Heart Dance by Robin D. Owens

Heart Dance

DuFleur Thyme is a scientist who's secretly experimenting with time. She'll allow no distractions from her work-not even from a HeartMate. Meanwhile, Saille T'Willow has sent his HeartGift out into the world in hopes of finding his HeartMate, who, it turns out, is DuFleur. Still, DuFleur wants nothing to do with Saille, especially when she discovers that it was his grandmo...

Title:Heart Dance
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Heart Dance Reviews

  • Katie(babs)

    Heart Dance is the latest in the HeartMates series that for me has become an addiction. In Robin D. Owens' SF/F series, she has created a wonderful alien world of soul mates and a complex society for them to inhabit. Everything in her world has feelings, whether they are housepets or indeed, the house itself. Her latest entry is impressive.

    Dufleur Thyme's father was a scientist whose flair (magic) was time experimentation. She has the same trait as her father, which was outlawed after their hou

    Heart Dance is the latest in the HeartMates series that for me has become an addiction. In Robin D. Owens' SF/F series, she has created a wonderful alien world of soul mates and a complex society for them to inhabit. Everything in her world has feelings, whether they are housepets or indeed, the house itself. Her latest entry is impressive.

    Dufleur Thyme's father was a scientist whose flair (magic) was time experimentation. She has the same trait as her father, which was outlawed after their house exploded, killing her father. Society blamed him; after all, a person's residence is most sacred, and his disregard for his flair, which caused such destruction, is unacceptable. Dufleur and her mother now live with their cousins. She embroiders for money, but in her spare time secretly experiments with time, trying to determine what went wrong. She is bereft - her mother is now cold and bitter - and they barely have any money to survive. She wants to clear her father’s name and be allowed to practice her flair openly, without fear of arrest or exile. After she discovers her father may have been murdered, she decides to investigate in order to learn the culprit's identity - and why he committed the murder.

    Saille T’ Willow is Dufleur’s heartmate and a matchmaker. Saille was banished to another estate when he was younger by his MotherDam (his grandmother), a very powerful matchmaker for her time. His MotherDam is now in a coma from a debilitating disease and he returns to take his rightful place as the Willow heir and to help others find their heartmates. Salle’s grandmother never revealed his heartmate; she is heartless and wanted him to suffer for really no reason at all. She is one of the most heinous villains I've read in ages, and since she's in a coma throughout the story, that's saying something. Her past actions continue to cause Saille considerable pain as he discovers the lengths she went to in destorying other people's lives and he prays that she doesn’t awaken from her coma to cause even more heartache and despair. The one joy Saille has is that he now knows who his heartmate is and will try everything to convince Dufleur to accept him.

    This story is rich both in in character detail and description of this alien world, with particular focus on the importance of a heartmate in marriage and relationships. Past world-building and the previous introduction of characters makes this one impossible to read on its own. And this word of warning pertains to the entire series: There is a constant presence of household pets called Fams. These are usually cats that can talk telepathically with their owners. If you are not a cat fan - or familiars - you may find yourself bored with their interactions. I find the Fam animals adorable and appreciate their rightful place in the story. They simply bring comic relief during times that would otherwise have depressed me.

    The path to true love is never easy, and Dufleur and Saille are perfect proof of this. Even though Dufleur knows she has a heartmate, she feels she can not have him because of her dedication to her work, and the situation involving her father’s death. Saille was so damaged by his MotherDam and her selfishness that he isn't sure he will ever find happiness and fix the wrongs that have been done to him, his own mother, and those innocent victims - which even include Dufleur.

    I wholeheartedly recommend this wonderful journey into a fantasy world of magic, love, and yes, even those telepathic animals that will have you laughing.

  • Cindy

    Rereading...

    Heart Dance is book 6 in the Celtan Heart Mates series. The hero is a great lord, only recently become the head of his family. He finds that his grandmother [who hated him and seemingly men in general:] has hidden his heartmate from him. In the last book, he sends his heart gift out into the city, hoping she will be attracted. With the help of her fam, she finally receives it but has no real interest in a relationship - not because she isn't attracted but because she is hiding a very

    Rereading...

    Heart Dance is book 6 in the Celtan Heart Mates series. The hero is a great lord, only recently become the head of his family. He finds that his grandmother [who hated him and seemingly men in general:] has hidden his heartmate from him. In the last book, he sends his heart gift out into the city, hoping she will be attracted. With the help of her fam, she finally receives it but has no real interest in a relationship - not because she isn't attracted but because she is hiding a very dark secret of her own; she is experimenting with time which is forbidden.

