“Tinne Holly’s marriage of convenience has failed. His wife Genista cannot get over the loss of their child and has asked for a divorce. Although divorce is unheard of among FirstFamilies the marriage is so irreparably broken that, after tests on both of them, her petition is granted. Tinne’s emotional pain is multiplied by the fact that the scandal will adversely affect his already scandal ridden family and that his only other chance for love, a bond with his Heartmate, is out of the question. She had married another as well. There would be no love, no children for the Holly SecondSon. His future looked bleak indeed.
Forced into a loveless marriage as a child to a wealthy, abusive, older man, Lahsin (Burdock) D’Yew is now seventeen and on the verge of her Second Passage when her flair would fully emerge. She would now be considered legally to be an adult. Unlike Tinne she was not completely bound to her marriage. The law stated that once the Passage had begun she would no longer have to endure the underage marriage if she chose not to. It was now or never if she was to escape her intolerable situation. She could not return home to the family that had been responsible for her fate, nor did she wish to. She could not remain in Druida City either for anyone who discovered her there would surely they would only return her to T’Yew.
She manages to escape the Yew Residence in spite of its attempts to stop her, using what flair she already possessed and flees with the intention of heading north to Alfriston where those in pursuit would be least likely to look for her. It is winter and she does not get that far but seeking sanctuary, Lashin stumbles upon a hidden garden the lost BalmHeal FirstGrove in the Northeast corner of Druida City. The spellshield on the garden allowed entrance to only those in desperate need of healing.
Tinne too is in desperate need of healing. He learns of Lahsin’s disappearance through the newssheets. Two broken FirstFamily marriages! He knows she must feel as lost and alone as he. His heart is too tender to love again and he feels certain Lahsin would not want to remarry either after what she’s been through, but he can offer her friendship and help her through her Second Passage. He seeks her out and the garden accepts him as well.
Lahsin is cautious due to the abuse she’s suffered and he does not stay there, but only comes to visit with her at night. He could be her friend, teach her to defend herself, teach her to trust, help her through Passage. It would be enough. Wouldn’t it? She was eligible to marry again. That thought brought fear to his heart. They had grown close. Unlike with Genista, when Lahsin finally walked away from him there would be no picking up the pieces. Love had found him again, wholly unbidden.
He had been prohibited by law to tell her that he was her HeartMate, so he had given her back her dignity, taught her to stand up for herself and given her something she’d never expected, joy in lovemaking. She had heard his encouragement during the final fugue of her Passage, along with that of her HeartMate. She didn’t want a HeartMate, she wanted Tinne. Yet she knew that they would inevitably part. What would she do when she learned the truth?
The sadistic T’Yew has not given up on trying to recover Lahsin. He has offered a hefty reward and is not above manipulating the one person she’s trusted her entire life to get her back. Would Tinne’s training and her newly strengthened Flair be enough to allow her to determine her own fate?
This is a story about love and healing. There are others who find healing along with Tinne and Lahsin. A wounded feral dog finds a Fam in the girl who comes to him as emotionally crippled as his mangled leg and a crotchety long-abandoned Residence secures a promise that it will never be left alone and untended again. A touch of humor is added by Tinne’s FamCat Ilexa who has returned to him following the lifting of the Holly family curse and the Turquoise House or TQ, the young Residence which Tinne has taken as his own temporary refuge. Like Lahsin, TQ is just beginning to come into its own and there are some poignant moments as the house is finding its own voice and developing its character. Tinne too must come to terms with himself as a man, find his own identity within his concerned but loving family.
Owens never disappoints. As with all of the Celta HeartMate tales the reader gets
exactly what they expect and desire. After many trials and tribulations the star-crossed lovers get their happily ever after and those who stand in their way get what’s coming to them. Heart Fate is a delightful coming of age tale, rife with suspense and wholly relatable. Another excellent tale in a fine futuristic-fantasy series. ~ Reviewed for PNR Reviews”