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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lesley pearse on top form
I really enjoyed this book. While not for me quite as gripping as Never Look Back and Remember Me the storyline was still excellent and the descriptions of kidnapping young girls and selling them into prostitution were very interesting. It is shocking to imagine this type of thing happening and Lesley Pearse has highlighted it in a sensitive way. Some descriptions were...
Published on 1 Feb 2011 by H. Freestone

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Belle
I have read every single one of Lesley Pearse books and enjoy them immensely. Belle was another good book. I cannot agree with some of reviewers who said this was by far the best, because Lesley has written better. But saying that it was a book that you get engrossed in. All Lesley's book are easy to read, have a very good story line, but I did feel this was a bit...
Published on 14 Mar 2011 by Paula Woods


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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lesley pearse on top form, 1 Feb 2011
By 
H. Freestone - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Belle (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. While not for me quite as gripping as Never Look Back and Remember Me the storyline was still excellent and the descriptions of kidnapping young girls and selling them into prostitution were very interesting. It is shocking to imagine this type of thing happening and Lesley Pearse has highlighted it in a sensitive way. Some descriptions were quite graphic but this means you can imagine it all the more clearly and is not a bad thing. I found it also very interesting to read how the girls could have been affected by their experiences. All in all a very good book from one of my favourite authors.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 4 Feb 2011
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Belle (Hardcover)
I have spent the past couple of days immersed in the story of Belle, and have travelled from the slums of Seven Dials in London to New Orleans via Paris with each and every character and place described beautifully and jumping out from the pages.
Lesley Pearse has long been one of my very favourite authors, she is a true storyteller and this is her at her very very best. Belle begins the novel a a somewhat innocent young girl of fifteen, shielded from the murkiness of the world she lives in by her Mother and her housekeeper Mog. This all changes when she finds herself the only witness to a brutal murder, she is snatched from the street and her 'education' into the dark, violent underworld of prostitution and crime begins.
The story follows Belle's journey, across the Channel to Paris and then onto New Orleans. Lesley Pearse is the master of strong heroines struggling through difficult circumstances and Belle really is one of the strongest and passionate characters of any of her novels. The horror and violence surrounding the abduction of young girls to satisfy the urges of older, wealthy men is described fully - there are shocking scenes involving not only villainous men but women who think nothing of selling a young girl in order to make more money for themselves. It would be easy to dismiss this as 'just fiction' but it is evident that a lot of research has been done and shocking to think that today, a hundred years later, there are still young girls being sold into the sex trade all over the world.
Despite the fact that Belle is almost 600 pages long it really does engage the reader, I found it difficult to put it down as the story is so quickly paced, full of fabulous characters and I was willing Belle along at a every step.
Alongside books, shoes are my passion and picking up and reading Belle is like slipping your feet into the most comfortable pair of shoes you've ever found but with the added thrill of those red sparkly high heels.
This is romance and history yet contemporary at the same time - a wonderful story. I have enjoyed every one of Lesley's books but really think that this is up there with my favourites - alongside 'Never Look Back'.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Belle, 14 Mar 2011
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Paula Woods "paulawoods2" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Belle (Kindle Edition)
I have read every single one of Lesley Pearse books and enjoy them immensely. Belle was another good book. I cannot agree with some of reviewers who said this was by far the best, because Lesley has written better. But saying that it was a book that you get engrossed in. All Lesley's book are easy to read, have a very good story line, but I did feel this was a bit predictable. If you do not like sexual description, then this is certainly not the book for you, because at times it was very explicit.
I good read but not one that I would say "You have to read this!!!"
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, 4 Feb 2011
This review is from: Belle (Hardcover)
I loved this book, I read it in three sittings over two days. I have read all of Lesley Pearse's novels and this is one of the best. It's the story of Belle, who after witnessing a murder, and being abducted as a consequence finds herself in series of dangerous situtations. The characters and their relationships were brilliantly written and utterly believable, particularly her relationship with Ettiene which was beautifully crafted. I felt myself physically willing Belle to come through the dangers she encountered. I love novels about strong women, Belle certainly has strength and unbreakable spirit. Brilliant thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable rubbish, 18 Feb 2014
This review is from: Belle (Belle 1) (Paperback)
This book is 624 pages long and somehow I managed to struggle through almost two thirds of it before I gave up. The sympathy you feel for the 'heroine' in the first few chapters rapidly disappears.

