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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most brilliant voices in Paranormal Romance today
Robin D. Owens demonstrates she has a strong voice and is endowed with magical imagery. I finished a similar Offworld tale by another writer, one with potential, but the lack of imagery crippled the book. The writer failed to 'see' the world she created, failed to root in sound logic the things that happened. She 'decided' things would happen, not because it was a...
Published on Sept. 7 2004 by Deborah MacGillivray

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dating Mayhem!
True love, soul mates, heartmate - they are the same on Celta where a group of humans with psychic talents settled to escape persecution from Earth. Rand T'Ash is rough around the edges and to marry his Heartmate is his greatest desire. Rands profession is a jeweler (he is a very talented one) and he has made an incredible necklace for only one woman - Danith Mallow...
Published on April 2 2004


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most brilliant voices in Paranormal Romance today, Sept. 7 2004
By 
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
Robin D. Owens demonstrates she has a strong voice and is endowed with magical imagery. I finished a similar Offworld tale by another writer, one with potential, but the lack of imagery crippled the book. The writer failed to 'see' the world she created, failed to root in sound logic the things that happened. She 'decided' things would happen, not because it was a natural extension of the special world and the characters. That is NOT the case with HEARTMATE. Owens paints a special world, grounded solidly because of her logic and imagery.
In her tale of the world of Celta, a settlement by Earth space explorers, it's ruled by the thirteen royal houses of the
Twenty-five first families that settled this new planet. They had left Earth, because they were different, they were gifted with "Flair" meaning they were witches and warlocks. They have various powers and these have developed over the centuries, amplified by Celta.
This tales centers on Rand Ash, now called T'Ash. At six years old, his family was destroyed in a fire set by a rival house, planning on ending the whole house of Ash. He escaped, after watching his two older brothers, father and mother die, as his world went up in flames. Downwind - the slums of Celta - offered him shelter. As a grown man, he left behind the harsh life there, and hunts down those who killed his family. Then he rebuilt the GreatHouse of Ash.
His vibrant flair centers on gems, so he is a master jeweler. He and his Fam, familiar Zanth - a large tomcat that has magical powers and can talk telepathically to T'Ash - are respected among the GreatHouses. Only life is hollow for T'ash. He needs his HeartMate. People can marry on Celta as they please, but the ultimate in marriages is one with your HeartMate, a match to you in every way.
Using a scrying bowl and special divining dice, T'ash learns his HeartMate is a woman named Danith Mallow. She often comes to his jewellery store and makes small purchases. He is very pleased by what he can scry about this woman. However, Zanth has to pass his own inspection before he concurs. He begins turning up on Danith's doorstep to see if this woman is worthy of his FamMan. Zanth tells T'ash Danith is special, her Flair aura is pink, unheard of in the Ruling Houses of Celta, and that she is destined to be a great animal healer.
T'ash immediately tries to woo her in his inept fashion, showering her and her cat Pansy, who prefers to be called Princess, with jewels and flowers. Instead of winning his HeartMate, he frightens her. She feels she is a nobody. Raised in an orphanage and deemed to have no Flair, she is content, secure in her common world. Only T'ash is relentless, and changes her whole life. These changes are not welcomed but fought against as she fears him and his powers overwhelming her. She cannot possible be the HeartMate to this powerful lord.
Owens created a vivid world of Celta, she uses her "Flair" of imagery to bring the magical realm to you with gentle, strong and emotional characters. She takes the pagan roots of the Lord and Lady, brings them to her new world, and remakes them into the foundation for the wonderful tale. Zanth is especially well done. The tomcat FAM that loves jewellery, is good at fighting, and has his own way of doing things. You feel for poor Danith, her whole life nearly overwhelmed by this powerful lord, and yet you take T'Ash into your heart as well. A man with the ability to do anything he pleases, yet is so inept in wooing the lady of his heart.
It just does not get any better than this. Heart Thief the sequel (which I love even more) and Heart Duel follow. Most especially impressive to know this was her first novel, even more impress that she shows she can do it again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dating Mayhem!, April 2 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
True love, soul mates, heartmate - they are the same on Celta where a group of humans with psychic talents settled to escape persecution from Earth. Rand T'Ash is rough around the edges and to marry his Heartmate is his greatest desire. Rands profession is a jeweler (he is a very talented one) and he has made an incredible necklace for only one woman - Danith Mallow. The problems are that Danith can't see beyond their social differences and she feels unworthy because of her near null psychic talents.
