My native language is indeed a Romance language. I don't pronounce h because by the time I tried to improve the way I speak the language, I had read that it might already have been mute during the classical era (But then I guess it depends on what we call classical latin). Since I have no difficulty pronouncing it, I will probably henceforth add it. You are right to point out that I tend to stretch the preceding vowel when trying to pronounce double consonants. But funnily enough, I do hear a short e followed by two l in my recording of bellum, which seems not to be your case.