|Boy oh boy, was this a fun story! I didn't realize when I picked up Time Thief that the author wrote the hilarious Aisling Grey series I read a few years ago, and my Google search has reminded me of Improper English with all its deliberately fabulous purple prose. Needless to say, I'll be filling up my (new shiny!) Nook with her backlist.
We meet our heroine, Kiya Mortenson, in a walk-in clinic waiting to be seen. She's there to be checked out because she has just been struck by lightning, for the second time in her life. She strikes up a conversation with a fellow waitee, and thus we learn that she lost her parents in a fire caused by the lightning that struck her as a small child. Kiya is immensely likeable, a girl next door type, spunky and resourceful, the sort Sandra Bullock usually portrays. She's short on money but big on good cheer, coaxing her ancient Volkswagen homeward, but she's run off the road by a logging truck and hopelessly stuck. She is rescued by a hunk in a fancy car, named Gregory Faa, who helps her with her car issues, and also helps her find a temporary job helping his grandmother with her precious pugs.
Gregory is not, as I previously thought, the hero of the story, though as it turns out he is his cousin. Gregory's grandmother and cousins are camped out in the woods, and are they an eccentric bunch. Some of them are downright rude, and you feel bewildered right along with Kiya. She is sneered at and called unclean and a term she doesn't understand, “mahrime.” While walking the aforementioned pugs, she encounters a gorgeous man in the woods, Our Hero, Peter Faa.
Peter is a Watcher, with a perpetually cheerful little ball of light companion named Sunil, who retains every bit of his sunny zest for life, even though he's now a spirit. Since Sunil lost his life because of Peter's carelessness, by Watcher law, they are bound together. Peter, like his Traveller kin, pays for amounts of time he takes from mortals. Only, one of his estranged family members has been stealing entire life spans and that is just not okay. Watchers exist to make sure that Travellers do not overstep their bounds with using mortals' time. The Faa family is shunned because of unethical time thievery...and Peter is just aching all over to catch them and get his revenge.
Peter and Kiya annoy each other at their first encounter, but there's a spark there that they cannot deny. She becomes his reluctant ally in his quest to discover the Time Thief, and along the way, discovers that she too has special abilities. And they discover that they make a fantastic partnership, which is something else I really liked. Kiya isn't arm candy; she's tough and strong and extremely likeable. Peter is honorable and humble when he needs to be. Together they're a wonderful couple.
I remember liking Katie Macalister before, and I did enjoy this paranormal romance. I think I'm going to look her up in the Nook store.