    This pair have several strikes against them - his grandmother ruined her father and got experimentation banned, her world view has been tainted by an extremely dysfunctional family, and to prove the success of her time experiments she will have to heal his grandmother [currently in cryogenic suspension on the ship:] which will damage him and his family both internally and externally through scandal. The two slowly come to terms with each other, their families, and their expectations. I liked the resolution.

    One of the strengths of Robin Owens' writing is her believable world-building. She has crafted a fascinating, self-consistent world that she draws the reader into - background information always appears when needed and is never presented out of context. The characters have depth and you see their world, and their stories through their eyes.

    Do not read the series out of order...

    Celta Heart Mates series

    1. Heart Mate (2001)

    2. Heart Thief (2003)

    3. Heart Duel (2004)

    4. Heart Choice (2005)

    5. Heart Quest (2006)

    6. Heart Dance (2007)

    7. Heart Fate (2008)

    8. Heart Change (2009)

  • namericanwordcat

    I just did a reread of this book---I have read it more than 4 times.

    I love the world of Celta. This book is a treasure of a heroine who everyone thinks of as plain but who is a great power. I love that she isn't always likable but so loyal.

    The hero is wonderful as he wants his love. His pursuit is lovely.

    There is so much healing an finding of value in Robin Owen's work which is balanced with the charm of talking cats and really moving love stories.

    A great book especially if you love a best her

    I just did a reread of this book---I have read it more than 4 times.

    I love the world of Celta. This book is a treasure of a heroine who everyone thinks of as plain but who is a great power. I love that she isn't always likable but so loyal.

    The hero is wonderful as he wants his love. His pursuit is lovely.

    There is so much healing an finding of value in Robin Owen's work which is balanced with the charm of talking cats and really moving love stories.

    A great book especially if you love a best hero with a will of iron.

  • Aurian Booklover

    DuFleur Thyme and her mother are living with their cousin D’Winterberry since her father blew up their Residence while experimenting with time. As D’Winterberry’s sons are estranged from their mother, D’Thyme is named as D’Winterberry Heir. DuFleur also has a strong Flair for working with time, and her secondary Flair is embroidery. So she works at a shop, and embroiders items. But her mother and aunt have different plans for her. They have contacted D’Holly to sponsor a Season for her, so she c

    DuFleur Thyme and her mother are living with their cousin D’Winterberry since her father blew up their Residence while experimenting with time. As D’Winterberry’s sons are estranged from their mother, D’Thyme is named as D’Winterberry Heir. DuFleur also has a strong Flair for working with time, and her secondary Flair is embroidery. So she works at a shop, and embroiders items. But her mother and aunt have different plans for her. They have contacted D’Holly to sponsor a Season for her, so she can find a husband, preferable a rich and titled Lord who can keep them all in good style. DuFleur really is not interested in all of that, but she has no choice, and has to allow D’Holly to buy some gowns and accessories for her. Even jewellery from T’Ash. But T’Ash has an other solution, he wants her to repair some no-time vaults that have stopped working, and in exchange for that service, she can have her pick of his jewellery both for her self and for her FamCat FairyFoot.

    She really can’t work anymore at the shop, as the Season will cost her a lot of time and energy, but D’Holly has a solution for that as well: her embroidery is so beautiful, so three dimensional, it is art. And as her own father, T’Apple is the premier artist in Celta, she knows what she is saying. And so DuFleur gets her work exposed in the gallery owned by T’Apple and his son, AppleHeir. She is overwhelmed, she never knew her work would be considered art and bring in so much money. Now she can pay for everything she needs for the Season herself, and she can buy some more equipment for her secret laboratory. DuFleur is determined to clear her father’s name and get the ban on experiments with time lifted.

    DuFleur’s HeartMate has other ideas. He knows who she is now, and is determined to woo her, and get her. In his life, in his heart and in his bed. He doesn’t really care for her Flair for time, as he doesn’t understand it, and thinks it is dangerous. He has just gotten his title of T’Willow a few months ago, when the previous D’Willow got to sick to function as head of the house anymore. But instead of dying, his MotherDam (grandmother) made an arrangement with the Ship: she is in cryogenics until a cure is found for her illness. But she was losing her Flair for longer, and has made some very bad matches. The Willow Flair is in matchmaking, finding HeartMates and normal marriages, suitable mates. If this would come out, the Willow reputation would be irreparably damaged. So T’Willow does his best to find out the status with those marriages, and if he can still rescue them. Like the one between Tinne Holly and his wife Genista. Theirs is shaky at the moment.

