Book is Ill Wind, by Rachel Caine. Not quite sure where she's been hiding - first book in a four book series, published in 2003. So I should have found her by now, unless I've just been a total, no fun dork who was in law school and studying for the bar exam in two different states.
Contemporary fantasy, with a four-element system not unlike Mercedes Lackey's elemental books, with twists. But the characters are great, and the plot that interesting bit of starting in the middle and spiraling around with backstory and front story in spurts. Very entertaining. Also has a recommendation by Jim Butcher, who I also like a lot, predicting that "You'll never watch the Weather Channel the same way again."
Won't spoil it, because I want accioayla and tricksterquinn to check it out, but definitely a good read. And much, much more entertaining than the work I should have been doing today, but it was a holiday, after all! There's always tomorrow.
Thanks again for the challenge, dear - I needed new books.