Tag Archives: Robin D. Owens

October, 15, 2009

15 Oct

Currently Reading

Garnett, Juliana - The Scotsman

Juliana Garnett – The Scotsman

I started Juliana Garnett’s The Scotsman yesterday and I’m now on page 59. So far, it looks like another good read, maybe even better than her novel The Vow which I read recently. But I thought Juliana Garnett a good writer then so that’s not really a surprise for me.

The Scotsman is another medieval romance – yay! – and takes place on the Scottish Borderlands. It’s the time of Robert the Bruce and the Scottish battle for Independence. Catherine is the daughter of the English Earl of Warfield and Alexander Fraser’s younger brother was taken hostage by Warfield. Alex wants to get his brother back (he’s all the family he has left) and while he explores the surroundings of Warfield’s castle, he stumbles upon Catherine. When he realizes who the woman is, he takes her captive. He hopes to make a bargain with Warfield and exchange her for his brother. Only problem: Warfield holds his daughter in very low regard. She’s just a woman and as such has no use to him, especially compared to the use Alex’s brother gives him as leverage against the Scots.

The premise is familiar but Garnett makes it come alive. The hatred between Scots and English seems very real. If Catherine and Alex want to be together, they will have to overcome years of believing the other the worst kind of people. In fact, before they will think about being together, they first must overcome this to actually be able to fall in love with the other. And although they are attracted to each other nearly right away, it doesn’t look that they mistake this for love.

I think there are good times ahead!

Other things

  • Owens, Robin D - Heart FateWhen I ordered my books on the weekend, I also looked at Robin D. Owens Heart Fate, book #7 in her Celta HeartMates series. It’s a funny thing with this series. There is much that annoys me with it and yet, I still like to read it. I was especially looking forward to reading Tinne’s story because he was a secondary character in nearly all the books before.
    Heart Fate was published last year but as it cost more than 10 €, I decided to wait. I very very rarely am willing to spend more than 10 € on a book. So when I looked again this weekend, it was still around 10€. Huh? I had thought that there would be a second edition by now, comparable in price to the ones they published before. So real bummer, still no Heart Fate for me.
  • Once again I deleted a huge amount of marked posts in my feed reader (posts I wanted to read or maybe even leave a comment). When will I learn that I very rarely look at marked posts again?

Robin D. Owens – "Heart Dance"

3 Jun

GENRE: Romance / Science fiction (Futuristic)

PUBLISHED: Berkley Sensation, 2008

WHY THIS NOVEL: part of series

The back blurb:
“Dufleur Thyme knows that emotion has no place in scientific experiments, and she cannot allow distractions in her own surreptitious quest to redeem her father’s time reversal studies. For Saille T’Willow, time is running out. He’s the premier matchmaker of Celta, but has yet t o start the family he yearns for. Knowing that Defleur is his Heart-Mate, he sends out his HeartGift, hoping it will find its way to her and enable him to stake his claim.
Little does Saille realize that Dufleur keeps receiving his HeartGift – and rejecting it. She wants nothing to do with a Willow, the family that destroyed her father’s good name. But Saille is determined, and the attraction between them is undeniable. When one of her experiments imperils Saille’s position, Dufleur must make a choice: she can retreat to the solitude of her lab, or stand with the descendent of her enemy as his HeartMate…”

The setup for the conflict between the hero and the heroine in Heart Dance is great. Defleur and Saille come from families who are on bad terms with each other; the thing Dufleur wants most of all, the rehabilitation of her father’s name, endangers Saille’s position; and, as if these two things aren’t enough, Defleur has severe trust issues.

Saille became head of his house a few months ago after his grandmother put herself in a cryogenics tube to await a cure for her illness. All her life, she sought to thwart Saille, her heir, because after a long line of female heirs he was the first male heir. She hid his heart mate from him and severely damaged the reputation of his heart mate’s family to cause as much obstacles as possible between them.

Defleur is Saille’s heart mate and as a result of his grandmother’s intrigues, the reputation of her family is ruined and she is forbidden to work, that is experiment, with her family Flair – time. Defleur wants to clear her father’s name whose death in an explosion lead to the ban on the time Flair. He was working on a spell to reverse time to cure illness. Defleur picks up his work in secret, figuring the discovery of something this important will lead to the rehabilitation of her family. Her success would not only restore her father’s name and rehabilitate her family, she would also help Saille’s grandmother regain her place as head of the house, and in turn destroy Saille’s life. With all this, it doesn’t help that Dufleur has huge trust issues.

So Dufleur’s and Saille’s path to become a HeartMate couple is long and lined with obstacles, each of them with the potential to destroy their developing relationship. As I said, a great basis for conflict. Yet somewhere along my reading, I somehow didn’t care about the characters as much as at the beginning. I still had fun reading, but I wasn’t really engaged in the story. Apart from thinking that Dufleur’s actions in relation to her mother were not all that understandable, and liking that Dufleur and Saille were able to help each other, I’m afraid I can’t remember more of what I thought about the story and the characters. But then, I read it over two weeks ago. In my notes, it’s graded with 4(-)/5 so it couldn’t have been bad.

As with all the other novels in this series, there are a few new glimpses of the world Owens created on Celta. Behind the cutesy names and the possible danger of the Flair concept turning into a deus-ex-machina element, the world building in this series is well thought out and balanced with more and more fleshed out political and social relations.

I’ll read the next one, Tinne’s story, and then I’ll see.

Would I recommend this novel? Probably yes.

Would I read this novel again? Yes (as part of series).

