Hearts and Swords: Four Original Stories of Celta

Robin D. Owens. Berkley Sensation, $15 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-425-24341-1
In this charming quartet of romance shorts, Owens expands her futuristic fantasy universe of Celta (Heart Search, etc.), filling in the backstories of the worlds and people therein. “Heart and Sword” follows a starship colonist who finds himself unexpectedly tasked with choosing a planet to settle. ”Heart Story” focuses on mature lovers destined to be HeartMates, who meet for the first time in decades and attempt to overcome pains of youth and an ancient family feud. In the collection’s strongest piece, “Heart and Soul,” an unconventional young woman reforges herself during a Halloween/Samhain celebration and creates the nucleus of a new family. In “Noble Heart,” a man undergoing a late development of his psychic abilities is assisted in his transition by an attractive woman with issues of her own. Owens’s characters thrive on their emotional connections, and their stories are both pleasurable and moving. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 12/06/2011
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