Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Heart Quest - Robin D. Owens

Heart Quest
Robin D. Owens
Berkley Sensation

Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

On the faraway planet of Celta, everyone is free to marry as they please. But the fondest wish of most is to find their destined soul mate, called a HeartMate; the two will then bond so closely and irrevocably that the death of one often means the death of both. The inhabitants of Celta are gifted with psi powers to varying degree. Trif Clover, although young, is searching for her HeartMate. She’s made a charmkey to aid her in her desperate and (literal) door-to-door search for him.

Ilex Winterberry, a Guardsman, is more than aware that he is Trif’s HeartMate. In the normal course of things, the two would come together and remain together. But Ilex has grave misgivings. First, he’s more than twice her age. Second, and more importantly, Ilex has foreseen, through his psi power, that his life will be short. He feels that it would be cruel to sentence Trif to an early death, as well. And he has other pressing problems. He’s investigating a series of murders. Someone is targeting individuals with unstable psi powers, killing them, and consuming their hearts as a means of absorbing their power. When Trif’s unstable psi makes her an irresistible target, Ilex has to get involved.

This is the latest in a series, but the author cleverly connects the books so that they can be read in any order, or as standalone novels. As in HEARTMATE, the first book in the series, the world building is excellent. The city, the society, the interaction of the people, all flow together, underpinned by realistic detail. The characters are complex and all act according to their beliefs; their motives make perfect sense to them. This time, there’s the added layer of the murder investigation to keep things fresh. Anyone who enjoys fantasy or paranormal romance will be thrilled to discover this series. I’ve read two volumes so far, and they’re both keepers.

Rating: 9
September 2006
ISBN# 0-425-21084-7 (paperback)


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