Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: Butterfly Hunter
SERIES: Butterfly Hunter #1
AUTHOR: Julie Bozza
PUBLISHER: Manifold Press
LENGTH: 174 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1st, 2012
It started as a simple assignment for Aussie bush guide Dave Taylor – escort a lone Englishman in quest of an unknown species of butterfly.
However Nicholas Goring is no ordinary tourist, his search is far from straightforward, and it’s starting to look as if the butterflies don’t want to be found.
As Dave teaches Nicholas everything he needs to survive in the Outback he discovers that he too has quite a bit to learn – and that very often the best way to locate something really important is just not to want to find it…
Sigh…. what a lovely book!
I read another book set in Australia about a man looking for butterflies, and it referenced this book. I wasn’t familiar with the author, but I’m always up for a story set in Australia, and butterflies are cool, so I thought I’d give it a try. I loved it!
Dave Taylor is a wonderful but lonely man, his childhood sweetheart dumped him and immediately got married and had a baby. His dad is dead, and… I’m not sure where his mom is actually. He has some friends here and there, but he seems like a loner. He has been working as a tour guide, taking folks out to the outback, as his father did as well. He is hired to spend three months escorting a man looking for butterflies.
Nicholas is a big dork, he’s the youngest son of an English Earl, and has a butterfly obsession. He is traveling to Australia to search for an unidentified blue butterfly, mentioned in a journal. He has a bit of a secret, that I won’t mention, it caused me some moments of concern, so I’ll leave that to be discovered. He is surprised to fall on his face, literally, at the airport in front of the gorgeous man that has been hired to escort him on his butterfly seeking adventure!
The two get off to a rocky start, Nicholas isn’t shy about his interest in Dave, and Dave isn’t sure about it all, being a straight man. So they come to an agreement of sorts, Nicholas won’t flirt, and will do what he is told in the outback. Dave will be his guide and nothing more. After a bit of research and discussing, they head out to the area Nicholas wants to investigate, and with some help from a local friend of Dave’s, the two…. and I’m not going to tell you that either! Maybe they find butterflies, maybe they don’t! Maybe they fall in love, maybe they… ok fine. They totally fall in love! And I fell in love with them!
This is a sneaky romance, for chapters they just get to know one another. They slowly build a friendship, even though they technically are employer/employee, but they do work together well, and Dave picks up Nicholas’s enthusiasm for his butterfly quest. There are lovely moments between them, even before they become physical, and when they do, it’s so sweet and gentle. I loved the differences between them, Dave is very strong and stoic, keeping things going and keeping them safe. He’s a firm believer in rules. Nicholas is somewhat flighty, but not with regards to his butterfly knowledge, just in general. He’s very focused, but goofy. He wants to push Dave on his rules, then gets freaked out when he gets his way and is left alone for a day. He seems grounded by Dave. He’s not shy about his interest, and once that interest is returned, he takes the lead in their sexual relationship.
Once they get with the program and start having lovely sexy times in the outback, the story gets even better! I want to say they are hot together, but that isn’t the right word. They are too sweet and gentle to be “hot”. Dave is a little timid and first, and the sex between them just gently evolves, as does their love. Oops, they weren’t supposed to fall in love!
I loved this book, the story was engaging even though it was simple. Just two men looking for butterflies in the outback. There is a little mythology thrown in, that intrigued me, not being familiar with the area. I liked Charlie, Dave’s Aboriginal friend, and the lessons he has to teach Dave about his culture. I liked Denise, Dave’s ex, there was a little scene between her and Nicholas that was cute! I liked the ending and some interaction with other characters I don’t want to mention and give anything away. Mostly this was a gentle story, but there were a couple of moments of stress for me, I almost got a little teary-eyed. I was concerned about Dave and Nicholas, and wanted this to work out so badly for them. I loved them as a couple and they deserve all of the good things!
I really liked how this book was written, Julie Bozza is new to me, and you never know what that will bring. It did take me a few chapters to get her slower paced style down, but once I got used to it I really liked it. Gentle is the work I keep using, I can’t come up with a better way to describe it. Her dialogue was fun, the two men banter and play, flirting and flitting around like Nicholas’s butterflies. Her sex scenes were beautiful, detailed enough but not quite graphic. Just beautiful mostly. She sets a good scene, at least in the outback parts, I could see the water and the sky, the desert and the butterflies. I want to go to Australia now!
So yes! I loved this book and I can’t wait for the next one! I highly recommend it, I’m so glad I got to read it!