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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Butterfly Palace

Thomas Nelson Butterfly Palace

When Lilly Donnelly arrives at the Cutlers' famed Butterfly Mansion in 1899, the massive house and unfamiliar duties threaten to overwhelm her. Victorian Austin is lavish, highly political, and intimidating, but with the help of the other servants, Lilly resolves to prove herself to her new employers.

Then, while serving at an elegant dinner party, Lilly recognizes one distinguished guest as Andrew, the love of her life, who abandoned her without a word back home. He seems to have assumed a new identity and refuses to acknowledge her, leaving her confused and reeling.

Average Customer Rating:
3.929 out of 5
3.9
 out of 
5
(14 Reviews) 14
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (14 reviews)
5 stars
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4 stars
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10 out of 1471%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Butterfly Palace
Review 1 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Struggle & pain meet hope in romantic suspense

Date:April 18, 2014
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Shannah
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I really cannot get enough of this author. Colleen Coble knows how to write a great story that captivates the reader from beginning to end. I was trapped from the first chapter of the book to the very end. Most of the time, I can kind of figure out what's going to happen or who the villain is in a mystery/suspense story. However, there were so many twists and turns to this story, I didn't figure anything out until the characters did! I loved that about it!
The characters, main and secondary, were very well developed. Lily Donaldson knows heartache and pain. In spite of all she's been through, she still cares deeply for others and has a strong sense of self (even when she doesn't realize it). She has her faults and she's not perfect, so that makes her more real. She is definitely a character one could look up to. Andrew Hawkins (Drew Hawkes) is not your typical self-assured male lead. He questions himself, especially where Lily is concerned, and he has his doubts like any human being does. Even the secondary characters of Emily and Belle were essential to the development of Lily and Drew as people and romantically. I hope to hear more of Belle's story in a later novel!
The message of the book was subtle, but none-the-less important. As Colleen says in her note to her readers, "Struggle and pain aren't something to fear. We all face trials while here on earth. What matters is how we're dealing with the challenges that come our way." God is continually molding us under the refiner's fire. Do we let these challenges make us stronger or do we give the devil the satisfaction of breaking us? Overall, I can't say enough great things about this book. Get your copy today!!
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Review 2 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Cheesy and unbelievable

Date:April 8, 2014
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crtnybc
Location:British Columbia, Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
The setting for this book is the very interesting Butterfly Palace, an old palace brought over from Europe and reconstructed in Austin, Texas. It's full if secret passage ways, mystery ... and dead butterflies. The wealthy master of the house, Mr. Everett Marshall, collects rate butterfly specimens. Thus the name of the book.
That being said, unfortunately the book is not worthy of it's rather exotic setting. The writing is stilted and the story down right unbelievable. If you're in the secret service you sure don't go around telling people. If you were a brand new lady's maid you best keep your opinions to yourself - and not go running off in the middle of the day - or you would be fired for sure. There is just too much in this story that doesn't add up. I really didn't like the fact that Drew and Lily had such an intimate past but it never seems like a very big deal. That was almost excused by the fact that they had been engaged. It was all very cheesy and so disappointing from an author I had come to respect.
This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson. My opinion is my own.
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Review 3 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Thrilling Mystery

Date:March 26, 2014
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Robin Wallace
Location:Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Butterfly Palace
Colleen Coble
Book Summary:Elegance and wealth. Privilege and politics. The extravagance of the Butterfly Palace overwhelmed Lily’s senses and nearly smothered her painful memories. She pushed away her misgivings . . . She was perfectly safe in this huge house. Austin, Texas—1904: Abandoned by the love of her life and still mourning the loss of her mother, Lily Donaldson has turned her back on the pain and come to Austin for a fresh start, working for the Marshall family as a kitchen maid in their luxurious mansion, the Butterfly Palace. The tasks before her are legion, and her mistress less than pleasant, but at least Lily’s new life will be, if nothing else, distracting. But one night, while serving at a dinner party, Lily recognizes the man who abandoned her, Andy, her liaison from the livery stable, the blacksmith’s son . . . sitting among the distinguished guests. Though he recognizes her, Andy does not acknowledge her aloud, and Lily is left reeling, flabbergasted, and irate. But before she can get an explanation, the path of the Servant Girl Killer swerves very close to the Butterfly Palace, sowing terror among the maids. Having come to Austin to start anew, Lily suddenly feels trapped in a spider web. How can she know who to trust in a house where lies come dressed in fine suits and deceit in silk gowns the colors of butterfly wings?
Review: This was a thrilling read!! I loved the premise and all the characters. They were well written and enjoyable. Lily was a great hero. She cared about everyone. Belle who had started off with a heart but arrogance due to her class turned into a great woman. Drew exciting and dashing. I loved that the secret passage in the house. It was sad when victims were killed and well written. It was the last 20 pages when the events intensified that I slowed down. So much was happening so fast in 20 pages it made it difficult to keep going. I just loved the entire story. The position of Lily as a maid was the gem in this story. Someone with so little power, yet she was able to be helpful and a sleuth.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson -ficton for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
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Review 4 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not the best!

