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.
ROBIN D. OWENS
The Berkley Publishing Group
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!