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The Smoke Thief [Hardcover]

Shana Abe
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Sep 2005
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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (27 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553804480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553804485
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,328,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the sequel 25 May 2006
By Book Addict TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The year is 1737 and humans remain blissfully unaware of the small, isolated drákon community of Darkfrith living in northern England's hills. Once a prosperous race originating from the Carpathian mountains, the drákon now find themselves in decline; not only are fewer males born with the ability to shift into both smoke and full dragon form, several generations had passed since the birth of a full shifting female.

By 1751, London is abuzz with the news of another successful robbery; the individual dubbed the "smoke thief" has struck again. Only a few people realise this increasingly infamous thief isn't human but drákon. Aware that this "runner" (a rogue drákon) risks exposing the tribe, the drákon Council decree the runner be captured and returned to Darkfrith for punishment. Christoff Langdon (Kit), Earl of Chasen and Alpha male of the tribe heads to London to find the thief, taking with him as bait the most powerful and desirable diamond the gem loving drákon possess, the "herte" (the heart of the tribe).

Catching the thief, Kit is amazed that not only is she a woman, but a female able to Turn. Taking Rue (aka Clarissa) back to Darkfrith, he secures an agreement that should she fail to find the Herte within 2 weeks, she will willingly return to Darkfrith as his wife. What Rue fails to realise is that Kit is fully determined that she return with him, willingly or not and take her rightful place as female Alpha. Rue is equally determined that she not fall back into the life of an ostracised Halfling in Darkfrith, her drákon blood tainted by a human father. On her 17th birthday (left uncelebrated by the tribe) she discovered she could fully shift; the first female in four generations with the ability.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book after reading its follow-up, "the Dream Thief", so some aspects of the story were already familiar to me. Shana Abé's world is that of a race of people, the Drákon, who can turn into smoke or dragons. Originally from the Carpathian mountains they area now living in Darkfrith in the North of England with the Marquess of Langford as their Alpha. He remembers the young girl he dubbed 'Mouse' who drowned aged 17 after being teased by the other drákon young girls.

However the Council of Drákon are worried as a jewel thief has been identified as a member of the drákon race, and yet none are allowed to leave and those who escape, called 'runners', are hunted down and killed. The Marquess plans to capture the runner by taking his special diamond to London for a museum display and catching the thief in the act. However all does not go according to plan when he gets sidetracked by a female drákon, discovering that she is Clarisse Rue Hawthorne, the 'mouse' who drowned nine years before.

Rue and Kit set out to find the diamond but Kit has decided on Rue as his bride although she is unwilling. Their hunt for the diamond is hampered by the fact that the drákon must keep their existence secret but also because they don't know the identity of the real thief, the other 'runner', and by Rue's care for street urchin Zane (hero of 'The Dream Thief').

There are some exciting scenes in this book where they race around London as humans, as dragons and as smoke; Kit is trying to wear Rue down into becoming his wife and yet she fears the seclusion and restricted life in Darkfrith, plus she needs to bargain for Zane's life as a human who is aware of the drákon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A small get-away 25 Sep 2013
By woman30
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The story is quite nice, if a little unexciting. Don't misunderstand me, there is allot of action going on, but the problem is that it passes you by in a wink. I felt that there were several aspects to the book that went unexplored. Quite frankly, it was a little fast-paced for me. It felt like the author was rushing through her story, and although I enjoyed it I felt that I couldn't quite keep up.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  104 reviews
64 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Confusing a bully for a hero 30 Dec 2006
By Ember - Published on
I hate it when a good idea and good writing gets ruined by the misconception that a manipultive, abusive liar is a romantic lead. Christoff repeatedly ignores, insults, and disrepects the heroine. When he finally bullies her into submission, they ride off into the sunset, happy and in love.

In a "passionate" moment, he doesn't care if it is "rape or seduction" as long as he can have sex with Clarissa. Any hero that can confuse rape with passion is no hero.

I like a strong male as the love interest, but when his "strength" destoys her hopes and makes her miserable, I could only feel disgust for him and for her for not having the backbone with him that she had everywhere in the rest of her life.
65 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rapist does not = hero. 25 Mar 2008
By Amy Dreyer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I hated this book. I really really hated it, and the fact that I really wanted to like it makes me hate it even more. When I read the back I thought to myself "Hey, shape shifting dragons with some love scenes, what's not to like?" Well, what's not to like is that the female lead is built up to be a strong female, yet shows herself to be weak, ineffectual, and having no willpower. Woo, someone I sure look up to. The male lead repeatedly lies to the female, bullies her, absolutely cares not at all how she feels about a damned thing, and winds up raping her. (if you don't give your partner even a CHANCE to say "no", it's rape.) The "hero" straight up says "I don't care if I'm raping her, as long as I get what I want. Yeah, charming fellow.

