Monday, July 30, 2012

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang


Bees in the Butterfly Garden 
by Maureen Lang
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available July 2012
Tyndale House Publishers
432 pages



About the Book
Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, Meg Davenport has all she’s ever needed . . . but none of the things she’s wanted most, like family, or dreams of a future that includes anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.

Poised to lead those loyal to Meg’s father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York’s wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

My Thoughts
When Meg learns of her father's death, she leaves school to attend the funeral of a man she barely knew. Once there, she learns that he wasn't a wealthy business, but instead is one of New York's most impressive thieves. Believing that she has few options left, Meg declares she will not return to school and will take up her father's life of crime. Her father's protege Ian is determined to protect Meg from this dangerous life but the draw of the next big heist causes him to relent. Will personal feelings interfere? Or will something greater than themselves change them both?

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang starts off with a bang, and I was drawn in from the first two chapters. Lang gives readers an intricate plot with just enough details to keep you flipping the pages. Even with all of the intricacies, though, I found it to be a quick read, reading 100 pages in a sitting without giving a thought to the time!

Lang writes about the characters and the setting with such detail. I thought Meg was a sympathetic character. I felt so bad for her—an orphan who learns horrible details about her family background. She's so determined to do everything on her own, and I think many readers will be able to relate to that aspect of her character. Additional characters, such as the sisters who run the boarding school and the wealthy siblings who extend an invitation for Meg to spend the summer with them, help flesh out the novel with humor, romance, and depth.

Readers will also get a beautiful picture of what life in New York City during the Gilded Era was like for the wealthy. The customs, dress, and etiquette were not only written about but discussed by the characters as well. It was fun to read about taking strolls in Central Park and attending charity balls.

Overall Bees in the Butterfly Garden was a well-written historical novel with a beautiful message of grace. I highly recommend!  [4 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Maureen Lang is the award-winning author of more than ten novels. She's always had a passion for writing, particularly stories that combine romance and history. After writing for the general market for several years, she wrote her debut inspirational novel, Pieces of Silver, which was a Christy Award finalist in the historical category. She has since written seven novels, including a recent trilogy of romances set against the dramatic backdrop of WWI—Look to the East, Whisper on the Wind, and Springtime of the Spirit. She turns to more peaceful (though no less dramatic) times in Bees in the Butterfly Garden, her upcoming release set among Fifth Avenue's finest during the Gilded Age of New York.

In addition to critical acclaim, Maureen's writing has garnered numerous industry honors. She has won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, and a Holt Medallion, and has been a finalist for Romance Writers of America's Rita, the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol awards, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

Maureen Lang Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook

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