Abe, Shana. The Smoke Thief. 2005. New York: Bantam Books, 2006. ISBN: 0-553-58804-4. Print List Price: $6.99.
Shana Abe is an author that has been on my radar for a while, but it was not until I found this book at a recent used book sale that I took the effort to try her work. And this book is enjoyable as a fantasy, even if it is somewhat awkward as a romance.
Abe puts effort into worldbuilding, seamlessly melding the fantasy aspects of her shapeshifter dragon world of the north with 1730s-50s England. This might not appeal to everyone who likes either fantasy/shifter romance or historicals, but if you enjoy stories that merge the two, I would recommend this book.
I really enjoyed Rue, who always felt like an outsider, due to being a "halfling," and grows up to become a thief, after faking her own death. There were some moments, however, where I felt like Kit was rather annoying. The dragon possessiveness stuff is somewhat believable, but there are mentions on two separate occasions that he would be fine with raping Rue. He doesn't, but these bits did leave a bad taste in my mouth.