Grade: 4- / 5

Recent Reads 2

6 May
  • Sharon Cullars – The Object of Love
  • Robin D. Owens – Heart Quest

Sharon Cullars – The Object of Love

Genre: Romance / Contemporary

I read this novel back in February. I don’t remember much of my thoughts about it which is really a shame because I know I liked it quite a lot. What I remember is:
– the plot
– that I wasn’t bothered by the ghost plot
– that I would have liked a bit more time devoted to Lacey and Sean.
I think I’ll read it again.

Grade: 4 / 5 (via my “I try to keep track of the books I read” notes)

Robin D. Owens – Heart Quest

Genre: Romance / Science fiction (Futuristic)

Robin D. Owens’s Heart-Mate series is similar to J. R. Ward’s Black-Dagger-Brotherhood series in that it features many elements that I’m not too fond of (to put it politely). And yet, like with Ward’s novels (until now? but that’s for another blog post), I keep coming back and somehow I’m no longer as bothered by the not-so-fond-of elements as with the first novel(s). Is it because I’m used to them now, or are they played down or what?
Anyway, I thought the fams in Heart Quest the least intrusive ones in the series so far and the cutesy language nearly didn’t register at all. The suspense plot was okay. It kept the story going and it was a wonderful way to put Ilex’s Flair to good use. I was a bit miffed that this wasn’t the case for Trif’s Flair also. I expected that in looking for a murderer, I strong Flair for seeing the past would come in handy. Or at least that I would learn more about past times in general. But Trif’s Flair didn’t play that prominent a role.
Overall, Heart Quest is a good addition to the Heart-Mate series. I like especially how (IMO) Owens’s writing improves with each part. Different to Ward’s series, I will continue to buy this series because they (still) work for me (as opposed to the anal urge to have the “first six” complete like in Ward’s case).

Grade: 4 / 5

Novels Read – Some Comments

10 Oct

Jessica Bird: The Billionaire Next Door

Genre: Romance / Contemporary

I ordered this because I liked Bird’s A Man in a Million. The Billionaire next Door (now it’s billionaire? *snort*) is a nice read. The heroine, Lizzy, is a nurse and Sean, the hero, is some high-level New York something. It’s a story about trust and the lack of it, and although this premise leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings – and they do happen – they’re not stupid and handled rather well. Plus, Lizzy doesn’t take crap from Sean, tells him what she thinks of his behaviour, and acts accordingly.

Grade: 4 / 5

Meljean Brook: Demon Moon

Genre: Romance / Paranormal

This is a very character-driven story. In terms of action, there’s not much that happens: some creatures discovered a way to escape Chaos and Colin’s the only one who can fix it. And yet, there’s nothing boring or slow about this story. I had fun reading it. The end felt a bit too wrapped up and fast and why is it that every on in this story is super smart?

Grade: 4,5 / 5

Julie Anne Long: The Secret to Seduction

Genre: Romance / Historical

Previously, I read one other novel by Long and what I remember best about it is that I liked her voice and that I thought she showed the falling-in-love part rather well. And these are the things I like best about TSTS also. There are some wonderful parts in there. I know this is the end of a series, and I the other novel I read by Long was not part of it, but I didn’t feel too lost. I found the parts about the sisters a bit annoying/distracting but that’s probably because I didn’t read their stories. At the end, there is something I just couldn’t wrap my head around that it could happen. It involves a newspaper, and even an editor would do such a thing (*snort*), I would doubt the amount of money mentioned here.

Grade: 4,5 / 5

Robin D. Owens: Heart Duel

Genre: Romance / Science fiction (Futuristic)

Robin D. Owens’s “Heart Mate” series features a lot of elements I’m not too crazy about: cutesy names for people and things along with cutesy animals, an abundance of apostrophes, the soul-mate premise, and a writing style that, while it’s not bad, doesn’t really click the way Long’s does, for example. And yet this is the third novel by Owens I read. Why? Well, I like Owens world and I think there is a lot of potential to create conflict because of the strong ties that exist between character and Flair. In Heart Duel we have a hero with a Flair for fighting and a heroine with a Flair for healing. The problem I always have with her novels is that in my eyes Owens’s has yet to realize fully the potential for conflict. It’s all a bit understated. For example, when the hero learns about his heartmate it goes something like this: “lalala heartmate lalalala.” For me, this short scene didn’t convey the emotions I expected after a) suddenly discovering that there is a heartmate for you (thinking your whole life you don’t have one) and b) it’s the daughter of the enemy. It felt anti-climatic and I had to “fill in the blanks” more than I liked. There are other instances where I got the same feeling which often made for a disjointed read. I think a few sentences now and then (“telling” would suffice) would help my over-dramatic and melodramatic little self there. Anyway, I keep buying and waiting and hoping that one day there’s a story that hits all the right notes for me because somehow I like Owens world. This one got better after a slow start.

Grade: 3,5 / 5

Julia Quinn: On the Way to the Wedding

Genre: Romance / Historical

I really enjoyed this story. Starting with the climax was a good way to keep me reading. After all, romance readers know that the hero and the heroine will end up together. So in OTWTTW, there’s not only the question how the hero and the heroine will fall in love but also, what happened that the heroine is about to marry another man at the end of the novel. And all that is delivered with nice characters and a closer look at falling in love at first sight, being in love, and loving someone. In the whirl of all this, the historically incorrect solution didn’t bother me at all. I was pleasantly surprised with this novel.

Grade: 4+ / 5

Karen Rose: I’m Watching You

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Now this is a romantic suspense novel deserving of of both its name. Too often, I find romantic suspense lacking in suspense and/or romance. It’s a combination that’s not easy to get right, at least to keep me interested. But Rose hit nearly all the right notes for me with this one.

Grade: 4 / 5