One scene that had me wanting to throw the book in the fire was a scene where the "hero" tells the female lead "we're in a hallway where only one of us can fit in here as a dragon, so neener". Does the MORON of a woman say "Hey thanks for telling me!" shapeshift to a dragon and snap him up like a bonbon? NO, she just snivels and gets escorted to the cell. She had NUMEROUS opportunities to do something, anything to get away from that abusive jerk, yet just feebly flaps her wrist and lets herself go along with everything he wants.
Some people will say "Well she loved him!" NO she did NOT. She had a crush on him when she was a young girl, and as an adult has NO clue what kind of man he is. In fact, all the evidence points to him being a big selfish buttwipe, but she falls in love with him anyway? WHAT?
Then there's the shoddy writing. I read quite a bit, it's very easy for me to "fall into" a book, and see things from the character's point of view. This book may as well have been stone for how solidly it remained a book to me. If the characters weren't driving me crazy, the poorly written plot would push me there instead.
So, if you actually enjoy sexy scenes, strong female characters, strong male characters and good storytelling, go read the Dark Jewels books and run the hell away from this one.
44 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Mesmerizing Shapeshifting Dragons!! WOW! 1 Oct 2005
By M. Rondeau - Published on
After finishing THE SMOKE THIEF by Shana Abe', I feel it prudent to report - Ms's. Feehan, Kenyon, and Holly - make some room in the shape-shifters' realm; there is a new kid on the block and she ROCKS! Make room because here come the Drakon's!

They've lived for centuries in northern England's green hills and mountains, guarded, honored and treasured - extraordinarily beautiful and sensual creatures - able to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. A close tribe that keeps to themselves except for the few that escape - `runners' who are swiftly found, brought back to Darkfrith and punished. Alerted by rumors from London of a jewel thief, `that could disappear in smoke' the Drakon council knew that this was not a human, but another `runner' who had fled Darkfrith without permission. Christoff `Kit' Langford, the Alpha leader and enigmatic Marquess of Langford, knows that the `runner' must be caught before revealing the existence of Drakon's to mortals and planned to dangle the Langford diamond, the tribes' most tempting jewel, as bait in order to trap him. What Christoff, or the council never expected to discover was that the `runner' was not a he but a she.

After years growing up as an outcast in Darkfrith, as a Halfling - half drakon, half mortal - Clarisa Rue Hawthorne on her seventeenth birthday had orchestrated her `death' and fled. Rue knew that a female had not been capable of `Turning' in over four generations and on that day that she had `Turned' -- as an Alpha female - she would be destined to be Kit's bride. After having loved Kit her entire life, she could not have endured being married to him without his love in return. For the last nine years, she had lived in London masquerading as a widow and relished her freedom. When captured by Kit, who in the process lost the famous Langford Diamond, Rue would offer Kit a proposal to help him reclaim the jewel in return for her freedom. Kit accepted her challenge - all the while expecting to win not only the diamond, but something more precious - this most amazingly beautiful woman, Rue, as his willing bride.

- I loved this book! From the very first pages I was totally mesmerized by this fascinating, highly imaginative, and sensually thrilling world of the Drakons. Kit and Rue's sensual dance was exotic, totally bewitching and one, which will leave the reader panting for more. Whether on land or in the air, Shana Abe' has created vivid and exhilarating imagery in the mating dance of the Drakons that is sure to please the most discriminating fans of historical fantasy and catapult this author right up the ranks with the likes of Kenyon, Holly, and Krinard. I for one will be very anxiously awaiting future sequels to this spellbinding new series featuring the Drakons!
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total copy of a better book..... 31 Jan 2007
By Emmly - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book because of the great reviews it received. I must say that while I enjoy reading, I did not enjoy this book.

It is a complete copy of Dragonswan (part of the Dark Hunter series) by Sherilyn Kenyon.

Both the hero and the heroine, and the story itself fell short in so many ways. No character development, poor plotline and just plain boring. I kept waiting for something interesting, unique or exciting to happen but it never did. I was so not impressed and disgusted with this book that I sold Dream Thief without reading it.

I would give this book negative 5 stars if I could.

Invest your money in the Dark Hunter series by Sherilyn Kenyon or The Highlander Series by Karen Marie Moning. These series will absolutely not let you down in any way.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey! 29 May 2006
By Neker - Published on
A surprisingly, light, wonderful read. I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. Actually, I planned only to scan the first few pages to see if it would be interesting since I had nothing better to choose from. Yet, I couldn't put it down from page one. There is plenty of action, suspense, and romance. I love this new interesting world Abe created with shapeshifting dragons. I love the concept with the jewels. I love this new and interesting world, and I can't wait until the continuation.
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