"an amusing Pygmalion-style tale"

Setting: Colorado Springs 1862

The Sullivan family, once a poor mining family, has moved to Colorado Springs with their new found wealth. The mother, Bridey, wishes to find a place in society and see her three daughters married well. Belle, the oldest daughter, is a tomboy with rusty hair and freckles. Belle is considered rather plain and is ecstatic when Christopher "Kit" Stanhope invites her on an outing to look at rock formations. George Winthrop and Harold Latham accompany Belle's sisters, Charisma and Grace on the trip. Once there, Belle and her sisters go to the formation named for the three graces to make a wish. The sisters think that it is silly to make a wish, but they promised their mother to wish for husbands. Before they can make a wish, they overhear their escorts making fun of them. Even though they were named after the three graces: Belle is not a beauty; Charisma is plain-spoken not charming, and Grace is clumsy. The sisters are mortified to learn that their mother hired the men to be their escorts. Instead of wishing for husbands, they wish for the characteristics for which they were named. Belle, also, wishes for revenge on the three men for their cruelty.

Meanwhile on Mt. Olympus, the three graces decide to interfere in mortal affairs. It is decided that they will grant the girls' wishes, but they must be careful not to attract Zeus's attention. Each girl is assigned to the grace for which she was named and Belle's wishes will be granted first.

The next day, Kit arrives at the Sullivan house to apologize to Belle. Kit realized that the sisters overheard the men, and the only reason he was agreeing with Harold and George was to make business contacts. His father, a viscount, sent Kit to America to make business investments after he was wrongly accused of ruining a young woman and fathering a bastard. His family believed the lies and sent him to America in disgrace. Kit hopes to prove himself in this new country. Belle accepts Kit's apology and gets him to agree to help her become attractive and popular. She will need his aid to get into all the society functions, which have thus far been closed to the Sullivan family. Belle plans to reinvent herself and get revenge on the three men, even Kit, whom she is half in love with. Will all Belle's wishes come true?

BELLE OF THE BALL is an amusing Pygmalion tale with lively characters and some paranormal elements. Belle gets herself into some amusing situations in her attempts to extract revenge. I found this book quite funny in places. Belle is young and inexperienced with a tendency to not think before she storms ahead. This tendency got her into trouble several times, and Kit, in true heroic fashion helped her out. Although Belle performed some not overly intelligent actions, she seemed to learn from her mistakes. I was grateful that she was capable of learning from her mistakes. Kit, also, was young and needed to learn some lessons. All in all, BELLE OF THE BALL was a good read, and I'm looking forward to Charisma's story.

Copyright 2002
For & ParaNormal Romance Reviews

Reviewed by Marlene Breakfield
Posted December 22, 2002


Other books in the Three Grace Series:
Book 2: A TOUCH OF CHARM by Karen Fox
Book 3: SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE by Yvonne Jocks (coming in 2004)


Belle Of The Ball
(The Three Graces #1)
by Pam McCutcheon

Zebra (Ballad)
January 1, 2003
ISBN #0821774565
320 pages
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Other Books by
Pam McCutcheon

My Favorite Husband
A Reluctant Rogue
Midsummer Night's Magic
A Little Something Extra
Golden Prophecies

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