Book Review: Bees in the Butterfly Garden

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Title: Bees in the Butterfly Garden (The Gilded Legacy)
Author: Maureen Lang
Publisher: Tyndale House
Date: June 2012
ISBN: 978-1414364469
Genre: Historical Romance
Reviewed by: Laura Hilton

Meg Davenport has never wanted for anything-except her father’s love. Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, she was trained to be the perfect society wife. When Meg was younger, she tried running away to get to the father she wanted to know, but she gave up when she was fourteen. When Meg learns that her father has died, she vows not to return for the funeral-after all, he was never there for her in life, why should she be there for him in death? But things change, and she attends.

Meg believed her father was a wealthy businessman-and he was, but not in the way Meg thought. Instead, she learns that he was one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.

Ian Maguire doesn’t want Meg to follow in her father’s footsteps. But Meg is determined, and her connections to the wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist … or it could cost them everything.

This is the first book I’ve read where the bad guys are the heroes. Lang is a talented author of World War novels, which I’ve loved, and so I looked forward to Bees in the Butterfly Garden. The book is aptly named.

Meg is a talented young lady, gifted in horticulture, and she knows how to play the part of a lady. Ian has been trained to be a master thief. Professions both do with ease. Lang brings both characters to life, making the reader care for them. She is gifted with description. One can see the butterflies flitting around Meg in her butterfly garden; even the handwriting is described so the reader can “see” Meg’s name on an envelope, surrounded by a black border.

I especially loved the tidbits at the beginning of each chapter, describing how proper young ladies were raised back in those days.

Writers studying the art of description or developing villains as main characters would do well to pick up Bees in the Butterfly Garden. Lang has mastered both techniques.

Laura Hilton, author of Hot Chocolate, Shadows of the Past, Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another.

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