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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hell's Belles: Book Review

What happens when you are a demonic succubus rebelling against the changes in hell? You go AWOL, "borrow" someone's physical appearance and try to blend in with the flesh puppets. Only, blending in with flesh puppets isn't quite what you expect and before too long you are compelled to care for and even help those who previously provided you exquisite pleasure through their fear and pain. Jackie Kessler's Hell's Belles is a delightful and decadent read.

Personally, I'm more critical of first-person novels because I just don't care for the first person experience. I've certainly read some good first-person books, but I tend to shy away from them. Hell's Belles is a first-person narrative from the view of Jezebel. There is no POV hopping and it creates an intimate connection with one of the most interesting characters I've come in contact with recently.

Jezebel has fled from hell and is on the lamb. She's borrowed the appearance of a witch and has an added safety precaution in the form of a handy medallion. The necklace protects her from evil, but not her friends. Jezebel is fascinating with her observations of human emotion and she's definitely a naughty little succubus. She is everything I would expect a succubus to be and Jackie presents her perfectly. From the instant Jezebel meets Paul Hamilton she is drawn in a way she can't fully understand. With visits from her best friend, who happens to be a Fury, and her best pal, a naughty little incubus, we get to see Jezebel in the middle of two worlds. We experience her growth of humanity and compassion. We see her realization that she is in love with a mortal man.

The story becomes tense when the highest ranks of hell are at her heels and her medallion gets ripped from her being. She must choose to flee or stay. The actual romance between Jezebel and Paul is minor when compared with many of the standard romance novels on the shelves today. The author's voice is strong, the pace is fast and the read is smooth. The wit and humor comes off the pages in waves. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hell's Belles. I've got quite a few favorite lines I'd like to share with you... but I'm afraid Jezebel uses some colorful language and it's probably best to just let you see for yourself! I won't give away too many secrets because I hope you pick up this book and give it a read. A price tag of $15.00 is a little more than most of the paperbacks out right now... but I think it's worth it!

You can check out Jackie's blog to meet the author and learn more about the world of Jezebel!

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Blogger cooltopten said...

sounds good, write up my street ;) i know what you mean about first person novels but i just finished sansom's dissolution which is writen in the 1st person and i just find it stange it just doesnt sit very well with me, but a good books a good book. i will definatley look out for hells bells.
p.s. i think i caught your flu last time i was here, hope your feeling better

6:58 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

"on the lamb"?
Was that intentional?
Really sounds like an interesting take.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Rashenbo said...

Cooltop! Oh no! I hope you get to feeling better soon! :) I'll have to look at the title you mentioned. I've not heard of it before...

Bernita... well, I was trying to be clever with that particular turn of phrase ;)

10:01 AM  
Blogger Sandra Barkevich said...

Very cool! I recently had Jackie guest blog at Sandra's Goings On. She answered some great questions. I'll have to tell her about this review.

Sandy :-)
New Author Site Launched!
*February 24, 2007 at Sandra's Goings On - Guest Blogger, Terri Garey - Dead Girls are Easy

1:04 PM  

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