For the 10th book in her much-beloved Celta series, Owens jumps the action some 12 years into the future to focus on the next generation of residents. The hero in this novel made a devastating mistake that still haunts not only the T’Hawthorn family, but the heroine as well. Once bitten, twice shy accurately describes both protagonists as they no longer trust in love or relationships. Emotionally charged, yet balanced with humor, this novel is a wonderful treat!
During his second passage as a teenager, Laev T’Hawthorn was tricked into thinking that Nivea Sunflower was his HeartMate. Laev’s true HeartMate was the then 13-year-old Camellia Darjeeling. Years later, Laev is a widower who is trying to undo the calculated theft and damage done by his late wife. In spite of losing her HeartMate and having a criminally inclined father, Camellia has launched two elegant and successful tea houses. Fate and two determined FamCats have brought Camellia and Laev into contact, but neither seems willing to admit they are HeartMates. As Laev hunts for his missing family heirlooms, the return of Camellia’s shady relatives adds another complication. (BERKLEY SENSATION, Aug., 368 pp., $15.00)