Butterfly By: Ashley Antoinette : 😬 : | Book Review

By: Ashley Antoinette
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Urban Drama, Gangs, Adult Content/ Adult Fiction, Spin-off from different series,
Rating: Wasn’t for me
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: January 7, 2020

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Butterfly is the first novel in an all new series by New York Times bestselling author Ashley Antoinette!

“Run away from the boy that gives you butterflies, he’s going to break your heart.”

Morgan Atkins had been told that phrase ever since she was a little girl and still she allowed herself to fall for the boy that made her heart flutter. After losing her first love, Morgan is terrified to love again. She’s settled for a comfortable life with a respectable man. She has everything. She’s living in the lap of luxury and although she’s comfortable, she’s bored out of her mind.

When a ghost from her past blows into town, she finds herself entangled in an illicit affair. It’s wrong, but she can’t fight the butterflies he gives her and honestly, she doesn’t want to. She can’t hide the natural attraction she feels and soon, she’s so deep involved that she can no longer tell where the boundary between right and wrong lies. Her heart is telling her one thing, but her head is saying another. Morgan Atkins has always been a spoiled girl and she tries to have it all, but when she’s forced to choose between a good man and a bad boy, someone will end up hurt. Someone just may end up dead.

Morgan Atkins has been through more tragedy than one girl can bear. Will she weather this storm? Or will the ultimate heartbreak ruin her for good?

**Reviewer note: I would like to mention a warning to readers about the contents of the book: some might be triggering. As the context includes strong adult language and mature material.**

My Thoughts

Mourning the loss of her first love, Morgan tries to move on with her life a few years after heartbreak in London with her twin toddlers, and a wonderfully caring, affectionate and wealthy man who willingly stepped up for the role as their father. She has been blessed with remarkable beauty and Morgan couldn’t hope or ask for a better life. But she isn’t happy.

She knows she should be but cannot seem to put her heart into anything but her children even after being publicly and adoringly proposed to by her boyfriend, Bash.

That is until old friends from her past life and neighborhood show up and almost as if a switch is flipped, Morgan begins to question everything about her new life.

Butterfly was my first read by Ashley Antoinette, so I didn’t know what to expect to read with this book. And I have to say it was a unique experience. The premise of the book was intriguing and gave me the impression that I was going into a story of a woman showing this huge struggle emotionally between an old love and a new one but the further I went into the book the more I realized that my assumption was off base. And it left me with a perplexed reaction to the story and Morgan’s character.

While I am certain there is a BIG audience for this story style, I do not think I fit the mold. Morgan’s character has a lot of flaws, which is usually what makes a character so interesting and entertaining

But Morgan’s actions and thoughts remained in a state of constant contradiction. Not only with matters of the heart but with her children and her struggle to just be honest with herself.

Morgan claimed in the beginning that she put her children first because they were all she had in life that mattered and because they were the last real connection she had with her the love of her life and the kids’ father, Messiah.

Yet it was this detail I felt her character never actually lived up to in the narrative. In my opinion, Morgan does Morgan in Butterfly. An instance that remains true in all her decisions from beginning to end. I don’t mind self-involved characters but since I had such a hard time figuring her character out I was hoping to feel a connection with her based on the bond she had with her kids while her love-life was all in over the place but the connection wasn’t there.

In fact, I got the impression that she was happier to be without them and reconnect with her old life and friends before she had them rather than put real thought into a future love life with them factored into it, putting Bash’s wealth and status to the side, she had other means of giving the thought serious consideration. But she overlooks it.

And while I could understand her character’s impulse to default to old habits out of habit and familiarity. Driven by this repressed need to feel like herself after not dealing with or fully processing Messiah‘s death. Just to turn around and have his children on the cusps of falling into yet another serious relationship in such a short period.

We see Morgan herself call attention to these red flags with the arrival of her old friends Asia and Ahmeek. She makes the clear as day repeatedly, noting her particular attraction to Meek as being strongly tied to her grief over Messiah and lingering feelings of her past. Therefore, because of her repression and indecisiveness, I wasn’t convinced that her feelings came from a real place unlike that of Meek’s as the two grew closer—this is just an assumption on my part with the level of internal struggling Morgan’s character has in the book, it might make you wonder too.

In everyone else’s eyes, Morgan seemed to be interpreted as this delicate, fragile and frail thing that was hanging on by a thread. This may be in connection with the series this book is a spin-off from but from where I stand Morgan’s character was anything but that. Morgan acted the way she wanted and always came across as honest and upfront outside of the first few chapters when we are introduced to her “new life”. If this was a sign of her character moving towards a different arc, then THAT would be something I would stand for.

Overall, yes, Morgan’s character was hard to figure out in this book. But more than that, the urban colloquialisms, and at times, the abrasive rhetoric and tone of the book put up so many red flags while I was reading.

If used sparingly throughout the book I may not have had such a hard time getting through the passages, but the “N” word is used like ninety-eight percent of the time in the book. I didn’t even have barriers when it came to the gang-related details, cursing, etc., but this was a big turnoff seeing the text.

Nevertheless, as Butterfly Is connected to an earlier series by Antoinette, I want to look into her other books to see if my first impression changes in the future.

It is always a bit upsetting when you pick a book because the author and their work are so well-liked by others, guys and you dislike it.😔 So, I hope the next time around will be different.

Describing the book Butterfly the best I can as an urban romance/drama, I am sure readers and fans of these genres will quickly pick up this new release by Ashley Antoinette.


**Reviewer note: I would like to mention a warning to readers about the contents of the book: some might be triggering. As the context includes strong adult language and mature material.**


Book received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Thank you all for coming over and checking out my thoughts on Butterfly. If you’ve read the book or other books from Ashley Antoniette’s series Ethic or her book Moth to a Flame and have a different take/opinion, I would love to hear your thoughts.

I know my next step should be to go back and start with the series/books that preceded this one but I feel there are just elements that I will still struggle with 🤷🏾‍♀️, who knows.

But to those readers who prefer to have stories that have an urban edge to them and like books about gangs and elements of realistic life hurdles with a blunt and unstilted tone to them, I would say Butterfly might be the book for you.

Until the next post,