The Color of Betrayal
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Pages: 60
Goes Well With: A light summer salad and a tall, cold glass of iced tea

My mom has always had a thing for dolls. Though she isn’t a collector, she’s been known to place old dolls around the house—sometimes with an eerie effect. But, fortunately, no matter how creepy some of them may be, none of Mom’s dolls has ever caused anyone physical harm—like the doll in The Color of Betrayal, the first book in author Kathy L. Wheeler’s Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll series.

Malia Kane was just sixteen when her mother died, leaving her a creepy old doll that supposedly carried a curse. For years, Malia avoided the doll, fearing the effect it has on any man who gets close to her. But now, as she’s preparing for her first-ever art show, Luke Reiser returns it to her.

Luke is convinced that Malia is The One. He has been for a long time. But, no matter how much she shares his attraction, her fear of the curse makes her keep her distance. It’s a chance that Luke is willing to take—but when the doll goes missing, he worries that Malia might be the one who’s in danger.

More than just another short romance, The Color of Betrayal comes complete with just the hint of an eerie undertone. There’s definitely something strange about Malia’s old doll—but, as the stories start to come out, they aren’t quite as horrifying as you might expect. Though the doll is supposed to carry a curse on anyone who harms the doll’s owner, the offending young men usually walk away with just a broken nose—and usually little else. Definitely not as dark and ominous as, say, death…or permanent disfigurement. So if you’re expecting a haunting romantic thriller, you might be disappointed.

Instead, what you’ll get is a quick and undemanding romance. The characters aren’t particularly well developed, but they’re generally likable. And though their relationship builds surprisingly suddenly— progressing from cool business associates to planning their lives together in just a matter of pages—it’s steamy enough to spice up your lunch break.

Like most super-short reads, The Color of Betrayal is short on development. The characters aren’t drawn in a whole lot of detail, and the story isn’t as captivating or as haunting as it could have been, had the book been twice as long. But, for a short and steamy summer read, it’s not a bad choice.

Ed. Note: For more on The Color of Betrayal, visit

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