Review of HEART DANCE by Robin D. Owens
CELTA'S HEARTMATES, Book Six
Berkley Sensation, July 2007
Dufleur Thyme feels compelled to continue her father's experiments, to learn how to control and even reverse time. Those experiments lead to her father's death and to the destruction of the Thyme house, but Dufleur refuses to believe that her father would have made such a critical mistake. One thing she does not need is the complication of a man. No man would let her continue her experiments, especially considering that they're illegal.
Saille T'Willow is finally the head of his house, with his evil grandmother in stasis while she waits for some cure to the virus that is consuming her. His flair (magic) is that of a matchmaker and he believes he can help people find their true loves--their heartmates, but his great need is to find his own heartmate. When he learns that Dufleur is that heartmate, he vows to do whatever it takes to persuade her to trust him, to become his.
Ultimately, Dufleur's experimentation leads her to a horrible crisis. To prove her father's sanity and to be allowed to experiment, once more, with time, she must do the one thing that will destroy Saille--bring back his grandmother.
Author Robin D. Owens creates an intriguing futuristic world where magic and science work side-by-side, where a strange aristocratic society has developed that seems highly reminiscent of Regency England, and where a magical bond creates a true love that cannot be broken, no matter how badly either party wants to break it. I would have liked to see a bit more of the social structure, particularly some concern for those who aren't nobles, who can't rely on extreme wealth, and find it hard to believe that a society with such advanced science/magic would be so reliant on servant labor, but Owens manages to make the fantasy compelling enough that such concerns lose their weight. Likewise, I would have liked Dufleur to suffer a bit more with the decision between love and her father's reputation. Still, Owens's strong sense of story engaged me and kept me involved. I look forward to reading more books in this series.
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