Friday, August 31, 2007

Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens...

I just finished Heart Dance the next book in the Celta series and all I can say is WOW! That woman can write! This is one book that even though it was a little more expensive because it is the larger paperback version, it was worth every bit of money I paid for it! The fact Robin D. Ownens is able to write such fresh stories over and over in this universe is a testament to the fact that is a stellar writer.

For those of you that are not familiar with Robin D. Owens and her Celta series, here's a bit of background. The stories take place on the planet Celta, which is a colony world of Earth's. Unlike some romance novels where they take place at colonization, these books are set 400 years in the future after colonization. I really love that because the author does such a fantastic job of world building, and explaining about the past and how the colonists got to Celta. So, that being said, here is my review of Heart Dance.

HEART DANCE
ROBIN D. OWENS
July 2007
ISBN#: 9780425216354
The Berkley Publishing Group
Paperback
Paranormal Romance
384 Pages
$14.00
Rating: 5 Worlds

Dufleur Thyme is a young woman who has the very interesting psychic gift or flair of being able to manipulate time. Since experimenting with time is illegal in Druida, Dufleur must practice her flair in secret. She is desperate to clear her father's and family name which was tarnished when her father died in an explosion while experimenting with time. Because she is so focused on these tasks she has set for herself, and because she is afraid she would mess up any relationship she tried to have with a man, she has been rejecting the heart gift that her heartmate sent out into the world causing both herself and him much emotional pain.

Saille Willow has finally been named the head of his household, but while this is some comfort, he still longs for the love of his heartmate Dufleur, who has yet to accept his heart gift. This pains him, but he knows his family has done great damage to the Thymes, and wants to do what he can to make amends by giving his love to Dufleur and helping her. Also in the background is the thought that his MotherDam is not truly dead, but only sleeping in a cryogenics tube on the ship his ancestors came to Celta in, waiting for a cure for her disease. A truly bitter old woman who delighted in hurting those around her, Saille knows if she is revived he will have a fight on his hands to retain control of his family and title.

When Dufleur continues to experiment with time and the curing of disease in spite of Saille's misgivings, he does not know what to do. However, when repeated attempts to offer Dufleur the heartbond are rejected, and then she makes a decision that could only be viewed as a betrayal of him, it becomes a race against time to convince her to stop before she does something that rends them apart forever. But Dufleur is determined to clear her family name at any cost. It is only when she has followed through that she realizes the cost may be too high. Will these two be able to work out their differences or will their bond disintegrate?

Each of the books in the Celta series just gets better and better! I have yet to read one I didn't simply adore and want to read again and again. Ms. Owens' world building is extraordinary. Her understanding of relationships and what can go wrong and right with them, and showing that effectively is superb. I adored Dufleur and Saille and just felt like I wanted to give them a big hug when I read about all they'd been through with their relatives that didn't support them. These characters are written very realistically, and I felt as though they were old friends by the end of the book. They and their world may be imaginary, but Ms. Owens has a talent for making the unreal seem real. I personally would love to visit Celta, and who knows maybe someday we will, or at least a place like it. For now I'll settle for the wonderful books in this series. I highly recommend Heart Dance, and while these books are best read in order since the author introduces new characters in each one, they also stand by themselves quite well. If you enjoy fantasy romance with deep spiritual connections, loving relationships, sentient animals, and lots of suspense, then Heart Dance and the other books in this series are for you!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Exerpt from Soul Memories...

This is an exerpt from my serial reincarnation romance available on my newsletter group Regina's Universe. I usually add one chapter per month and there are presently 13 chapters available. You can subscribe in the far right column.

Exerpt:

Clutching the steering wheel tightly Summer stared out the window at the driving rain pounding the pavement of the country road off of Hwy 99. Dropping her forehead down until it rested on the steering wheel she groaned softly. The car would pick tonight to conk out!

In between Salem and Portland she was trapped on a road that was far less traveled particularly at two o'clock in the morning on a weeknight. There was little chance of being rescued at this hour.

There was no way she was getting out of this car. If only she hadn't left her cell phone at home!

Summer checked and made sure all her doors were locked and slid down into the seat trying to get comfortable enough to sleep.

She awoke to a loud pounding on the glass next to her head. Burrowing her head further into the headrest her sleepy mind just wanted to be left alone to go back to sleep. Why wouldn't the persistent knocker just go away!

When the knocking didn't stop Summer finally opened bleary eyes and found herself peering groggily into a pair of obsidian ones. When her brain finally registered there was a man knocking on her window she reached out and rolled down the window a half inch.

"Yes?" She croaked. The man was spectacular, mahogany skin with two long braids that brushed the sides of his trim hips, and silver disks in his ears. She felt her libido stand up and take notice. Oh yes! I want some of that, and some of that…mmmm…yummy.

"Looks like your car broke down." It was a statement rather than a question, his voice deep.

"Uh, yeah, do you have a cell phone I could borrow to call a tow truck?"