Ms Owens has written an interesting story. While Rand's ideas of courtship are humorous in a "he has no clue what he is doing" kind of fashion, I really felt that Danith was a little hard on him. Both have the common background of being orphans. Except Rand's family was murdered when he was a small boy and he survived. After living on the streets he had to fight his way back to reclaim his family name while lacking the social skills of others in his class. Because of his upbringing he was very straight forward, which I actually liked.
For Danith, as an orphan her talents had been over looked and therefore not discovered. Rand helps her through discovering them and to get the necessary training so she could use them. This set them on equal status level and yet she still fought her attraction for him. Sadly for me, this became old. She wants to be with him, yet she doesn't. Rand has a familiar that was his only "family"; this added humor to the story. The way Zanth (the familiar) spoke and reacted to situations, I can see my own cats acting. And while it wouldn't be a romance without the couples having problems and hero taking control, because of Danith the couple didn't work for me.
The world is fascinating and sounds like a growing community where everyone should have their place, but is starting to face the same social class issues that occur for us on Earth. Which is another reason Rand endeared himself to me because he was fighting to keep this from happening, where people just fall through the cracks for one reason or another.
I would really be interested to read her future novels just to see what happens several years in the future with some of the kids from the street gangs. Also I found the fact that they use their psychic talents much as we use technology fascinating. I will read other books by Ms Owens as she has the ability to tell a wonderful story, but HEARTMATE was longer than I felt it needed to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Action and Romance, July 14 2003
By 
Phillip B. Spotts "cintibookworm" (Cincinnati, OH) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
For those who enjoy a mixture of Sic Fi, Fantasy and Romance HEART MATE will be right up your alley. Humans have colonized another world but these humans had something special about them. Call it psi ability or magic those with the 'Flair' are able to do many wonderful and interesting things. Ms. Owens doesn't spend a considerable amount of time developing the background of the why's or wherefore's, she lets the context of the story do that for her, and it works quite well. By the end you have a fair knowledge of how their universe is put together and the rules they live under, certainly enough to follow and enjoy the plot and the characters.
Which is good because the true strength of the story is the characters and the story line that entwines them. Rand T'Ash, a person with immense Flair but a twisted and tortured past, has found he true Heart Mate, the one person that matches him perfectly, the Ying for his Yang. The only problem is she doesn't believe it and wants nothing to do with him!
There is romance here by the buckets full! The end is predictable but doesn't detract from the twisted, painful, and sometimes humorous trail they take to find it. While not spending a lot of time on technical trivia Ms. Owens does flesh out her characters, especially Rand and Danith, with spectacular effect. By the end of the book you know them intimately, their flaws, and pains and ultimately their triumph.
This was the first book by Ms. Owens that I have had the pleasure to read, it won't be the last. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
This one I defiantly RECOMMEND.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Teeth Grittingly Frustrating!, Aug. 6 2002
By 
L. J Lewis "Miss Amii" (Collierville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
If you want to read an original, sensual, sci-fi romance pick up something by Dara Joy and skip over Robin D. Owens pale imatation. Gosh, I so wanted to like this book. I tried to, I really did, but reading it was like slogging through wet cement. I kept turning pages in hopes of something interesting happening, but it never did. I really liked Matrix of Destiny series, and I think that was what HeartMate was trying to recreate but fails miserably.
The action takes place on Celta, a world were everyone posesses Flair, which alternates between being a psychic and magical ability, with your status being determined by how great your Flair is. Which brings up frustrating point number one. The parameters of Celta and the mysticism of this culture are never clearly defined and, frankly, mind-boggling! It seems to be based on Wicca, and they use crystals and such, all in a tangled up web that's more confusing than complex. And the rules contradict themselves. A Heartmate can only see a HeartGift but that doesn't stop someone from stealing in the first chapter. The thief certainly saw it!
