Jamie Leigh Hansen
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Buy *Cursed* by Jamie Leigh Hansen online

Jamie Leigh Hansen
384 pages
December 2008
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Cursed is the follow-up to Betrayed which featured the improbably-named Kalyss and Dreux and a plot concerning an evil queen who turned a man (Dreux) into stone. Cursed focuses on Kalyss's partner in their dojo, Alex Foster; the Lazarus-like Geoffrey, whom we met in the previous book, also plays a part. Alex has always carried a torch for Beth Ann Raines, despite her rejecting him on prom night and moving away from Spokane. Alex has been dreaming of her for some time - very realistic dreams that tie in with what he knows about the evil demon Maeve (who battled Dreux) and her doings.

When Alex sees Beth Ann in the flesh, he instantly tries to reconnect with her, helping her with a flat tire on her car. He discovers that she's living with ten children, the offspring of her brothers and sisters, while her mother (their former caregiver) lies dying in the hospital. Life for Beth, now known as Elizabeth, is incredibly busy, and Alex wants to help her out.

Elizabeth needs to keep Alex at a distance, however: she has a strange power over dreams and has previously locked people into dreams because she doesn't want to lose them. She doesn't realize that Alex has some strange powers himself. Can the two of them work together to change their destiny and keep all of Elizabeth's charges safe?

Somehow this story didn't work for me. It took me several days to read as it isn't at all gripping - no real significant thread runs through it. The overall plot, while unusual, doesn't quite tie together. The most successful parts are when Elizabeth interacts with her nephews and nieces and, to some extent, with the rather-too-good-to-be-true Alex. The sections with Maeve and the other fallen angels, plus Elizabeth's dealings with various people in dreams and her attempts to change the possible destiny of her and her relatives, just didn't work at all for me.

Although Cursed is a sequel and I had read its predecessor, I wasn't entirely sure what was going on the whole time. The narrative would be even more confusing for anyone who hasn't already read Betrayed.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2009

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