Hell's Belles
Jackie Kessler
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East meets West across time and tradition as three young American women and their Indian immigrant mothers take first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering secrets and sharing joy and tears in Jackie Kessler'
Hell's Belles (Hell on Earth, Book 1)

Buy *Hell's Belles (Hell on Earth, Book 1)* by Jackie Kessler online

Hell's Belles (Hell on Earth, Book 1)
Jackie Kessler
320 pages
January 2007
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Jezebel is a 4,000-year-old succubus (female demon) whose job is to entice people into hell through horizontal means. However, when she goes AWOL from Hell, tricks a witch into making her human (and stealing that witch's form and credit cards/ID), she sets out on life as a newly born human in New York. The author writes her first experiences of being human, drinking coffee, eating muffins, being in public spaces, etc., excellently - these are really enjoyable parts of the book.

Jezebel, or Jessie, isn't at all a sympathetic character to start with. She steals the witch's identity, doesn't care about other people, and seems largely amoral. Her new human nature clearly begins changing that part of her character as she starts to care for people and to change. She gets a job as a stripper in a club, Hell's Belles, which suits her skills from her former career admirably. However, she's already bumped into Paul, and he is about to cause another big change in her life. On the run from other demons who are trying to drag her back to Hell, protected merely by her humanity and the amulet she wears round her neck, can Jessie keep herself safe and out of Hell? What is it that caused her to leave Hell in the first place?

Rather confusingly, a few chapters into this book Jessie seems to be back working as a succubus and leading a man to hell. It becomes clear eventually that this is a flashback, and there are other examples of this in the book - it might have been helpful for the fact that this is backstory to be more clear. Still, these sections, where Jessie is in Hell are fascinating. Somehow, author Jackie Kessler writes her description of the different levels in Hell and some of the characters in a lighthearted yet scary way with definite overtones of Dante.

Hell's Belles is a fairly earthy book with some explicit descriptions and a woman who is certainly at home with her feminine side. There is more to this story than just sex, though, as there's an interesting plot and some significant characterization of Jessie. Paul, the hero, is more of a cipher, and we almost learn more about the Satyr Daunuan, but there are many good side characters in this story which lift it above the average paranormal romance and made it an easy, fun read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2007

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