The ninth book in the Celta series, published August 2010.
Helena D’Elecampane, a renowned cartographer, is exploring Celta when she finds out she has a HeartMate. Yearning for a partner, she is drawn to meet him. Actor Raz Cherry is dedicated to his career. Uninterested in long-term commitments, he ignores an oracle that foretells of his HeartMate. Though passion ignites, their lifestyles clash. Only when mysterious thefts threaten their families can they overcome the obstacles on their journey to love.
Helena D’Elecampane is a cartographer, exploring the most remote places on Celta and making three dimensional maps of it. She feels constricted in a city, could never live there. Del likes being alone on the trail with her FamFox Shunuk. She is on her way home to Druida to claim her HeartMate when she gets the news her whole family has died in a fire, except the youngest baby. Her erstwhile lover and his wife Straif T’Blackthorn have taken her in and want to adopt her. But little Helendula is her Heir, the only family she has left, and she can’t just do that. She has to make reservations, decisions, settle her affairs. She inherited great wealth from her family, so money is not a problem. She also makes a lot of gilt on the maps she provides to the Council. But can she take a baby with her on the trail?
Del has given little thought to her HeartMate. They are HeartMates, they should be compatible.
But her HeartMate is Raz Cherry, a famous young actor. 8 years younger than Del. He loves living in the city, loves the applause, loves acting, interacting with other actors and people. So even now they have met, and are attracted to each other, like and admire each other, how will they ever be able to live together as HeartMates? Del gets sick in the city, she misses the fresh air, the unconstructed horizon, she longs for the new discoveries on a wilderness trail. And Raz he is a pure through and through city boy.
Lately, Raz and his family have a lot of bad things happening. Raz’s apartment is burgled and trashed, even the theater and not only his own dressing room. His parents own a big “shipyard” for gliders and airships, and the oldest part of it burns down. Which is a huge loss, as all their maps were stored there, including the latest they just bought from Del. Their second home in Gael City is ransacked and vandalized as well, and Raz will have to go there to sort things out. His parents can’t leave at the moment, and his sister has loved it there too much, she can’t face the destruction. So he leaves the play to his understudy, and asks Del to come with him. And that after he turned her down that morning when she suggested it …
Del is a proud woman, and she won’t force Raz into loving her, or acknowledging the bond between them. But she will not grovel, or go after him. If he withdraws from her, she will wait a while, and leave. The decisions she has to make are very difficult, but she is willing to make a lot of compromises just to be with her HeartMate, and have a Family of her own. But Raz is not ready, he wants his career, and is not interested in a HeartMate of a Family right now.
But when she leaves him, he knows what loneliness is, and deeply regrets his answer when she offered the HeartMateBond to him. Can he repair it in time, and can he find her again?
Another great story in this lovely series. Again entirely different from the rest, although ofcourse it is set in the same world and city, and with the same secondary characters. But not with the greatest Lords and Ladies of Delta as the main characters. Del is a GrandLady, but a lower one, and Raz is an actor. His sister is CherryHeir, not him.
I loved Del. She is very direct and down to earth, doesn’t play games, and is very honest. She expects the same from Raz which is not always easy for an actor. The FamFox really stole part of the show though. He is a great character, and Foxes are so much easier to live with than the extremely arrogant and selfish FamCats. The kitten Raz gets is really the worst in that regard.
Del is very giving towards Raz, and not only in monetary things. She is open, and patient, and will wait till he makes up his mind. And Raz is willingly blind. He doesn’t want to acknowledge their bond. He has always wanted to be a great actor, even when it got him on bad footing with his parents. And now he is almost there, he needs to stay in Druida, and focus on his career. He is good at what he does, and cannot imagine living on the trail, being a travelling storyteller or something like that. He did not study 10 years for that!
Of course, Del knows that, and she is very busy making plans for their future. But Raz won’t give her a chance, and she just goes.
The mystery plot is minor, and not very difficult to figure out. I did love the ending though, so very much. I did wonder if the HeartMateBond could be ignored after refusing it. And now I know.
I am looking forward to the next book, the 10th and latest in the series for now. I peeked and know who the hero is going to be.