Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Bombshell by Sarah MacLean
Series: Hell's Belles #1
Published by Avon on August 24, 2021
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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.
Bombshell is the first book in a the new Hell’s Belles series. The first book in this series seems to follow a side character previously seen in possibly another series I have not read. But no worries on that front, you don’t need to have read anything else to enjoy Sesily and her scandalous ways. She isn’t your typical HR heroine.
Sesily has been on the shelf for years and there is some great freedom to that. She told Caleb a few years ago she thought he was the one and he promptly left to America for two years, for some mysterious reason. In that time, Sesily has been busy. She has a great crew of friends who have decided to help other women of the Ton not end up in horrible marriages or get out of them. They aren’t afraid of getting their hands a little dirty and each in the crew brings a different expertise. Sesily is somewhat of a sexpot so she is often the temptation distraction and she plays the part well.
Caleb has a secret from his past looming and it is dangerous for him to be in London. He has wanted Sesily since he first met her but if his enemy finds out he is alive or who the people he cares about are they will be in danger. So he has tried to shield all the people he cares about from this and in so has only lived a half life. No worries, Sesily is determined to find his secrets and protect him from them to get only man she has wanted.
I really loved the female crew in this and how they banded together to help one another. You have the widowed Duchess, the brains and money behind the operation. There is the quirky scientist with some pretty dangerous experiments happening that could blow someone up accidently at anytime and no one would be surprised. Then there is the wallflower who really is a fantastic spy and can listen in to get most peoples secrets without being noticed. All of these women make up a really fun cast of characters that you can’t wait to see what other trouble they can get into.
Caleb means well but sometimes that male protective streak runs a little too deep. I was glad that he and Sesily eventually learned to work together to clear up the mess he is in. They make a great power couple.
I had a lot of fun with this book and I really enjoyed all the smart characters throughout the story and how they found unique ways to play their parts in society.
“Men are ridiculous.”
“For wanting to keep you safe?”
“For believing that you aren’t the thing from which we are most in danger.”
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I love the premise of this book. And I love a book about smart, courageous women!
Me too. I love me a HR heroine who goes against societal norms.
After reading a historical romance novel for COYER book club, I may be starting to see the appeal. It’s like a locked room mystery – the woman has to be smarter and stronger to survive and figure out how to succeed. The slow burn in the relationships can be so sexy too.
Yes. I do love that the good ones find ways to make that slow burn pay off hard. And the women have to be sneaky smart and get one over on society and others around them.
Lovely review you have of this one here. I am definitely looking forward to this one here. I can’t wait to see what Sarah MacLean delivers with this one.
I have enjoyed other books by her in the Rules of Scoundrels and the Bareknuckle Bastards. She puts together some very entertaining stories and this one is no exception.
Sounds good I love lady with secrets 🙂
Her little society of misfits that are looking for some justice for women is great.