Date:March 5, 2014
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Mossy
Location:Louisville, KY
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
This book is not one of Colleen Coble's best books. I found several run-on sentences and a dangling modifier. The editor should have found these errors! Also, this book is not the way one would expect a Christian book to be. God is only mentioned a few times. One of the characters does read his Bible, but the main characters do not really seem like Christians. Also, the characters are unrealistic. They do not react to situations like real people would. For a romantic suspense book it is not that exciting. It is not really boring; it is just not that suspenseful. I would not recommend this book.
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Review 5 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Downton Abbey, thriller-style

Date:February 24, 2014
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An Old Fashioned Girl
Location:Minnesota
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Serial killers, assassination plots, hidden passageways, obsessions - Colleen Coble's Gilded Age thriller has it all. Lily Donaldson lost her father several years ago in a fire that also killed her fiance's father. In his self-imposed guilt, Andrew left her and she never heard from him again. . . until she got a job as a kitchen maid in a wealthy Austin home, where he turns out to be a guest. However, nothing is as it seems: Drew is hiding his identity, chasing the man who may have set the fire. Strange noises come from the walls. People hide behind layers of deceit. And someone in the city is targeting blonde serving girls as victims of his serial murders.
As a historical novel set in early 1900's - approaching the era of Downton Abbey - there was a fair amount of upstairs-downstairs action, but the rules seemed much more relaxed than one will find in most fiction of the same era, with more informality between masters and servants. Granted, this novel takes place in Austin, Texas, not England or the East Coast, where rules were apt to be more stringent.
While the murders and plots are solved, I do not think everything else is completely wrapped up at the end. I would have liked to see Lily and Drew have more conversations about their poor choices in the past, which would probably benefit their future. Some other things, like baby Hannah and the Marshall family, were neglected at the end, but, as Coble tends to write in series, it is my hope that there will be a second book forthcoming - hopefully about Belle, who turned out to be my favorite character. Such was not the case at first - I was prepared to dislike her intensely - but she has a lot of potential and grew on me, and I would love to see where her story goes. Perhaps somewhere with Nathan . . . (pure speculation on my part).
I had not thought it possible to make butterflies creepy, but Coble managed it. Not terrifying - nothing to give one nightmares - but not exactly blissful little bundles of color fluttering from flower to flower. I liked the tone of the novel - Coble did a good job setting up a mysterious and spooky atmosphere while not losing the feel of the era - everything gilded and pretty on the outside, hiding the dark and sinister underneath.
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Review 6 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:February 16, 2014
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lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Drew Hawkes works for the Secret Service, but he is keeping some secrets of his own. He is on the trail of the man he believes murdered his father and has been tracking him ever since he left Larson, Texas four years ago. Drew left behind his fiancée without a word to track this criminal and never contacted her again. He has convinced himself he did this for her own good as he wouldn’t be able to keep her safe and he wasn’t worthy of her love. Drew is stunned when he sees Lily walk through the door. He immediately tries to disappear again, but to no avail.
Lily Donaldson has just buried her mother and now must find a way to support herself. Her father had been killed with Drew’s father four years ago. She takes a job at a wealthy senator’s home as a maid. Who should she run into her first day, but Drew. What is he doing there she wonders? Does he really have feelings for Belle, the senator’s niece? Lily and Drew talk and he tells her what he is doing at Butterfly Palace and soon she is helping him in his investigation.
I didn’t really like this book. The characters fell flat, the boundaries between social classes were crossed, which I felt wasn’t realistic, and the dialogue was disjointed or in some cases didn’t make sense. I just couldn’t relate to the characters well. I did like the twist at the end of the story regarding the guilty people, who had been committing many crimes. That is the only reason I rated this book as a 2. I have read other books by this author and enjoyed them, so I’m not throwing in the towel on reading her books. Every once in a while there just is a book that is just not up to par, and this is one of those books. I cannot recommend this one.
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Review 7 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intrigue, Romance, God's protection

