Heart Secret Paperback – Aug 7 2012
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"Heart books are like fine chocolate. I am compelled to go back for just one more over and over again."
"[A] wonderfully imaginative series."
About the Author
Robin D. Owens is a RITA Award-winning author.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I didn't find this book up to her usual standards.
This book is not one story, it's more two different plots, the first one is about Garrett, what he went through with a disease that killed many others
Then it drops that plot and goes into a murder mystery.
The murder mystery is a interesting plot, and I hadn't worked out who was the killer by the time we were informed in the end.
I enjoyed the murder mystery, but the first one didn't feel finished at all.
(I hope something nasty happens to a certain healer in a future book).
The whole book feels like lots of detail have been left out, and the end was rushed.
And of all the charactors I like TG the most.
Hopefully her next book will finished off questions this one started, that should get me to enjoy this book more.
The romantic couple is boring and difficult to relate to, and the "romance" between them was lackluster and not romantic at all. Pretty early on I was hoping that the heroine, Artemisia, would walk away from her hateful, cruel, rude, emotionally immature heartmate and find a husband who wanted her, loved her, valued her for the strong, smart, gifted woman she is. I don't understand why she gives him chance after chance. He does NOTHING to deserve it. Like I said, I couldn't relate to her doormat personality at all.
The hero does, however, do many things to justify the heroine walking away--if only she would. ****SPOILERS**** He breaks the heartmate law concerning her (with ZERO repercussions), mind-rapes her in her sleep using the heartmate link (for which she is angry about for two seconds and then just lets it go), and he only starts wanting her when she tries to move on to find a man who will treat her right, then he's suddenly jealous and possessive of her when he didn't value her at all over the many many many years he had a chance to claim her.
When they do hook up physically, it's not about love but the lust that naturally occurs between heartmates. I didn't feel any sparks between them. In fact, reading the love scene was like watching two people who dislike each other hook up only because they are horny, which was a big turn off.
The justification given for the hookup was that the hero--who was tramatized by a loooooong ago event---goes to one therapy session (ONE!) where he talks about himself the whole time, not about his relationship with Artemisia or how badly he's treated her. And that he forced his way into her home, injuring himself in the process (why he didn't just scry her, I don't know). But because of these two lame actions Artemisia is thrilled that he's changed his mind, and she wants to have sex with him. (Really?!) But she even thinks, right before they have sex, that the time for emotions and thoughts is over and she just wants to let her body rule her...so, yeah, she's horny because of the heartmate attraction and hooks up with him despite the dishonorable, deplorable way he's treated her.
On top of the bad romance, the plot was predicable and had too many super lucky coincidences that were unbelievable. The hero is constantly and coincidently at the exact right place at the exact right time for no other reason than he needs to be for the plot to move forward.
I have to think Owen's heart wasn't in it or maybe she ran out of time and had to turn Heart Secret in unpolished due to a deadline or maybe she's just tired of this series and no longer feels inspired when writing it but continues to do so because of a contract or for the money or for some other reason. IDK. I have to think that there is something going on because the quality of writing in this book is soooo far below what she has proven herself capable of--so what happened?
I gave a 2 star rating instead of 1 star because of intelligent feral cats and their wonderful, interesting, entertaining, funny personalities, as well as catching glimpses of characters from the earlier books, including TQ.
I'm broken hearted that this wonderful series appears to be falling apart. Owens has been one of my favorite authors for years (ever since the first book in the series, Heart Mate), but the last book in the series before Heart Secret was so-so (not great), and now this one is poor.
The books at the beginning of the series are so strong and addictive, a perfect mix of romance, magic, mysterious plots, and wonderful characters. I used to recommend this series to all my friends. It sucks to realize that I won't be buying any more Heart books. Looks like it's time to try out some new authors and attempt to find a new series.
Garrett is a private investigator, whom we got to know in Heart Search. He is a friend of Laev T'Hawthorn. Artemesia, is a second level healer, whom we met in the last book also, and we know of her sister Tiana as Camellia's friend.
A few years have passed since a terrible sickness caused many deaths, including Garrett's ex love. He has never been able to get over this loss. Until now, there have been no repeat of this Iasc sickness, when a young boy becomes sick. The healers decide to be proactive, and they have asked Garrett to help discover why he was the only one who got sick at that time, and survived. They know it is something with his blood, and they want him to volunteer to help be a guinea pig. The first level healers assign Artemisa to be his healer, and they are locked in a residence to block the disease for getting out. Garrett is injected with the virus.
One of the fun things of this series, is how residences talk like people. Very cool. I enjoyed the Turquoise House (TQ) helping clean the germs, and talk to both Garrett Artemesia. Later we meet another residence in the Mugwort home...Balm Heal House.
While infected and sick with the virus, Garrett has many nightmares, and Artemesia learns about his dead love, Dinni. It is Artemesia who helps Garrett through the roughest part of the virus, which he eventually will overcome again. During his lock down, a kitten gets into the house and decides he is Garrett's FamCat. Rusby is adorable, and I totally fell in love with him. But then again, I love most of the fam animals of the Heart series. Later, Artemesia finds her own fam animal in Randa a cute raccoon.
Garrett, treats Artemesia coldly and mean early on. She has no idea why he acts like that to her. Even Rusby tells his Fam Man that he is so nasty with the healer. Truth be told, Garrett has known that Artemesia is his Heart Mate, and he has no desire to have any relationship, since he cant get over Dinni, and does not want to suffer the heartbreak again. In his arrogant behaviour, he tells Artemesia that she is his Heart Mate, and he is not interested in her. She is hurt, and angry. It is against Celta laws to tell your mate, who does not know, that she is your Heart Mate.
Heart Secret is also a mystery, as there is a murder, and Artemesia is a suspect, even though she has an alibi, being locked in the TQ house asleep at the time. As he works closely with her to help the police solve the murder, Garrett finds himself becoming more and more aware of Artemesia.
I also enjoyed that Garrett used the feral animals for help to solve his cases. He fed them everyday, and we would watch them talk to him to tell him what was happening. A cute idea, to use these telepathic animals as his helpers to find clues.
This was a very nicely done romance, that grew over the course of the book. I enjoy the way Owens uses some of her characters from earlier books, and this was a great way to see them again. It was a great ending, as there was a big surprise in solving the murder. Another great addition to the HeartMate series. If you have not read this series, I suggest you start from the beginning and read them all. Life in Celta is fun, not to mention I want a Fam Cat for myself.
Two things I would have liked to see concluded. One was closure on the Mugworts getting their name cleared. They've suffered for 16 years, the criminals are now all caught, case closed, others that were impacted have gone on with their lives but this family is still shunned. Garrett could have asked for this as his reward for solving the case. There was mention of Garrett being able to name his price for taking this cae. I don't think resorting his heart mate's family to their title would be too much.
Then there's Healer Heather (T'Heather's daughter) that comes across as unforgiving, always right, and not worthy of her position. I would have liked her incompetence pointed out and the error of her ways. She needed a dressing down to be more caring and humble -- Icing on the cake if Artemisia's mother would be working in the healing halls again. - Dan's wife