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November 25, 2013

Braine Reviews: Legend of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper

Series: TBA
Format: Print ARC
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Publisher
Read an Excerpt
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Sourcebooks 

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.

Dragons, magic and a gorgeous couple, all set in Victorian England.

Exciting right? Isabel Cooper's latest novel LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND DRAGON started with a loud roar. After a round of pleasant introductions we're immediately acquainted with the hunky Scottish Laird, Stephen MacAlasdair, in his full Dragon form and it's both glorious and intimidating at the same time. And Dragons are commonly identified as guardians of some sort and this association is true as far as this story is concerned. Seeking the help of an old friend, Stephen instead found an ally and secretary in Mina Seymour. Together they uncover the plot of Stephen's nemesis, the cunning and vicious, Ward. With Mina's insatiable curiosity and tenacious scholarly investigations, they managed to finally come face to face with Ward but is it too late? 

Well almost too late but as expected with HEA novels, the Dragon saves the day. I love the premise of LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND DRAGON after all, we're talking about Dragons here! Every fantasy reader has a certain love affair with these mythical reptiles and I'm infatuated with them. Stephen as a Dragon didn't disappoint, the letdown for me lies on the world building or lack thereof. You have Dragons and magic at the forefront here and I was hoping that ICooper's version of Victorian England would be as big and magical as her creature of choice. It was too ordinary IMO and lacked the vibrancy of a world where Dragons exists.

And speaking of Stephen, I do love his voice in my head with his sexy Scottish accent. Unlike other Alpha immortals, Stephen didn't strike me as a smooth talking lady's man. He's gorgeous, very proper, a bit clumsy in as far as handling his attraction to the lovely Mina Seymour, and exudes a scholarly vibe. Not that he's lacking skill in the seduction department, the sexual tension between these two is obvious, I just didn't find Stephen sexy. I didn't really connect with Stephen much, he's not as charming as his brother, Colin, and I found Colin's banters with Mina to be more engaging and flirty than Stephen and Mina's. Stephen could certainly take a lesson or two from Colin's charm book to improve his personality a bit.

As for our heroine, Mina Seymour has the markings of being a great one. She's a forward thinker, independent, proud, has a mind for learning and quite tenacious and not easily intimidated. I liked Mina, she's my kind of historical heroine and if the story was told in her POV, I think I might have enjoyed LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND DRAGON better. That or if her love interest was Colin instead of Stephen.

There's a short list of secondary characters and I'm guessing Colin's story is next and I'm looking forward to that. The villain wasn't as strong of a character, he predominantly stayed in the shadows and I wish we had more facetime with him to make the story more suspenseful. I have to roll my eyes at the ending though, it was too easy given what's at stake. 

Anyway, I know I presented a short wish list here but it doesn't mean this was bad. LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND DRAGON set the stage for future books and I can only assume that it will only gain momentum from this point. I may not have been blown away by LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND DRAGON but it doesn't mean that I'm deterred from continuing with the series. There are just some things things that didn't work for me and I'm hoping you'll find more satisfaction with it than I did. 



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20 comments:

  1. Nice review. I tried reading this and had high hopes for it (since I love dragons) but I just could not seem to get into it. I was a little underwhelmed. Although I did like that we got some dragon action right in the beginning.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

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    1. I know what you mean, the world building needs a bucket of glitter and fairy dust

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  2. Shifters, Dragons..oh my..this sounds good, and I usually reserve judgment on a series until the end of book two or three. Sometimes book one suffers from the world-building. Awesome find Braine :)

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    1. I agree, there are so few books that has the world building pat down on the first book.

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  3. I like HF, and I like PNR, but I never read a mix-up of the two. I'm glad you found this mostly enjoyable, Braine. Nice review!

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    1. Oooh then please acquainted with some KCallihan or Bec MacMaster. The romance is panty melting.

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  4. Sounds like it could really be an interesting series. And oh yeah big dragon fan here. One of my favorite series is GAAiken's Dragon Kin. So good. I haven't really read too many historical paranormals so definitely has me a bit interested.

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  5. Oooh I need to read more dragon shifter books

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    1. They're my next fave after my trusty wolves

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  6. Mina definitely sounds like my kind of heroine, too, Braine. And here I thought I was the only one who crushed on dragons. ;) It's too bad the worldbuilding wasn't all it could have been - you're right, Victorian England and dragons could be fantastic! Maybe the next one will be better.

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    1. I hope and pray so! I am so infatuated with dragons in VE!

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  7. Scottish Accent!!! I could lick a Scottish accent!!! hehe. This looks like a good one even if it's not perfect.

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    1. ROFL! I have you doubt that you can do that!

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  8. Dragon shifters?? Sounds awesome even though the couple didn't 100% work for you.

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    1. If Colin's is the next book, that I'm sure will be fabulous!

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  9. I would be curious to see what I think about Stephen... I didn't know this one but I confess that the mix between dragons and Highland is awesome! But well I hope you'll have more Colin now!

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  10. I'm not a historical buff, but i do love dragons. maybe I'll borrow this from the library some day :)

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  11. I had high hopes for this one. May wait to get it.

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  12. oh my Dragons...me loves them and this is a historical PNR. Even with the lack of world building, this story still sounds pretty dang of good :) great review Braine!

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