Tiger's Eye by Karen Robards
First published - 1989
He was the tawny, goldern-eyed king of London's Underworld. She was an aristocratic heiress, born to the satin sheets of an ancient family. Their two proud hearts struck a flame that would consume them both in the blaze of a love that no society could allow - and a passion tht neither could destroy
This is one I was particularly anxious to reread once I finished the 'libary'. It has been compared quite favourably to Dreaming of You, a book I have a wee bit of a fancy for.
I kind of see the similarities yet at the same time, this one is quite different from DOY.
Alec Tyron, the Tiger, is The crime boss in London. No crime is committed that he isn't in charge or aware of. When he hears about a kidnapping/murder being committed outside of London, he heads out there as this means someone has done something without his say so. He heads out to confront these traitors and ends up rescuing Isabella St. Just, the intended victim. He is injured by one of his own men and realizes that someone is trying to kill him. He heads back to London, Isabella in tow.
I enjoyed this book very much when I first read it years ago and I very much enjoyed it this time around. Alec makes a great hero. He is unapologetic for what and who he is. Like Derek Craven, he was raised in the depths of poverty and rose above his horrible beginnings to become a leader among his own kind. He is also ambitious and not content to remain as he is. He has learned to read and can pass as a member of quality. He is devastatingly handsome and very charming when he wants to be. And when he falls for Isabella, like Derek, he falls hard.
Isabella is a ditz. Now there are two kinds of ditzes. The annoying, wanna smack her kind, and the charming, you just have to love her ditz. Isabella falls into this kind. Although incredibly naive and innocent, she doesn't take guff from Alec. She will stand up with him toe to toe and not back down. In one very funny scene, she and Alec are holed up together while each is recovering from injuries. They have just done the deed when Pearl, Alec's sometime lover, calls to him from the other bed. When Isabella hears her and realizes Pearl is in the other room, she gives it to Alec and gives it to him good.
Now there is a catch to the furthering of their relationship. Isabella you see, is married. Married off to a man twice her age by her father, her husband has consigned her too the country while he lives in London after marrying her strictly for her money. There is also the very strong possibility that her husband is the one trying to kill her. Isabella feels great anguish and guilt over the fact that she is married. Normally this kind of thing would bother me, but the fact that she was never given a choice, that both her father and her husband virtually ignored her existence, and that one of them was most likely trying to do away with her, I could buy into it completely that she would develop such strong feelings for a charming rogue who rescued her.
It should be noted that this one is an Avon release - from back in the days when Avon still had the gumption to publish a book with a married heroine. And unlike some of the other covers that normally I don't like, that the inner me admits to not finding all that bad -I find this cover is atrocious! But the story inside is good - very good and I really recommend this book to those who enjoyed Dreaming of You.
Grade 4 out of 5