Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring
SERIES: Butterfly Hunter #3
AUTHOR: Julie Bozza
PUBLISHER: Manifold Press
LENGTH: 164 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 1st, 2014
Dave and Nicholas, married for seven years now, are happily settled together – but as an Australian prime minister once observed, “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.” An unexpected threat to their beloved waterhole forces Dave to try asserting unofficial custodianship of the Dreamtime site, and a visit from Nicholas’s nephew Robin doesn’t help as he brings his own surprises. And there’s always the question of Nicholas’s health hanging over their heads …
What a great wrap up to the series!
As we know, Dave and Nicholas met as Nicholas was searching for butterflies in the Australian outback. The two fell in love with each other, and with a special bit of land…. Dave, although not Aboriginal, is made a spiritual guardian of the waterhole, and discovers it is at risk from a mining company. Most of this book is spent on Dave, Nicholas, and their friend Charlie, trying to save the sacred space. We also see Robin, Nicholas’s nephew from England, as he works through some sexuality issues. We see Dave, Nicholas, and Robin go on an adventure with a family searching for opals, and Charlie pops in to share some stories. There is also a big thing that happens as the end of the book, that is a game changer for the couple.
I liked this book quite a bit, I love Nicholas and Dave as a couple, and I was happy to see them successfully married and in love seven years later. I liked seeing them together so much, but I wish there had been a little more alone time for them. Lots of time is spent with Robin, and with other people, and less time just with them. I think I missed that from the first book, to be honest. I liked seeing more about the mythology of the area, and I liked the time they spent with the family on tour. There were several cute moments involving a teenage girl! Robin was a nice addition, although I struggled with understanding his issue. I liked the family aspect he added to the household, and I was happy to see Nicholas’s father as well. The drama surrounding the waterhole was a good addition to the plot, and gave us some new side characters, both good and bad.
Then there is the drama at the end of the book… I was so worried! I won’t say why, but damn, I was reading fast to see what happened! As hard as it was to read, I’m glad it happened, and I loved the resolution to the situation. I also loved the resolution to the waterhole issue as well.
Overall I liked this book, and I loved how it wrapped up the series. I enjoyed all three books, but I definitely liked the first book best. There was just something so special about it. This one came close, it had more drama than the other two, and had my heart beating fast at the end. I liked the bits of mythology in this book, and the glimpses of the Aboriginal culture. What really made this whole series work is Nicholas and Dave, and their close bond. I think the writing was good, the author has a slow and easy way of telling a story that I liked after I got used to it.
If you are looking for a low angst, sweet and gentle series, I’d give these books a try!