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Samantha Fontien’s HOW TO CATCH BUTTERFLIES BOOK 2 is the continuation to her first book, HOW TO CATCH BUTTERFLIES. In this situation, it is necessary to read the first since Fontien doesn’t give you much background information regarding characters and situations that occurred in the first novel. Full disclosure: she did offer the opportunity to read the first book and if I had the time, I would have taken up the offer; however, having a very full review plate, I couldn’t. Either way, I often like to pick up books after the first to see if it is necessary to read the first in a series.
As for characterization, it’s a bit weak, but then again I believe this has to do with it being the second book and not the first. Readers coming in for the first time will be lost and might have a difficult time associating with the characters. We have two couples who are essentially the main protagonists: Rebecca and Jackson who are are newly engaged and Lucy and Christopher who are dating. A set of secondary characters known to both couples play a role in the outcome regarding certain situations.
In terms of the overall plot, I was a bit lost. I wasn’t entirely sure what Rebecca’s job encompasses and why she went to New York that required her spending time participating in obstacle courses under the direction of a drill sergeant. Though we’re told she’s there to assist in hiring potential recruits, I still don’t have a good grasp what her job is. In the background, Jackson is under investigation for suspicious activity at his company, but no one takes the investigation seriously especially after Rebecca and a co-worker gets involved. Then we have Lucy and Christopher’s plot-there’s a bit of drama that was pretty easy to see where it was going and wasn’t too surprised when the facts came out. I applaud Fontien for tying up loose ends regarding particular character stories and situations, but she wasn’t clear enough for readers who hadn’t read the first book. For example, we have a character named Jason who turns out to be the man Rebecca didn’t pick. He spots her at the airport and immediately calls someone to see which plane she’s on. I thought he’d be the villain and was planning a kidnapping especially since he’s upset about Rebecca and Jackson being together. I was wrong and turns out I didn’t have to worry about him.
I debated with the rating between a three and a four. In the end, I decided on a three due to a few factors. The first concerns the writing. While Fontien can write a good story there are areas that need further editing to tighten up sentences. For example, “Lottie had been in the vehicle, unknown to anyone at the time. Her mother had taken in a fit of temper from the nursery unknown to anyone until it was too late.” It was already established that no one knew Lottie had been in the vehicle, the second mention of it wasn’t necessary. Furthermore, there are sentences that are missing single quotation marks or begin with one without the need for one. Several times Fontien writes out Duncan Peter’s full name even though he’d already been introduced. It became redundant and I understand typing out his full name if there was more than one character named Duncan, but there wasn’t. Also, there’s only a five hour time difference between New York and London. Fontien mentions a six hour difference and this only occurs twice a year for one week only and that’s when daylight savings time begins and ends. Rebecca was in New York for three weeks. Assuming she was at the camp during the week before the time difference, then it should reflect a five hour difference and not six (here she was thinking of Jackson and what he may be doing).
Overall, Samantha’s Fontien’s HOW TO CATCH BUTTERFLIES BOOK 2 is a satisfactory read. While it didn’t work for me, Fontien does know how to keep readers engaged. No doubt readers of the first book will be happy to pick this up and see where everyone ends up.