Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review - The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe

The Smoke Thief (Drakon, #1)The Smoke Thief
by Shana Abe
Mass Market Paperback, 324 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Bantam

For centuries they’ve lived in secret among northern England’s green and misted hills. Creatures of extraordinary beauty, power, and sensuality, they possess the ability to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. Now their secret–and their survival–is threatened by a temptation that will break every boundary....

Dubbed the Smoke Thief, a daring jewel thief is confounding the London police. His wealthy victims claim the master burglar can walk through walls and vanish into thin air. But Christoff, the charismatic Marquess of Langford, knows the truth: the thief is no ordinary human but a “runner” who’s fled Darkfrith without permission. As Alpha leader of the dra´kon, it’s Kit’s duty to capture the fugitive before the secrets of the tribe are revealed to mortals. But not even Kit suspects that the Smoke Thief could be a woman. 

Clarissa Rue Hawthorne knew her dangerous exploits would attract the attention of the dra´kon. But she didn’t expect Christoff himself to come to London, dangling the tribe’s most valuable jewel–the Langford Diamond–as bait. For as long as she could remember, Rue had lived the life of a halfling–half dra´kon, half mortal–and an outcast in both worlds. She’d always loved the handsome and willful Kit from the only place it was safe: from afar. But now she was no longer the shy, timid girl she’d once been. She was the first woman capable of making the Turn in four generations. So why did she still feel the same dizzying sense of vulnerability whenever he was near?

From the moment he saw her, Kit knew that the alluring and powerful beauty was every bit his Alpha equal and destined to be his bride. And by the harsh laws of the dra´kon, Rue knew that she was the property of the marquess. But they will risk banishment and worse for a chance at something greater. For now Rue is his prisoner, the diamond has disappeared, and she’s made the kind of dangerous proposition a man like Kit cannot resist....In this bewitching novel, Shana Abé transports us into a world of exhilarating romance and magic.

My Review:

Wow… on so many levels!! Wow!!!

This is an adult book. I didn’t realize when I started it, but learned quickly as the dragons materialize into human form… um… very naked. One smokin’ hot naked guy hunting down an alpha female, a hot smokin’ naked girl… creeping down through a tight space in a bell tower… results in some very hot moments. *blush* In, um, detail.

Besides that… because of that… or in spite of that… I couldn’t put this book down. Shana Abe’s writing is so fantastically fluid. Her world of dragons has just enough instinct infused with glorious humanity to be beautiful, sensual, uninhibited.

Everything happens quickly. Christoff is attracted to Rue on many levels. The dragon in him is fierce and protective, territorial. I got the impression that he had mountains of self-control forcing himself to respect her.

And she… she has so many opinions and plans. She loves her freedom and fights against the dragon system. Clarissa Rue is so smart and impetuous. I really love her, love being her. She’s brave and quick-witted.

Her nickname may be “Little Mouse” but the most endearing part about that is how it doesn’t fit her outward appearance. There’s a hidden inner part of her soul that he sees and calls out as “mouse” and that vulnerability is reflected again in him. He is a little mouse to her in the same way.

As an introduction into the world of dragons and their love of stones… and their fear of discovery, this is a great story. I felt like I learned so much so quickly and then the story ended… and I was far from ready to be done with Shana Abe’s world. I immediately procured book 2 and dived right back in, “adult” and all. 

My Rating: 4.75 - I love Rue... I love Christoff... I love the world - they all get 5's for me!!  The romance is HOT and completely logical. I don't really read adult romance so I have no scale to base this on, but for supporting scene construction, etc, I want to give the romance at least a 4.5. (I dock it a .5 for a tiny bit of predictability.) There's insta-love, which I don't mind if there's enough support to the situation. In this case, it's Alpha meets Alpha = BANG!  Since their characters are so amazing and compatible in a fiesty way, I loved how it worked out, but there was more insta than I wanted to swallow... which might have been Rue fighting it (go girl!), so I'm not dockin' much for that. I really enjoyed this book!!  :-D

The cover - I'm not into this cover. In fact, I was really surprised when I first saw it at how quiet it is and it took me longer to read this book because The Sweetest Dark is so beautiful and this cover tells me nothing about what's inside. The biggest draw for me was the title... I have a thing for thieves (after The Thief, who wouldn't?!) and I love Abe's writing style, so I read this despite the cover.

Quick Shana Facts:

I was born in Texas.
I live in Colorado.
I am a terrible skier. Snowboarding would probably kill me.
I love animals.
I love writing.
I hope you love reading my books. Blessed be.

Find & Follow:

Did you see?  It's finally out!! The first book that drew me to these incredible dragons... The Sweetest Dark

Enter Contest

Click on the graphic to enter to win... or HERE!