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The Maestro’s Butterfly by: Rhonda Leigh Jones

June 22, 2010

The Maestro’s Butterfly is a small press book released by Ravenous Romance and is definitely a book for my “keeper shelf”. In fact I liked it so much that I will be buying it in print. I bought it on Kindle for $6.99, which is usually more than I pay for an ebook but a friend of mine recommended it to me. And I trust her judgment.

Synopsis: (From Amazon)

Miranda O’Connell has just made a dangerous bet with her mysterious, sexy music teacher that will change her life forever.

She doesn’t know Claudio du Fresne is a vampire who keeps human submissives as feeders and sex slaves, or that he is quick to punish with a sound spanking. Or that he has secretly brought his ruthless brother in on the bet.

Victoire “Jack” du Fresne wants a piece of the action. He will help Claudio ensure the survival of his risqué stage show, if Claudio agrees to his terms. If Miranda decides to stay after 30 days, she becomes Claudio’s property. If she decides to leave, she becomes Jack’s.

Those 30 days will open Miranda to a world of sexual possibility and dark desire, where fear and lust become one. If she can handle the intensity. Will she fall in love with the kinky vampire Maestro and submit to life as his feeder slave? Or will she escape the confines of his estate for the dashing, dangerous charms of his brother?

This book would be classified probably as “paranormal erotic romance,” though I didn’t find it over-the-top risque. i.e. nothing about the book set off my squick-o-meter. Others mileage may vary, though. I can take quite a bit in my erotica before we hit the squick-o-meter.

This book plays on the vampire’s human pet trope, taking much of the sexual innuendo in many other vampire stories and bringing it to the forefront. Rather than implying it, it spells it out. This isn’t a complaint, however, since that fits the genre of what’s being written. And for most genres, spelling it out too explicitly would be taboo.

I normally don’t like romance with my erotica or erotica with my romance, but I think the harder edges of the male lead needed some love/caring to keep parts of the story from being just flat out brutal. Not so much physically brutal as emotionally brutal. Also, French men normally don’t do it for me. I find the accent unbelievably annoying in a male. However, most of the story I was able to ignore his nationality and stay immersed in the book.

What’s refreshing about this author is that she knows what erotica is about and how to write it. The point of an erotic story is to arouse the reader. Like it or not. And yet, many erotica authors seem to think that the more graphic they write, the more erotic it’s going to be. This is not the case. Throwing out naughty words for body parts does not automatically make a story a piece of erotica. Only a fifteen year old is aroused by flagrant use of explicit terminology with no substance behind it. Ms. Jones manages to write very hot text in chapter one, when it’s just innuendo, before we’ve even gotten to the sex. This indicated to me up front that the author knew what she was doing.

In many ways this is the standard tale of a woman discovering and embracing her sexually submissive nature. The difference is that her dominant/master is a vampire. I like my vampires and I like my kink. So I find I like this blend of both worlds very much.

The characters are also multi-dimensional with serious and believable flaws. The book isn’t “fluffy” and works to make an actual point about sexual surrender, whether the reader gets or agrees with the point is another matter.

This is the first erotic novel I’ve read that explicitly spells out “fear” as a kink. In most heterosexual kinky erotica it’s implied that the woman to some degree gets off on being afraid of her partner. But this is the first novel where I’ve seen this “fear as kink button” theme spelled out. Though it wasn’t spelled out in a way that was annoying.

Warnings for the squeamishly inclined: This book contains S&M elements, public sex (on a stage in front of an audience), and multiple partners.

Probably not for everyone. But if you like the kink and you like the vampires, this is a very well-written piece of erotica that is likely to push all the right buttons.

I give it four cookies. And a glass of chocolate milk. Cause I’m nice that way.

This book can be purchased at the above Ravenous Romance link (It can also be purchased there in audio. I’ve heard the narration for the audio is very good, and this one might be a treat as an audio book.) It can also be bought at and

FTC Disclaimer: This book was purchased by me.


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