Gifted Thief by Helen Harper
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**
Born in Faerie as the girl with no name, she is an enigma and an orphan; made to feel like she was little more than servant, when in reality she’s the illegitimate child of a powerful fae leader who died when she was a child. Left to be raised by fae who despise her very being, when she decides that she’s finally had enough and she runs away, the first person she runs into is Andy “Taylor” – a professional thief by trade. When asked her name, she thinks of the one thing she wants to have – despite being a fae – and names herself Integrity. Fast forward 16 years, and Integrity is part of Taylor’s crew – stealing from those more fortunate, quite often the Fae, for their own survival. Along with three others in Taylor’s crew – all Clan-less Fae – they have run a successful theft ring, until one day when the item they are in search of isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Of course that doesn’t stop Integrity from taking a “pretty looking” letter opener from one of the desks within the building they break into. She thinks nothing of it – it’s just a pretty memento from her final job with her beloved team. But when they arrive back at Taylor’s and inform him the item they were there to steel – a gem called the Lia Saifir – was missing, Taylor confesses that he needed the money from his share of the sale of the gem to pay off a bookie. But not just any bookie – his debt was sold to a mysterious financier. With Taylor’s existence hanging in the balance, it’s a bad time to tell him about the letter opener that turns out to be an enchanted “dagger” with a genie named Bob residing inside – one that Integrity can’t get rid of, even though she tries, until she makes her three wishes (which she vows to never do as she knows the repercussions of genie wishes).
While Integrity wants out of the business, her love and devotion to Taylor and the team drives her to settle his debt – once again – as her constant repayment for the life he helped her have since leaving Faerie. But it proves a bit more difficult than she’d dealt with in the past – seeing as the creditor turns out to be a Fae from Integrity’s past – the son of one of the power families in Faerie, Byron Moncrieff. All he wants is for Integrity to come back to Faerie with him to complete a ritual to repair the magic in Faerie. Along with her trusty “letter opener” genie Bob at her side, she reluctantly agrees and heads back to the place she tried so hard to escape and forget. But Byron isn’t the indignant prick of a Fae that she remembers from her youth…he’s an attractive, successful, and surprisingly kind gentleman that wants to help her along her path back during her brief time in Faerie. So when someone wants her dead – and will use any means necessary to complete the task, Integrity turns once again to her team, and reluctantly Byron and his clan to figure out who it is that wants her out of the way and why. But sometimes, as Integrity finds out, it might be better to not know – lives will be lost and futures forever changed by the Gifted Thief name Integrity.
I simply loved this story! I thought Integrity was funny, witty, and had amazing self preservation skills – that are a must when dealing with the snooty Fae. Her relationships are a source of strength for her – she knows that even though her bio-Fae family may have discarded her, but they never would – and she is better for it. With the arrival of Byron and is betrayal and eventual protection of her, I loved the interaction between the two. Kissing one minute, bickering the next – all the makings of a great relationship, if only they could see past each other and their pasts to make their futures worth it. I was a bit let down with the seemingly sudden ending, but I cannot WAIT to see what else is in store for Integrity – Faerie is definitely not done with her yet, and her past is still so up in the air. So in Integrity style “What’d the beaver say to the tree?”… “It’s been nice gnawing you!”So corny and endearing, how could you not fall completely for this series???