Heartfast by Linda Mooney
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Futuristic
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Lilac
They were the Guardians, sixteen special men and women with incredible powers. They lived on a world that, eons ago, had suffered a devastating plague that had rendered more than half its population unable to reproduce. In order to assure the survival of their species, the HandFast law was enacted. Every month, twenty couples, complete strangers, were drawn by lottery—couples whose sole purpose would be to procreate.
It was a cold and impersonal law, but it worked.
When StarLight and Master Hunter heard their names called out to be HandFasted, their neat, orderly lives were turned upside-down. Gone was the comfortable companionship and brother-sister working relationship. Now they were forced into an intimacy neither had wanted, nor expected.
Neither were they prepared for the overwhelming passion they would find in each other's bodies, as well as in their hearts.
But things would only get more complicated and dangerous, because someone had deliberately placed their names in the lottery as the first step in destroying their world and every Guardian living.
With Heartfast, the author has created a world filled with fascinating characters and a premise that I found highly entertaining.
I was intrigued from the very first moment of this futuristic story as two of the elite sixteen Guardians, who are defenders of the planet who also have special powers, find themselves forced into a mating bond thanks to a law and lottery requiring a couple to procreate. Friends and coworkers, Star and Hunter find themselves in an interesting predicament as they must follow the law. It was interesting to watch them deal with the changes that came their way because of the circumstances beyond their control.
Star is a strong female character who is very much a survivor. An outcast due to her special abilities, she has finally found a place with the Guardians and fears losing that spot due to the changes that her situation with Hunter have caused. I really felt for this character and couldn’t help but be touched by all that she goes through during this emotional story…and there are definitely some emotional parts so have those hankies handy while reading.
Hunter, the hero of the story, is also a strong character who has a few secrets of his own that come to light as the story progresses. He fascinated me and I longed to know more about this strong and serious man who is very much a protector. Star definitely brings out the best in Hunter and it is interesting to watch his transformation as the bond between he and Star grows stronger.
And while the lottery might have brought this couple together, it was evident that they already had a strong connection and I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if not for the lottery. This is something that I loved about the story. The fact that the couple had a prior relationship made the transition from friends/coworkers to lovers go smoothly and make sense as things must progress rather quickly thanks to the Handfast Law. Star and Hunter share a bond with one another and it is wonderful to watch their relationship blossom as they grow closer with one another.
The story also contains a few secondary characters that enhance the story from the mysterious group of men who have a vested interest in Star and Hunter’s mating to Star and Hunter’s fellow Guardians. The Guardians truly fascinated me with their various special abilities and all of them practically scream for stories of their own. I would love to see more of them in the future.
As for the plot of the story, it progresses nicely and I enjoyed every minute of its fascinating premise and setting. I became lost in the story and didn’t want it to end. The stunning conclusion touched my heart and made me feel for all of the characters of the story. Everything from the characters to the setting to the plot comes together quite nicely making for one strong read.
From its action-packed beginning to it heart wrenching conclusion, Heartfast is an unforgettable story that I highly recommend.