Title: Tiger’s Curse
Series: The Tiger Saga #1
Author: Colleen Houck
Format: Hardcover, 403 pages
Published: January 11th 2011 by Sterling
ISBN: 1402784031 (ISBN13: 9781402784033)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Contest win
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 Wine Glasses
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.
The dangerous one was Ren. Innocent though the white tiger he appeared to be, he was a compelling predator. Utterly irresistible -- like a Venus flytrap. So alluring, so tempting, so deadly. Everything he did was seductive and possibly hazardous to my health.
Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first installment in Colleen Houck’s Tiger Saga series which consists of five books. I loved this epic fantasy which is teeming with multi-cultural (mostly Indian) mythology. As the story opens, we meet Kelsey, who has obtained a job with a circus in Oregon. She discovers a caged-tiger there and believing he’s bored, she begins to read to him while sharing her thoughts and feelings. Little does she know that while the evil enchantment requires that he maintain a tiger form for most of his day, he is really an Indian prince.
I fell in love with Ren, the hero, from the get-go. He and his bad-boy brother were cursed three-hundred-fifty-years ago by an evil sorcerer to be tigers. I have only two minor complaints. The first is that the heroine drives me a little nuts. She over-thinks everything and doesn’t feel worthy of Ren’s affection - fighting her attraction to him at every turn. At the same time, I feel that I should cut her slack as she’s a teenager and, if I were thrown into the situations she finds herself in at that age, I’d probably react in the same manner. The second is that there’s a love triangle. AAAGH!
I really liked that she reads to the tiger and that’s how he begins to fall in love with her. Kadam is a wonderful supporting character with an interesting history. He’s an old man, loyal to the two cursed princes. When he arranges for Ren to leave the circus and return to his home in India, he hires Kelsey to accompany them. The thought processes which Kadam and Kelsey go through while planning their adventure are fascinating. Then, there’s the epic, action-packed quest in the lush jungles of India to partially reverse the curse-afflicting-the-two-princes which is teeming with danger, flirty bantering, mythological elements and paranormal creatures including vampire sea horse monkeys and pygmy marmosets.
Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Tiger’s Curse:
“His eyes drifted leisurely back up to my face and he smiled at me appreciatively, “Kelsey, when a man spends time with a beautiful woman, he needs to pace himself.
I quirked my eyebrow at him and laughed. “Yeah, I’m a regular marathon alright.”
He kissed my fingers. “Exactly. A wise man never sprints…in a marathon.”
“A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.” It was him. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze.”
“Falling for him would be like cliff diving. It would be either the most exhilarating thing that ever happened to me or the stupidest mistake I’d ever make. It would make my life worth living or it would crush me against stony rocks and break me utterly. Perhaps the wise thing to do would be to slow things down. Being friends would be so much easier.”
Tiger’s Curse is well-written, unique and addictive. A word of warning: the first four books end with “nice” cliffhangers. I inhaled the first four books as, once I started the series, I couldn’t put it down! I actually have the fifth book in audio and will be diving into it soon to complete the series! If you enjoy rich YA romantic fantasies with vivid imagery that sweep you into a magical journey, I’d highly recommend that you check out Colleen’s Tiger’s Curse! Just know that the series needs to be read in order and you will want the next book, Tiger’s Quest, on-hand ready to go.
Suggested Reading Order:
Tiger’s Promise (Book #0.5)
Tiger’s Curse (Book #1)
Tiger’s Quest (Book #2)
Tiger’s Voyage (Book #3)
Tiger’s Destiny (Book #4)
Tiger’s Dream (Book #5)