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3.0 out of 5 stars A very funny, very sexy read, Jan. 31 2007
This review is from: Hells Belles (Paperback)
Although this novel, tagged as "Paranormal Romance" seemed to hit a little closer to erotica than the heaving busom romance novels I remember from my youth, this was a fun, funny, and very sexy read. A fine beach book!

Jezebel is a succubus of hell, and she is great at her job which involves seducing earthly men who are destined for hell, sucking their souls out at the moment of their death, and then escorting their souls to hell. She is a very happy succubus: great job, great friends, big party in hell, what could go wrong? Something has gone so horribly wrong that she has run away from hell, and with the help of a which, shed her succubus skin and become a mortal.

Being a mortal means she's got to find a place to live, a job, learn the basics of cooking, attempt to live a normal life. Not so easy when her only skills are in the bedroom, and the minions of hell are hot on her heels. Her only protection from the creatures of darkness is a magical amulet she wears at all times.

This is where the fun begins. Jezebel starts a job as a stripper, and learns that seducing men is always fun, even if it doesn't end with death. Stripping is an adventure with clothes, and role-playing, other dancers, and tons of money. And it is all fun and games for Jezebel until she falls in love with a perfect gentleman named Paul. Paul helps her feel the rainbow of human emotions, and lets her forget who she was once upon a time. Then Hell decides the time has come to drag her home.

All we know about why Jezebel left hell is that some pronouncement was made by King Lucifer, and that there is something else, involving her friend Megaera, who is a Fury. We get snippets of her memories and emotions of when and why she decided to leave Hell and never return. We do finally find out at the very end what is going on, and that information would have been much more helpful a little earlier on.

It's too bad I don't have more experience with stories of this type, so I would have something to compare it to. And it's too bad Kessler didn't develop Jezebel's character a little more, because there was a lot of potential there. Yes, I understand that Jezebel is a succubus, and her job is sex, sex, soul sucking, and some more sex. But is that all there is to her as a person? Are their no other dimensions to her being? Does she ever think about anything other than how sexy someone else is, and how to seduce them? Maybe as a succubus or a standard character in a romance/erotica novel she isn't supposed to, but I kept hoping for more to her character, and I never found it. However, I did learn a few fun secrets to strip clubs.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad book. It is funny, it is very sexy, and I enjoyed my time with it. I just wish it had more depth. Again, perhaps that isn't something romance readers are looking for?

2.5 out of Five spaceships.

Reviewer: Andrea Johnson for Multiverse Reviews
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Hells Belles
Hells Belles by Jackie Kessler (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 26 2008)
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