by Robin D. Owens

December 2001
ISBN: 0-515-13289-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Putnam
Mass Market Paperback

HeartMate is Robin's debut novel and is a mixture of futuristic-fantasy, centering on the romance. It takes place on a planet called Celta, colonized by people from earth. The inhabitants are all refugee descendants who fled to the planet to avoid persecution for their unique psychic talents and special powers. On Celta, their magic is called "Flair" and it plays a central role in this story.

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Celtan society is divided into classes. Those with "Flair" are considered nobility, and those without this talent are in lower classes. Thirty-seven year old Rand T'Ash is the last sole survivor of one of Celta's Great Houses, T'Ash. He's ready to marry and have children to once again establish and build his House. He has an unique talent in making jewelry that is magic enhanced for each wearer, and he's made a special necklace for his future bride. When he meets Danith Mallow he knows she's his destined Heart Mate because he's already dreamed of her when he was only eighteen.

Danith is a strong willed, very independent woman making her way on her own. She lacks the gift of "Flair" and considers herself lower in class to Rand. She's the perfect match for Rand in every way. Rand wants to claim her as his Heart Mate immediately, but Danith resists at every turn.

This is a fast paced read, full of adventure, romance, magic, swords and duels, complex societies, and the endearing concept of "soul mates".

Also in the story is Rand's cat-familiar, Zanth, constantly reminding Rand that it's a good thing he's around to rescue them and help his 'humans' out of the predicaments they get into.

After reading this book, you'll be glad to know that Robin is busy writing a sequel to this fascinating world of Celta and its unique inhabitants. And it's sure to be a wonderful love story reinforcing the beautiful concept of eternal love.

Reviewed in November 2001 by Kari.

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