HeartMate by Robin D. Owens

HeartMate by Robin D. Owens
HeartMate by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 1)
HeartMate by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 1)

A well crafted book that will appeal to fans of Jayne Castle’s series. Just ignore the attack of the apostrophes.

Rand T’Ash is a member of one of the Great Families on the planet of Celta, colonised by the people of Earth many years ago during a search to find a suitable location to develop their psychic gifts. Formerly a street rat he is now a respected nobleman with a talent for shaping stones. He has crafted a necklace as a HeartGift, as is customary in their culture, for his HeartMate, the woman who is destined to be his. Danith Mallow walks into his shop one day and is drawn to the necklace, but after some alpha grunt-type discussion and a bit of chaos caused by other customers, she leaves, and T’Ash has to find her and somehow convince her that they are destined to be together. Thus the story and the apostrophes begin.

I had trouble with the names at first. The honorific in their culture appears to be T’something or D’something and the apostrophes started to drive me nuts. I was later told by a friend that it appears to be standard in futuristic fantasy now, and I do not think this is a trend I would like to continue. Having an apostrophe does not make you all fancy, you know.

That said, the world building was excellent, if a bit complicated at first. There’s a lot to get through at the start and you have to keep track of it all as you go along. That said, it’s a very well crafted, well thought out world, very consistent and imaginative.

T’Ash was a solid (literally and figuratively) alpha male hero, though I found him trying sometimes. While I understand that he was raised in the gutter and had no manners, sometimes I really expected him to grunt when he was talking to Danith: Me Tarzan, You Jane, Us belong together. The end. He was really quite pushy, and it’s understandable why she would reject him repeatedly. This conflict did not get resolved until the end, and all the other external conflicts and side plots were fixed, which kind of had me feeling that this bit was a bit rushed.

While the main conflict in the story is the romance between the two, there are a lot of tiny side plots that fit well with the story, although I found that Owens could have done with fewer. This being the first book in a series, it seems as though a lot of these side plots were necessary to establish the other families for future books.

Despite the many things going on, I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Holm from the D’Hollys , T’Ash’s super charming BFF (who gets his own book later on) and his familiar, Zanth, the straight talking but adorable psychic cat. (Trust me, it’s cooler than it sounds.) His full name, Zanthoxyl, sounded a lot like medication to me, though. The kind that would be banned for recreational use.

Yay or nay?

Name nitpicking aside, I enjoyed this book and found it a good start to the series. I’ve ordered two other books already (thanks, @girrlitsbooks!) and am looking forward to exploring more of the world of Celta and meeting more psychic cats. It’s a well crafted book, and if you like sff books similar to Jayne Castle’s series you may like this one, too.

This book was first published in 2001 by Jove and reissued by Berkley in 2006. Some bookshops list the title as two words, Heart Mate, so if you can’t find the book, that’s probably why.

Title: HeartMate (excerpt)
Series: Celta’s HeartMates (Book 1)
Author: Robin D. Owens
Publisher: Berkley
A format: 9780425212400 (8/2006)
Ebook: 9781436284073 (12/1/2009)

Where you can buy this book

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Borders | Fishpond | Leading Edge | Romance Direct | Click here for more bookshops
EBOOKS: Books On Board | Borders | Diesel | eBooks.com | Kindle UK | Kindle US
WORLDWIDE: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Or check your local library

Books in the Celta’s HeartMates series

HeartMate by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 1)Heart Thief by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 2)Heart Duel by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 3)Heart Choice by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 4)Heart Quest by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 5)Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 6)Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 7)Heart Change by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 8) Heart Journey by Robin D. Owens (Celta's HeartMates, Book 9)

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Wandergurl is a sometime traveller who spends her daylight hours making sure that things go the way they're supposed to with minimum bureaucracy (don't ask!). A firm believer that thirty is the new twenty, she will probably never look her age (or act it!). An enthusiastic football supporter (that would be soccer to you) she will get up at odd hours to watch a game, and of course it's not just because the players are hot. She loves history, geography and is pretty good at trivia, thanks to her propensity to remember random bits of celebrity gossip. When not reading or travelling, she can be found indulging in her other passion -- eating -- and can be found at Wake up and smell the coffee.


  1. I finished Heart Mate last night after reading Heart Dance on a whim last year. The apostrophes killed me, but I thought this was a sweet series. I will be buying more in the series when I feel like a nice light read :)
    You were right about the “me Tazan, you Jane” feel to the main man. I wanted to slap him, but I could see why he was the way he was, and that he fit into his society and his childhood. I would have personally left him in the dust, but that is because most of the men in my family are macho control freaks too LOL

  2. Thank you.  I occasionally get a little heavier.  Heart Choice and Heart Fate are probably my “darkest”, though I always have humor, so that’s not saying a lot.  Not that edgy. ;)  Oh, and I deliberately made Heart Thief more sensual, if that’s a concern.
    Thanks again,
    Robin of the Apostrophes

  3. Thank you.  I occasionally get a little heavier.  Heart Choice, Heart Quest and Heart Fate are probably my “darkest”, though I always have humor, so that’s not saying a lot.  Not that edgy. ;)  Oh, and I deliberately made Heart Thief more sensual, if that’s a concern.
    Thanks again,
    Robin of the Apostrophes

  4. wandergurl says:

    I just wanted to say, Robin of the Apostrophes, in the last 2 and a half weeks I have bought every book in the series! it is now an addiction! I am reading some of them out of order (i had to get a few of them used and have been overseas – i bought half the series in the Philippines) but otherwise am having a really good time and am looking forward to your next release, as seriously I don’t know what I’m going to do when I’m done!
    @obsidiantears i am reading heart choice now and have heart fate & heart thief lined up as i just received them…

  5. Since I am carving out a “Heart” story collection, and it sometimes seems impossible.  I have to tell you this is very cheering to hear. Obsidian Tears (excellent handle, very evocative) and Wandergurl (in the Philippines?  you DO wander), I hope you enjoy the others.
    Thanks again,

  6. clarinetwoman says:

    I love this series so much!

    The only problem I have is that I can’t seem to stay in order becauseIcan’t finda solid order of the books online, can anyone help me out?

  7. Sorry returned from RWA to find downed tree took out my elec and cable, and car decided that the 3rd repair of the clutch didn’t work either.  Here’s the list…some of the novellas in the collection will fit here and there. ;) so just saw this
    Heart Thief
    Heart Duel
    Heart Choice
    Heart Quest
    Heart Dance
    Heart Fate
    Heart Change
    Heart Journey

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