the difference)
I think her observation is spot on. While I preferred The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie to Butterfly Tattoo, its appeal definitely lay in its originality in featuring a hero with Asperger’s.
What do other readers think? Can an unusual twist elevate a book from average to excellent? Can too much hype kill your enthusiasm for a book by raising your expectations to unrealistic heights?
Other Reviews of Butterfly Tattoo:
Jane at Dear Author – Grade A-
Leontine’s Book Realm – 4.5 out of 5
Smart Bitches Trashy Books – Grade A-
Katiebabs – Grade A-
Stacy’s Place on Earth – 5 out of 5 stars