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Bombshell: A Hell's Belles Novel (Hell's Belles, 1) Mass Market Paperback – August 24, 2021
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New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with a blazingly sexy, unapologetically feminist new series, Hell’s Belles, beginning with a bold, bombshell of a heroine, able to dispose of a scoundrel—or seduce one—in a single night.
After years of living as London’s brightest scandal, Lady Sesily Talbot has embraced the reputation and the freedom that comes with the title. No one looks twice when she lures a gentleman into the dark gardens beyond a Mayfair ballroom…and no one realizes those trysts are not what they seem.
No one, that is, but Caleb Calhoun, who has spent years trying not to notice his best friend’s beautiful, brash, brilliant sister. If you ask him, he’s been a saint about it, considering the way she looks at him…and the way she talks to him…and the way she’d felt in his arms during their one ill-advised kiss.
Except someone has to keep Sesily from tumbling into trouble during her dangerous late-night escapades, and maybe close proximity is exactly what Caleb needs to get this infuriating, outrageous woman out of his system. But now Caleb is the one in trouble, because he’s fast realizing that Sesily isn’t for forgetting…she’s forever. And forever isn’t something he can risk.
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"Sarah MacLean's books are fierce." — Julia Quinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Bridgerton series
"When a new Sarah MacLean novel comes out, I drop everything to read." — Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read
“I recommend anything by Sarah MacLean.” — Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
"Smart, sexy, action-packed, propulsive escapism at it's absolute finest. We are lucky to be living and breathing in the Sarah MacLean era." — Christina Lauren, New York Times and #1 international bestselling authors of The Unhoneymooners
"Sarah MacLean came to slay, not play with Bombshell! In this first installment of her Hell’s Belles series, she delivers a stormy, swoony love story, yes, but also a cadre of powerful women who take no sh*t and give as good as they get. Thoroughly modern in its sensibilities and perspective on what women are capable of and still perfectly historical. I'll never get used to how talented this woman truly is." — Kennedy Ryan, USA Today bestselling author
“It’s not summer if you’re not getting lost in the lush, sinful world of a Sarah MacLean novel… MacLean delivers a knockout one-two punch of blazing-hot romance and a deliriously feminist girl gang.” — Entertainment Weekly
“MacLean is a master at weaving passion and vulnerability equally in her characters… when it comes to historical romance, she’s one of the best.” — Vulture
“Attention, Bridgerton fans! Bombshell by Sarah MacLean is the first installment in a feminist romance series about British aristocrat Lady Sesily Talbot, a fiercely independent woman who’s not afraid to go after what—and who— she wants.” — Real Simple
"Bestseller MacLean (Daring and the Duke) launches her Hell’s Belles series with a sizzling, adventurous Victorian romance...This promises good things to come." — Publishers Weekly
“…A celebration of finding joy through living and loving with truth and authenticity…Another stunner from a Romancelandia favorite.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"With the splendidly conceived launch to her new Hell’s Belles series, RITA award-winning MacLean aptly demonstrates that her literary magic never loses its allure by gifting readers with both an extraordinarily memorable cast of characters and a fiercely feminist storyline powered by ample measures of intense sensuality and sharp wit." — Booklist
"MacLean (“Bareknuckle Bastards” series) kicks off a planned series with this feminist historical romance that’s full of witty dialogue and plenty of steamy scenes... MacLean’s dedicated fan base will be eagerly awaiting this novel, but it will also appeal to other romance readers who are unfamiliar with her body of work. Highly recommended for general purchase." — Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
A life-long romance reader, Sarah MacLean wrote her first romance novel on a dare, and never looked back. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romances translated into more than twenty languages, a romance columnist, and the co-host of the weekly romance novel podcast, Fated Mates. A graduate of Smith College and Harvard University, she lives in New York City.
- Publisher : Avon (August 24, 2021)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0063056151
- ISBN-13 : 978-0063056152
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.75 x 0.89 x 7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #153,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2022
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Top reviews from the United States
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Caleb is a hard guy to warm up to. He holds his secrets too tight. If not for Secily and her gang of women, I might have become more annoyed with his stubbornness. Which, by the way, he holds onto right until the end almost ruining a perfectly brilliant plan to save him.
Secily is a Hurricane as she is often described by Caleb. She is wild and fierce and fearlessly rides a fine line of complete control and self destruction.
But as good as the romance and the MCs are, the best part of this book is the group of women who have come together to bring bad men to Justice and save the women they threaten. I am totally intrigued. The Duchess, especially, is a mystery. I imagine her story will be the last in the series. Still, I’m looking forward to Adelaide’s story next.
Caleb is far from uninterested in Sesily, but many things, including his friendship and business dealings with her sister, Seraphina, the Duchess of Haven, not to mention secrets that would ruin her and probably kill him, keep him from acting on feelings “Sexily” Talbot invokes. He has only returned to England at Sera’s request and doesn’t plan to involve himself with the tempting and forbidden Sesily, but when Sera askes him to watch out for her, he can’t say no. And when she finds trouble, he will do whatever is necessary to save her – even if it means exposing himself to the very secrets he has been hiding for years. Can these two find a way to escape Caleb’s past or is their love doomed?
This was a well-written story, but I found the pace to be a bit too slow for a good majority of the book. So slow that I started to skim, but towards the end, things picked up, and the book finishes with a “grand finale” of sorts. The book has likable characters, intrigue, secrets, wonderful secondary characters, wicked villains, explosions, dead bodies, steamy love scenes, and a HEA complete with an epilogue. I thought this book had great bones even if it had a somewhat “contemporary in period dress” feel, but the wordiness and filler scenes made it a bit of a chore to read. Overall, I am glad I read it and I will certainly be checking out the next book in the series.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*
Top reviews from other countries
This one was rather disappointing as it was quite difficult to get into, there is some chemistry between the characters but there’s so much and yet at the same time so little going on within the first few pages that it overshadows their romance and the impact of their conversation and witty one liners.
One point that was annoying…Sesily literally says she doesn’t want children, Caleb said he would be careful…next page they ABSOLUTELY weren’t careful….?!
Interested to see if the Duke of Clayborn turns up in a later book ~ weird scene between him and Coleford?
This book truly has it all, from ballrooms to bar fights, girls gangs plotting & kissing in closets. Trust me when I say it's one to read!
Note for the publisher: you really do MacLean dirty with the UK covers! Giving us something a bit more lively would be delightful.