A 15 year old virgin who knows nothing about sex is snatched off the streets and brutally raped 5 times by different men before being sold to a brothel. Once there she works for 2 dollars a day having sex with 12 men a night but still manages to enjoy most of it.

She makes no attempt to write to her mother who fears her dead and doesn't take the opportunities to go home when they present themselves because she wants to 'earn enough to go home with her head held high'.

Good grief, what total, unbelievable codswallop!

The film 'Pretty Woman' glamorises prostitution but at least that has some redeeming features. This book has absolutely none.

I can only imagine the people who liked this book enjoyed the sexual content and were probably too embarrassed to buy '50 Shades' or similar and thought this titillating and acceptable.

Before you think I'm some sort of 'spinster school ma'am' type I can assure you I'm not. I'm a bloke in my late 50s and have spent 40 years in the building trade so I wasn't shocked by the sexual content, just shocked by the dreadful writing after seeing so many good reviews.

If you want titillation there are plenty of books available, they won't be written any better but they'll hopefully be a lot shorter!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start then became too predictable, 22 July 2011
By 
A. TURNER (Herefordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Belle (Belle 1) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book when I first started reading it, it then became a bit predictable and I lost interest. I did finish it eventually, why I do not know as the end was just as I expected.

I was very disappointed, after having read Faith which is absolutely fantastic, I was expecting a really good read. I am glad I got it from the library rather than wasting my money!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay but not as good as I hoped, 26 April 2014
By 
M. E. Newell (Georgia, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Belle (Belle 1) (Paperback)
Belle Cooper has spent her whole living in the basement of her mother's brothel. After witnessing a murder, Belle finds herself in Paris and then New Orleans working in a house. But Belle was not be defeated, as she struggles to get back to those she love. In England her sweetheart Jimmy and her closest friend Mog never lose hope in seeing Belle again.
"Belle" by Lesley Pearse was an okay book but I have admit that it was not as good as hope. There were times that Belle just made me flat out angry with the choice that she made. I am hoping the follow up books "The Promise" and "Survivor" are better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing story, 11 Aug 2012
By 
Nicola in South Yorkshire "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Belle (Belle 1) (Paperback)
I know when I pick up a Lesley Pearse book that I will be getting great writing, a clever and thoughtful story, and a cast of interesting characters, including a feisty female. Belle is no exception to this and this book is similar in style to some of the author's strongest works such as Never Look Back, Hope and Charity.

Belle is a 15 year old girl who witnesses a murder and is then snatched off the streets of Seven Dials in London and forced into prostitution, both in France and in America. The next two years find Belle in all sorts of situations but her strength and courage carry her through.

Despite there being some points where it seemed a bit far-fetched, this is a fantastic story told by a mistress of storytelling. I loved Belle, who kept fighting back no matter what life threw at her, and I also really liked the other characters such as Mog, Jimmy and Etienne.

It's a long book at almost 600 pages, but I found I got right into it quite early on and then was completely engrossed in and didn't want to put it down. Excellent read and now onto the sequel, The Promise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking read from Lesley Pearse, 5 Jun 2012
By 
An avid reader. - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Belle (Kindle Edition)
This book will hook you from page one especially if you are a die hard Lesley Pearse fan. It has everything we come to know from her pen, suspense, despair, love, evil and an epic story line. This book if full of 'bad' places where you thank the lucky stars you have never had to set foot. It's full of the most despical men and women that live in this rotten society of human trafficking and brothels. Lesley depicts the worse scenarios with such good penmanship that yes you shudder at what happens but it is such a page turner that you need tofind out what will happen next you are glued until the very last page.

I was sad it had to come to an end but was pleased to learn another 'Belle' book is on the way in Belle's War to continue Belle's journey through a tumultuous time in history.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, 27 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Belle (Belle 1) (Paperback)
My Lady does not read books as a rule.....she says that I am boring when I do so! This book, however, has kept her absorbed throughout & she has even complained about being disturbed when reading. She is now looking for more books by the same author. Extraordinary.
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Belle by Lesley Pearse
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