One more down. I know it's only been two weeks, but I'm thrilled that I've been able to keep up with both my reading and reviewing all the books thus far. I have three nonfictions that I'm reading in between the brain candy.
As for the latest brain candy, Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens, I'm somewhere in the middle with this one. Usually Owens' Celta books are instant hits. There have been a few I haven't reread. This one might be one of them. The story is definitely not a good standalone novel. There are a few bits of exposition in the beginning that might catch a new reader up, and I liked the way they were done.
The basic premise is that Lori Yew is the putative leader of her family, but they refuse to allow her to lead. She has been sat on, physically, and emotionally abused by her family and the intelligent Residence until her only recourse is to take her animals and leave the estate and her position. I liked the fact that she had managed to be a strong enough person to take control of the direction of her life. Add the romantic lead, Draeg, who has been sent in by other noble families to figure out if Lori's is behind a series of attacks on children of commoner/noble marriages. Draeg is a bit adrift in his life at the moment and takes the role of spy with reluctance, especially when he starts falling for Lori.
My concerns with the book are that it felt as if no matter what, Lori just couldn't get a break. Yes, she got her HEA (in the making, since it was going to take a LOT of work for it to happen), but it came at a cost. Draeg ended up pushing the nobles' agenda on her, rather than going through with what I thought she needed. The end felt rushed. I would have liked to see more of how Lori built her new life.
The positives are that I really do love this world she's building and maybe having a story where everything wasn't all candy and roses in the end is a good thing. It gives the world more depth. Also, the "Yew as villains" story line seems to finally have finished, and in a way that gives the family a place to build from, rather than just be the horrible characters they have from the beginning. I liked that the story was relatively self-contained, with few peripheral characters. I also liked the way Owens explored the differences in personality of the Residences. These are entities that are, for the most part, hundreds of years old, and will long outlive the people who live in their houses. It makes sense that they can have some measure of control over their people's lives and I like that we saw that.