Deep in the Northern English countryside is the village of Darkfrith, where a tribe of extraordinary dragon shape-shifters live. The drakons have kept their secret for thousands of years, but exposure is near. One of their own has become the notorious burglar known as the Smoke Thief.

On her 17th birthday, Clarissa Rue Hawthorne, a halfling drakon, discovers that she can "turn" and flees Darkfrith to make a new life in London. Like all drakons, she is drawn to jewels and the power they hold. Using her unique abilities she gains wealth and security.

The drakon's alpha leader, Christoff, the Marquess of Langford, must unmask the thief and bring the "runner" to Darkfrith for punishment. He dangles the irresistible Langford diamond as bait and catches Clarissa, but loses the fabulous stone. To reclaim the gem he needs Clarissa's help. She resists the temptation to yield to Christoff, even though under the tribe's rules she's his property.

Whether they walk the streets of the city or fly overhead, the passion that explodes between them cannot be ignored. Abé pulls out all the stops in this catch-me-if-you-can" story. It's ripe with romance and a legend so intriguing you'll believe every word. Abé brings a new dimension and new possibilities to the genre in an enthralling tale that breaks down boundaries. SENSUAL (Sep., 300 pp., $15.00)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin