A Review of Hell’s Belles By Dayle A. Dermatis

I don’t mind short stories as long as they manage to tell a story, have a story, and in the end, the story they tell I enjoy. The other thing that I look for, and this should be obvious, is when you suggest the possibility of Succubi, by your cover or otherwise, you really should deliver in some way, shape or form. If that doesn’t happen, then I hope that the rest of the story can keep me interested…

Hell's Belles By Dayle A. Dermatis

Hell's Belles By Dayle A. Dermatis

The work summary is short, but says:

Teaching etiquette to a spoiled debutante can be hell…literally.

The first thing that I think I need to make clear is that there are no Succubi to speak of in this work. I’m talking about the kind with horns and tails. No, this story is about a rather poor mannered girl named Alexandria Pointer-Ashe who needs a severe life lesson in manners in order to set her, and more importantly to her mother at least, place at her coming-out ball. Your place in society, especially in the Southern United States where this work is set, matters to these women more than anything else.

And in this world there is one person whom the rich and well placed send their children to be “finished” properly. And her name is Lilith D’Enfer. She is almost a legend in the higher circles of society and everyone, and I mean everyone, wants their daughter to attend her classes and be absolutely perfect.

But perfection has a price, and in the end the question becomes whether Alexandria will pay it, and what that price will be.

The overall story tells of what Alexandria does, where she goes wrong and in the end what breaking Lilith’s contract can mean. Oh there is a twist in the tail of the work that I expected, but it was well done and I smiled a bit when it appeared.

It’s impossible to like Alexandria. She has an ugly personality, ugly manners, and she’s just an all around ugly person in spite of her outer beauty. Who Lilith really is was obvious in the first exchange between Lilith, Alexandria and her mother, but in spite of knowing it, the reveal was kept away to the end of the story which made it a better one.

The story was well written, the author can tell a story well, and I appreciate that, but I think that they need to expand on their story summaries in order to give the reader a better idea of what to expect in their work.

For me personally, watching the train wreck occur over the length of the story didn’t seem to me to be all that interesting. Oh the transformation of attitude was intriguing I’ll give the author that, but how many times do we need to see Alexandria being a pain in the tush? After the tenth time, I think that we got the picture and perhaps we could have gotten more of the resolution of the story, more about Lilith herself, and the world that she resides in?

It would have been more interesting to me at least.

I’ll give this work three pitchforks out of five.

Well written, a good story, but you have to look really hard in order to find a Succubus in it…




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    • avatar
    • James on June 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    It is interesting how we get stories that include no one with horns or tail (this is not the first), and yet they give someone one or both of those on the cover.

    • avatar
    • TeraS on June 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The horns and tail are an attention getter aren’t they?


    • avatar
    • Dayle on June 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed my story, Tera! Thanks for the fine review.

    I chose the cover image because it is indeed striking, and because the character of Lilith is a demon in service to the Devil himself. (Of course, she hides the horns from the debutantes and their families.) I confess it never occurred to me that the woman in the image could be a succubus! 🙂

    • avatar
    • TeraS on June 18, 2012 at 11:07 am


    Thank you for visiting Dayle, but more so thank you for sharing the story!

    Best wishes and much luck in your writing!


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