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Heart Thief (Celta's Heartmates, #2)
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Heart Thief (Celta's Heartmates #2)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,965 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Ruis Elder never asked for his unusual trait—the ability to neutralize others' psychic talents. Because of it, he has always been hated in his own homeland, destined to roam the harsh planet alone. But trouble finds him in front of the ruling Council—and face-to-face with the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. There's only one problem: Ailim is on the opposite side of ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Berkley Books
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Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun paranormal or sci-fi romantic suspense. I liked it! I sympathized with and admired the H/ h and enjoyed the plot, even though it was implausible at times.

Setting: This series is set on a distant planet called Celta, settled by voyagers from Earth about four centuries ago. Over the centuries everyone on the planet developed a specialized "flair" or magical ability -- everyone except hero Ruiz, who lives inside a _______. Some interesting scenes in there.

Plot: The plot involved an evil uncle,
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is still my favorite Celta book. The setting is imaginative, and the various types of "flair" (psychic power) are handled in a way that feels science rather than magic. After reading so many paranormal romance titles, some pretty awful admittedly, this was fun. I appreciated the discovery made by the main character. The message being that there is a place and reason for everyone, for all types of talents. The romance aspect was almost secondary, but full of resonance for me. Some people jus ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keepers
Heart Thief is book 2 of the Celtan Heart Mates series. All the books are wonderful but if I had to pick a favorite, this one would probably be it. The hero and heroine are outstanding. Ruis is a fugitive and more than a bit of a rogue. His society scorns him because he is a Null, not only is he unable to use the Flair their society runs on - but he makes it impossible for others to use theirs. He is a thief who steals to live and indulge his hobby of fixing the old earth devices no
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From Booklist

On the planet Celta, founded by adherents of a Wiccan-like religion whose followers have psionic, or psychic, talents, Ruis Elder is an outcast on trial for his life. Not only doesn't he possess psionic talent but his mere presence nullifies the powers of others. Ailim Silver Fir, a judge and a strong empath, finds peace for the first time in her life when Ruis' null field gives her respite from the chaos of all the feelings that incessantly swirl around her. Sentenced to exile, R


This was a surprisingly great book, although not one that you can read in one sitting if you're a lazy, distractable reader like me.
In my mind the length of a romance novel should be (out of ten)

romantic tension x drama factor x complexity of plot = pages

for this one i'd say 6x5x6 = 180 pages, much closer to a novella then the full novel it is. Really this is just me nitpicking though, this is a fantastic book, while the first book was more to my style and taste I think this one had more dep
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Ruis Elder, null, thief and outcast, and Ailim, judge and head of her family.

These two meet under peculiar circumstances and immediately feel kinship and an attraction that they try not to act upon, but end up exploring. They make a balanced couple and help each other become better, but Ruis's moment of intense stupidity almost ruins everything between them. Thankfully for them and the rest of their world which benefited greatly by the revelation of what Ru,is had to offer, they man
Re-read 10/27/11: This is another favorite of the series. Ruis's gloomy personality bothered me more this time around. I loved Samba just as much as always. The ship and residences played larger roles and were much appreciated secondary characters.


I wasn't sure about this book when I first started it. Ruis Elder is a Null, which means he has no magical Flair. I wasn't sure how that would work in this world, but Owens pulled it off brilliantly.

I really loved both Ruis and Ailim. The
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2012
4.5 stars

The hero Ruis is a Null, someone who can negate all the pyschic spells around him in a world that values such powers. Abused and usurped by his wicked uncle as the Head of his house since the death of his parents, his only solace in the repairing of old Earth machineries that everyone else thinks are worthless.

I liked the theme about valuing the past and what it can teach us. I actually enjoyed this second book of the Celta series even more than the first.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a bit better than the first book. Enjoyable setting and plot. Will continue with this series.
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Some people still like this story the very best.
Crystal Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aurian Booklover
Ruis Elder is a Null, someone who not only has no Flair (= magic) of his own, he also negates Flair used around him. Both in negating spells, as in making other people unable to use their Flair. People are afraid of him and his anti-powers, and he has been an outcast ever since his “gift” was discovered. His uncle Bucus T’Elder has been trying to kill him for years, and now as Captain of the Council, he is more powerful than ever. Ruis is filled with anger, always hiding and moving. His only sol ...more
Alexandra Preston
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot. However, it felt a little rushed/scattered near the end.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoy Owens' writing and storytelling, while questioning some of the underlying gender politics. In this 2nd book of the Heartmates futuristic romance series, new head of her Greathouse Ailim D'Silverfur has come to the FirstFamilies Council to ask for a loan, as she's discovered her house is in major debt. While waiting for her case to be heard, she meets a handsome, audacious man, a man to whom she immediately finds herself attracted. Because for some reason, her magic gift, telempathy, ...more
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm on book six of the series right now and I'll just say that Heart Thief kinda blows the rest of the series out of the water. Ruis and Ailim are probably the best matched couple in the series that I've read thus far and, ironically enough, they're the two that are bound together without the added psychic imperative of being "Heart Mates." (Though this is amended later in the series.)
In terms of Celta leading men, Ruis is by far the most likeable. He's got less of the "possessive alpha male" vi
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance_sci-fi
3.5 stars
I liked this better than number one of the series which I didn't finish because it dragged too much in the first half. It's an enticing society even though the combination of magic, old world class system and technology is still a bit underexplained. And I fear this book would have been the one to accomplish that best because of its magic-less hero who has a knack for forgotten machinery.

