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Hell's Belle

(Dark Mirror Series #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  451 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Cate Delacey is glad she’s a witch—both kinds. She could have done without the guardian bit that put a bull’s eye on her back. Being a guardian comes with so many risks and rules that immortality ought to be a fringe benefit. Whenever the New Orleans Supernaturals’ Crime Unit calls for her help she’d like to tell them to go to Hell—but they’re already in that particularly ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Bella Books (first published December 16th 2013)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  451 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Lex Kent
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f-paranormal
This was great! Way better than I expected. Definitely one of the better paranormal books I've read in a while. What happily surprised me so much, was the romance between the two main characters. To be honest, the romance between Cate and Jacq was more enjoyable then other character relationships I've read in strictly romance books lately. Cate and Jacq first meet in this book, so it's a slow moving romance. Which I liked since it seemed more realistic. But wow was the chemistry smoking! The sex ...more
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Netty by: Lex Kent
This has been in my to-go-back-to folder for a while and totally forgotten about until i was reminded of it by my good friend and trusted bookworm Lex Kent....

I don't know why i liked this so much because me being me i didn't know what was going on some of the time with all the magic and funny names for things, what i do know is that it was well out of my reading zone and it had me flippin hooked, all the character were great and i was instantly drawn to them, i didn't even mind Luke the pain in
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was nervous about starting this book, because after listening to the audiobook sample I was concerned I'd get tired of the southern voice.! I LOVED the narrator's voice, and she was absolutely PERFECT for the role! Now, damnit....I'm anxious to pick up with book 2, but it's not on audible and I can't imagine trying to create a southern voice in my head for the entire book that would begin to do justice to the characters!

The characters, dialogue and ESPECIALLY the witty things Cate D
Cate, a half demon witch finds herself in the middle of a plot to open a gate to the underworld and allow an army of demons to travel through it to Earth. She needs to thwart the plot and enlists the help of vampires, werewolves and fae...most notably Jacq, a powerful other worldly being who immediately raises the heat in Cate's pants.

Together they battle dinosaurs, hell hounds and vampires, visit a BDSM club, have a few showers together and somehow find time to battle the zombie demons.

This b
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Ever wanted Sookie Stackhouse to throw over the vamps and weres she keeps dating and get a real girlfriend, then this could be the book for you.

High on Southern American hospitality and incredibly dense narrative, as a first novel it is pretty good, interesting characters and plot - could do with less embellishments and more clarity. However, an author to watch and I am looking forward to the next instalment.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Easily one of the best fantasy books I've read lately. Very imaginative!

It's a first-person narrative (Cate's POV) so we don't get to see opinions, thoughts and feelings of anyone else other than Cate's. It's a style that not always works for me, but in this case, it did.

First, because Cate's way of seeing life is quite amusing and it doesn't tends towards a stream of consciousness or long interior monologues.

And second because it added more mystery to the plot (the reader only unravels the stor
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. Had to give this multiple tries until I got through it. Somehow the writing is stiff at the beginning of the book but later on I wasn't bothered by it. There's also the issue of introducing a lot of characters but not doing anything much with them as well as raising so many questions that at times it became hard to follow what's happening or maybe it's not the sheer quantity of shit going down, maybe it's the issues with pacing the book has. It's definitely too long for what it delive ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
Nice balance between urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres. The feisty witch-demon, Cate, reminded me of the old Michaela Werefox, the one before Fox Mate. Her dry wit and Southern manners make for an interesting lead. She had to be as the whole book was told from her POV.

The worldbuilding will satisfy urban fantasy lovers. Paranormal fans will dig the mumbo jumbo. The slow burn but intense romance (shades of Aragorn/Arwen) will inspire the hopeless romantics.

Almost a 4.5

P.S. Like the ot
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian, favorites
Ok this is a debut novel and I think that is a wonderful start for this new author!
The book have been able to capture my attention right from the start, and I have devoured it in less than 1 day so yes, believe me, it is that good.
For the ones that have been already able to read some of my few reviews you know that I love paranormal books, and this is a fine example of what a paranormal book need to offer to be interesting, entertaining, and lovable.

It's interesting because it start in a way tha
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
this author really knows how to show not tell but I really am left quite confused about many things in this story. the variety of things happening, the many tropes all pushed into one story, it was dizzying. though I am usually a fan of urban fantasy, I didn't really enjoy this one. it had bits that were good but overall it didn't hang together for me. I'm left with unanswered questions but not interested enough to find the answers.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Oh the sisterhood is strong in this one...
I struggled picking a rating.
At times the fun characters, badass ladies, and not to mention, the flare between Cate and Jacq urged me to give at least 4 stars. All in all, it didn‘t quite make it. My mind couldn‘t quite latch it‘s jaws all the way around this one. Which sucks because all the elements are there. Modern fantasy? Yes please. Sassy witch? oh yeeah. lady-loving ladies? AW YeA.

A few things kept me from completely sinking onto this book. My ma
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was confused in the beginning of the book. The author's writing style is different than most others that I'd read so far (or perhaps, I'm just not from the South). However, I'm glad I stick to it till the end, because the plot gets clearer and easier to follow. Words such as Kin, Fae, Were, Vamp, phers etc...oh hell, I looked up dictionary for those only to realize they are abbreviation or some form of supernatural creature.

Ya know what, I think this quote totally described my dilemma. “If at
May 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great debute and looking forward for other books in the series. The prologue on Evie drew me into the story right away. Though I dragged a bit on the first few chapters, as soon as Jacq came into the picture I just can't put the book down. Gosh, that woman is enigmatic and sexy as hell! Love her sense of humour, her loyalty and her old fashioned chivalry.

