Of Moths & Butterflies by V.C. Christenson
Updated: Mar 3
Imogene only wanted to live her life as she would wish
After living what had seemed like a nightmare under the guardianship of her depraved and departed uncle, Imogene only wanted to live her life as she would wish. But even after death, her uncle has forced her into another situation. He has left her the bulk of his estimable estate - money and wealth that she does not want anything to do with knowing firsthand how it had been acquired. Taking only what she could carry, Imogene left before her despised aunt could come and take over her guardianship.
With a fortune and a blighted past Imogene changed her name to Gina Shaw and applied for work, at a pleasing looking manor along the path she took. Hired by the master, over a clearly perturbed housekeeper Gina works hard learning the ropes of a scullery maid, kitchen helper – and any dirty job the hateful housekeeper throws her way.
Finally a day off and with the one good dress she had kept from her former life, Gina ventured out to attend Sunday services where she was noticed by Archer Hamilton. Archer is a collector of rare and beautiful insects, he is also the nephew of the owner of the manor where he had yet to discover that Gina was employed as a servant. Although he senses Gina is not the servant she is posing as, he remains totally fascinated by her.
Archer is under his uncles thumb, he is unwilling to assert himself with Gina, until her identity is revealed and he goes along with the plan his uncle and Gina’s aunt have unraveled to gain Gina’s fortune.
Talk about a dysfunctional family! So many secrets, betrayals, and complex relationships! I wasn’t sure how all the relations were connected, but I kept reading because I found it to be totally fascinating. At first I liked Archer - wished he had a bit more backbone in dealing with his uncle - then wanted to whack him for not figuring out what was truly wrong with Gina after marrying her. Gina on the other hand was such an innocent, without having any confidence in trusting herself - let alone anyone else. Between the complications with the two protagonists and the dysfunction on the part of just about every member of the two families, I wasn’t sure it could all be sorted out. But it did! And at over 624 pages I have to say I was totally immersed in trying to guess how it would end. Alas, it did and now I can’t wait to see what happens to the cousins!!!