Loved the sentient mansions, found the talking familiars not nearly as annoying as they could have
In the last book I didn't care Ruis, I thought he was shady, so when I picked up this book I wasn't even sure that I would finish it. But quickly I was sucked in. Learning more about Ruis's story things started to make more sense. In his whole life Ruis has been treated like trash and manipulated because he is a null in a society where people with psi and magic ability are the norm.

By a chance of fate he runs across Ailim at a time when his life in on the line. In this encounter Ailim treats hi
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This is another book i think i would have enjoyed had i read it when i frst came out because it has a dated feel to me, indicative of the writing style of the time. I've read a lot of well written pararomance, with lots of excitement and edge. This almost felt like a regency novel, and to be honest, bored me. I didnt care for the first book but was excited about the premise for this one. Alas, it didnt deliver-i wanted a sort of clash of two different worlds, a true 'forbidden' romance. The MC w ...more
'Heart Thief' is wonderful book...much better than the first Celta's HeartMates book. I read the last page of Ruis and Ailim's story with a content sigh of pleasure.

Ruis is a thief who had his family inheritance stolen by his uncle. He struggles with anger and feels he has nothing to contribute to society until he discovers the talent for repairing and using old Celta technology.

Ailim is a fair and valued judge in the Celta law system and head of her family. She recognizes the injustice against
I almost couldn't finish this one. Let me say, I did not read the first book of this series, and it's possible that I would have enjoyed the second book more if I had. Honestly, though, I doubt it. The writing style didn't work well for me -- that combination of dramatic Celtic antiquity and futuristic scifi was very disjointed and jarring. I couldn't "fall" into the story, if you understand what I mean. Most problematic, though, is that I found Ruis completely unlikable. He was childish, irrita ...more
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good book. I could tell that I was starting in the middle of a series though as it was a bit of a bumpy introduction - trying to figure out what certain words meant and the story's setting and culture. However once I got into the swing of things I found the book enjoyable and interesting. It was pretty easy to guess how it was going to end. Me being a crazy cat lady I loved the idea of FamPets. Especially Samba. Primrose I didn't enjoy too much. The author made it seem as if dogs did no ...more
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tossing up between 2 and 3 stars (really wish Goodreads allowed scores out of 10!). I didn't like it as much as other books I've given 3 stars to, but I liked it a lot more than Heart Mate, which was a solid 2 stars for me.

It's an enjoyable bit of brain candy, and was a pleasant way to spend an evening. The characters aren't particularly complicated: the "bad guys" are pretty much "baddy bad for the sake of being bad/evil", with the rest seemingly assigned a label as to their personalities (gene
I'm starting to see a pattern here - H identifies h as "the one", pursues her rigorously, then, 50 pages from the end, they break up, only to walk around like zombies (because they're like, soul mates or whatever) until the last chapter where they get back together, the birds begin to sing and flowers bloom. Gaaah. I should have read the first book I actually acquired of this series so I'd know not to bother hunting the rest of them.

The first book, someone had wiped out the H's family. This one,
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 of the Series, this is a better story than the first one, the characters are more flashed out and are given histories. Our hero Ruis, appeared briefly in book one and this is his story. HE is a wonderfully rich character and his lady is too. We get involved in their lives as Ruis fights to survive in a world that treats him less than human. I look forwards to book 3 when I have time to fit it in. THe book can be stand alone, but it features characters from previous books and uses some as ...more
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the first book, I was a little wary of this one. After all, the last heroine was soooo frusterating. However, I am happy to say that being a side character really suits her! But more importantly, this was a huge improvement. The characters were fresh, the plot was interesting, and the world was expanded. Oh, and I love Holm Holly even more after this one! I would totally be his stalker. I want to read his story (and have his babies). All in all, I'm really glad that I continued this series ...more
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first book in this series a long time ago. Well, four years at least. Maybe five. I was still in high school and even though I enjoyed it then, I feel that I appreciate this series more now than I did then. The mixture of science fiction and Celtic themed culture is awesome in a way that you don't appreciate until you are older and know at least a little bit about the Celts.
I usually enjoy Owens' work and that hasn't changed. I did notice a few things that make me think she's not one
Nov 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This second book in the series follows the "Null" Ruis Elder who appeared as a character in the first book. The man who stole T'Ash's Heart Gift in the first book falls in love with a judge.

So many tropes: Angry, wronged hero with noble heart. Evil uncle.

The best part of this book was getting to see D'Ash function in society. Owens did a good job of integrating the previous couple in this book (and for that matter there are glimpses of the next couple).
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful series, excellent example.

Robin Owens continues her Celta series, this time with the story of Ruis Elder. Ruis is a Null, has no psychic powers and can negate any psychic effects in his immediate vicinity. He thinks he's condemned to a life on the fringes of society. But then he meets Ailim D'Silverfur who believes he can live a full life, in the sunlight. Ailim risks all, her career, her livelihood, her family, in a bid to help him escape the terrors of his past.
Maggie Holmes
This is book 2 in the series. I really liked it and it is a quick read. I like Owens' world, her concept of Flairs and the different houses. Her bad guys were really bad this time. The importance of keeping the past even when we "outgrow" it comes up in the book Station Eleven which I'm reading for a book discussion group. And of course another great cat -- Samba! The concept of a sentient house and ship make for another interesting twist.
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Other Books in the Series

Celta's Heartmates (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Heart Mate (Celta's Heartmates, #1)
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