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Bella Paperback – June 13, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bella has won a National Indie Excellence 2012 Book Award, and is a finalist for the 2012 Readers Favorite award for dramatic fiction.
"I love it when a book shocks the hell out of me. Bella was it." Naomi Blackburn, Moderator, Goodreads' Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Club.

From the Author

The cliche is, write what you know. I know journalism, tennis, and a little bit about the relationships between men and women. Bella is usually described as a political thriller, but the novel is mostly about the relationship between Bella, the alluring widow, and Dan, the married reporter she persuades to help her uncover the truth about her husband's death.
I covered several tragic events over a long reporting career, and have always been interested in how people respond to profound grief. I have seen some survivors withdraw to the point of near-invisibility, and others channel their sorrow into furious action that in some cases impacted public policy. I'm also interested in how people act when faced with tough ethical choices - essentially what people do when a decision must be made and no one is watching. The action in Bella is driven largely by ethical decisions key characters make on the battlefield and in the bedroom. 
I relate most to Dan, the reporter and narrator, since I - like Dan - know the world of daily journalism and am also a storyteller. That said, I would not have made some of the choices Dan makes, particularly with regard to getting emotionally entangled with an important source. Doing so compromises his professional integrity and results in dire consequences.
Readers always ask me what I think about Bella. I think the tragedy that befalls Bella causes profound grief and recasts her personality. In the end, I view her as a complex but flawed character with many admirable traits. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451571615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451571615
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I took Bella with me to the beach and finished it in three days - I could barely put it down!

The mystery and seduction that unfolds in Bella is enough to capture your attention for hours at a time...

Enjoy it, I sure did!
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Format: Paperback
Classified as a romance novel in the sub-genre of Men's Romance, which is not a sub-genre that I have read before, Bella by Steve Piacente was not my usual experience with "romance." Dan Patragno, journalist and main character, is not so much in the middle of a romance as he is infatuated with Isabel Moss, behaving irrationally as the result of this fateful passion. More than a romance, I saw Bella as a tale of betrayal: betrayal between husbands and wives, betrayal between lovers, betrayal by the military to the soldiers they command, betrayal by legislators to the people they represent.

The act that brings them all together is the death of Isabel Moss' husband, Hank, in Afghanistan, reportedly by enemy fire. An anonymous tip that it was instead friendly-fire leads Isabel to contact Patragno about the possibility of a cover-up. Despite the shaky start of their relationship with her going over his head to make him listen to her story, Dan quickly becomes addicted to her wiles, losing sight of what is important in his life. Even exposing what had really happened to Hank appears to be driven more by Dan's desire to win over Isabel than his desires as a journalist. How does it all unfold? All I can say is that anytime one deals in betrayal, there is always a price to pay, a price that changes everything.

The political thriller elements of the story are intriguing and entertaining but play second fiddle to the examination of Patragno's character. Written from the first person view of Patragno, Bella offers you a front row seat to the mental wanderings of a man driven by lust, ambition, and responsibility.

Reviewed by Dannye Williamsen, Breakthrough Bookstore
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was read with Book Whore Book Club, and gave us some great discussion questions. I went back and forth between a three star rating and a four star rating. I don't deal with a point five ratings so I had to make a decision. Pretty epic battle when you are arguing with yourself over the rating.

Steve Piacente has a great writing style that is unique. While reading the story I got a distinct male reading voice in my head. The book is masculine like the writer himself, and the story is told from a male point of view. So as a woman I got a front row seat inside the mind of a man, pretty scary when you think about it. The male perspective is not sugar coated making the story realistic and believable. I could picture this Dick Tracey type reporter tracking down clues to get to the truth.

Bella is a roller coaster of crazy emotions and stressful situations. The plot is so intense trying to uncover the mystery behind Bella's husband's death, I literally trusted no character. I was a paranoid reader; I mentally pictured a bad guy hiding behind every situation in my mind. My reading paranoia blinded me so I never saw anything coming. The entire book took me by surprise.

This is probably the first book in my life that I enjoyed the book, and HATED the main characters. I may have just hated the choices they made, but I can't decide. Isabelle the leading lady is cold and calculating, I couldn't trust her, I kept thinking she was the bad guy. I spent the entire book thinking everything Isabelle said was a lie, but you can chalk that up to my reading paranoia.

Danny the main man in this story is going through a midlife crisis, and makes one bad choice after another throughout the entire book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bella
By
Steve Piacente

Danny doesn't stand a chance the minute Bella entered his life stepping deliberately with her pearl heeled pumps. He was a goner and he knew it and more importantly Bella knew it first.

Daniel Patragno had a reasonable sort of life, a reporter job in a small newspaper, a home, a wife he adored, a son whose vocabulary far exceeded the expectations of his first grade teacher, good friends and peace of mind.

Bella entered his life and suddenly Danny can't seem to find which way is up. He is taken on a topsy turvy ride across states trying to help Bella come to terms with her husband's death.

Bella is one of those women we just love to hate while at the same time wishing we were just a bit like her.

In this fast paced caper, Danny is confronted by his vulnerabilities and his passion and his ethics. Told in the first person, this novel gives great insight into the man/woman relationship from a man's perspective. Something few women are privy to.

Danny finds out that there is always a dear price to pay for things and he pays with interest in more ways than one.

A very well written, witty read for the lover of conspiracy, romance and action.
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Format: Paperback
Absorbing, affecting and witty...Piacente has an incredible way of immersing the reader in the worlds of his characters. I highly recommend this book.
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