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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Butterfly's Child by Alan Chin

Butterfly's Child by Alan Chin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (270 pgs)
Other: M/M, BDSM, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

While back in the West to attend his grandmother’s funeral, Cord Bridger uncovers two shocking revelations: his grandmother had a lesbian lover named Juanita, and he has a teenaged son named Kalin. Fate brings all three together, but to preserve his new family, Cord must leave his safe life in New York City behind to carve a living from the harsh ranch lands of Nevada.

To forge a life with Juanita and Kalin, Cord must first discover the dark secret burning a hole in Kalin’s heart. With the help of Tomeo, a handsome Japanese veterinarian, Cord travels a gut-wrenching road of triumphs and tragedies to insure his son will survive the sinister violence of his past. But as Tomeo becomes more than just a helpful friend to Cord, a new set of problems arise between Cord and Kalin that may threaten the happiness of them all.

Cord has a chance to change his future and maybe fix the mistakes of his past. When Cord’s grandmother dies and leaves him a remote ranch in Nevada, Cord agrees to fly home to take care of the details. Little did he know he’d discover a son he never knew existed, a man that gives Cord’s life new meaning, an isolated ranch that somehow fills his needs, and a new life that satisfies. From a comfortable but empty existence in the city to a full but difficult life in the middle of nowhere, Cord’s future just may be everything he always wanted but never knew.

Butterfly’s Child is a study in father/son relationships. Cord’s relationship with his absent father and tragically dead mother is echoed in the opening scenes from the opera Madam Butterfly. From there the parallels with Cord’s son Kalin and drug addicted mother offer Cord a second chance. Determined not to make the same mistakes as his father Cord attempts to build a relationship with Kalin. Kalin and his brother Jem are adorable and wonderful additions. Each child is complicated, engaging, and difficult all on his own. Together the two have a tight bond that is tested through abuse.

The story is very character driven as it focuses on the various men, from the children, Kalin and Jem to Cord and his love interest, Tomeo. There is a lot of drama and angst but it’s kept light. The timeline often leaps ahead days and months, focusing instead on the bigger picture and progression of relationships than the various actions and drama. A lot of the issues are handled off page and many just let the passage of time sooth wounded feelings and issues rather than on page angst. This will definitely appeal to readers who enjoy in depth character stories but don’t want a very intense story.

Butterfly’s Child has some incredibly beautiful writing and exposes very complicated, complex relationships, especially that of father and son. There is romance but that is the least important element. Instead this is more of a literary story that will appeal to readers who want something slightly different than the usual fare from Dreamspinner. It’s a beautiful story and one I’d recommend.

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