Heart Choice by Robin D. Owens

Heart Choice

With her mystical Celta novels, RITA Award -- winning author Robin D. Owens built a world where psychic talents thrive and desires flourish. Now, she returns with a tale of heart, healing, and the meaning of family...Due to a genetic disorder, Straif Blackthorn is the last of his line. Determined to rebuild his heritage and protect future generations of Blackthorns from th...

Title:Heart Choice
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Edition Language:English

Heart Choice Reviews

  • Holly

    I'm really enjoying catching up with this series. I think the conflict in this book was one of the better of the series so far. I really wasn't sure how they would resolve the main issue between them.

    I really liked both Straif and Michella. Their romance was well written and the issues they were dealing with were real and heartbreaking.

    I did not like Straif's Fam. Which is unfortunate because I've really enjoyed all the previous ones.

  • Cindy

    Rereading...

    Heart Choice is book 4 in the Celtan Heart Mates series. The hero and heroine are very likable - but the conflict between them is irreconcilable. He wants a family more than anything - but only thinks of his own blood children, despite a genetic flaw which destroyed every member of his family when he was seventeen. She would love a family but is sterile due to a childhood illness. They might have overcome the differences in class and ability but she knows that anything between them i

    Rereading...

    Heart Choice is book 4 in the Celtan Heart Mates series. The hero and heroine are very likable - but the conflict between them is irreconcilable. He wants a family more than anything - but only thinks of his own blood children, despite a genetic flaw which destroyed every member of his family when he was seventeen. She would love a family but is sterile due to a childhood illness. They might have overcome the differences in class and ability but she knows that anything between them is doomed by her sterility.

    Other plot lines are threaded through the romance: a challenge to Straif's standing, the renovation of his Residence, and the politics and manipulation of alliances. Straif's fam was not very likable [although her snits were occassionally amusing:] she's the Paris Hilton of the feline fams...

    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)

  • TINNGG

    Poor Straif; his entire family was wiped out by a plot hole. Just went downhill from there. Must find cure for plot hole, must pass on his genes, must restore Residence to a semblance of livability, must find heart mate. Oh wait; heart mate is right under his nose and she's STERILE. Aaannnd we have another plot hole - a ship with mostly forgotten technology apparently has forgotten 20th century cloning, gene splicing, etc. Riiiight.

    We've cloned sheep, several horses, we've spliced glowing someth

    Poor Straif; his entire family was wiped out by a plot hole. Just went downhill from there. Must find cure for plot hole, must pass on his genes, must restore Residence to a semblance of livability, must find heart mate. Oh wait; heart mate is right under his nose and she's STERILE. Aaannnd we have another plot hole - a ship with mostly forgotten technology apparently has forgotten 20th century cloning, gene splicing, etc. Riiiight.

    We've cloned sheep, several horses, we've spliced glowing something or other from unrelated species into an albino zebra danio (fish) to create the somewhat infamous glow-fish. But we can't possibly use our heroine's DNA to create a baby. Wow.

    And what's with all these heroes with anger management issues? Red haze of anger?! What are they - vampires?

  • Hess

    I liked this couple although I found Mitchella a bit cloying...still I give her props for walking away and being a survivor. Drina was the most annoying Fam ever....I really enjoyed this one

  • Cecilia Quick

    I enjoyed this book, although I thought it was about 50 pages too long. It became a bit repetitive, and I didn't need to read about the heroine, Mitchella'a, ideas for decorating each and every room. That got dull. I'm only so-so interested in that subject even when it's my own house. I liked that the central conflict-he wanted children of his own, she was sterile-was a difficult, real issue; it was one that would be hard for the parties in the real world. There was some good humor throughout th

    I enjoyed this book, although I thought it was about 50 pages too long. It became a bit repetitive, and I didn't need to read about the heroine, Mitchella'a, ideas for decorating each and every room. That got dull. I'm only so-so interested in that subject even when it's my own house. I liked that the central conflict-he wanted children of his own, she was sterile-was a difficult, real issue; it was one that would be hard for the parties in the real world. There was some good humor throughout the book. And the conclusion was very satisfying. I thought the Fam was hilarious; I would have liked for the heroine to be more bemused by the cat than annoyed, because for all the kitty's selfishness, there was no harm to her and she was loyal and helpful to her Man. I really liked it that the author has a fully realized world in Celta, and I liked it that characters from other books popped up. I also liked that the challenger to the estate had a legitimate gripe, and I liked the whole subplot where the house was sentient and a second house was beginning to become sentient. That was unique and clever. Two nits: the villain was too tangential to the story; and there should be a chart or tree or appendix for the characters, since there's so much cross over between the books. But none of the nits deterred from my enjoyment of the book. I will read more from this author.

