Hi there! Today I’m reviewing a new release from Tabitha Rayne. I’m a big fan of steampunk, and erotica, and dystopian futures so this was a perfect book for me. A CLOCKWORK BUTTERFLY is an intriguing mix of genres with a whole lot of smexy. (Not for kiddos!)
About the book:
Lovers torn apart by duty…will Angelo and Lena be reunited?
Mankind is close to extinction. Toxins have all but wiped out the male population. The remaining fertile men are housed in manors where their seed is collected.
Lena Lee is a new collector with a rare pheromone believed to reignite human fertility. She’s assigned a male who’s predicted to be her perfect match.
Angelo, a clockwork butterfly maker, is held captive, his essence harvested daily by Lena. Over time, the couple begins to fall in love, something which is strictly prohibited. When their forbidden love is discovered, Lena is banished from the manor.
Torn apart by the duty that brought them together, Lena and Angelo must find a way back to each other. But even if Angelo manages to escape, he doesn’t know where to find Lena. Will following the path of the clockwork butterfly lead him to his true love?
(Content Warning: strong language, BDSM, and graphic sexual content, including m/f, f/f, and f/f/m sexual interaction)
I really loved the concept of this world. It’s almost completely female. Even of different species it’s rare to find a male. The women are sorted into Donors (for eggs) Birthers (who gestate the embryos) and Mothers. Young women are tested to determine if they are capable of arousing ejaculation from what few men remain. If so, they are sent to be trained in the arts of Collection at manors where men are essentially pampered prisoners.
Lena has been chosen to become a Collector. If she graduates from training she may actually interact with a man. Along the way of her training, a fellow trainee, Mae, seduces Lena. Mae is perhaps not the friend Lena believes her to be–and this is verified when Lena is told that her training has been accelerated. Mae’s discoveries of Lena’s genetic compatibility with one of the manor’s males causes Lena to get bumped to the front of the queue for his Collections.
Angelo is a tentative lover. He isn’t interested in a constant barrage of women–he only wants one with whom he can connect. In his opulent room, he is virtually isolated; his only contact with humanity is through his visits with Lena. Lena cherishes their time together, which inflames Mae’s jealousy–and further sparks Angelo’s possessiveness. He commits a crime of passion–one which gets Lena banished from the manor.
Angelo’s despondence at losing Lena is great. He refuses all attempts at Collection until Mae arrives in his room. They strike a bargain: he submits for her Collection and she helps him to escape the Manor. Meanwhile Lena pines for her lost lovers in a prison. Her punishment is to accept sex with new lovers without growing attached–this is easy, she only cares for Mae and Angelo. Any pleasure she gains from her punishments is enhanced by imagining it is they who are with her, not her captors.
There’s a lot of sex, and I wasn’t put off by the F/F, mostly because the writing had such a fantastical quality about it–I liken it to Ann Rice’s BEAUTY series in that regard. While it’s a future society, the modern trappings have mostly disintegrated and people have gone back to the land to survive. Science does exist, because all the technology of IVF is present by necessity, however the people live much like pre-Industrial times, in small close-knit communities with horse transport and limited rail. Angelo spends his free time inventing clockwork animals, among them a clockwork butterfly which can home in on the person whose DNA it last sampled. By releasing Lena’s butterfly, Mae and Angelo endeavor to follow it to Lena’s prison and rescue her.
It’s an interesting read, and gave me a lot to think about with regard to our overchemicalized Earth and the loss of species we are already experiencing (thanks Monsanto!). Plus, I mentioned the lots of sex, part, right? It wasn’t gruesome or sloppy. I enjoyed Lena’s seduction by Mae, and Angelo’s seduction by Lena. It becomes clear about two-thirds in that this will become a menage, and that doesn’t disappoint, either.
About the Author:
Tabitha Rayne has been told she is quirky, lovely and kinky – not necessarily in that order or by the same person. She writes erotic romance and as long as there’s a love scene – she’ll explore any genre.
Her short stories, are included in anthologies from Xcite, Oysters & Chocolate, Cliess, Ravenous Romance, Burning Books Press, Velvet Books and House of Erotica. She has novels Beachwalk Press and Xcite Books.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!