Review: Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens

Posted November 3, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Heart Legacy by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #14
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Change, Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Secret
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
Pages: 368
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three-stars

The award-winning author returns to her “wonderfully imaginative”* world of Heart Fire and Heart Fortune for an all-new Celta novel about a young woman’s destiny, and the one man whose love could be her downfall. After the death of GrandLord Yew years ago, the Yews withdrew to their self-sustaining estate and disappeared from Celtan society. The current head of the household is believed to be eighteen-year-old Loridana. To find out, Draeg Blackthorn has been sent to the estate to spy, undercover as a stableman for the stridebeasts—beautiful creatures that hold a place in Lori’s heart no member of her family ever could. Bullied by her family, Lori has decided to abandon her bloodline and live on her own with her true family—her animals. When Draeg discovers she’s rejecting her heritage, he’s appalled. He’s come to love the land as much as the woman, even spinning small fantasies of marrying Lori and becoming Lord and Lady of the manor. Draeg wants her to stay and fight her elders. For Lori, it’s an alternative that could render her absolutely powerless to pursue her own destiny, and drive her further away from her perfect dreams and the man she loves, Draeg.
*Romance Junkies
 
From the Trade Paperback edition.

After the death of GrandLord Yew years ago, the Yews withdrew to their self-sustaining estate and disappeared from Celtan society. The current head of the household is believed to be eighteen-year-old Loridana. To find out, Draeg Blackthorn has been sent to the estate to spy, undercover as a stableman for the stridebeasts—beautiful creatures that hold a place in Lori’s heart no member of her family ever could.

Bullied by her family, Lori has decided to abandon her bloodline and live on her own with her true family—her animals. When Draeg discovers she’s rejecting her heritage, he’s appalled. He’s come to love the land as much as the woman, even spinning small fantasies of marrying Lori and becoming Lord and Lady of the manor. Draeg wants her to stay and fight her elders. For Lori, it’s an alternative that could render her absolutely powerless to pursue her own destiny, and drive her further away from her perfect dreams and the man she loves, Draeg.

Owens’ Celta’s Heartmates series is one of my favorites. The world-building is stellar. I always fall right into these stories and the characters come alive. For those who haven’t read any of the previous books, I would recommend going back and starting at the beginning of the series, with Heart Mate. The earlier books are often referenced and I feel like you get a more complete reading experience having read them all. The books are broken into two generations, with the split happening at book 7, Heart Fate. If you don’t feel up to taking on all 14 books, I recommend you at least read Heart Fate before starting this one, as the events of that book shaped this story.

Loridana Yew is unofficially D’Yew (the head of her family, a position given based on Psi power), but her family has been bullying and abusing her since she was young, and she hasn’t been formally given the title of D’Yew. Her parents died when she was younger, but her cousins and the Residence itself keep her under their thumb. The Residence especially (the house has developed sentience from years of absorbing the Psi power of its inhabitants), which has taken on the personality of the former T’Yew (male head of family), forces its will and agenda on her. Her body is monitored at all times for changes in heart rate and breathing, she’s locked in closets or zapped by the Residence if she gets out of line, and her cousins are quick to torment her further by doing damage to the only things she really loves – her animals. With no way to combat this treatment, Lori has made the decision to leave the family and move into a property she inherited from her mother.

Since T’Yew was killed and the Yews disappeared behind the walls of their self-sustaining estate, the other FirstFamilies have long wondered what they’re up to. When evidence points toward the family trying to murder or harm other members of society, Tinne Holly (the hero of Heart Fate) asks Draeg Blackthorn to go undercover as a stable hand on the Yew estate to spy on them and find out which – if any – are involved in the evil doings. Draeg realizes right away Lori isn’t involved, or even aware of what’s going on outside the estate. Though he suspects her cousins, he can find no proof and commits to staying until their plot is revealed or the attempted murderer is caught.

Though both have their own agenda, it isn’t long before their physical attraction turns into an emotional connection and they’re struggling to find ways to stay together. Neither fully trusts the other with their plans, but it soon becomes clear what they feel is more than just a passing fancy. When Draeg’s deception is revealed and Lori’s plans come out, they’ll need to fight hard to stay together…something that won’t work if they don’t have faith in one another.

Lori was young and somewhat naive when the story began. She’d been sheltered and knew little about life outside the walls of her estate. I liked how she grew as the novel progressed. I wish her abilities had been explored further. At one point T’Ash tries to test her with his testing stones (they reveal the level and focus of Psi power) but she’s rushed along before we find out what her strength is. I did like that she had time to come into her own at the end of the novel. She had several months on her own to become self-reliant, which I think she desperately needed.

In the beginning Draeg was a strong, interesting character who complimented Lori well. He loved the animals and had a solid sense of himself. He really came to love her land, and his feelings for her were genuine and sweet. I struggled to connect with him later in the story, however. His conviction that Lori was doing the wrong thing and his refusal to bend or compromise was frustrating.

Admittedly it’s been awhile since I read a Celta novel, but this one seemed more erotic than previous books. The sex scenes were drawn out and the language more coarse than I remember from previous books. It was jarring and not in keeping with the world. Though the major problem with book for me stems from the Draeg’s insistence that Lori is refusing to stay and fight, and his subsequent actions because of it. When he realizes her plans to abandon the land, he’s disappointed in her. That disappointment clouds his judgment and doesn’t allow him to truly see things from her perspective. Since he doesn’t realize – and can’t know – the extent of the abuse from her family, I was forgiving of him. At first. As the novel progressed and he refused to bend or go to her, however, I lost patience. In the end I felt he was the one who needed to apologize, and to make Lori realize he wanted her, with or without her title as D’Yew and the Yew estate.

Still, I liked both Draeg and Lori, and the way they were together. It was clear they cared for each other. Their love for the animals also came across well, and I adored their Fam’s (sentient animals who act as Familiar’s).

The ending brings down my final grade, but my love of the world, the romance and the Fams and animals made this a book worth reading.

three-stars


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2 responses to “Review: Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens

  1. Kareni

    I’ve read all of the books in this series, and I’m eager to read this one, too. Thanks for your review.

    • Even when I don’t love the particular story, I still love the world enough that each book is a joy for me. Naturally I like some better than others, but it’s always a treat to return to Celta.

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