Monday, July 8, 2013

THE SASSY BELLES by Beth Albright

Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Date published: May 28, 2013
ISBN:  978-0-7783-1528-5
Romantic Fiction
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher


In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where women are strong and beautiful, are THE SASSY BELLES, Vivi, Rhonda, and Blake.  Having established this exclusive sisterhood back in junior high, these Southern Belles vowed to guard each other’s backs forever, no matter what.  They deemed themselves as “Southern Belles with an attitude and a splash of fun.”  Then, although Rhonda moved away in tenth grade, Vivi and Blake always remained THE SASSY BELLES, the closest of friends.  Family.

Blake O’Hara Heart is now an attorney whose husband and law partner, Harry, is aspiring to move into the political realm. 

Vivi Ann McFadden, an only child, lives alone on a beautiful plantation with her former nanny, Corabelle, and Arthur, the gardener.  She is romantically involved with Harry Heart’s brother, Lewis, a popular football announcer, who, during a playful romp at a local motel, suddenly winds up dead, with Vivi being the only suspect.  Frightened, who else would Vivi call for help but her best friend, Blake, a good attorney who always fights for the underdog?

As the Tuscaloosa gossip swirls around them, THE SASSY BELLES are determined to find out the truth about Lewis’s disappearance and clear Vivi’s reputation.

THE SASSY BELLES by Beth Albright, a Tuscaloosa native and former Days of Our Lives actress, among other things, is a fast-paced, delightful read.  Vibrant in its portrayal of southern life, THE SASSY BELLES is well written and just plain fun.

THE SASSY BELLES has all one would want in a good book:  tight-knit relationships, betrayals, mystery, suspense, humor, and good will, with a bit of adventurous romance thrown in for good measure.

Vivi and Blake are two wonderfully close friends who accept each other for who they are, regardless of their faults or mistakes.  It is so easy to relate to them.  It is also easy to relate to the everyday problems experienced between couples like Blake and Harry.  Harry at first seems like a good guy, until his strong political interests get in the way of his marriage.

Vivi is a character who makes the reader laugh, yet still love her, despite her kinky side.  Blake, the sensible one it seems, is a strong character who is quick to stand with Vivi and help her as they try to clear her name.  Because Vivi is so in love with Lewis, it is easy to feel her pain at losing him.  It is clear in THE SASSY BELLES just how strong the loyalties are between Vivi and Blake.

The male characters in THE SASSY BELLES are all strong men, but it is only when Harry does something unexpected and hurtful that the reader learns his true nature.  Right from the beginning I favored Blake’s former heartthrob, Sonny Bartholomew, and with good reason, as THE SASSY BELLES reveals later.

All of the characters in THE SASSY BELLES added a lot to this story.  The tight-knit family relationships, the deep-rooted caring for one another, smacked of Southern charm that just warms the heart.

Albright is clearly a multi-talented writer who has done a wonderful job in sharing a love for Tuscaloosa through THE SASSY BELLES.  It is indeed full of sass and a variety of plot lines that keep the reader interested and glued to their seat to see how everything comes out in the end.  In many ways a humorous, yet fun story, THE SASSY BELLES is the perfect summer getaway read.  I greatly enjoyed reading it and look forward to Albright’s future work in this series:  WEDDING BELLES (coming July, 2013) and SLEIGH BELLES (September 2013).

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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