"TIGER'S QUEST," by Colleen Houck, Splinter, $17.95, 479 pages (f)
"Tiger's Quest," the second book in the "Tiger's Curse" series and released June 7, brings more action, excitement and heartbreak than the first book.
Kelsey Hayes leaves India, leaving a heartbroken Ren behind, promising only to return to help break the curse.
Determined to forget her feelings for Ren and start over, Kelsey returns to Oregon where she finds that Mr. Kadam has enrolled her at Western Oregon University and bought her a house and a car as payment for her help in completing the first task in breaking the tiger's curse.
Suddenly surrounded by would-be boyfriends, Kelsey finds herself comparing each of them to Ren, even though he hasn't tried to contact her and she's promised to forget him.
But Ren comes for Kelsey, unable to stay away, and finds he must fight off other suitors (literally) to prove that he's the best man for her. Finally, Kelsey throws her fears aside, confesses her true love to Ren and their relationship blossoms into a sweet romance that is unhindered by fears and confusion.
However, their peaceful paradise doesn't last. Lokesh, the evil sorcerer who cursed Ren and Kishan 300 years ago is searching for the powerful amulets the brothers wear, and has become fixed on taking Kelsey as well. Kishan arrives in Oregon just when Lokesh locates Kelsey and sends his men after them.
Kelsey and Kishan escape, but Ren is captured and tortured beyond what he can bear.
Kishan and Kelsey set out on another adventure, more exciting, complicated and fascinating than the first, as they race to save Ren and complete another task that will break the curse.
Author Colleen Houck takes the adventures in "Tiger's Quest" to the next level that is nothing less than magical.
Both "Tiger's Quest" and "Tiger's Curse"is a teen appropriate action-packed romance novel. While the characters engage in battles and fights, the scenes are not geared towards malicious violence. Houck writes a sweet love story without suggestive behavior or innuendos.
As time passes, however, Kishan makes it no secret that he has fallen in love with Kelsey and Kelsey cannot deny that she is beginning to feel something for him, too. But thoughts of Ren help Kelsey stand her ground until she discovers that under the torture of Lokesh, Ren does not even know who she is anymore.
"Tiger's Quest" will make you antsy for November when third book, "Tiger's Voyage," is set to be released.
Hikari Loftus earned her bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Utah.