• Bombshell

  • A Hell's Belles Novel
  • By: Sarah MacLean
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (504 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Sarah MacLean returns with a blazingly sexy, unapologetically feminist new series, Hell’s Belles, beginning with a bold, bombshell of a heroine, able to dispose of a scoundrel - or seduce one - in a single night.

After years of living as London’s brightest scandal, Lady Sesily Talbot has embraced the reputation and the freedom that comes with the title. No one looks twice when she lures a gentleman into the dark gardens beyond a Mayfair ballroom...and no one realizes those trysts are not what they seem.

No one, that is, but Caleb Calhoun, who has spent years trying not to notice his best friend’s beautiful, brash, brilliant sister. If you ask him, he’s been a saint about it, considering the way she looks at him...and the way she talks to him...and the way she’d felt in his arms during their one ill-advised kiss.

Except someone has to keep Sesily from tumbling into trouble during her dangerous late-night escapades, and maybe close proximity is exactly what Caleb needs to get this infuriating, outrageous woman out of his system. But now Caleb is the one in trouble, because he’s fast realizing that Sesily isn’t for forgetting...she’s forever. And forever isn’t something he can risk.

©2021 Sarah MacLean (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Bombshell

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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I’d give the performance 6 stars if I could!

Another reviewer (here or elsewhere) said that this book was like an all-female Avengers set in 19th century London, and I think it’s an apt description. High energy, funny, lots of action, lots of characters to like (and plenty to hate)… loads of fun.

Sesily/Sexily may be my favorite MacLean heroine of all time, and this is a scorcher of a love story. Like other MacLean novels, this book is devastatingly smart and wonderfully feminist. I won’t say too much more about the story, but I’ll note that Caleb is super sexy and likable.

A few words about the narration, which is wildly, vastly superior to the other recent MacLean narrators, Rosalyn Landor and Justine Eyre. Landor sounds old and constipated, and her male voices sound stuffy and not the teensiest but sexy. Eyre is ridiculously breathy, bad with certain (but not all) accents (Scottish is the worst for her), and, worse than all that, she’s not a smart reader. What I mean is that the number of times in a given book she reads a sentence wrong/emphasizes the wrong word/messes up tone is noteworthy. It happens a ton, and it always yanks me out of the narration.

But back to this book! Mary Jane Wells is a delight. Sexy male and female voices, great with accents, fun when she needs to be, with a tone that is always clever and somehow conspiratorial… she makes me feel as though I am in on the action and part of the secret! She’s just wonderful. Wells also differentiates her many female characters’ voices, which Eyre is terrible at.

I love this book, but I also now love Mary Jane Wells, and will be seeking out other titles that she narrates.

21 people found this helpful

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The narrator deserves 10 stars

This was delightful. Mary Jane Wells’ narration created a fantastic listening experience.

Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite authors. This new series brings back one of the Soiled S’s, the Talbot sisters. Sesily and her friends, Hell’s Belles, are quite the heroines and I look forward to reading their stories. This one, with Sesily and Caleb, is a great start to the series.

9 people found this helpful

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An almost perfect combination

I would listen to Mary Jane Wells read anything as she is amazing . MJW has got me through many an average listen. So to listen to her narrate a book that is beautifully written and so engaging is sheer joy. This story made me laugh out loud. It is captivating and developed well. It is not only a romance, it’s about friendship, strength, being true to yourself. For anyone who likes this genre it is a pleasure. There are some erotic scenes but they are not overdone and don’t dominate. The only tiny criticism I could make was the hero’s thoughts were a little repetitive. Overall I would highly recommend this story, especially to any strong willed woman. Though I have listened to many historical romances Sarah MacLean was new to me. I’m delighted to have hopefully found a new stock of intelligent romances, from a fascinating time , written expertly.

7 people found this helpful

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Just okay

Not my favorite by the author. The heroine was too silly for my taste. The hero lost his luster as the book progressed.

3 people found this helpful

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Narration Ruined It

The Narrator's voice switches pitch, tone and speed so frequently it is difficult to listen to the story. I couldn't finish it.

2 people found this helpful

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Tasteless and Vulgar

The storyline was interesting and less predictable than many I’ve heard, but the constant stream of blasphemy from the main male lead did not create romance. It was vulgar, rude, and it felt like the author thought it made the character sexier? Bleh. To portray him as a man with self-control while frequently unleashing atomic level bad language was incongruous. If a supposed loved one of mine asked God to damn me to hell as often as this man, I’d have left him in a matter of minutes.

In addition, an over the top ridiculous use of simile (just what is “sluicing like sin” anyway?) made me nearly get a headache from constant eye rolling.

One also needed to suspend belief at what the female characters were allowed to do in the time period. While admirable and likable female characters, they appeared never to experience true consequences of their schemes, as if they were the only ones smart enough to hold such talent and everyone else’s secrets. It was a small world, too small to allow them full reign of the London society while keeping such questionable company.

Not Mary Jane Wells best work, but possibly the only thing making this listen tolerable.

1 person found this helpful

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The books we've been waiting for

Sarah Maclean has done it again. Enthralled from the first page, Sesily and Caleb's book has been years in the making, and we'll worth the wait.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story and narration

Love Mary Jane Wells and her style of narration. Sarah MacLean always delivers refreshing stories with a twist at the end that surprises and satisfies. Can't wait for the rest of the series!

1 person found this helpful

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Wells is AMAZING!

Excellent and amusing dialogue! Fun and exciting! Mary J. Well brings the story to life!

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Wickedly fun and sexy and pro women

I have loved all Sarah Maclean’s books (save 1) but what really sets off Bombshell is Mary Jane Well’s narration!! She is phenomenal!! The inflection, the clever pauses— this book would not be the same without her masterful take. I also love the story— I love how the author always ensures the women are prioritized in their pleasure from their men, and the men are good. I also love the accuracy of the steamy scenes. Nothing grates more than an author who doesn’t understand anatomy or women’s pleasure. Sarah MacLean has certainly done her research, and hopefully is paving the way for more people to understand what real pleasure and partnership can look like. Cannot WAIT for the next book in the Hell’s Belles series!!