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Belle of the Ball
Pam McCutcheon
Zebra
ISBN: 0821774565
January 2003
Historical Romance

Everyone could use a fairy-godmother.   Wouldn’t it be nice if the fates smiled down and granted you a wish?  In 1882 in Colorado Springs a fairy godmother was just what  Belle Sullivan and her two sisters Charisma and Grace needed. Their mother had arranged dates for the girls.  Their mother told them when they came upon the rock formation called the Three Graces, they should make an offering of  their flowers to the rock formation and make a wish. The girls weren’t sure how they were going to do that, but they promised their mother they would and off they went with their dates for a drive. When they found the rock formation called the Three Graces the girls went to get a closer look. They over heard their dates saying some very unflattering things about them. One said Grace was anything but graceful, another said Charisma was far from charming, and well, Belle was homely. The girls had no choice but to make their wishes, one for grace, one for charm and Belle’s was for beauty, because she was going to make those  guys pay for hurting the feeling of her sisters. It just so happens that the Three Graces ( Goddesses from mythology) were listening and they decided they would grant their wishes, Belle’s would be first.

Belle’s date had been Kit Stanhope, he was a younger son of a viscount and he had been sent off to America to make his own way and his fortune. There are some mysteries about Kit and why he was sent to America.  Belle had heard that Kit was somewhat short of funds so she offered him a job. She has plenty of money, her father struck it rich with a mine. His job was to make her beautiful  in time for the Founders Day Ball. He was to train her in everything she needed to know to be a success at the Ball. He escorted her to many events, helped her pick out  dresses that were flattering and in general boosted her self esteem.  He did this with the help of a new dressmaker in town, one that just arrived about the time that Belle had made her wish, imagine that!

Belle still had her revenge to extract on the three men, and Belle had yet to realize what her true wish had been to the Three Graces. She had made one wish out loud, but another wish had been made silently, which wish would the Three Graces grant? This book starts out with a great premise, I think everybody can use a little magic in their lives, it just lacks a little shazzam, sparkle, a bit more magic and this would have been an excellent book.

Debbie Olson, March 2003

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