Hellion

Bertrice Small, Author
Bertrice Small, Author Ballantine Books $10 (0p) ISBN 978-0-345-38599-4
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-15041-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-449-15038-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-40925-6
Paperback - 513 pages - 978-1-56895-354-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-03740-3
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-307-79488-8
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Set in the early 12th century, between Henry Beauclerc's ascension to the English throne in 1100 and his eventual victory over his older brother Duke Robert of Normandy at the battle of Tinchebrai in 1106, Small's (Skye O'Malley) latest mixes a goodly bit of history with lots of her signature sex--some gruffly randy and some sinisterly practiced. Hugh Fauconier, a childhood friend of Henry Beauclerc, is rewarded with Langston, the lands of his Saxon ancestors. Like all good things, they come with fine print, in this case the late Norman lord's daughter, known with varying degrees of disaffection as Isabelle or ``the Belle from Hell.'' But Hugh's a good sort and manages to woo the headstrong young woman, marry her and father a son before going off on business for his king. When he doesn't return, Belle sets out in search of him. She fights off the lustful King Henry in one of the more entertaining sections before heading to Brittany, where she finds the amnesiac Hugh in thrall to two decadent descendants of Vivienne (as in Merlin and). Belle herself becomes a strangely willing sex slave as she attempts, somewhat leisurely, to save Hugh. There's lots of history here and a good eye for detail, and the sex is (usually) compelling, but Small really needs to lose those gratuitous spanking scenes. (Jan.)
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