Date:February 14, 2014
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GrandmaCee
Location:Missouri
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Colleen Coble is my favorite author. I have yet to read a book she has authored that didn't keep me interested from front to back. This book had enough mystery and intrigue to wet the appetite of anyone that likes romance and mystery.
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Review 8 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Beautiful Butterflies and a Great Mystery

Date:February 10, 2014
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HollyMag
Location:Covina
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Once again Colleen Coble captured my imagination with an wonderful story with mystery and romance. I enjoyed the setting of 1900′s Austin Texas and the Butterfly Palace which added an interesting twist to the story. The characters were interesting as well, I especially enjoyed Lily, for because is she had a tarnished past, something I don’t think I’ve seen in a Coble character before. The unlikely relationship between Lily and Belle fascinated me. I also enjoyed how the ladies worked together with Drew in solving the mystery.
The story itself had several subplots, maybe too many, in that, some of the characters and plots weren’t as developed as a Coble story usually is. I did find the story entertaining and enjoyed it a great deal.
This wasn’t my favorite Coble, book but was definitely worth reading.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read and review this book. I was under no obligation other than to give my honest opinion.
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Review 9 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Must Read for Downton Abbey Fans!!

Date:January 27, 2014
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Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
For fans of Downton Abbey who want a little bit more spice in the storyline, you might just want to pick up Colleen Coble's latest novel, Butterfly Palace. Set in Larson and Austin, Texas in the early 1900's we find that the romance between Lily Donaldson and Andy Hawkins have all but fizzled. They were at one time engaged to be married but with the deaths of both of their fathers in a horrible fire, it seemed that Andy blamed himself for not being able to get the men out alive and he left Lily behind in ashes of their love.
Now that four years have passed Lily has found employment working as a ladies maid in Butterfly Palace, the wealthy home of the Marshall family. She finds her job enjoyable as Belle Castle's lady's maid putting her knowledge of fashion and hair design to work for her. She learns that Belle has her sights set on marrying Drew Hawkes, a guest in the Marshall home. Little did she realize that Drew is her Andy from Larson. Why he has changed his name and what he is doing in Austin cause her to be concerned and both hope that neither of them will share their intimate past with their current employers.
While Belle has her sights set on Drew, her father meanwhile wants Belle to marry Mr. Stuart Vesters, an up and coming wealthy politician and businessman. But it seems Mr. Vesters isn't all he appears to be to the Marshall family. Now that Lily has found work in the home, she finds herself the unlucky victim of the Servant Girl Killer, a serial killer that has been murdering maids around the city, preferring women who fit Lily's mold as the intended victim. Will Drew be able to keep up his pretense of acting like he doesn't know who Lily is even when she is almost murdered in the church or will their love reignite once again despite the obstacles facing them both?
I received Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. I found myself completely captivated by this novel because I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey. I think Colleen Coble did an exceptional job at incorporating the characters of the upstairs wealthy aristocratic family from those of the household staff. The intermixing of those stereotypes is necessary to understand when Lily finds herself at odds wanting to talk to Drew but being in her position as a maid, wasn't something that was allowed. There are social barriers keeping them apart as well as the roles each of them in playing in their current situation which complicates their conversations. Lily at one point is discovered conversing with Drew by Belle who believes that Lily it out of place as a maid and threatens to fire her if she doesn't discontinue in her pursuit of being in Drew's company. A little jealous rivalry since despite Lily's attempts to downplay her beauty, she still comes shining through. I honestly had my suspicions about who was the murderer, but Colleen truly mixed me up and had me chasing my own tail by the end. Well done in my opinion and thus a just deserved 5 out of 5 stars!
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Review 10 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Butterfly Palace

