Sunday, April 12, 2009

Book Review: Betrayal by Jaimey Grant

Though I’m not a big fan of romance novels in general, I must confess that I have enjoyed the novels of Jane Austen. (In the interests of full disclosure, all my testosterone tests have come back normal, though the doctors did insist on double-checking the results). Even through the mists of a different era, Austen’s timeless insights into the dynamics of human relationships always struck me as intriguing. And as a history buff, her view of life in early 19th Century England and witty, biting sense of the contradictions in the society around her, always appealed to my more cerebral side, letting me rationalize my fondness for her writing. As a result, I approached modern novelist Jaimey Grant’s Betrayal with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism—curiosity about whether a modern writer could evoke a similar feel for relationships, and a mild skepticism about whether she could pull it off. What I found, to my surprise, was the delightful discovery of a modern author with both a deft feel for the period and an Austenesque depth of characters that was at once surprising and refreshing.

Betrayal tells the story of Lady Brianna Derring, a headstrong heiress, and the equally headstrong Adam Prestwick, whose attraction to her is unsettling to both of them. Trapped by the constraints of social convention, as well as Brianna’s conniving family, both are left to grapple with their conflicting and often frustrating emotions until a series of crises brings their feelings into the open. From there, human nature and convention are at war, as the two struggle to sort through the emotional swamps and social pitfalls that so often conspire to keep people apart—in our own day, as well as in Regency England.

Tightly paced and well-written, Betrayal offers an intriguing glimpse of life in the England of two centuries ago. The book is the first in the author’s series of Regency romances, and demonstrates both a sophisticated sense of plot and a graceful style of writing. And in the end, Betrayal leaves the reader anxious to see more of her work.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

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