"Heart Duel is a book with amazing 'flair'!"

Heart Duel is a book that walks a similar plot line to that of Romeo and Juliet. But in this case our characters are Lark Hawthorn Collinson and Holm Holly. And each of their respective families has always been at odds with the other and now they have entered into battle over land. Lark's father T'Hawthorn seeks to reclaim that land completely, from the Holly family and is prepared to kill for it.

As a FirstLevel healer Lark has seen her share of battles and does not embrace her families commitment to kill to get what they believe to be theirs. As it is, she lost her first husband, who was also a FirstLevel healer that was caught between two nobles fighting. However the Holly family prides themselves and their honor on the ability to not turn away from a fight but to set high standards on when, who, and how they will fight during a battle. IE: no women or young children.

It is during one such healing session where Lark is helping Holm's brother Tinne that he realizes Lark is his HeartMate. He is amazed that he has discovered this so late in his life but comes to realize that he had to grow enough to become worthy of her. His long trek back with his brother in the previous book, Heart Thief, helped to elevate him to such status and signal his HeartMate. The problem is Lark wants nothing to do with him or anything connected to violence and death.

So begins a more personal battle for an impatient Holm as he must win the love of his HeartMate and convince her without telling her straight out that they are meant to be together. For should he share that she is his HeartMate the repercussions would be grave by the standards of Celtan Law.

Where her flair is as a FirstLevel Healer, Holm's flair is in duels and fighting. How can such dichotomies in flair, bridge the chasm of love? Can the impatient Holm Holly heir manage to control himself enough so as not to reveal that he and Lark are HeartMates? Can Lark allow someone who embraces fighting into her world when she is a healer? Will the families accept these two as HeartMates? The pull to complete the HeartMate process is strong. Are Holm and Lark willing to pay the price for it?

And of course, no Robin D. Owens book is complete without her wonderful FamCharacters! Again we get to enjoy all sorts of FamCats and kittens. As these little fur balls of love help make a rough ride for both Holm and Lark a little easier to bear.

Heart Duel is a wonderful read with deep emotional ties to family that generates much turmoil and inner strife. And the determination Holm shows in reaching for his HeartMate is wonderful and exciting. I believe this book can stand alone as a read, but I would recommend you read the first two in the series, HeartMate and Heart Thief, because the characters come back in this book and definitely participate in the story. Ms. Owens', Heart Duel is a wonderful and 'HeartTouching' read!

Reviewed by Mindy Lobaugh
Posted April 20, 2004


Healer Lark Collinson hates the street dueling that is a way of life among the noble families on Celta—it was just such a skirmish that killed her Healer husband and left her a grieving widow. The last thing she wants is to love a man to whom fighting is a way of life—a man like the brashly confident Holm Holly.

All it takes is one brief touch for Holm to know that Lark is his HeartMate, though wooing her will be his greatest challenge. For not only does she despise everything he represents, but the long-standing feud between their families has exploded into even greater violence. Their destiny has been revealed...but at what cost to their own hearts?

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Heart Duel
(Celta series: Book 3)
by Robin D. Owens

Berkley Pub Group (Sensation)
April 1, 2004
Available: April 6, 2004
ISBN #0425196585
EAN #9780425196588
352 pages
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Other Books by
Robin D. Owens

Enchanted Again
Enchanted No More
Heart Journey
Heart Change
Echoes in the Dark
Heart Fate
Keepers of the Flame
Heart Dance
Protector of the Flight
Heart Quest
What Dreams May Come
Sorceress Of Faith
What Dreams May Come
Heart Choice
Guardian of Honor
Heart Thief

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