HeartMate
by Robin D Owens, futuristic (2001)
Jove (Magical Love), $5.99, ISBN 0-515-13289-6


Oh look! Another futuristic romance that tries to be, well, a futuristic romance. You know the drill. Italicized sentences - psychic mind bond thingie! Ooh! Look, exotic names that abuse the letter T and the apostrophe! T'res T'amazing, huh!

Uh, lots of mind-psychic-yukyukyuk nonsense and lots of people with T's in their names do not a futuristic romance make. A Dara Joy wannabe, more like. And if you ask me, one Dara Joy is enough for the whole wannabe community.

On the planet named Celta, people have Flair power. Ooh. Amazing. Rand T'ash - wow, another T name - belongs to the house with the greatest Flair power. Unlike the fantasy genre where the heroes always start out struggling as a geek at the lowest rung of the social ladder, Randy, because he is the mostest bestest, is the leader of the greatest house ever, the House of Ash. You'd think a fellow with the name like T'ash would give his house a better name. How about Takla Makan?

Rand, because we need lots of italicized mind-bonding thingie, has some super powers related to gems and stones. So one day, while playing with gems and teleporting lots of italica overkill to me until I feel my brain is boiling, he discovers that alas, he will soon meet his Heartmate! Oh great, more italicas coming my way. As if Randie Tashie here and his cat going all italicized is not enough.

The Heartmate in question is Danith Mallow. Danith, unlike fantasy stories where heroines are all princesses and sexpots, is a commoner. She doesn't want Randie Tashie, but Randie Tashie, with the power of Italic Sentences, will make her see the light soon enough.

After some of the usual futuristic romance mumbo-jumbo like baddies, one-sentenced paragraphs ala Schone, and lots of diamond-psychic lore (don't ask), they live happily ever after, having lots of italicized sex and mind bonding.

Nice. Can this story panders any more to the Mediocre Futuristic Romance conventions? I don't know. This story isn't bad, but it's so laughably cheesy that it may as well stick a fluorescent sticker on its cover saying "Hey, this is a futuristic... yeah, that sort, you know, like where all the psychic finagly-thingies is passed off as "fantasy world" and love is all that matters - say that in italics, please - hey, where are you going? Come back! Andre Norton has nothing on me, I mean, look, psychic sex... come back, damn you!..."

Rating: 70


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