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I Belong


Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

Title: Tiger’s Curse

Author: Colleen Houck

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: The Tiger Saga (Book 1)

Publication Date: January 11, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 403 Pages

ISBN-10: 1402784031 (Sterling)

ISBN-13978-1402784033 (Sterling)

Reviewed byBridget

Synopsis

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.

Quick & Dirty: Great fantasy book with lots of action, interesting plot and a cute love story.

Opening Sentence: The prisoner stood with his hands tied in front of him, tired, beaten, and filthy but with a proud back befitting his royal Indian heritage.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Kelsey has just graduated from high school and is going to start a temporary job at a circus.  She lives in Oregon with her foster parents, and hopes to start community college in the fall.  Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was a sophomore.  While at the circus one of her jobs is to help take care of the tiger named Ren.  For some reason she is instantly drawn to the tiger and she really enjoys spending time with him.  Right before the circus leaves town a wealthy older gentleman comes and offers the owner of the circus a price for the tiger he can’t refuse.  The older man is Mr. Kadam and he wants to take the tiger to a reserve in India where he can be free, and he would like Kelsey to help.  Because she has developed a relationship with Ren, Mr. Kadam thinks that Kelsey could be very helpful while transporting Ren to India.  Kelsey quickly agrees because she has always wanted to travel but has never really had the means to do so.

Turns out that Mr. Kadam wasn’t totally honest with Kelsey when he asked for her help.  Ren isn’t a normal tiger, he is actually a cursed prince trapped in a tiger’s body.  He has been alive for more than 300 hundred years and has been a tiger for most of that time.  He can become a man for a total of 24 minutes a day but the rest of the time he is forced to be a tiger.   Supposedly Kelsey is the only person who can help him break the curse.  With the help of Ren and Mr. Kadam Kelsey journeys to India and tries to do all that she can to break the curse.  Kelsey goes on many adventures that take her to exotic temples, through the deep jungles of India, and face-to-face with more dangers than she could ever imagine.  Also, along the way she can’t help but notice that the human version of Ren pulls at her heart strings in a way that no one ever has.  Will she survive to break the 300 year old curse, and can she open herself up to the possibility of love?

The story is told from Kelsey’s point of view, and she is an interesting character.  She is a very independent girl with a huge heart.  She is a very loyal person and when she makes a decision she really tries to stick to it which I found admirable.  She trusts people easily, but she has walls that she has built around her heart.  After her parents died she put up those walls to protect herself from ever getting hurt like that again.  She doesn’t have the best self esteem which I found annoying at times, but it actually made her more realistic to me.  She has a huge attraction to Ren but she doesn’t want to rush into a relationship, because she is afraid that it isn’t realistic and that one day he is going to realize there is something better out there.  She is a very compassionate person, but she also has a snarky side that comes out whenever Ren is annoying her.   Overall, she was a fun character to connect with and I am really excited to see how she grows in the future books.

Ren is the beautiful cursed Indian Prince.  He is a tiger most of the book, but when he is human you get to see a glimpse of his personality.  He has a sad past full of hurt and betrayal, and he had pretty much given up until he met Kelsey.  She gives him hope that he might have the option for a brighter future, and finally be free of his curse.  He is fiercely loyal and protective of Kelsey.  He does have a slight temper, but he also has a really sweet side.  He is a true gentleman and I just loved how he treated Kelsey, it is a little old fashion but I thought it was really sweet.  I really loved Ren and I am excited to read more about him.

This was a great story.  There were parts that dragged a little for me, but by the end I felt very satisfied and interested enough to want to read more.  I think it was a great setup to hopefully a great series.  There was really good character development and the plot was very intriguing.  I think this story has a lot of potential and I am very excited to start the next book in the series.  Houck’s writing style is very descriptive and I really liked it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes fantasy.

Notable Scene:

“Ren, that was beautiful.”

His eyes turned to my face.  He smiled and reached a hand up to touch my cheek.  My pulse quickened, and my face felt hot where he touched it.  I became suddenly aware that my fingers were still twined in his hair, and my hand was resting on his chest.  I quickly removed them and twisted them in my lap. He sat up slightly, leaning on one hand, which brought his beautiful face very close to mine.  His fingers moved down to my chin and, with the lightest touch, he tilted my face so that my eyes met his intense blue ones.

“Kelsey?”

“Yes?” I whispered. “I would like permission… to kiss you.”

The Tiger Saga Series:

1. Tiger’s Curse

2. Tiger’s Quest

3. Tiger’s Voyage

4. Tiger’s Destiny

5. Tiger’s Dream (2013)

FTC Advisory: Sterling provided me with a copy of Tiger’s Curse. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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