cover image Green Eyes

Green Eyes

Karen Robards. Avon Books, $7.99 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-380-75889-0

Although this romance makes a promising start by tossing its spirited heroine and roguish hero into an imaginative if improbable situation, it soon flounders in sentimentality (``Did he love her? Oh, she hoped so''). Anna Traverne, a young widow with a daughter, faces a terrible choice: become the mistress of her brother-in-law Graham, Lord Ridley, or be tossed out of the family home. But when Anna interrupts a robbery, she ends up with the Traverne emeralds, and no one but the foiled thief, Graham's dispossessed half-brother Julian Chase, knows it. Anna quietly turns the stones into cash and sails to Ceylon, where she buys back the tea plantation she lost at her husband's death. Eventually Julian arrives to demand the emeralds: they can prove that he, not Graham, is the true Lord Ridley. As Julian tries to solve the mystery of the jewels and his heritage, an unsettling threat develops from native worshipers of the goddess Kali who are murdering English residents. Robards's ( Morning Song ) superficial understanding of 19th-century Ceylon, as evidenced by her treatment of this sect, undermines her story. (Jan.)