Monday, March 26, 2007

Hell's Belles - Jackie Kessler

Hey there, Lovelies. I hope your week-end was FABulous, I had a great one, the weather held and we spent lots of time outside with the kiddos, barbecued dinner, and just flat out had a good time. Real quick, I want to shout out, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to my niece who turned 5 yesterday and "HAPPY ANNIVERSARY" to that wonderful man I call The Hubs, eight years ago today he made me the happiest woman alive. Amazing how fast time flies. And now without further ado...

HELL'S BELLES by Jackie Kessler


Once upon a time, Jezebel was a powerful succubus, capable of seducing men and sucking out their souls. But that was before Hell put a bounty on her head. Now her only chance to escape a fate far worse than death is to live as a mortal, losing herself in a sea of unfamiliar humanity, in a place where sinners walk hand-in-hand with saints - a place like Belle's strip club in New York City.

Working as an exotic dancer is a piece of cake for a former demon who once specialized in sex. Taking money from men? Please. It's like leading lawyers to the Lake of Fire. Plus the lingerie is great. But she hadn't counted on meeting sexy Paul Hamilton, a man haunted by his past. Good-bye, succubus; hello, lovestruck. Learning all about how complicated - and pleasurable - love can be, Jezebel thinks she's turned her back on Hell.

But Hell hasn't stopped looking for her. The secrets Jezebel holds are the most dangerous of all, the kind every demon in the Underworld would do their worst to protect. Demons are closing in, which is enough to make Jezebel shiver in her G-string. But it's her love for Paul that's going to have deadly consequences...

Yowzah! That's a long BCC. I'm also not so sure it didn't spoil part of the book for me. It had me right up to the end...

Jezebel is a fifth level demon that works as a succubus. Her job in Hell is to seduce men, have sex with them, suck their souls out and deliver them straight to Hell. But when the ruler of Hell makes an announcement, life as Jezebel knows it is turned upside down. Unable to handle the new rules, Jezebel leaves Hell behind. Only Hell doesn't want to be left, and soon a bounty is placed on Jezebel's head high enough to bring out some of the baddest in Hell.

With the help of a witch from Massachusetts, Jezebel trades life as a demon for that of a mortal, and as long as she doesn't use her powers, the spell will hold and she will be human. Leaving Massachussets for New York, Jezebel meets Paul Hamilton on the train and the sparks fly. When Paul shows up at Belles things really start to heat up. Paul and Jezebel really start to connect, but what does a former demon know of love? Lust? Oh yeah, she has that covered, but love?

And it's true that there is no rest for the wicked, Hell is hot on Jezebel's heels and as a human, she must now learn to deal with emotions she's never had and that pesky little voice we all have known as a conciseness.

I have conflicting emotions about this book. While I enjoyed it overall, I didn't really realize I enjoyed it until it was over. Sounds silly I know, but I spent a rather large portion of the book lost. Each chapter is titled with a location, and the time frame is not always the present. The book starts in the here and now, then goes back a few hours (?) days, I'm still not quite clear on that, and shows events that lead up to the Announcement that rocked Jezebel so badly that she left. You don't find out what the big Announcement is until the end, and that really bothered me. If it was so gosh dern important to why Jezebel is running, perhaps we should have found out sooner. Once again, the time frame thing, we find out near the end, but only after something major happens in the present. I honestly wanted to go through and rearrange the chapters to make for easier reading.

There are some very amusing moments in BELLES, but a few of them were riffs that played through the book, and got old very fast. Two for instances - Jezebel says "Bless Me" a lot. At first, I found this endearing, but after what felt like the hundredth time, I had grown tired. Also, Jezebel does a lot of mental note taking. Once again, at first it was OK, but as time wore on, I wanted to scream, for pity sake, get a pen and write it down!

My FAB pick this month was SUCCUBUS BLUES, and I did enjoy the contrast in the worlds. Aside from both being succubi, Georgie and Jezebel are nothing alike, nor are their worlds. And I did like that, Kessler had a different spin on Hell and it's purpose and I enjoyed that bit of mythology.

All in all, HB was worth my time to read, I'll definitely give her next book a shot, I think now that I know what to expect from Kessler's writing, I won't be so easily confused this next go round. Like I said, I enjoyed the book, I just didn't realize until I finished it and could put all the pieces in an order I could understand.

Take Care

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Thanks so much for the review! (Sorry this is so late; I was in deadline hell, which is somewhere between Lust , Envy and Pride.) I appreciate the feedback about what worked for you and what you would have preferred, and I'm glad that overall, you enjoyed the book.