Mira Holcombe is a lovely young woman who could have any choice of man, if she wanted to; she just doesnít want any. A terrible incident from her past has kept her trapped within herself. Calm, serene, always restraining her spirit, she dedicates her life to taking care of her ailing father -- until they are kicked off their land and out of her home, Seacrest, by the selfish greed of the Beast, also known as the Duke of Tallant, Jermyn Keynes.
Michael Keynes, the Dukeís brother, has recently returned to England from the wild jungles of India, bent on one goal: to kill his older half brother and end the legacy of cruelty and greed that has taken root in their family history.
While the Duke and his brother may look alike in many ways, their characters are as different as night and day. Michael and Mira end up staying at the same place, and both for the same reason: each of them needs to be in public enough to keep the Duke from attempting to kill them without bringing attention to himself, and also for a safe refuge from which to launch their own plans to kill the Duke, each for his and her own reason.
While Mira abhors men, she finds herself becoming strangely attracted to Michael. Michael himself puts his own life in jeopardy to protect her, though he canít explain why, even to himself.
Enter the Archangel, the Earl of Varden, an enemy of Michael's, though in reality he is the epitome of a true gentleman, so much so that Michael even tries to convince Mira that she would be better off falling in love with his mortal enemy than himself.
Add to the delightful mix Hari Singh, a bear of a Sikh with the heart of a lamb and Michaelís constant companion, and David Fairfax, a rather portly and bumbling man, the complete opposite of Michael and one of his best friends. The reader is immediately drawn into a compelling tale of revenge, opposing cultures and acceptance of handicaps and human frailties.
Lynn Kerstanís Heart of the Tiger enraptures the senses and transports the reader from the jungles of India to the cluttered and sooty streets of London, all the while somehow creating an aura of danger in every nook and cranny where the characters make an appearance. Her characters are superbly well rounded, her plot exciting, her narrative smooth and the dialogue downright perfect. The second in a trilogy, Heart of the Tiger is sure to please, and while this reader did not have the pleasure of reading the first in the series, The Golden Leopard, the story flows smoothly without an overabundance of references to the past. The third book in the series, The Silver Lion, is due out in November 2003 and explores the dilemma of the Archangelís heart when he hires a brilliant woman who made a wonderful appearance in Heart of the Tiger as his secretary. This reader is going right out to get that one, and the first as well, to complete this fantastic trilogy. Keep Ďem coming, Ms. Kerstan!