I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
Why are some HeartGifts useful items when they render HeartMates useless?
Anyway, I have finished this. Yay. I was not happy that Owens set things up so that Dufleur had to grovel for the characters to get their happy ending. Don't get me wrong, I think she messed up plenty along the way, but so did Saille. For people who were supposed to be HeartMates, they spent a lot of time hurting each other, hiding things from each other, and getting along better in bed than out of it.
My imaginary different ending:
Dufleur and Saille go their separate ways because she can't trust that he'll stand by her and support her practicing her Flair, and he can't trust a woman who'd risk damaging his Family and causing it pain.
Ten years later, Dufleur is successful and she and her Flair are well-respected. Now that the entire world isn't beating her down and telling her that the Flair that is so much a part of her is too dangerous to practice, she is more self-confident. She meets a younger man who has just gone through his third Passage without connecting with a HeartMate. He admires her intelligence, and loves her smile. He makes her laugh. They first met ten years ago, at one of the parties Passiflora made Dufleur go to. She thought he was sweet but was too wrapped up in Saille at the time to notice him much beyond that, and he liked that she didn't make fun of him for being an awkward dancer. He's a better dancer now.
Saille eventually gets his head out of his butt and finds someone too. I haven't really thought through those details because, honestly, I liked Dufleur more.