    T’Willow really wants his HeartMate, but he vowed not to pressure her. He will let fate take its course, and perhaps the circumstances will put them together sooner. His MotherDam really hated his guts when it became clear he would be her Heir, as his Flair was the strongest in centuries. After all the female Heads of the Willow House, there would be a male one. So she banished him to the country, and forbade him to use his Flair. But now he has come home, and he will stay T’Willow, no matter what happens with his MotherDam. The House and the household are happy with him, as D’Willow was a manipulative and harsh mistress, hiding the HeartMates of her own family from them.

    It was lovely to find out more about the previous heroes and heroines, and to just go on with the story. There is not so much time between book 5 and this one, as there is between the first 5 novels. A lot happens, good and bad, and as DuFleur was one of the surviving victims in the previous book, the effects of that have great impact on her life now.

    I liked DuFleur, she dedicated her time to clearing her father’s name, as his Flair is hers as well, and even greater. She loves her mother, even though there is little to love in the woman. For that reason she won’t take the title of D’Thyme from her. In the end the mother really did surprise me though. DuFleur really didn’t want a season, or find a husband. A husband, let alone a HeartMate, would never approve of her experiments with time, and too many obligations would befall her. She wanted to stay alone, as she has been her whole live.

    The part with the HouseHeart of Thyme is really lovely.

    But I did not really care for T’Willow, he demands too much after all, and doesn’t want to understand her. And when she doesn’t accept the HeartBond fast enough, he draws back from her, resenting her secret, but also not sharing his own with her.

    Still, another great instalment in this series, which will be forever on my shelves. Some nice lovescenes, but the book also made me cry and smile. DuFleur’s Fam is a selfish cat, but T’Willow’s Fam is a great character. Ofcourse Winterberry and his FamFox have a part in this book as well, which I liked a lot.

    9 stars.

    Full review on my blog,

  • Emilye

    I love this series! That being said, this is my favorite Celta story, seconded by Heart Mate (Celta #1). We were introduced to Dufleur Thyme and Saille T'Willow in Heart Quest as secondary characters; that story covered the courtship of Ilex Winterberry (the constable to the first families and Dufleur's cousin) and Trif Clover. "Flair" is what the Celtans call their Psychic abilities, and their society was constructed along support and encouragement of these abilities. Flair is wondrously divers

    I love this series! That being said, this is my favorite Celta story, seconded by Heart Mate (Celta #1). We were introduced to Dufleur Thyme and Saille T'Willow in Heart Quest as secondary characters; that story covered the courtship of Ilex Winterberry (the constable to the first families and Dufleur's cousin) and Trif Clover. "Flair" is what the Celtans call their Psychic abilities, and their society was constructed along support and encouragement of these abilities. Flair is wondrously diverse and seeing what Robin has envisioned is a good part of the fun of this series, IMO.

    Heart Dance stayed focused on Dufleur and Saille and we really got to see how heartmate flair can be complementary. The obstacles they face are deeply personal and both characters grow believably. This is a variation on the Ugly Duckling theme, with a deep vein of science fiction thrown in, for Dufleur's family flair is Time Manipulation - the hot and cold food storage system of "No-Time Safes" were developed by her ancestors. But her immediate family has fallen into disrepute and Dufleur cannot legally practice her primary Flair. If she is caught experimenting with Time, she would be banished from her home.

    Saille is the first male matchmaker in his family in several generations, and his grandmother was a power hungry despot who had banished him to a lesser estate, denying his gift and decrying his abilities. She also prevented members of her household from making heartmate matches, so there is a lot at stake for Saille T'Willow as head of house.

    Dufleur wants to clear her father's name and reinstate the family by reversing the ravages of a disease through time manipulation - and the best way to do this is to heal Saille's grandmother, who is in cryogenic sleep for just such an eventuality. But her return could displace Saille as head of house...deeply personal stakes, indeed. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I'll stop there, but it is worth the read!

  • Tamye Whitener

    Great book.