  • Kerry

    This has been sitting on my TBR shelf for ages and I have no idea why as I've liked all the other books in the series. The next one comes out in a few weeks, so it seemed like a good time to get into gear and read this one.

    I'm glad I did. I like Celta and it's people and it was good to visit again. This novel isn't so much about the romance between Straif and Mitchella as it is about facing one's demons and discovering if love can overcome obsession or feed it.

    Mitchella has already worked throug

    This has been sitting on my TBR shelf for ages and I have no idea why as I've liked all the other books in the series. The next one comes out in a few weeks, so it seemed like a good time to get into gear and read this one.

    I'm glad I did. I like Celta and it's people and it was good to visit again. This novel isn't so much about the romance between Straif and Mitchella as it is about facing one's demons and discovering if love can overcome obsession or feed it.

    Mitchella has already worked through her demons before the book begins - this one is about Straif as he deals with the loss of his family years ago and very slowly begins to learn that familes are built from love as much as if not more than blood.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this and I'm glad there will be another one soon.

    [Copied across from Library Thing; 17 October 2012]

  • Aurian Booklover

    After losing his whole family to a Celtan disease, Straif T’Blackthorne is the only one of his line left. He was only 17 at the time, and the only reason he survived was because he was going trough his second Passage, and his dying parents send their last strength his way. He has felt guilty all his life, and has scoured the planet for a cure. But to no avail. He has been back to Druida back from time to time, and has visited his mothers relatives, the Hollies. Both Tinne and Holm are good frien

    After losing his whole family to a Celtan disease, Straif T’Blackthorne is the only one of his line left. He was only 17 at the time, and the only reason he survived was because he was going trough his second Passage, and his dying parents send their last strength his way. He has felt guilty all his life, and has scoured the planet for a cure. But to no avail. He has been back to Druida back from time to time, and has visited his mothers relatives, the Hollies. Both Tinne and Holm are good friends of his.

    But now he has come back home to stay, and has to put the Blackthorne residence back to its former luster. He has neglected it sadly, as he just couldn’t deal with the memories. So on advice of his new FamCat Drina, he asks Mitchella Clover to re-decorate his Residence. Mitchella is very pleased with the assignment, especially because she really needs the job, and it is no-expense barred. So she and her foster son Antenn Moss will be spending a lot of time at Blackthorne Residence. Antenn has Flair for architecture, so he can certainly help out. But unfortunately, Antenn soon notices the great attraction between Mitchella en Straif, and he dislikes it. It will only get Mitchella hurt. Straif will never marry her if he finds out she is barren due to a childhood disease, and he needs to build his family back up. Besides, Straif has a HeartMate.

    Straif is not really ready for all of this, the memories of his parents and his little sister are hurtful, but Mitchella expertly deals with it, redecorating the rooms so no memories linger. The House is also glad Straif is back, and is setting it to rights.

    But perhaps Straif has come home to late, there is a cousin who challenges his right to be T’Blackthorne. And as a result of that challenge, Mitchella and Straif have to work around the clock to get the House back in shape, and with a minimal budget, as his family funds have been frozen until after the Councils decision. The help of a lot of other Nobles is required in a Healing Ritual for the House and Grounds, sending their Flair and goodwill. Even the very pregnant SupremeJudge Ailim Elder has come, without her husband.

    And then there is someone trying to kill Mitchella. Is it the secret Blackthorne? Trying to stop the renovation? Or is it someone else altogether? Straif keeps searching for a clue to his family genetic fault, and finally he asks for help from the space ship and its Captain, Ruis Elder. But is he willing to pay the prize for the cure?

    GreatLord Vinnie T’Vine becomes friends with Antenn and the other Clover boys. His guardians are raising him very strictly, but due to his great Flair he manages to escape them every now and then.

    After rejecting their son Holm’s HeartMate, and disowning him, making Tinne the new HollyHeir, things are not going well for T’Holly and D’Holly. They had vowed upon their Honor to welcome their son’s HeartMate. So when they break that vow, ill health and unhappiness settles upon their House. In the meanwhile, Lark and Holm have made a new life for themselves in Gael City. But T’Holly is to stubborn to admit he was wrong, and to bring his son back into the Holly Family. His mother’s Family has “adopted” him, so his last name is now Apple. He would have preferred a more masculine name, but he can’t afford to alienate those relatives as well. But even though they live far away, he stays a good friend to Straif, like T’Ash.

