Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #7
Also in this series: HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Change, Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Secret, Heart Legacy
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2nd 2008
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Wed to a wealthy older man when she was just a girl, Lahsin Yew runs away from her abusive home to find a new life. At seventeen, she?s about to enter her Second Passage, when her Flair?and perhaps her HeartMate?will be revealed.
Lahsin finds sanctuary in a secret garden, where she meets Tinne Holly. Though he is her HeartMate, he cannot tell her, and her troubled past prevents her from trusting any man. Pretending to find her by chance, Tinne helps her through her Second Passage. But when the truth is revealed, can she forgive his deception, and learn to trust in her destiny?
Heart Fate is book 7 in Robin D. Owens‘ Celta’s Heartmates series. I have not read the first 6. Honestly, they didn’t really seem like my thing, so though I’ve noticed them in the book store, I never really considered buying one. I’m very sorry for that now. This book was outstanding.
Lahsin Yew was married off to an old man when she was 14 and for the next several years was constantly abused by him physically, emotionally and sexually. At 17, just before her Second Passage – where she will officially become a woman and learn what her Flair (her magical power) is – she leaves Yew. During this transition to adulthood she is offered an opportunity to escape and she seizes it. She finds a secret garden in the middle of the city and holes up there, determined to remain there for the remainder of the winter and her Second Passage.
Tinne Holly has known Lahsin is his Heartmate for years, but when she was married off, he realized they were not fated to be together and married someone himself. But 5 years later he has suffered immeasurable grief after the loss of his unborn child. His wife has decided she can no longer stay with him and requests a divorce – something FirstFamilies never do and will bring major scandal upon his family. Just after his divorce is finalized (it takes little time in this world) he hears of Lahsin’s disappearance and realizes she will need him during her transition.
He knows neither of them are emotionally ready to accept the other as HeartMate, but he can’t leave her alone to face Second Passage and deal with the long cold winter. So he goes to her secret garden and helps her heal. Unexpectedly, she helps him heal as well.
This novel takes place over the course of several months. The pace is slow, but rather than dragging along, it sucked me in and made me believe I was living each day with them. Tinne’s pain at the loss of his wife is real and true. Though he hasn’t loved her for some time, he still regrets things ending as they did. He also still grieves for the child they lost.
Lahsin is also wounded emotionally and trying to cope with the coming of her Second Passage and the wariness she feels around Tinne. Though she was in an abusive relationship for years, she’d determined to rise above that and move on with her life.
The world Owens has created is fascinating and well drawn. I was completed sucked in, delighted with the “Residences” and “Fam” animals and different types of Flair the characters possess. I was equally drawn to the characters and their personal struggles as they tried to heal from devastating emotional blows. I was really impressed with how Owens took her time with the story and characters and didn’t rush their development or personal journeys. Though this is a darker story, there were still bits of humor laced throughout and I literally laughed out loud more than once.
I did have some issues, but they mostly stem, I think, from not having read any of the previous novels. Quite a bit of Tinne’s backstory was alluded to but not fully explained. So were various things involving his family. I think had I read more of the series I would have been impacted more by the things mentioned than I was. Despite that, I didn’t feel completely lost and the list of characters, family tree and map of the planet included in the beginning of the book really helped clarify some things.
Overall this was a fascinating story of two people finding solid ground after the foundations of their world were rocked and maturing into adulthood together. Excellent secondary characters, touches of humor and a fascinating futuristic world make this a fantasy romance you don’t want to miss. I give it a:
4.5 out of 5