Legend of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper

HIGHLAND
Legend of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: FulL Length (329 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The MacAlasdairs are not like other men.

Descendants of an ancient alliance, they live for centuries, shifting between human and dragon forms. Some wander the earth; some keep to their lands in Scotland. And Stephen MacAlasdair, the newest lord of the family, must go to London to settle his father’s business affairs. He brings an object of great power and greater darkness. He finds an enemy from his past, whose wrath is still living and deadly. And he meets an ally he’d never have expected.

1894 London, doesn’t provide an easy life for women of the lower class, but Mina Seymour has managed to work herself up to a position as the secretary of a famous scholar. When a tall, dark Scottish stranger demands to see her employer, Mina is irritated; when MacAlasdair’s departure leaves the professor worried, she’s suspicious. Determined to figure out the situation, she investigates further – and finds a world and a man she could never have imagined.

A dragon with a problem, a secretary with an obsessive need to investigate and protect and a bad guy that plays dirty are all on stage creating a very interesting and absorbing read indeed.

Mina is a very opinionated and dedicated woman of her time. She’s very proper, studious and dependable. At least, that is a reader’s first impression of the heroine. You’ve heard of the phrase, ‘tip of the iceberg’? That’s Mina. She is so much more interesting as the story unfolds and I liked her very much. The one thing I adored was the flip. I refer to a scene that starts off like many other scene in an historical romance book, then, FLIP, the heroine does her own thing, in her own way and stuns both the hero and reader alike. That happened to me a few times during the tale and I really enjoyed it because it brought a refreshing and fascinating spin to this paranormal adventure.

Stephen, the hero, is more than a man. He’s a dragon. But he’s cursed and it’s caused no end of difficulties in his life. Just when he thought things were getting bad, they got worse when Mina invaded his home, but the worse was actually better. It didn’t seem that way to him at first and I enjoyed watching their blossoming friendship and eventual romance evolve and mature. I liked his reaction every time Mina didn’t act the way he expected. I also had fun reading about the differences in dragon versus human relations. He was clueless but he simply couldn’t stay away from Mina. He didn’t understand it and it confused him, and greatly entertained me.

The curse didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I understood its effects on Stephen. The how or why of it remains a complete mystery. There are references to a certain item but how it’s related or affects the hero never seems to be addressed. I didn’t see one anyway. I’m not too sure if that’s a deliberate oversight to continue the unraveling of the mystery behind the curse for a sequel, or it just didn’t make it into the book. How it was handled made it seem more of a convenient way to explain the plot at the point in time that is presented to a reader in the beginning. There wasn’t much logic to it. Not that the paranormal conforms to logic – it usually thwarts it. However, this tale reminded me strongly of the movie, The Mummy, but in that the how’s and whys of the curse were very explicit. Not so in this book.

I liked Mina’s strong personality. I liked Stephen too, but again, for all his referenced mightiness, he was a bit straitlaced. He never came across as an alpha, more like a regular guy, who sometimes has scales. I liked his brother although he was a smart aleck at times. The other secondary characters helped a reader gain insight into the hero and heroine by using their interactions and dialogue.

My favorite interaction is when Mina and Stephen finally and openly realize their physical attraction. However, since the hero and heroine aren’t your typical characters, neither is their encounter. It was very interesting and seductive, and a little fast. There’s a reason for that but I’m not saying why.

The villain wasn’t very well rounded. He was a named threat and his minions always did the dirty work. Oh, I assure readers that they were appropriately creepy and disgusting and the writing was very clear and precise on that part. But, when I finally got to meet the bad guy himself, I was underwhelmed. He didn’t get a chance to show how vile and demented he was by on scene action or deed or dialogue for me to feel he was a proper antagonist. I just heard throughout the story that he had major grudge against the hero. It wasn’t enough to build up the suspense, drama or conflict. I got more suspense out of reading scenes in which Mina and Stephan fought their attraction to each other.

What I did enjoy, and what the author really paid attention to, was the romance between Stephen and Mina. That was the main highlight and what made this story such fun to read. They were likeable and interesting characters and I relished their dialogue, the way the author had them thinking or acting around the other as their awareness and interest in each other grew, and how they complimented each other. Their relationship was what kept me flipping the pages.

Legend of the Highland Dragon is a well written romance. It has interesting characters, a different kind of plot conflict and a mysterious race of dragons unlike anything I’ve read so far. I really do hope Ms. Cooper writes another book that picks up some of the threads from this one. It’s certainly intriguing and I believe will have quite the appeal for other paranormal romance fans. It has more going for it than not and I do consider the time I took to read this tale as time well spent.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Long and Short Reviews welcomes Isabel Cooper as she visits as part of her virtual book tour celebrating the release of her newest book, Night of the Highland Dragon, book three in the series, which is scheduled for release on June 2. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy of The Legend of the Highland Dragon, book one in the Highland Dragon series. Read our review of Legend here. […]

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