by Fiona Hood-Stewart

May 2004
ISBN: 0-7783-2078-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Elm MacBride finally has to admit that her husband is unfaithful. She has been in denial, trying to be the perfect politicianís wife. Well, the blindfold has been ripped off, torn to shreds and Elm is adrift. Her smug husband has no idea that she is aware of his betrayal, made all the more painful by his false good humor. Convinced that her father, a former Senator, would tell her that she should forgive and forget and be a good wife, Elm decides that she needs a break from Savannah and the upcoming election. She packs her bags and heads to Gstaad, where she visits a close friend from her youth.

Irishman Johnny Graney is visiting his mother in the alpine resort where he spent so many years in school. His mother, the Dowager Lady Graney, is pressuring him to remarry. Widowed for many years, he just is not sufficiently interested in any one woman. His Thoroughbred stud farm, the racing, and other various business interests in his family consume his time, leaving only enough for his teenage son Nicky and other members of his family. When he meets an intriguing American on the ski slope, he decides that he would like to get to know her better.

Author Fiona Hood-Stewart has really penned a winner in Southern Belle. I was riveted by Elmís story, and hoped that she would give that no-good husband a good kick in the britches. Her hero is not without flaws, but stands his ground when it matters most. The author has infused both her main characters with humanity, making them even more believable. Their reactions and feelings are completely natural.

As the plot begins to swirl around Elm and her decision to get a divorce, the book is impossible to put down. The suspense builds as Elm and Johnny must fight not only for their love, but Elmís very life! Readers who like page-turning action, strong characters and deep emotions will love Southern Belle.

Reviewed in April 2004 by Paula.

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