When he just grinned and thumbed towards his vehicle she saw it was a tow truck.

"Oh." Summer said baldly. Still handsome as he was she wasn't sure she trusted him enough to get into his truck with him.

As if sensing her indecision he smiled showing even white teeth and then put up one finger while he went back to his truck. When he returned she saw he was carrying a cell phone. He made a motion for her to roll down the window a bit more.

Summer hesitated a moment and then rolled the window down just enough for him to hand the cell phone through.

"I know a woman alone can't be too careful, my business card is there, why don't you call my dispatcher. She can vouch for me, and you can stay on the phone the whole time we're driving back to Portland, or Salem wherever you need to go."

"Portland." She returned distracted. Could she trust him? It could be a trick. He was tall and big boned, it wouldn't be difficult to get the phone away from her if he had other ideas.

Making her mind up quickly, Summer popped the lock and he moved out of the way so she could disembark from her car. Pushing long tangled blonde hair from her face she muttered, "I don't know what the hell happened to it, the engine just died, and I'm not good with cars." She rolled her eyes in disgust.

"Aren't you going to call?" He nodded towards the cell phone and business card in her hand.

"Huh, oh yeah." Turning over the business card in her hand she dialed the number with the thumb of her other hand and put the phone to her ear, all the while casting surreptitious glances at his butt when he turned around as though to give her privacy.

"White Eagle Towing." A female voice answered.

"Uh…uh, do you have an Indian tow truck driver out on Hwy 99?" Summer asked baldly. She hadn't gotten his name.

Peals of laughter met her question. "Another stray, huh?" The woman asked.

Confused Summer said, "What?"

"Never mind, yes, he owns the company. His name is Hawk Kills Pretty Enemy and he's known to patrol 99 looking for people who might be stuck. He's safe."

"Oh, uh, good. I'm gonna hang up now."

"Ok." The woman sounded amused.

Summer hit the button to hang up the phone and started to hand it back to him.

"No, you keep it for now." Hawk said smiling widely. "You'll feel safer."

Summer shrugged and went to stand on the side of the road while he worked on hooking up her little Mercedes Benz so it could be towed. Shivering she pulled the hot pink suit jacket that had been warm enough yesterday afternoon more closely to her. Her nylons weren't enough to keep her legs warm and her high heels twisted on the gravel. It was difficult to stand upright with the gravel slipping around beneath her feet.

"You can wait in the truck you know?" He called out as he bent over to hook something to her car.

Very nice butt.

"Ok." Walking over to the passenger side, Summer found it unlocked and climbed in. The keys were still in the ignition and the heat was on as though he'd known she'd be cold.

Finally warm enough Summer's shivers stopped and she turned to look at Hawk as he climbed in next to her.

"So, what's your name? You already know mine."

"Summer."

"That because of your blonde hair and fair coloring?" He teased.

"I don't actually know. My parents died before I could ask them. I was raised by my Aunt, and she refused to speak of it."

"How is it spelled?"

"Like the season."

"So, not S-o-m-m-e-r then as in German."

"No."

"Interesting." Hawk paused. "So what do you do for a living?"

Summer knew he was trying to put her at ease by making small talk, but her tongue felt all tied up and her mind went blank for a second before the answer was there. Men! Fry your brain in a heartbeat, especially good looking men!

"I'm an antiques dealer. I own Summer's Antiques." She replied quietly.

His eyes were surprised when he turned towards her. "I've heard of you. You refuse to sell Indian artifacts, and if you do buy them you try to return them to the tribe they belong to."

The engine revved deeply not unlike its owner's voice, before Hawk pulled out onto 99 and began the trek back to Portland.

"I'm just doing what's right. A lot of those items are from graves, or were stolen from Indian peoples by corrupt Indian agents. I refuse to sell anything that's from a grave or that might have been stolen. It's wrong!" She stated vehemently.

Hawk nodded, a new found respect in his eyes. "You're right it is wrong, but it's not often I meet a wasichu who feels that way."

"I've always felt that way. I don't know why."

Hawk merely looked thoughtful at that and then fell silent for long moments.

"You don't happen to have a garage attached to that business do you?" She finally asked.

"Actually I do, make more money that way." He smiled widely.

"Do you think you could fix my car then so I don't have to have you tow it somewhere else?"

"No problem. I can even give you a ride home once we drop it off…" he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. "… if you like and you can pick it up later today or early tomorrow depending on what's wrong with it."

Summer sighed with relief, now she wouldn't have to try and have it towed somewhere else.

Thinking of her over extended credit card, Summer heaved another sigh, this one of resignation. She just hoped nothing was seriously wrong with this car. Then again, maybe it would be worth it.

Another quick sideways glance at her host caused a little quicksilver thrill to race through her. Yeah, it would be worth it, eyecandy and the teasing not withstanding he actually appeared to be a nice guy.

(c)2006-2007 by Regina Paul. All Rights Reserved.