Jamie Leigh Hansen
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East meets West across time and tradition as three young American women and their Indian immigrant mothers take first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering secrets and sharing joy and tears in Jamie Leigh Hansen's

Buy *Betrayed* by Jamie Leigh Hansen online

Jamie Leigh Hansen
Tor Paranormal Romance
336 pages
January 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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What if a curse laid by a slighted woman could affect someone's life over a thousand years? Betrayed explores how the lives of a particular woman who is reborn each century are entwined with that of a man who has been cursed and turned into a statue. Each lifetime, Kalyss slowly begins to 'remember' her history and her former life with Dreux, the man she married and spent one night with before the curse caught up with him. And each lifetime Dreux's half brother, Kai, has to kill Kalyss to prevent her from rescuing Dreux, the man he belives to be a murderer, from his stony state. Kalyss has the help of Geoffrey, the man who originally betrayed Dreux to Kai and who has been trying to make up for it for almost a thousand lifetimes.

The story is told with various flashbacks, mostly to the time that Kalyss (then called Kynedrithe) and Dreux first met, but also to other times when Kalyss was killed by Kai. The main thrust of the story is set in 2004, where Kalyss is recovering from an abusive marriage and has learned self-defense and become a stronger person than in her previous nine lives. However, in order to gather that strength, she has sworn off romantic love, instead feeling a strong brotherly bond with her friend, Alex. When her memories of Dreux start to re-emerge, as they do at some point each lifetime, she has a chance to deal differently with the situation because of her changed nature. This time, though, Geoffrey has set things in motion so that Dreux is rescued from his statue state and becomes a living, breathing man again. Dreux and Kalyss have to try to rescue Alex and Geoffrey, who are kidnapped by Kai, but also to learn about each other and to understand how they are different from the man and woman who married almost a thousand years before.

The story is rather patchy, with some really good parts but other sections that drag, particularly the beginning. The writing style is good, the characterization believable (although Dreux is possibly a bit too good to be true), and the setting well described. The flashbacks work well, enabling the author to gradually reveal parts of the plot to the reader as the story progresses. Some additional characters, including angels, are perhaps a bit overcomplicated, but overall the story is well told. It's certainly an original idea for a book, although sometimes the attempted marriage of reincarnation, the Christian God, angels, curses and undying people doesn't quite all fit together.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2008

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