Book Review: Eyes Of The Tiger by Patricia Rosemoor
Be warned; if you’re fooled by the cover (and the fact that as of the time of writing this review, the book was in the Werewolves and Shifters category on Amazon) into thinking this is a shifter romance, it’s not. The tiger is an actual tiger who appears in the book. The cover really doesn’t much resemble the book’s contents, except in the heroine’s hair color.
Gemma, the heroine, is an American jewelry designer (allegedly, though she never goes to a jewelry workshop or actually does any design or fabrication work) who inherits an antique jeweled collar from India after her mother’s murder. Discovering that the collar is part of a bridal suite made for a nineteenth-century Indian princess, Gemma experiences flashbacks to the life of the princess when trying on the collar and other pieces of the suite which she is hired to track down. She’s not the only one looking for the suite, though, and handsome British journalist Raj Sinclair seems to have some sort of mystical connection to both it and Gemma too.
This could have been a really intriguing story, but it’s hampered by some clumsy phrasing and point of view switching, and some extremely problematic tropes, not least of which is Raj basically stalking Gemma. This can be a real hazard in reincarnation romances, and the author falls massively into the trap here by having Raj’s emotions manifest as possessive instincts.
By far the most difficult part to swallow, though, is that Gemma, a white American, is the ‘true heir’ to the bridal suite when by the end of the book we learn that there may have been an actual legitimate heir to the princess, alive and well and living in America. We never find out what happened to this heir. Never. And by completely dismissing this legitimate heir in favor of a white woman, who continually thinks of her love interest as having ‘exotic’ looks and thinks that by just putting on a sari she could ‘almost pass for a local’ in Mumbai, this book unfortunately lands squarely in the Problematically Racist category, even featuring as it does multiple interracial romances and some beautiful descriptions of life in nineteenth-century India.
I regret to say that I can’t give it any more than two stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.