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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Heartstone by Lynda K. Scott

Heartstone by Lynda K. Scott
Publisher: Mundania Press
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (229 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not, she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a lifetime.

Ms. Scott transports readers to a new and wildly imaginative world in Heartstone.

Keriam has no idea that other worlds exist, let alone that she might be from one of them. She simply wants to live a normal life. Unfortunately, Keriam has suffered from what she calls “episodes” since the death of her parents. The episodes of hypersensitivity have practically ruined her life and seem to be getting worse, making Keriam wonder if she’s going crazy.

I found it amusing that Eric first approached Keriam in the form of a large dog. Keriam is a woman after my own heart with a soft spot for dogs and welcomes Eric into her home without knowing his true identity or purpose. Eric knows that Keriam is the Stonebearer, but she seems to have no knowledge of her past or the importance of her position as keeper of the Heartstone. Eric’s plans to find the Heartstone are interrupted when the Gawan attack Keriam. How they knew her location makes him wonder if there is a traitor lurking in the federation. Soon Eric and Keriam are running for their lives, and Keriam finds herself on a strange planet forced to trust a man she barely knows.

Keriam is a very easy heroine to like. She’s an interesting mix of bravery and vulnerability. While she’s not afraid to open her own antique store, the prospect of dealing with strangers on a daily basis frightens her. Of course dealing with strangers is a necessity when opening any kind of store, and I liked the fact that Keriam didn’t let her fear master her. This courage certainly served her well when she had to face the Gawan. Keriam also has the usual qualities of a classic heroine. She has a good heart and is fiercely loyal to those she cares about.

Even though Eric maintained the shape of a dog for the first chapter of Heartstone, I found it easy to get a feel for his character through not only his inner dialogue, but also in the way he interacts with Keriam. Eric is a hardened warrior and a man fighting a losing battle against his own emotions. After losing friends and family in the battle against the Gawan, Eric is afraid of being hurt and keeps others at a distance. However, Keriam got under his skin from the moment they met. Eric seems to think that love will make him week, and he fights his connection with Keriam through most of the book. It was frustrating and painful at times to watch him switch between embracing Keriam and pushing her away. However, I was very pleased to discover that there was indeed a happy ending to Keriam and Eric’s story.

In addition to creating interesting characters, Ms. Scott makes excellent use of descriptive language. “Then a large, hairy creature burst out of the underbrush. Covered with patches of jewel colors, the animal looked as if it had been dipped into one too many cups of Easter egg dye. It was big, a monster-sized bull-shaped creature with a long, barbed tail. Tiny red eyes blinked at them as a pink tongue whipped between smiling, fleshy lips.” Description like this made it easy to picture the world and creatures that Ms. Scott created.

In enjoyed reading Heartstone. The characters were relatable and the romance was compelling. I recommend Heartstone to anyone who likes their romance filled with new worlds and fantastic creatures.