Shari Boullionís debut novel, A Stolen Time is a unique twist on the typical western romance. In this story the outlaw looking to for a place to hide is a woman, Janet Garret, who had joined the family business of robbing banks at an early age. When a job goes sour and the Garret gang is torn apart Janet must find a place to hide and fast! What she finds is Shasta, California, Marshall Dagger Blackthorne, and a respectable job as a school teacher. Quite a change for a girl used to robbing banks! When trouble comes to town, Janet realizes that doing the right thing is going to be especially difficult seeing how she is falling in love with Dagger and his entire family.
A Stolen Time is a truly enjoyable novel with a unique plot and very interesting and diverse characters. The reader finds him or her self drawn into the story and sympathizes with the difficult decisions both Janet and Dagger must make. The entire story revolves around the theme of forgiveness, which is repeated over and over again as the many characters in this book are faced with the difficult task of forgiving each other and the ones that they love the most.
The character of Janet is a truly endearing and touching character, growing up in an outlaw family and knowing no other life, Janet struggles to stay on the straight and narrow in her new life. However, when faced with the return of her family, Janet must choose between her new life and her old one. As a reader, I found myself drawn to this struggle and a little bit awed by the strength this character portrays.
This book was exceptionally easy to read and extremely well written. I enjoyed the clever dialogue and the skillful use of secondary characters to really flesh out the novel. However, I did find that while the characters were well depicted there were parts of the plot that were a little thin and at times hard to believe. Nevertheless, I found the unusual way the author portrayed both the outlaws and the marshall as people with lives and feelings to be very refreshing and effective. This is book is a wild ride into the old west and is well worth a trip to the book store.