Rand T'Ash is the hero. His Flair is the most powerful on Celta and he's a nobleman who has just managed to reclaim his heritage after his family was wiped out by enemies. He lived many years as a street tough, and isn't every elegant, cultured, and doesn't feel like he fits in. He's a moody alpha-male, and as I got the feeling in this Just-Like-Dara-Joy book Owens was going for a Just-Like-Traed hero. Rand T'Ash is no Traed ta'al Krue! He's basically an annoying, macho insufferable jerk who isn't very sympathetic. No wonder Danith doesn't want him! Danith is so intimadated by him and his status that they just don't make a good match, destiny or no! But Rand bumbles through a boring courtship, trying to convince her or his love through jewerly and lots of italicized words.
Zanth, Rand's telepathic cat, was amusing. He's still a pale imatation of Dara Joy's Familiars, but by far the best character in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Love, March 11 2002
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
HeartMate won two PEARLS from the Writerspace Paranormal Romance Readers Group: one for Best Fantasy/Magical Book of 2001 and one for Best New Author of 2001, plus an Honorable Mention for Best Futuristic of 2001. Add these to the four stars that Romantic Times Magazine gave to HeartMate and this gets a five star rating for a wonderful new magical world of romance.
Rand T'Ash and Danith Mallow are two strong-willed individuals who are each struggling with their own unique magical/Psi abilities and all the ups and downs associated with being from two different social classes. Rand can't quite understand why Danith doesn't readily accept the love which fate has predestined for them. He must learn the hard way that love from the heart is stronger than any bond fate or magic might provide.
Nothing comes easy for the inhabitants of Celta, a trend which lends itself to more tales from this fantasy world where not everyone is capable of magic but where everyone is vulnerable to the power of love. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favorite!, June 2 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
Some idiot had traded this book in at a used book store! Not me - this one's a keeper!! The cat on the cover was what first caught my attention. The story was what kept it. I loved the world Ms. Owens has created. I especially liked the cats, talents, gems, the plant based names, and the Celtic aspects. Celtia is a world I want to revisit. More like this one, please.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, awkward follow-through, Feb. 2 2004
By 
Jean Cooper "eleanordew" (Charlottesville) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
This book wasn't bad. Interesting characters, nice love scenes.
But there were some things I didn't like about it. First, I thought the writing was choppy - it didn't flow, and many of the scenes were too short. They were also somewhat repetitive. The author used the characters' ability to teleport (orb?) as a sort of shorthand to get them from one place to another. There was a lot of hand-to-hand combat, and it all kind of ran together. I never could figure out the purpose of the central fight scene - was it to give the hero and heroine a chance to make love between life-threatening sword fights (hey, how awkward is that?), or to show how good T'Ash was with a sword, or to show that he was no longer a street tough, or to set up the later revelation that he was now a responsible citizen interested in bettering society? I just wish that more space had been devoted to developing the relationship rather than let the events push it along.
That said, this is a book that I've kept, rather than trade it in, and I will read the others in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really Enjoyable, Loved the use of Magick, Great CATS!, Oct. 22 2003
By 
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
I am so tired of traditional "romance" novels so I really enjoyed this book.
The world Robin D.Owens created impressed me; the combination of psychic abilities and magical power in the people of Celta. I didn't feel comfortable with the "Royal ruling class" society structure though. It seemed a little extreme to me; which was touched on by the character T'Ash, since he grew up in the streets. So the auther may address this in future books I hope.
Some other reviewers didn't like the character of T'Ash much, found him too macho or whatever. I can see how he would come accross like this, however, having grown up without any guidence since he was six years old, I think it's understandable that he didn't have much finesse when courting his Heart Mate. At least he believed in Heart Mates, unlike Danith, our female lead character. She was soooooo annoying after awhile. I had to remind myself that the author was just trying to say she had issues from being an orphan, wanting to be in control of her own life etc. BUT, she was at times just sort of nasty and judgemental, it just took her too long to realize her feelings, it would have been just as good a book if they had gotten together a little sooner, and if she thawed a little sooner; the conflict could have still been within her, the fear of change, but without the coldness toward the hero. Regardless of what I consider character flaws(which may be just my subjective opinion), I loved the fact that they lived in a magical world, and could communicate with their cats telepathically, and I'll definitely buy her other books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Potential, But No Spark, April 15 2003
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
I enjoyed this book; I found it a pleasant way to while away a few hours. I liked it -- but I didn't love it, and I'm not entirely certain why. It has all the elements I look for in a paranormal romance: magic, strong characters, a good combination of drama and humor, and so on. But, after I finished it, I just shrugged and moved on. It didn't move me or enthrall me. It just lacked that certain something, the spark of interest, that makes the difference between good and great. As far as I'm concerned, "Heartmate" was fairly middle-of-the-road. It just didn't click with me.
