by Lesley Belle

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Back for Bella is a story of intrigue, romance, and a deadly family relationship. Detective Brady Randall has been "dead" for five years, forced to hide from the drug lord he was investigating before his untimely “demise.” Brady has decided to return to life to collect the one thing he left behind, his love Isabella Mason, the drug lord’s daughter. Unfortunately for Isabella, Brady believes that she ratted on him to the family, forcing him to leave his old life behind. Isabella tries at all costs to stay as far away from her family as she can. This includes her father and brother who continuously try to control Bella through fear and intimidation. When Brady returns from the dead Isabella is stuck between her love for Brady and her monstrous family. Brady and Bella must help each other in order to stay alive long enough to work out their problems.

Back for Bella has strong characters and an intriguing story line. Brady is the tough cop with little to lose who is looking for revenge at all costs. Bella is trying to stay alive and out of the family business of selling drugs by any means possible. Together Bella and Brady create sparks and the story contains plenty of sexual tension between the two of them.

However, while the characters are very strong, the plot of this novel is a bit weak. Brady’s convenient death is a little unbelievable and left the reader wondering where he had been for five years. Also, the format of the story as a novella left the reader wanting more; it felt as if the story had been pared down and too much of it had been left on the editing room floor. However, I did find the love story to be very sweet - who wouldn’t like a guy to return to you after being dead five years and finding out that he still loves you? Also, the ending of the story proved to be a very satisfying and gave the reader of feeling completion. Back to Bella is an exciting read but does not contain the depth that many novels do and may leave to reader wanting more.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Jen.

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