Reviews by ErinDurrett
True Crime meets Autobiography
True Crime meets autobiography in The Butterfly Garden, a striking and capturing book about a boy's experiences living as the son of one of America's Most Wanted. Chip St. Clair was always told not to open the trunk in his father's bed room, but one day he did and his life was never the same again. What he found in the trunk was false documents as well as possible trophies from children his father had murdered in the past... several baby teeth, phony birth certificates, forged credit card and student loan paperwork and family photographs with cryptic messages written on the back. Chip's entire life--his name, even his date of birth--had been a lie, and the man he called 'Dad' was an impostor, an escaped child killer who had been on the run for over two decades. The stunning revelation would send one of America's Most Wanted to justice and another on a quest for his true identity.

"With chilling detail and a riveting, lyrical narrative, The Butterfly Garden reveals St. Clair's struggle to piece together his haunted past before it consumes him and shares his inspiring metamorphosis from victim to victim's advocate. The Butterfly Garden is a timeless triumph, a reminder that hope can be the most powerful of all emotions, freeing us to soar despite the past and the odds against us."
Good Christmas Read
Well, Jingle Bell Bark is no exception to Laurien Berenson's long list of Poodle inspired mystery novels. When Melanie son's School bus driver Henry, is suddenly taken off their route and replaced by teenaged back-talking Annie Gault, Melanie and her friend Alice are curious to find out what happened to Henry. When they show up at his house unannounced, his next door neighbor informs Melanie and Alice that Henry the bus driver has suddenly died. Seeing that Henry's two dogs Remington and Pepper have been left to fend for themselves, Melanie wastes no time scooping them up and shuffling them over to her Aunt Peg's kennel in Greenwich. The book is a nice fast paced holiday mystery in a great series of novels.
Lament (by the author of Shiver)
Lament is the first of two books by Maggie Stiefvater that involve the world of the Fey or Faeries as They are more commonly known. I enjoyed learning about Faeries and the characters this book had to offer, especially with Stiefvater’s lyrical style of writing. Lament starts off, alternating viewpoints from Deidre Monaghan, better known in the book as Dee, and Luke Dillon, a soulless assassin who works for the Faerie Queen. Dee first meets Luke at a musical competition in which he agrees to accompany her harp with his flute. To her surprise, when she plays with Luke she is otherworldly talented. Soon after her performance she starts finding four leaf clovers everywhere, starts seeing strange looking creatures and realizes she has telekinetic abilities. In her confidence is her best friend James, a sarcastic, funny, witty guy who loves her desperately. When Dee’s grandmother sees Luke, she knows what’s happening and quickly gives Dee an iron bracelet to keep the Faeries at bay. Dee discovers that she’s in fact a “cloverhand”, one who can see Faeries and attracts them to her. (Faerie is found close the where ever the strongest cloverhand lives, the cloverhand determines its location.) To her disbelief she also learns that Luke Dillon is an assassin of cloverhands bound by the Queen who is in possession of his soul. Even though Dee knows it’s dangerous to be with Luke, she can’t make herself stay away. After a horrendous car accident, James body disappears along with Luke. In the end Dee has to make a choice between saving her best friend or the guy she loves. Even if she can reclaim Luke’s soul, will he be a whole person? Travel with Dee, James, and Luke through this enchanting novel and find out!
Slightly Married
This first book in the Slightly Series by Mary Balogh which introduces us to the Bedwyn family, started off a bit slow for me. I was kind of bored with the story at first and annoyed with Colonel Aidan Bedwyn and his insistence that he fulfill his duties “no matter what!” I can’t completely relate to that kind of character. To me, there are always contingencies, situations, difficult of otherwise, which would hinder our ability to “perform our duty.” But as I progressively read the novel, I began to appreciate its difference from other novels of its type. I absolutely love the fact that Aidan and Eve are at first indifferent to each other. I’ve read so many romance novels of late where the protagonists have burning desire that cannot be contained! It’s refreshing to read a book where characters marry for convenience (in this case to fulfill a promise to Eve’s brother Percy for Aidan and to save her Manor and employ of her “lame duck” servants for Eve), have other goals and dreams for their futures, yet find themselves surprisingly happy in the situation in which they’ve imprisoned themselves. The scene where Aidan disrupts Eve and her former love in the garden at her coming out ball was utterly delicious. How better to realize you love your wife than to see her with her first love? Feeling both nervous and unsure, it takes a lot of trials (such as Eve’s cousin taking her children away and running into the Knapp family of which there were expectations for Aidan and their daughter) for Eve and Aidan to admit there feelings to one another. But as Aidan’s military leave comes to an end he realizes he can’t leave Eve behind. This book definitely redeemed itself after the first couple dry chapters and was a great way to start the Slightly Series!
England's Perfect Hero
This is the third book in Enoch’s “Lessons in Love” series and ties as my favorite with The Rake (Book 1). This book stars the beautiful yet practical Lucinda Barrett, daughter of General Augustus Barrett. Since her friends have “taught” and married the men who were the subjects of their particular lessons in love, Lucinda is left with choosing the subject to set her attentions on. Thinking of her father’s happiness, while looking for a man that could use some much needed humbleness thrown his direction, she sets her sights on a duke’s fourth son and military officer, Lord Geoffrey Newcombe. After all of her visits to the Carroway estate, Robert Carroway becomes fascinated with Lucinda Barrett’s kindness and when she accidently barges into the room he’s reading in, to set herself to rights, he finds himself speaking to her. (If you read The Rake, you know Robert was a victim of war torture and does not speak much at all and especially not to beautiful young ladies) Lucinda is surprised to learn that Robert knows all about the “Lessons” the three women have been inflicting on the men of their interest. Surprisingly Robert offers Lucinda a trade, for her to teach him to plant a rose garden, for his help in assisting her with Lord Geoffrey Newcombe. Lucinda, not quite sure Robert can help her, nevertheless agrees to his trade. However the more time Lucinda spends with Robert, the more she starts to care for him and wants to rescue him from his past. Once important political/governmental documents are stolen and Robert is accused, Lucida had to decide whether to follow her heart, betray her father, and help Robert, or listen to her head and make her father and Lord Geoffrey happy. I enjoyed reading this book because my familiarity with Robert Carroway in The Rake. Other than the two main characters of that book, Robert was my favorite and I had hoped to be able to read his love story. I always like reading stories about people who have something to overcome to live a day to day existence. Everyone considered him a shell of a man when he returned from the war and it took him bravery and courage and his obsession with Lucinda as incentive to come fully back to his family and start to truly live again. This was a great finish to the “Lessons in Love” trilogy.