"Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees." This is what Michael at some point said in this story and the quote stuck with me because it reflects so beautifully what this story is all about. The love in BUTTERFLY TATTOO transcends this story from an endearing romance to an emotionally gripping experience. Love is the still epicenter where every imaginable emotion is born from and to me BUTTERFLY TATTOO is romance and love in its purest form. While I had my initial doubts about this novel I was told to 'just buy it' and start reading. So that is what I did on my Sunday afternoon, and from very early on in the novel Michael, Rebecca and Andrea didn't let me go.
The first thing that was a surprise for me was the alternating POV chapters between Michael and Rebecca but it gave a sublime picture of both their personal issues as well as how they both felt about their growing attraction. Deidre Knight delved deeply in to the psyche of her characters and uncovers all the raw emotions that come with hard-to-deal with topics like death, grief, letting go and surviving a horrific attack. It delivered a profound depth to the character development that it hooked, line and sinker me. I was emotionally attached, I went through the motion with Michael, Rebecca and Andrea separately, as well as their growing interconnected relationship.
Michael Warner is a man who has found true love in life with Alex Richardson. But when a tragic accident takes Alex away from the picture Michael is left with the broken pieces of their life, including an eight year old daughter. Michael is torn up inside about falling for a woman at one hand while at the other hand he still loves and grieves over Alex. Two very opposite emotions that brings a sharp contrast between certain events, emotions or conversations. Michael is a handsome man with an average day job but it is his personality what makes him so utter irresistible. He is trying hard to be a good dad for his emotionally damaged daughter while unexpectedly falling for a woman who once was a well known actress. My whole heart went out to him in his trials and tribulations and he became so very lifelike, recognizable and heartwarming via the pages.
Rebecca O'Neill has known fame, the best and the worst side of it, and now she bears to scars both inside and out. She is a secluded woman, doesn't let anyone into her inner circle easily, but when she meets Michael there's a click that is so naturally she can't ignore it. Rebecca has backbone yet as I got to read her POV there is also a vulnerable side that brings the understanding of how devastating the attack was and how it still affected her everyday life. Rebecca has different issues yet she brings something unique to the relationship of Michael and Andrea. It forms a foundation and throughout the story that foundation is tested on numerous occasions showcasing the resilience of this incredible woman.
Andrea Lauren Richardson is eight years old and daughter to Michael and Alex. She is just as much a part of the story as Michael and Rebecca are. She brings another kind of emotion to the story, the kind that is innocent but just as heartbreaking in her feelings of the loss of her daddy. There is a common denominator between Rebecca and Andrea that births understanding and dialogues that yanked at my heartstrings. Andrea, in her own way, rises the level of the emotional complexity of BUTTERFLY TATTOO and it became a better story for it.
There are just a few more characters I want to mention, Alex Richardson, for a deceased person he has a far-reaching effect on the story and via the pictures, videos and memories of Michael he truly gave that true love vibe to the relationship he had with Michael. Alex made the loss of his presence in everyone's life real, it was felt through every memory that was shared by multiple characters and their description of the kind of man he was. Of course there were friends from both sides in the picture but two protrude from that circle; Casey Porter, a `tell-it-like-it-is' gruff man with a heart of gold and Trevor, the best friend and assistant for ages to Rebecca, a man who has been there with every up and down in her life. They were both a touchstone for Michael and Rebecca to bring some perspective to difficult situations or emotions.
The topics in this story may not be light hearted but it makes the good things soar so much. The love between Rebecca and Michael grows gradual, with confusion, challenges, misunderstandings, first kisses and dates. The kisses were so good, they were absorbed in each other and kissed like there was no tomorrow. It broadcasted that falling in love vibe that makes the sun shine brighter, the food taste better and gives wings to your heart . It was at these moments that their bond, their connection grew stronger and later on that strength was tested. From every up and down was learned, emotions uncovered, truths faced and by the end I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, they were going to make it. That true love was found, treasured and it made the future for all characters an incredible adventure to look forward to.
BUTTERFLY TATTOO is a very character and emotion driven story that put me through the emotional wringer. I tumbled from bittersweet memories in to butterfly feelings of falling in love, back to the angst each character had to go through. I was crying, I was smiling, I was endeared and pulled in to a story that was life itself. Deidre Knight portrayed all the intricate emotions with an uncomplicated writing style and though this isn't a short story by any means it reads so very easily and before I knew it I read the story cover to cover.
Nothing prepared me for the experience that is titled; BUTTERFLY TATTOO. A story of depth, of unusual storylines and characters that will get under your skin. The emotions saturate the pages and all I can say I keep your hankies ready for this one. "Love is all about the risk, and very rarely about the guarantees." And Michael made me believe and feel every word of it!