Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang
Meg Davenport is the epitome of a lady. Raised in a high society boarding school in New York during the late 1800's, Meg is shocked when she hears the news that her absentee father, John Davenport, has died. Trying to learn more about his life, she attends his funeral and meets all of his friends. While there her image of her father is shattered. He was not a society gentleman at all, but was instead, a con man and a thief.
Ian Maguire has learned from the best. As John Davenport student and protege, he can pull off cons with the best of them. But Meg has him baffled. She is convinced that she will follow in her father's footsteps. Ian, however, is determined to keep her in society and out of crime.
Despite his original objections, when Meg decides to make an extended visit with Fifth Avenue friends, Ian sees an opportunity to lighten them of a little of their famous gold bars. Can Meg pull off this hoax without losing everything? Can Ian keep his heart in check long enough to do what's best for Meg?
I have to admit, I chose this book mostly because the heroine had my last name and there aren't many books out there like that. But that fact aside...
I enjoyed the premise of this book - high society girl turns con artist in the late 1800's. Lang did a great job of explaining what would be involved in pulling off a reconnaissance and robbery if modern technology were not available. I really enjoyed reading those parts of the book.
I also really liked the themes of justice, grace and mercy that were woven throughout the book. The Pemberton family had some very good real-life examples of how justice, mercy and grace could be carried out in every day life. It made those themes more understandable to the reader.
Other than that, this book was very slow moving. I kept waiting for the action to pick up and it never really did. The characters were interesting and well developed, almost too well developed. I have to admit that I got bored reading this and almost quit half way through.
I would love to give it higher marks because it had a lot of good qualities but overall, I just can't give out more than 3 stars to something that didn't hold my interest.
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.
I was provided a complementary copy of this book for review by the Tyndale Blog Network. All opinions are my own.