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REVIEW

"Warm historical romance"

If life was fair and simple, Stephen Kirton would be happily married to a respectable lady. However, as far as Stephen is concerned life is unreasonable and complex so he knows his dream will never happen, as Polite Society will never accept a person born on the wrong side of the sheets let alone his commerce with the "lower classes".

Instead, he seeks a night of revelry at the hedonistic Ormstead Park where he is shocked to see Annabelle Winston, an unattainable fantasy from his less complicated youth. They share drunken kisses at night, but that morning she rejects his proposal of marriage to avoid scandal. BELLE flees, but Stephen follows because he knows she is the one person who could bring happiness into his bleak dismal world.

BELLE is a warm historical romance though readers will wonder if the hero is a Regency adult or a disenchanted 1960s youth failing to score during the summer of Love. Stephen is the duel edge sword of the exciting plot. Readers will either moan along with him as a charmer who deserves the love of a good woman or tell him to get a life. Belle is an intriguing individual whose fall from grace contrasts with her letters to her mother. Melanie Jackson provides a well-written tale, but readers need to decide whether Stephen is an immature whiner or a misfortunate antihero.

Harriet Klausner

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 11, 2002

SUMMARY

With the letter breaking his engagement, Stephan Kirton's hopes for respectability go up in smoke. Inevitably, his "interaction with the lower classes" and the fact that he is a bastard have put him beyond the scope of polite society. He finds consolation at Ormstead Park; a place for dancing, drinking and gambling -- a place where he can find a woman for the night.

He doesn't recognize her at first; ladies don't come to Lord Duncan's masked balls. This beauty's descent into the netherworld has brought her within reach, yet she is no girl of the day. Annabelle Winston is sublime. And if he has to trick her, bribe her, protect her, whatever one way or another he will make her an honest woman. And she will make him a happy man.

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Belle
by Melanie Jackson

Dorchester (Leisure Books)
March 1, 2002
Available: March 1, 2002
ISBN #0843949759
EAN #9780843949759
320 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Melanie Jackson

The Selkie Bride
The Night Side
Divine Fantasy
A Curious Affair
These Boots Were Made for Strutting
Divine Night
Writ on Water
Divine Madness
The Saint
The Master
Divine Fire
Still Life
The Courier
Outsiders
Traveler
The Selkie
Dominion
Amarantha
Night Visitor


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