It’s likely you haven’t heard of this book until now. There is no marketing team assigned to create buzz or sell this story to the masses. It’s all word of mouth at this point and I’m glad I heard the word myself because this is a GOOD book! The story is exciting and fresh. Romantic and adventurous. Self-published Colleen Houck has a brilliant, vivid imagination that sold me on her abilities as an author.
Teenage Kelsey is looking to save money for college by taking on a temporary job. As fate would have it she is placed as a temp for a circus that made a stop near her home in a small Oregon town. The main attraction at the circus is Dhiren, the fierce yet regal white tiger from India. Kelsey is intrigued by the tiger and begins working with his trainer and learning about the animal and species in general. She and Dhiren quickly develop a bond.
Soon a mysterious businessman comes to buy the tiger and return to India with him. Kelsey is given the opportunity to travel with the tiger as his caretaker and see that he arrives at his destination. But the journey doesn’t go quite the way she had expected. She soon finds herself in an unfamiliar country stranded with a white tiger in the middle of nowhere and learns that her tiger is actually an Indian prince under a centuries old curse. Kelsey is the only human being with the ability to bring about the end of the curse but it isn’t an easy task.
Kelsey’s journey with Dhiren leads them through the jungles and ruins of India with fast paced adventure and danger, and even love.
The prologue grabbed me right away. I was ready to rock after the great lead-in but chapter one had me second guessing my enthusiasm. I trudged through the first two chapters although they did get progressively better. I found the extensive background and character development of Kelsey to be overkill. I just wanted to get on with the story. I got that she was just the average teen girl right away and didn’t need so many paragraphs with inner monologue to describe just how plain she was. Watching the bond develop between Kelsey and Dhiren (or Ren, as she calls him) while she worked at the circus is where the story grabbed me and didn’t let me go.
The chapters are entrenched in the rich culture, history, mythology, and imagery of India. The exotic setting only enhances the deliciously romantic scenes. The book is as romantic as it is adventurous. Ren has the potential to have legions of drooling girls and women everywhere dreaming of him — but the kicker is his equally gorgeous and charming brother, Kishan, also vying for Kelsey’s affections. Look out! (And don’t be too quick to pick your team early on.)
A reputable publishing company needs to get a hold of this amazing story to smooth out the rough edges and re-title(!) it to make it more marketable to the YA/Adult audience. It could easily be the next big thing. And would make a great movie.
I am dying to get book two. Kudos on this self-published debut novel. Self publishing may not be looked upon very well in the publishing world but this is one diamond in the rough that definitely deserves a chance at being polished and proudly displayed!
- Tiger’s Curse is available on Amazon.com (Kindle version is just $1.00!)
- For more information on Colleen Houck and her Tiger Series go to www.colleenhouck.com and the Tiger’s Curse Facebook Fan Page.