HeartMate by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #1
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Secret, Heart Legacy, Heart Change, Heart Sight (Celta's Heartmates)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 2006
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
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All his life, Rand T'Ash has looked forward to meeting his HeartMate, with whom he could begin a family. Once a street tough, now a respected nobleman and artisan, he has crafted the perfect HeartGift, which, in the custom of the psychically gifted population of the planet Celta, is the way a man finds—and attracts—his wife…
Danith Mallow is irresistibly drawn to the magnificent necklace on display in T'Ash's shop, but she is wary of its creator, despite an overpowering attraction. In a world where everyone is defined by their psychic ability, Danith has little, placing her at the opposite end of the social spectrum from T'Ash. But T'Ash refuses to accept her rejection and sees it as a challenge instead. They are HeartMates, but can T'Ash persuade his beloved to accept her destiny by his side?
Last year I read and reviewed Heart Fate, book 7 in Robin D. Owens‘ Celta’s HeartMates series. It was the first book I read in the series and I adored it. I started glomming her backlist shortly after that, but held off on reading the rest of the books. Recently Azteclady reviewed Heart Mate, the first book, and it reminded me that I needed to catch up on the series.
I read these books, with the exception of Heart Dance (it didn’t load properly on my e-reader and I haven’t fixed it yet, so I skipped it and plan to go back to it later), back-to-back. Ames and I reviewed Heart Mate together, but I decided instead of reviewing each book in the series separately, I’d just review the remaining books lightning style in one post.
Heart Mate, Book 1
T’Ash survived the slums then avenged his family’s death. He knows Danith is the future of his clan. Danith knows T’Ash is noble, powerful and dangerous. Not for her. The prophecy: A woman surrounded by peril…
Read the full review here. I definitely enjoyed it, though there were parts that frustrated me. The world-building was fantastic and made me want to continue on with the series.
I loved Zanth, T’Ash’s Fam.
4 out of 5
Heart Thief, Book 2
The story of a man without psi powers on a world where they’re prized. An outcast, Ruis must overcome all society to survive, pursue his passion for restoring ancient Earth technology, and win his love — Judge Ailim D’SilverFir.
I wasn’t sure about this book when I first started it. Ruis Elder is a Null, which means he has no magical Flair. I wasn’t sure how that would work in this world, but Owens pulled it off brilliantly.
I really loved both Ruis and Ailim. Their conflict – she is a Judge and he a Fugitive – was interesting and worked well. I really liked that the setting was something new. I especially liked that the council was taken down a peg or two in this book. It showed that they, too, are vulnerable.
Samaba was a great Fam, too. I literally laughed out loud at her antics.
4.25 out of 5
Heart Duel, Book 3
Holm’s a fighter; Lark a Healer, their Families are at war. Holm knows one thing bone deep. Nothing will prevent him from claiming Lark. Not the feud. Not his Family’s condemnation. Not his own flaws. And not Lark herself.
Generally the characters capture me as much as the world they live in, but that wasn’t the case for the heroine of this book. Lark was selfish and bitter for 99% of this story. I didn’t connect with her and, to be totally honest, had a hard time even tolerating her for most of the story.
The fact that she hurt Holm again and again without thought was bad enough, but she was a Healer. It didn’t speak well of her, IMO, that she could be so callous in disregarding his feelings for her.
I did love Holm, though I think he took too much upon himself and should have let go of his guilt sooner than he did. Also? He should have held out longer against Lark in the end. She deserved more punishment than she got.
I really liked the additional conflict created because their families were enemies. Especially since it caused something major to happen to Holm’s father, T’Holly.
I liked both Meserv and Phyl, Holm and Lark’s Fams, but they didn’t stand out against some of the others.
3 out of 5 (although I hated Lark, I thought the book had redeeming qualities)
Heart Choice, Book 4
Straif Blackthorn is back. To claim his title, restore his home, love his woman. And to fight the enemy who wants all three.
I think the conflict in this book was one of the better of the series so far. I really wasn’t sure how they would resolve the main issue between them.
I really liked both Straif and Michella. I wasn’t sure about Mitchella going into this novel because I disliked her in the first book, but she really worked. Straif was wonderful, though I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to overcome his past for Mitchella.
Their romance was well written and the issues they were dealing with were real and heartbreaking.
I did not like Straif’s Fam, Drina. At all. Which is unfortunate because I’ve really enjoyed all the previous ones.
4.25 out of 5
Heart Quest, Book 5
Trif Clover is searching for her HeartMate. But Guardsman Ilex Winterberry has already found her. He has reasons of his own — and for her own good — to keep to the shadows of her life. But there’s a killer on the loose, stalking those with unstable psi power like Trif’s. Facing his most difficult task yet, Ilex must reveal the truth of their destiny or leave Trif vulnerable to a vicious murderer.
I liked that the characters in this novel were of the lower nobility. It was a nice change from the previous entries in the series.
I understood Ilex’s reason for wanting to keep Trif away from him, especially in the beginning. I really liked the way the story progressed and the overall arc of the romance.
Trif really matured as the story progressed. I loved the way she pushed for what she wanted.
I can’t remember the names of the Fams in this story, but I remember that Ilex’s is a fox and I really liked him. Trif’s Fam is a cat who decides she wants to get “painted” and she cracked me up.
4.25 out of 5
Heart Dance, Book 6
Dufleur Thyme is a scholar determined to master time itself – and clear her father’s name as a mad scientist. Neglected-boy turned nobleman Saille Willow has other ideas. He wants to claim Dufleur as his own, but he has tougher family problems than he thinks. Both must reveal their secrets.
Review to come at some later date. I will say I’m very intrigued by their story based on things that happen to them in Heart Quest.
Heart Fate, Book 7
With Lahsin D’Yew’s husband giving chase after she runs from an abusive marriage, she 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?
See the original review here. I wanted to do a re-read to see if it held up as well as I remember. It did.
I’d have to say this is probably my favorite of the series to date. I love that both characters have suffered greatly and aren’t ready to jump into anything. The both need time to mend and heal. Seeing their relationship grow is beautiful and lovely.
Lahsin bothered me more this time around at the end. Only at the end, though. I still understand her reasons for not wanting to rush into anything, but I felt she took too long about it.
I understood things more this time around, too, especially in regard to Tinne and the things he suffered in the past.
If you’re looking for a sweet romance, I’d highly recommend this one.
4.5 out of 5
Overall I really enjoyed this series. The world is fantastic and the characters are interesting. Reading these is like being transported to another world…one I would love to live in.