Date:January 19, 2014
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mamaof4
Location:Tennessee
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
1904, Austin, TX. Lilly has had so much disappointment in her life, but she is determined to keep going. Her father was killed in a tragic fire when she was young, and now her mother has died. She is grateful for the position she has obtained in the Marshall family mansion. While she has never been in service before, she quickly learns her job and is able to help the mistress with her hair and dressing.
At a fancy dinner party she sees Andy. She has not seen him in 4 long years, since the night her father died. What is he doing here? Now? And why is everyone calling him Drew? Drew makes himself known to her, and makes her keep his secret: he is working for the secret service to uncover a counterfeit money operation.
This is a well written novel, with a lot of detail to the characters, fashion, and butterflies- that the master of the mansion collects. I enjoyed the book and was able to easily read and get caught up in the flow of the story.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 11 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

The Butterflies Made It Interesting

Date:January 18, 2014
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Ihopeyoudance
Location:Kansas
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
I really enjoy Colleen's writing, especially the Hope Beach novels. I was so excited about this book and sadly I was very disappointed. The characters weren't very likable to me except some of the secondary people. The overall story line is very much like Downton Abbey so I felt like I had read this story quite a few times before just in a new setting. I did enjoy the butterflies and all of the details with them, hence the name of the book, there is a lot of butterfly info. There is a twisting mystery that flows through the book and romance neither of which really grasped my attention. The ending of the book was the best part of this read and for a simple historical romance this book was alright. I give it three and a half stars.
Though I will be looking for more Hope Beach novels from Colleen!
"I received this book from Booksneeze for free in exchange for an honest review."
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Review 12 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:January 17, 2014
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StoryGirl
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Though I did find the mystery interesting and well-plotted - it took a variety of twists and turns that I honestly didn't see coming- there were a few things that did bother me. It was mostly the romance between Lilly and Drew; it is stated that in their past they did not keep their relationship pure, and although by the time they meet again both of them regret their past mistakes, there's still an awful lot of kissing involved. (The uncomfortable, mushy kind) I didn't find it difficult to skip those parts, and there was certainly more to the story than that. But still, it was a disappointment.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was Lilly's mistress, Belle, who starts out as an incredibly dislikable character...until later in the book when she begins to change. Normally characters like that don't change and are just the one-dimensional, spoiled and annoying rich girls who exist only to make life harder for the heroine, and though Belle started out that way, by the end of the book she was one of my favorite characters because she was interesting.
In the end, though I wasn't amazed with this book, and found some of the content that continued to pop up rather annoying, I do give it points for having a detailed mystery and few intriguing characters.
I received this book for free from booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review.
+2points
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Review 13 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Butterfly Palace

Date:January 16, 2014
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
You will meet Lily Donaldson on the opening pages of Colleen Coble's latest novel, Butterfly Palace.
You encounter Lily, as she is sneaking off for time alone with her beau, Andy Hawkins. Within moments, Lily and Andy discover that her house and stables are both on fire with both of their fathers inside!
Flash forward four years and you find Lily moving to serve in a wealthy family's home, the Butterfly Palace. Shortly after her arrival, Lily "runs" into Andy, now going by the name, Drew Hawkes. Her confusion over why her former love is in this place only adds to the overwhelming task of learning to live in this new place.
As Lily begins to blend into the Butterfly Palace, another mystery surfaces: 3 young girls have been recently killed. The frightening fact is they all looked very similar to Lily!
This book keeps you turning page after page, as you seek to resolve all these questions in Lily's world!
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Review 14 for Butterfly Palace
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Stunning

Date:January 15, 2014
Customer Avatar
cici
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Butterfly Palace By Colleen Coble is a stunner. This novel is set in a time of superior elegance and just as much deceit, both of which make for a fabulous read. Lily, our heroine, is having to start anew in Texas after being abandoned and although I know this is only a story I know what she is undertaking. The time frame is a century ago but the circumstances are always the same. Woman loves man, man leaves woman broken hearted. The struggles of love and the fight for ones life are timeless. The only difference is that Coble shares these struggles in such a beautiful way making them poignant and ravishing. The best part is that while your read the story becomes you and you become the story, you travel along with Lily and all the life she is existing. The power of Coble's verses are encompassing. Her words are like air and I just cannot seem to be able to get enough.
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