    I have met Mitchella Clover in the previous books, and liked her. Best friend to Danith D’Ash, I liked how she stood up for her. And now it is her own story. And I loved it.

    Mitchella can’t have children and for a member of the only children rich family on Celta, that is a hard fate. She has grieved, and accepted it, and in Antenn she has found the son of her heart. They are very close. And now Straif barges into their lives. After her own house is burned to the ground, she and Antenn move into Blackthorne Residence. Which makes working there easier, but also flares the attraction between Mitchella and Straif, and Mitchella doesn’t really want to deny it. She knows it is only an affair, he will need to find his HeartMate eventually, and she accepts that. For now, she will love Straif and take whatever passion and love he can give back.

    And Straif. Well. Sigh. He has been through a lot in his life, but now he wants it all. He will fight for his title, and his Family Residence. But he dreams of his own Family and children, and when he finally finds out, Mitchella can’t give them to him, he doesn’t know what to do. Yes, he wants her, but he wants his own bloodline more. Typical stubborn man, who cannot look past his own nose.

    When Straif and Mitchella are together, things are great between them. They really fit. The passion between them flares, and their lovescenes are great. I loved the part where Antenn finally accepts Straif into their lives, after their adventure.

    Mitchella is the strong one in this book, this relationship, and I really admire her.

    The parts with all the FamAnimals are great, and Drina is such a dislikable creature. Very selfish and demanding, unlike the other kittens and cats I have met. But Straif loves the little half Siamese cat, and gives in a lot. And there is a FamFox, who attaches itself to Winterberry.

    I just love this series. The writing style, the characters, the worldbuilding, the stories, everything.

    9,5 stars.

    Full review on my blog,

  • Leia

    This book is where some of the major faults of the series start to bog the reader down-- the core struggle in the romance is based largely in the whole "being infertile is the worst thing that could ever happen to a woman" deal. It's a tired trope and it's frustrating that Mitchella, who is a really fun character, got bogged down with this albatross of a plot device.

    Straif isn't particularly interesting, back to the old "big, tough, alpha male" type...and after Ruis and Holm, it's not all that

    This book is where some of the major faults of the series start to bog the reader down-- the core struggle in the romance is based largely in the whole "being infertile is the worst thing that could ever happen to a woman" deal. It's a tired trope and it's frustrating that Mitchella, who is a really fun character, got bogged down with this albatross of a plot device.

    Straif isn't particularly interesting, back to the old "big, tough, alpha male" type...and after Ruis and Holm, it's not all that fun of a transition. His obsession with blood lineage is just...trying. He's undeserving of his leading lady and takes a really long time to get his head out of his ass. (Also in later books he spends a ton of time outside the city and leaves Mitchella alone...what's up with that nonsense? Why wouldn't he take her with him or, I dunno, spend more time with his residence, like the FirstFamilies Council told him to do?)

    Mitchella is the shining star of the book; she's vivacious and fun and her love of her adopted son, Antenn, is really nice. She has a really strong identity outside of her relationship with Straif and that's something I appreciate a lot.

    The psychic cat of the book, Drina, would have been a lot more fun if the book wasn't constantly reminding you that she's a female cat and that's why she's vain, capricious, and likes shopping. The embedded misogyny of the whole thing just gets so wearying. Vanity and capriciousness are traits already associated with felines, so why does Straif have to point out that Drina is a female cat every other interaction when we could have just as well went: she's a cat, of course she's going to be vain and capricious, that's how cats are sometimes.

    Pros: Mitchella and Antenn are fun characters, leading lady isn't defined by her special snowflake magic powers but instead by her own craft

    Cons: internalized misogyny of the series is especially strong in this installment of the series, falls prey to the "infertility is the worst punishment for a woman" trope, leading man is mildly unpleasant, the normally fun part with psychic cats is bogged down with more misogyny

  • Jess Mahler

    A good light read. Brain candy for when you want something fun, a little bit silly, with the predictable happy ending. I could do with a little less emphasis on romantic love as the end-all be-all of life, but as an adoptee I love the exploration of family-by-choice in contrast with family-by-blood.

    And the cats, as always, are just fun.

  • Gowri

    Straif finally learns the meaning of life


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