Let’s talk about the cover first! It’s gorgeous! It depicts the story quite accurately: wispy, smoky, green background, a jeweled tittle (new word for me!) and a golden dragon on the cover! Just perfect
You can’t really categorize this book as it falls into many different types of subgenres: historical, fantasy, romance and paranormal. The characters are very different and the storyline is quite intriguing.
The Drakon are a secret and ancient race of shape-shifting dragons, from the hills of northern England who, walk and live amongst humans in secret. Clarissa Hawthorne (Rue) is a halfling Drakon who is an insignificant speck amongst the tribe’s pure blood Drakon. Christoff Langford, Earl of Chasen is the alpha heir to the tribe and Rue has always been in love with him since childhood. Rue fakes her own death and runs from the tribe’s oppressive and confining rules, a crime punishable by death according to Drakon law. She lives a secret life as “The Smoke Thief”, stealing precious jewels from Georgian England’s richest ton. The Drakon suspect the thief is a runner and one of their own and baits “him” with the tribe’s most precious commodity:the Langford Diamond. Imagine Kit’s surprise when he encounters Rue as the suspected jewel thief and a female Drakon who can Turn (from human to Drakon and vice versa), which hasn’t happened in a very long time. Rue and Christoff are the tribes’ alphas by default which places them in the predicament of figuring out not only their tribal obligations but their personal feelings for each other under new circumstances.
The book starts off interesting enough with the blurb and draws you into the Drakon world, but one thing I noticed was how heavy it was on the purple prose. I’m usually a sucker for lyrical descriptions but I found the prose too heavy at times and somewhat distracting as I had to re-read sentences to grasp their meaning. The romance is a marriage of convenience theme and is very lukewarm. Towards the end, I didn’t feel like the relationship between the characters had blossomed into love despite their professions to each other. I also didn’t feel like I had insight into Christoff as I really didn’t like him as a hero. He is almost like an anti-hero as he treats Rue poorly, lies to her, blackmails her and says some really nasty things. The sex scenes also always seemed focused on his pleasure rather than Rue’s. The romance between them takes a backstep to the diamond quest and the tribal happenings. I don’t need a romance to be full of descriptive scenes of love, but I do expect to feel like a couple are made for each other and I didn’t feel that depth of complexity or development in this relationship.
I would recommend this book however, even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had anticipated. I recommend it for those who are timid about foraying into the romance genre, as it has enough elements to classify it as a romance novel. The romance is secondary so it does contain a nice romance novel style taster without being too full on. I also recommend it for those looking for a out-of-a-slump book. That’s what I used this book for and it worked to get me out of a historical romance slump. Even though it wasn’t the greatest read, it was not the worst and had a fascinating combination of genres. I do anticipate this book being a hit or a miss with readers, depending on what you are looking for in your reading!