Reviewed By Tori
Jace Bayrum has always been a loner. Concerned more with getting an adrenaline fix and making money to live on his own, Jace cares little for family ties or matters of the heart. On the other hand Glyssa Licorice, Jace’s former fling and true mate, is both loving and loyal. She is determined to track down her HeartMate and have him claim her.
After hearing that Jace has been involved in an accident, Glyssa sets out to find him, departing for the excavation site of the lost starship Lugh’s Spear. Though her goal is to help Jace and finesse him into recognizing her as his mate, the excavation itself draws her in…
Thrust by fate into working side-by-side, Jace and Glyssa’s electric connection from years before sparks once more. She intrigues him, and Jace begins to realize that a HeartMate can make a difference. And one as magnetic as Glyssa could be exactly what he has been searching for… (Goodreads)
Our story begins with the excavation of the Lugh’s Spear. An airship that was lost when the first colonist arrived on the planet. Jace Bayrum, a non nobleman, is working with the Raz and Del T’Elecampanes to excavate, catalog the discoveries, and share in the wealth. A loner and a bit of a player, his family history ensures that a heartmate is most definitely unwanted.
Glyssa Licorice is a second level librarian. Also a bit of a loner, she has lived her life sequestered in town and at her family’s public library. Having had an affair with Jace years ago, she knows he is her HeartMate but choose to let him go. She wants him to acknowledge their bond and come to her on his own. When Jace is hurt in an accident on the job, Glyssa feels it and decides the time has come to connect with her errant lover. She uses her connections to obtain a position on the site. She wants to use the excavation to help her achieve first librarian status by recording the historic event and maneuver Jace into accepting her as his HeartMate.
When Gyssa arrives, she is dismayed to find Jace remembers her but doesn’t want a HeartMate. He refuses to commit to her and soon they find themselves in a sexual relationship that only serves to further drive them apart. When Jace once again finds himself in a precarious position, he realizes that the only person he wants by his side is no longer there.
I’ve been a fan of Ms. Owens’s Celta’s HeartMates series since the beginning. A comfortable well written fantasy that brings to life a colony of settlers from Earth. Offering an intense and intriguing romance between two strong willed protagonists, usually intertwined with a subplot of suspense. I say usually because this particular installment failed on every level for me. Like the last two installments, this one started out with edgier storyline but the execution and development (both in story and character) stalls in the beginning and never recovers.
The protagonists are lackluster and boring. Both are loners and want their destinies to play out on their own terms therefore becoming angry when they each don’t act the way the other expects or wants. Our hero flat out rejects the heroine’s declarations of love but has no problem sleeping with her nor she with him. In fact, the heroine chooses to continue to have relations with him in hopes it will bind him to her. Nice. She continually talks of forcing him to bond with her (which she can do legally) but then slips her halo back on to reassure us she would never do that. Uh huh. The heroine pushes and prods the hero, not understanding why he doesn’t feel the same way she does. While this could have been an exciting battle of the wills, the conflict in reality is subpar. There is no chemistry between them. No romantic sparks. Their emotions are shallow, the complaints repetitive, and we never get to the meat of their issues till almost the very end of the story. They had a four day sexathon in which Glyssa knew Jace was her HeartMate but Jace firmly blocks that aspect of his heart. When Glyssa arrives at the excavation site, she is dismayed and shocked he doesn’t want to have a relationship with her. Never mind they haven’t seen each other in years. Never mind that they never have sat down and tried to get to know each other. Never mind that he is repeatedly and brutally frank in that he does not EVER want a HeartMate.
The mystery of the airship excavation and the deadly mishaps also fails. A lot of time is spent talking about the excavation and the work being done but we don’t see anything actually happen in present time. Too much time is spent on the business logistics which were frankly tedious and boring. I would have enjoyed getting a descriptive account of the inside of the ship and it’s contents as they are being discovered but that was not to be. The secondary characters introduced completely eclipse our main protagonists. We see some old friends, Camilla and her husband, Laev along with Raz and Del, who offer far more color and emotional entertainment then Jace and Glyssa. Even Glyssa’s sister has a better developed storyline then Glyssa and Jace and we see almost little to nothing from her.The often interesting power flair discoveries fall flat as we never really learn what our lovers’ flairs are. The world building is almost non existent and there is no arc evolution. There are the requisite FAMS whose exuberant personalities added humor to an otherwise dull story. It’s only at the very end do our main protagonists exhibit the rich emotions and flowing dialogue that I have come to expect from the series. By then though it’s too late. I have lost all interest in the characters and their future. This was a disappointment across the board for me and I can’t help but wonder if Ms. Owens is getting tired of her series.
Regardless of my lack of enjoyment, I will read the next in the series, if only to see if this was a one time fluke.
Overall Rating: D