DiscoverParanormal Romance

Butterflies and Hurricanes

By

Worth reading 😎

A serial installment for readers ready to dig into a complicated world with cliffhangers.

Synopsis

A deadly serum. Shattered memories. And time is running out.

Blaire’s life is resembling some normalcy until she’s invited by the dying king rat to visit Chicago. His fragile life rests in her hands until disaster strikes not only in Chicago but back home in Sterling Meadow.

When a new werewolf moves to town, things happen—from missing were-animals to random murders where a deadly serum is the murder weapon. Once again, Blaire is in the middle of a potential war between shifters and an unknown force no one has confronted yet.

Between more of the truth, Blaire discovers her daughter’s whereabouts, to the mysterious serum that threatens the man she has fallen in love with. Can Blaire find her daughter before it’s too late and solve the mystery of the deadly serum killing were-animals before she loses everything?

Fans of True Blood and Twilight will be transported into a new world where nothing is as it seems.

Reader discretion is advised, recommended ages 17+ due to language and sexual content.

So, there are two paranormal hunks fighting over you. What is a girl in the middle of a supernatural world to do? In Butterflies and Hurricanes by N. Gray, the main character Blair has a laundry list of things to do while she tries to enjoy some couple time with her vampire/were-leopard boyfriend Sebastian while avoiding the feels that his brother Leon keeps "glamming" onto her. Well, she thinks he's glamming the despite is avowals to the contrary.


Gray's novel contains a mass of characters and subplots, making it necessary to spend some time and energy to sort them. It was difficult for me to get into the romance elements due to a lack of grounding in the development of a real connection between Blaire or either of her love interests.  I tried to overlook the surface-level treatments of romantic elements, but given that the book is slated as a paranormal romance, it was difficult. As a romance reader, I expected more. 


There are so many characters, backstories, and so much exposition about each of them in addition to Blaire's own evolving identities. I became exhausted trying to sift through it all and started writing names and shifter types just to keep track. Though it is not unusual for a paranormal book to contain a complex world, there wasn't enough depth in the characters or their world to grab and keep my interest, but that may have been due to all of the work grounding Blaire's world. 


Butterflies and Hurricanes is a good book for readers who prefer plot-driven stories and with the inclination to follow Gray's outlined world and myriad of subplots and are willing to commit to the next installment. The series is affordable, making it worthwhile to explore. Readers stuck at home due to the pandemic may have enough time to do just that.


Warning: Butterflies and Hurricanes is not a standalone novel. The opening involves a lot of back-fill of characters and information from previous books in the series but only enough to require going back to read books 1 and 2. There are also loose ends and a huge cliffhanger. Not all readers mind those, but for those who do, plan on starting with book one and reading through the series to get a full grasp of Gray's complex world and players. 


Check out the full review on my blog www.laylawriteslove.com.


Reviewed by

I have a B.A. in Historical Studies and Literature, an M.A. in Liberal Studies, and an AC in Women and Gender Studies. I am an adjunct instructor, writer and content editor. I have a strong background in literary criticism and have been reviewing books for several years.

Synopsis

A deadly serum. Shattered memories. And time is running out.

Blaire’s life is resembling some normalcy until she’s invited by the dying king rat to visit Chicago. His fragile life rests in her hands until disaster strikes not only in Chicago but back home in Sterling Meadow.

When a new werewolf moves to town, things happen—from missing were-animals to random murders where a deadly serum is the murder weapon. Once again, Blaire is in the middle of a potential war between shifters and an unknown force no one has confronted yet.

Between more of the truth, Blaire discovers her daughter’s whereabouts, to the mysterious serum that threatens the man she has fallen in love with. Can Blaire find her daughter before it’s too late and solve the mystery of the deadly serum killing were-animals before she loses everything?

Fans of True Blood and Twilight will be transported into a new world where nothing is as it seems.

Reader discretion is advised, recommended ages 17+ due to language and sexual content.

Prologue

SHE BRUSHED HAIR OUT OF HER face. That small gesture of pretending to tuck a strand behind her ear, only to wipe a tear with the palm of her hand, brought sadness. The setting sun cast her profile in a golden hue and masked the red in her eyes. She turned in my general direction with a smile. The love in her eyes and smile shined through a world of her pain. I wanted to kiss it better, like all the times she had kissed me better, to take away all her pain.

“You’re a very special little girl, Blaire. Your dad and I have done many things we’re not proud of, but you’re the best thing that ever happened to us,” Ma said, squeezing my little hand. “But you must promise me, Blaire, no matter what happens today, you will move on. You will not look back. You will not make my mistakes. Now, no more tears. Forget the pain. Lift your head high, and move forward.”

I nodded as Ma gently wiped away my tears.

I don’t know how, but Ma always knew when I was sad. Even though she couldn’t see the world around her, she could still see me. Her and Pa always wanted the best for me and did everything in their power to help me get it.

My breath caught in my chest; the hairs on my body stood on end. Glancing around, I couldn’t see him but felt him. He was near.

Ma stared behind me with her clouded, damaged eyes—a faint pink circled the edges from crying, then, in an instant, panic flashed through them. She sensed his presence too.

