• Historical Fiction
  • General Fiction and Women Writers
  • YA Fiction
  • Suspense and Thrillers
  • Memoirs and Non Fiction
  • Classics and Mashups

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Bella" by Steve Piacente - 5 Star Quality Novel

"Bella," by Steve Piacente is a 5 star quality novel.

"A striking widow intent on proving the military lied about her husband's death lures a Washington journalist into the investigation. Working together, they discover the power of temptation, the futility of revenge, and the consequences of yielding to either." Book Cover Summary

Steve Piacente's first book, "Bella," is a smash hit. He is an author to be reckoned with...an author with his own "voice," and particular charm that I expect we'll soon be hearing much about in reading circles.

Mr. Piacente is Deputy Communications Director at the U.S. General Services Administration.  He formerly enjoyed a 25-year career in print journalism.  Among other educational accomplishments, he earned a Masters in Fiction from John Hopkins University in 2000.  He knows a bit about this story he's written, I'd say!
Written with such a snappy dialogue, quick quips, humor and irony that the pages spark with life. "Bella" is a read that both entertains and surprises.

 Piacente's tight, well-sculpted novel has the precision of a plastic surgeon's new face-lift; it's beautiful and practically flawless!  So smooth  it speeds along carrying one away in a momentum of mystery and angst, and so peppered with humor that I found myself refusing to stop reading for my mood's sake alone!
The main story honestly captured the essence and repercussions of a young athlete who was killed in Iraq by "friendly fire," and whose death was then "covered up" by military brass and government officials. Piacente's use of characterization, plot and description are stellar. 

I loved his news-jockey/journalist, Dan Patragno, who was at once sassy and serious, sharing an inner dialogue of a seasoned, wise and jaundice-eyed, investigative reporter.  Danny is a winning primary character with strengths and rough edges that made me long to know more about him and his journalistic exploits. The secondary plot of this book is good enough to stand alone, too.
All of Piacente's characters are mindfully created:  The "Bella" in question, Isabel Moss, widow of the lost soldier, is an atypical heroine; injured, sexy, intelligent, beautiful, and as dangerous as white oleander. A woman we can both learn to relate to, as well as resent.  

Danny's buddies Gus and Clay are such odd-men-out, geeky; yet, genius players that we only want more of them!  His primary school son, Robin, is a blooming little wisecracker to die for!!
You have to read "Bella," this year because it's a great book.  Read it because you don't want to be left off this rising star's first book trail.  And, read it because you won't want to miss his other Dan Patragno books which I'm begging him to write...and which I hear may be in the works.
See Piacente's website:  http://www.getbella.com  for more specifics on Steve's interesting career and more on "Bella."
Watch a YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/getbella

**Reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari and other bookish sites...
Your BookishDame/Deborah

Hope all of you had a happy Christmas and that your New Year's Resolutions aren't keeping you up nights.  I haven't made my list on that, yet.  Too busy reading and enjoying time back home this past couple of days.

I want to thank the authors and publishers who have provided me with books for reviews this past years.  They know who they are! I have enjoyed the reads, and hope my reviews have mattered. 

I especially hope my choices of books to read and review over the past year have meant something to my dear friends and followers.

With warmest regards,


Share your thoughts!

Blogaholic Designs”=