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Hell's Belle

Author: Shannah Biondine
Genre: Romance
Reviewed by Susan DiPlacido

11070402It's the late 1800's, and Twila Bell is an orphaned, accident-prone woman who has just relocated to Nevada with her berating Uncle Fletcher's family to open a new town emporium. Del Mitchell is a handsome local rancher who was just left at the altar. When one of Del's horses crashes through the front window of Uncle Fletcher's shop on opening day, this spicy romance is set in motion.

Del goes in to offer to pay for repairs, but what he finds is a charming damsel-in-distress as Twila is taking the brunt of her uncle's anger. He's once again yelling at his niece and blaming the bad fortune on her. Del's appalled for Twila, but after his recent humiliation, he has sworn off women, so he tries to forget about Twila as he leaves town for a while. But when he returns home, he's dismayed to learn of everyone talking about the town "witch" – Twila Bell. Furious at her uncle and feeling bad for Twila, Del takes her away to Reno and marries her.

This, however, is just the start of their tale. Though attracted to Twila and driven by chivalrous intentions, Del isn't ready to open his life or heart to another woman after his recent debacle at the altar. And Twila, after years of living with her demeaning Uncle, is deeply insecure. Both these characters are endearing and interesting, and you'll find yourself rooting them on. Biondine has a light touch with this story. While it's incredibly steamy, it's also funny and charming. There's plenty of plot to keep things moving, but Biondine never loses focus of the romance of this tale, and never makes a misstep. If you like westerns and romances with more than a touch of steam, you'll love this well-written, engaging story.

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November 28, 2004 in Romance | Permalink

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