As this is the first book, there are quite a lot of unanswered question, from Cate's true heritage in better details, to what Jacq is and wh
Ziel Nielsen
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Damn oh yes!

All kinds of things that bump in the night get my attention and this book has them all in spades.
Plus: the book is well written with a solid plot and characters with quite a lot, and well thought and planed, skeletons in their closets. I was amazed by the level of care with which the main protagonist planned a confrontation with a side/"minor main" character.
The next installment is on my "to read" list.
Definitely and highly recommend!
Dec 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
I don't get why the book has so high ratings. First few pages already have 3 different perspectives , a world of magic, and mysteries that sat mostly unexplained. I'm fine with no introduction and no build-up, but please spare me all the unrelevant details and jump straight to the story. By the time something interesting happens, I was so stuck up with all the mess from before that I could hardly hold the book anymore.
Rafaela Rae
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can't wait for the next one..
Colleen Corgel
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
I love me some supernatural/ urban fantasy (it is my favorite sub-genre of all time) and I'm glad Marie Castle didn't go all in on paranormal romance which is so prevalent in Lesbian fiction. That doesn't mean there isn't a romance in there, there is a really intense one, the man focus is more on the fact that there's a group of demons running around kidnapping people for a nefarious purpose.

This book has all the hallmarks of a great urban fantasy - a feisty main character in Cate, a scruffy wit
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I like the basic premise behind the series. I like all the characters. However, there is one thing that annoys me, and had kept me from reading further the second book in the series. The fact that the author choses to use withholding information way too heavily. I think it’s nice to use it with one or two things. However, must about everything is mystery and we may or may not find the answers.

Outside of that major annoyance, this would have been a 4-star book.
Nathan Burgoine
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt
One of the best things about the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival is how I never fail to end up bumping into a new-to-me author and finding a book I adore. This year felt like an absolute trove.

If I'm going to be on a panel with someone, I try to read something by them before I sit down. This year, I got to be on a panel about Evil and the Supernatural with Christian Baines, Marie Castle, and Christopher Rice. I'd already read a couple of Rice's books (and recently read Blind Fall), and know
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lesbian-fantasy
The writing style remind me a lot of the hard boiled voice and I found it really hard to follow on many of the pages. The story is good, and the paranormal aspects fun. For me it’s just the narrator’s voice I couldn’t get on with.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved every moment of this book. The characters are wonderful and the story is engaging and exciting and I never wanted to put it down.
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-f, urban-fantasy
A good read, although my main concern with it is that there are FAR TOO MANY side characters that seems to be introduced here for no other purpose than either a cameo or an upcoming sequel/prequel. There are at least five or six named side characters we didn't need to know and their appearance felt far too much like unecessary filling bloating the story, especially if they cannot be distinguished from other characters other than by their name.

Also, the action is a little messy at times.
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From all the positive things I had heard about this book I knew it must be good. Even so, I was still surprised by its charm. The story constantly grows and changes with every page. And the main character is super chill just cracking jokes at every turn. It's just a fun read. There are not many lesbian works of fiction from or about Mississippi so that in itself made it worth the read. But I know I'm glad I have the next installment so I can immediately pick up where this one left off.
Laura Parrish
All in all, it was okay. To me it wasn't very submersive. I found the world-building was a little lacking, so it was hard to get into. I found myself not even caring about the characters, so even the romance element didn't really win me over. I kind of felt like it was underdeveloped and not executed too well. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible. It was fine and perfectly alright, but nothing amazing that I would rave about or eagerly recommend.
Odd Bin
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has everything I enjoy. Magic, supernaturals and sexy women. Also, it's quite amusing. Loved it. The only reason I didn't give it a five star was because it became abundantly clear to me whilst reading this book that I am not a big fan of chivalrous abstinence. And, although that is entirely on me, I can't help but feel a little grumpy about it.
Nolly  Sepulveda
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story was quite good and the characters were entertaining. Cate's sense of humor was refreshing and her attraction to Jacq, sweet in the telling. Though she seems to struggle with her untapped magic in the beginning she manages to embrace and accept it. Looking forward to reading the second installment, which I'll do once I finish this review.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5. Romance isn't typically my genre of choice so I'll admit those elements detracted from the rest of the story for me. I liked the Cate's inner monologue most of the time, and the story was fun to read.
I thought this was an okay read. A good amount of imagination and ton of action in the story. I waited the whole book for Cate and Jaqu to get together and was sooo frustrated. After all they'd been through those two really needed a good hook up scene.

Nice read. Clever, funny, and romantic. I am not a big big fan of supernatural stuff and action so I can't say I've enjoyed every part of the story, but I found it very entertaining nonetheless.
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thumbs up! Definitely better than most of the others in this genre.
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Marie Castle lives in a little town in Mississippi once called Gandsi-Zion for the train-stop that ran between the Civil War era Zion Seminary and the Gulf and Ship Island depot. There, she practices Practical-Romanticism (her term for being single). She works in the public sector for a well-known, multi-national company, has been known to dance in her socks when no one is around, and does foolish ...more

Other books in the series

Dark Mirror Series (2 books)
  • The Devil You Know (Dark Mirror Series, #2)
“I lifted my chin, meeting the eyes of the woman who’d become the living embodiment of my totem, my bright phoenix, and forged ahead. “But I live with the wrong choices, the paths untraveled, the lives lost, and I never hold those regrets against anyone but myself. So, if you have some reason that you think I’ll regret getting in that car or not getting in that car, then tell me. Because I won’t have anything between us, either.” My mind flashed to an hourglass, grains of sand trickling away, carrying my life with them. “At least, nothing that we can the fear of unspoken words.” 1 likes
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