“He’s coming back, Blaire. Run!” Ma yelled as she rose from her chair.

I ran back inside the house with Ma trailing behind me.

“The stairs, Blaire, go up the stairs. Faster!”

We ran hand in hand, taking two steps at a time. We reached her room, and she opened her closet door. With one hand, she pushed her clothing out our way, got onto her knees and pressed hard against the wall until I heard that familiar snap sound.

“Quick! Get inside. He mustn’t find you, Blaire. He can’t find you today. Stay hidden, baby girl, and don’t come out no matter what you hear. Stay here until someone opens for you.” Ma kissed my wet cheeks, wiped away my tears and gently pushed me toward the hidden compartment—my secret hiding place—where the monsters couldn’t find me.

I crawled in, turned around and sat.

Ma kissed her index and middle finger and blew me a kiss and closed the compartment door until it clicked shut.

I stared at that silver line between the compartment door and her closet wall. The light from her bedroom provided me with some comfort.

Scratching sounds alongside the walls echoed in the room, inside the closet, and in my hidden spot. I covered my mouth to muffle my whimpers. The tapping of his nails on the doorjamb felt like glass slicing down my back.

I squeezed my eyes shut. I could either block my ears or cover my mouth, but I couldn’t let him know I was in here. I had to be silent. I had to disappear. I had to be a ghost. He couldn’t see ghosts. I knew that. Even though he was a monster—a very bad one—luckily, some things he couldn’t see.

“I waited for you, Alice. You did not come to me like you promised. You forced me to come fetch you here,” he growled with a deep and commanding voice.

“I’m sorry, but I’ve already told you I can’t go off with you. We can’t be together.”

“Is it because of her?” His words were laced with malice. He couldn’t even say my name.

Ma whimpered, then she gasped—it sounded like he grabbed her.

“Please don’t make me choose.” Ma cried, her sobbing growing louder.

“You’re the only one I care about, Alice. It means nothing to me to kill her.”

“Please, don’t hurt her,” Ma said through tears. “I do love you.”

“But not enough?” he yelled.

“I’ll do whatever you need me to do. I promise. What do you need? We can go now. Come.”

“No!” His yell cut through my core. “If I can’t have all of you—”

I heard gasping and gah interjections then the sound of teeth grinding with force. After a few heartbeats, I heard a thump against the door and then another against the wall. They were struggling. But Ma wasn’t calling for help. She wasn’t telling him no. She wasn’t stopping him.

I heard one last gasp and then a loud, heavy thud on the floor. I opened my eyes and blinked as I readjusted to the dark of the cupboard and the bright light in Ma’s room. I saw her hand; her fingernails were ripped and bleeding—and … unmoving. She wasn’t getting up. I wanted to crawl from my hiding spot and go to her, to help her. I could help her, but she told me not to leave. I had to stay here. I had to keep quiet. I had to stay hidden from him. If he found me, he would hurt me.

Someone would open for me, that’s what Ma had said, someone was coming. Then they would help Ma.

I pressed my head against the side of the wall. I would rather feel pain, and it took my mind off Ma’s hand, that wasn’t moving. I covered my mouth with both hands to silence my cries, squeezing my eyes tight.

He was coming.

His deep breathing neared the cupboard.

He was near me.

His presence was just on the other side of the hidden compartment.

I heard his deep-chested exhales, like wind in a cave.

I smelled that strong odor I had come to hate—musk and sweat and something else I couldn’t quite place; it must be his animal.

All those times he pulled me by my arms and threw me to the ground, luckily, I’d never broken anything.

The metal from the hangers clanged against the closet rods as he shoved Ma’s clothing out of the way. The roughness of his actions launched her shoes against the wall. He grunted as he slammed his fist into the cupboard door, pulling it off its hinges.

“Where are you, little girl? I can smell you,” he growled. “The smell of fear has a bitterness I love.” He inhaled deeply, causing the hairs at the back of my neck to stand on end. He sniffed closer to the wall, near me.

My heart hammered in my chest, and my pulse thundered in my ears.

Please don’t let him find me.

Please. Please. Please.

Let me be gone. Let my abilities help me hide, help me to disappear.

Someone yelled from somewhere within the house.

A smack against the bedroom door as he hit it, and then his loud footsteps moved farther from Ma, farther from me.

The front door slammed shut.

He was gone, saved by whoever had called him away.

A loud exhale escaped my mouth.

I stayed in my hiding spot for three days before someone finally opened it and rescued me. I learned a lot about myself while I sat there, slept there, and cried there. That I would get through my loss, and when I was old enough, I would find him. And I would stop at nothing to kill him.

My name is Blaire Oona Thorne. I was only eight years old when the monster my ma trusted and once loved had murdered her and took her from me

About the author

N Gray is a South African author living in Cape Town. ​During the day, she is a spreadsheet wizard. At night, she types on her curved keyboard creating fictional characters that some may love, and others you want to kill yourself. view profile

Published on March 31, 2020

70000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Reviewed by

Enjoyed this review?

Get early access to fresh indie books and help decide on the bestselling stories of tomorrow. Create your free account today.

or

Or sign up with an email address

Create your account

Or sign up with your social account