The Smoke Thief - Shana Abe

I am 2 for 2 in 2013! This is a beautifully imagined paranormal fantasy interwoven with historical romance and what a romance it is!

 

I am pretty partial to dragon shifters and Abé draws them beautifully here, telling a tale of the Dra'kon, creatures with soul deep ties to the secrets of clan and kin. Not only have they mastered the ability to fold themselves into human form they can also literally dissolve to smoke!

 

Rue is a fierce, self-possessed young woman hiding from a past where she never fit in and Kit the uber-Alpha who, while hunting for the "runner" who’s fled Darkfrith without permission, is blindsided by fate when he discovers she is his counterpart, his other half, his foreordained mate. I would have maybe liked a little more of Rue's history since we skip a big chunk of time and events that led to her decision to fake her death and cut ties to the shifter society she was born to. But we do get hints of Rue's determination to hold tight to the life she has created outside of the insular society into which she was born as she struggles to deny the pull of her destiny with Kit.

 

The romantic in me was completely blissed out by this book. I loved Rue's self possession and independence as much as I loved Kit's plot to woo and win her because his internal beast had recognized her for what she was. I think that irrevocable pull of their baser natures was perfectly developed and utterly seductive. It kept me up way past bedtime as I rushed to find out how they would win their HEA.

 

“I've wanted you from the moment I first saw you in the museum. Before that. I wanted every part of you from the first time I felt you, your presence. I want you in the sky, and against the earth. I want to kiss you again, I want to touch you, I want to feel you in my arms and I want to hear you gasping my name when I'm inside you. I want all that, and I want it badly. Every time I look at you, I want it. So you're going to have to become used to that, Rue. It won't change."  swoooon!!