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Review: Legend Of The Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper

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Legend Of The Highland Dragon
Author: Isabel Cooper 
Reviewer: B.
Rating: A-

What I’m Talking About:

When Mina Seymour arranged to have tea in the home of the handsome laird who recently stormed into her employer’s office, she only wanted to make sure he meant the older gentleman no harm. Being attacked by shadow demons and encountering a snarling dragon was certainly not what she’d anticipated. Neither was being offered an enormous sum of money and a stay as Lord MacAlasdair’s in-house secretary in exchange for her silence, for that matter. But, Mina has never been “conventional” by anyone’s standards, and the life of adventure she’s always wanted may just be closer than she ever imagined it could be.

Lord Stephen MacAlasdair never thought that, when he initially met the young woman guarding his old friend’s office door, she’d be anything more than an unpleasant memory. He never guessed that she’d soon be both a liability and an accomplice, much less a capable ally in his fight against a vengeful enemy. Yet, now that she’s seen too much, he has to convince her to stay, and in the process learns that the maddening woman who’s upended his carefully structured existence is exactly what he needs to truly feel alive for the first time in centuries.

I initially had no idea what to expect from this story, but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. Both Mina and Stephen are well-written, fun characters, each being possessed of intelligence, heart, and a similarly wry outlook that makes quite a few of their conversations seem more like sparring matches. Raised in a time when women had few opportunities open to them, Alice has reinvented herself by becoming a professor’s secretary, even changing her accent to conceal her true status. She is adventurous, clever, resourceful, and fiercely loyal, not to mention determined enough about her own opinions to make her an anomaly. As a result, I liked her a great deal.

Stephen is also something of an oddity, certainly among humans, but also among his own kind. Heir to his family’s fortune and legacy, his earlier pursuits left him unintentionally altered and reluctant to shoulder his duty. Additionally, the potential apathy which his species’ near-immortality has imbued him with could have easily rendered him a very two-dimensional character. Yet, his own love of adventure was nicely paired with an endearing awkwardness, which made him seem more approachable, however, and his conviction of the inevitable monotony of his situation makes Mina’s intrusion into his world all the more entertaining.

I thought Mina and Stephen were very well suited for one another, simultaneously complimenting and infuriating each other by turns. Mina doesn’t let Stephen off the hook for a moment, and I admit that seeing him both amused and exasperated by her was highly entertaining. The affection between them was sweet without being relentless, and was punctuated by explosive bursts of lust that left them both comically flustered afterwards.

Not only a romance, Legend of the Highland Dragon is filled with action and magic, the unpredictability of which kept me wondering what Mina and Stephen might have to face next. Stephen’s nemesis turns out to be surprisingly formidable, a fact which puts not only Mina, but also Stephen himself in danger on several occasions. That Mina’s quick thinking and determination saves him as much as his magic saves her was a nice addition to the story, as well.

All in all, Legend of the Highland Dragon was a fun, interesting tale of magic and romance that made me laugh out loud as well as worry over the outcome. While there were moments that made the path almost too smooth in some respects, they are few and had little bearing on my enjoyment of the narrative as a whole. In Mina and Stephen, Ms. Cooper has given her readers two main characters that are easy to connect with and fun to cheer for. Although Mina and Stephen seem to have found their happy ending, I sincerely hope that there are more characters whose stories have yet to be told.

A-: Enjoyed A Lot

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About the Book:

In Victorian England, gossip is often as precious as gold. But the Highlanders are a more mysterious bunch. And if anyone found out that Stephen MacAlasdair really was, he’d be hunted down, murdered, his clan wiped out. As he’s called to London on business, he’ll have to be extra vigilant — especially between sunset and the appearance of the first evening star.

Mina just wanted to find out more about the arrogant man who showed up in her employer’s office. Some might say it was part of her job. She never thought the stranger would turn into a dragon right in front of her. Or that he’d then offer her an outrageous sum of money to serve as his personal secretary. Working together night and day to track a dangerous enemy, Mina comes to see a man in love is more powerful and determined than any dragon.

Release Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Series: Highland Dragons #1
ISBN: #978-1402284670
Genre: Paranormal Romance, historical setting
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Legend of the Highland Dragon

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