  • Leia

    Honestly I don't think I'm going to finish this one. I'm about half finished and about the only thing I've enjoyed about it was the brief cameos of couples from previous books. All of the new characters are just plain unlikeable people, the main couple are very very poorly matched, and even the psychic cat-- normally the highlight of the series for me-- is so inconsistent and unlikeable that I can't find any reason to care.

    Dufleur, the leading lady, is inconsistently written, professing a compl

    Honestly I don't think I'm going to finish this one. I'm about half finished and about the only thing I've enjoyed about it was the brief cameos of couples from previous books. All of the new characters are just plain unlikeable people, the main couple are very very poorly matched, and even the psychic cat-- normally the highlight of the series for me-- is so inconsistent and unlikeable that I can't find any reason to care.

    Dufleur, the leading lady, is inconsistently written, professing a complete lack of interest in romance and very little interest in sex one minute and then being so in love with Saille, her counterpart, the next. I probably would have liked Dufleur as a character if this story wasn't written as a romance, but seeing her character constantly flipflop is frustrating at best and nauseating at worst.

    It certainly doesn't help that Saille's entire plotline seems to be about how much he hates women. Oh certainly he seems to like Dufleur (or at least have a raging boner for her, since he certainly doesn't seem to like much about the traits that are basic tenets of who she is as a person) but pretty much every time she's not in the room, he's angsting about how his family has been ruled by women for generations. He has to constantly mention how all his relatives are female, how he has to change his sentient house's voice to a masculine one because he couldn't bear to listen to the feminine voice his grandmother, the previous family matriarch, had programmed it with, how he was hated by his grandmother simply because he was male. This makes him a really unpleasant love interest.

    These two seem to have no reason to be together other than the biological imperative of being Heart Mates and it's just...not remotely compelling.

    I'm more than halfway through the book and there's no real plot thus far; what plot there is-- concerning Dufleur's mother trying to prove her worth as WinterberryHeir and Dufleur's quest to make time experimentation legal-- is only hindered by the stubborn insistence that we're supposed to want these two to get together.

    Pros: the subplots outside of the romance seem like they'd be more interesting if they were given the attention they deserve

    Cons: everyone is unlikeable

  • Harryo

    I'm rereading this book for the second time. It's one of Robin Owens worst in the series because it's so poorly edited and the story is told in such a rushed manner it feels patched together. In one scene Saille announces he's been invited to Dufleur's bedroom for the night but after four rereads of the previous pages I still couldn't find when the invitation took place. There are a lot of non sequiturs and a ton of useless repetitions that would have been removed if the author had done a good f

    I'm rereading this book for the second time. It's one of Robin Owens worst in the series because it's so poorly edited and the story is told in such a rushed manner it feels patched together. In one scene Saille announces he's been invited to Dufleur's bedroom for the night but after four rereads of the previous pages I still couldn't find when the invitation took place. There are a lot of non sequiturs and a ton of useless repetitions that would have been removed if the author had done a good final edit. Also, nothing in any of the character's dialogues distinguish them. Character is beautifully illuminated in dialogue, yet I didn't find a single example of dialogue being used in this book for anything other than moving the plot forward. Sometimes I wonder if the author just didn't care about this book, or rather maybe she only cared about her cool brain child of a character with "time" magic. She gave so little attention to their personalities that having read it twice I still have no idea what Saille and Dufleur look like apart from both having good smiles (which we were told).

    One thing this book does well is treat the phenomenon of sentient residences with novelty and care. The scene in which Dufleur finds and rescues the Thyme househeart is sublimely soft and gooey. This sensitivity is echoed with the relationships between the Winterberrys and their residence and the Willows and theirs. A very novel idea and beautifully rendered.

    A recurring theme in robin Owens "Celta" romances is the idea that personal growth is essential before heartmates can truly join together.

    My very privileged real world is full of people who have time and money to workshop the hell out of their traumas and undergo years and years of psychotherapy for their sadnesses and anxieties. And still I see people walking around with colossal rifts in their auras and scabs all over their psyches. The idea that through ritual and internal healing and work and truthfulness Celtans can magically arrive at a clearer sense of self and be more supportive mates to their partners is quite magical. In this, Heart Dance is successful, even if the romance part of the book is forced.

    And for that I'll keep returning to her books. Long may Celta remain.

  • Sara jacobs

    loved it!

  • Mellanie C

    I felt like Saille and Dufleur went from fighting to being happy quite abruptly, but I liked their story and it made me want to reread the next book in the series. I've been doing a reread anyway, so that's not a problem.


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