I’ve found my first guilty pleasure of the year in Angela Knight’s Warrior, which kicks off her Time Hunters series. Take an alpha male hero, a strong heroine, and a nasty villain, then throw in the future, science fiction, and time travel for an attention-grabbing, fast-paced, lush romance. As one who normally avoids time travel themes, I was pleasantly surprised.
Galar Arvid, a genetically engineered Warlord, is a law-enforcement officer charged with protecting people from crimes committed by time travelers seeking to profit from the past. To search out the criminals, officers investigate crimes from the past to determine which ones have the characteristics indicative of a time traveling criminal. One of the crimes under investigation is the mysterious murder of a young Atlanta artist in the year 2008. As Galar and his team stake out the scene of the crime before it’s actually committed, he finds himself intrigued and wanting to protect the potential victim – something he is forbidden to do if the crime isn’t committed by a time-traveler.
Jessica Kelly, a budding but so far unsuccessful artist, struggles with money problems and her drug-addicted sister, but things are about to get worse. Violently ripped from her bed by a madman wielding a knife and demanding answers about her roommate, she realizes she’s in trouble. When the knife finds its way into her stomach and her house erupts in violence with strange people fighting, sonic booms, and blinding lights, she freaks out a little but still manages to defend herself before she loses consciousness and awakens in the future.
Since Jessica can’t return to the past, the easiest way to bring about her transition is to bombard her with information about the future in the form of information implants downloaded directly into her mind – something that requires comfort and reassurance. Galar’s job is to ease her transition and to protect her from the assassin bent on killing her. As he helps her, he realizes there’s more to Jessica’s dilemma than originally thought and that he’ll protect her at all costs.
Despite the clichés, I found myself enjoying the strong alpha warrior wanting to protect the woman who worms her way into his life. Though mistrustful at first due to a betrayal in his past, he doesn’t stay jaded for too long. The heroine starts out confused and needy, but eventually comes into her own as she grows more accustomed to her new world. Neither denies their attraction and both take advantage of it in some delightful encounters. What I appreciated most about this story was that relationships from the past are resolved in a way that left me content, not sad. Though I enjoyed the action of the story and the world created by Knight, a glossary of terms would make reading smoother. Also, some of the futuristic names are just…..well, bad.
If futuristic, time-traveling romance is a genre you appreciate, I can readily recommend Warrior. This solidly created world, focused plot, and interesting characters make me look forward to the next installment in this series. And by all means, don’t let the cover dissuade you.