However, that's an entirely subjective opinion, and I know there are bound to be many people who disagree. So if you are at all interested in paranormal romance novels, you should definately give this book a try. For what it's worth, I thought the universe the author created in this novel had the potential to provide really outstanding stories -- so I'm going to be on the lookout for her next book, whenever it comes out. "Heartmate" wasn't bad by any means; it just didn't thrill me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Robin show she has "Flair" for a magickal tale!, April 13 2003
By 
This review is from: Heartmate (Mass Market Paperback)
Robin D. Owens has a strong voice and is endowed with magical imagery. I finished a similar offworld by another writer, one with potential, but the lack of imagery hurt the book. The writer failed to 'see' the world she created, failed to root in a sound logic, things happened because she decided they would, not because it was a natural extension of the special world and the characters. That is NOT the case with HEARTMATE. Owens paints a special world, grounds is solidly because of her logic and imagery.
In her tale of the world of Celta, a settlement by Earth space explorers, it Is ruled by the thirteen royal houses of the Twenty-five first families that settled this new planet. They had left Earth, because they were different, they were gifted with "Flair" meaning they were witches/warlocks. They have various powers and these have been developed over the centuries, and like no stronger than in Rand Ash, now called T'Ash. At six years old, his family is destroyed in a fire set by a rival house intent to destroy the whole house of Ash. But he escaped, watching his two older brothers, father and mother die as his world goes up in flames. He escapes to Downwind, a slums of Celta, but as a grown man he escaped the terrible life there, hunts down those who killed his family and rebuild the GreatHouse of Ash. His vibrant magick centers around gems, he is a master jeweler. He and his Fam, familiar Zanth and large tomcat that has magickal powers and can talk telepathically to T'Ash are respected among the GreatHouses for his skill as master craftsman, for his awesome Flair and his rep - reputation for rising to slay those who destroyed his family. Only life is hollow for T'ash. He needs his HeartMate. People can marry on Celta as they please, but the ultimate in marriages
is one with your HeartMate, a match to you in every way.
Using a scrying bowl and special diving dice, T'ash learns his HeartMate is a woman named Danith Mallow. She often comes to his jewellery store and makes small purchases. He is very pleased by what he can 'see' about this woman. However Zanth has his own inspection before he concurs and begins turning up on her doorstep to see if this woman is worth of his FamMan. Zanth tells Danith is special, her Flair aura is pink, unheard of in the Ruling Houses of Celta and that she is destined to be
a great animal healer.
T'ash immediately tries to woo her in his inept fashion, showering her and her cat Pansy, who prefers to be called Princess, with jewels and flowers. Instead of winning his HeartMate he frightens her. She feels she is a nobody. Raised in orphanage, deemed to have no Flair, she is content/secure in her common world. Only T'ash is relentless, and changes her whole world. These changes are not welcomed, but fought against as she fears him and his powers overwhelming her. She cannot possible be the HeartMate to this powerful lord.
Owens creative a vivid world of Celta, she uses her "Flair" of imagery to bring the magical realm to you with gentle, strong and emotional characters. She takes the pagan roots of the Lord and Lady and brings them to her new world and remakes
them into the foundation for the wonderful tale. Zanth is especially well done. The tomcat FAM that loves jewellery, is good at fighting and has his own way of doing things. You feel for poor Danith, her whole life nearly overwhelmed by this powerful lord, and yet you take T'Ash into your heart as well. A man with the ability to do anything he pleases, yet so inept in wooing the lady of his heart.
It just does not get any better than this. Heart Thief the sequel is out this month. Most especially impressive to know this is her first novel.
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Heartmate by Robin Owens (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 29 2002)
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