Night of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper #Review

Posted July 28, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 14 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Night of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper #Review
Night of the Highland Dragon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #1 Highland Dragons
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on June 2, 2015
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

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This is the third book in the series and tackles the third MacAlisdair sibling. Judith has been in the background through the first two books and she actually lives in the family castle high up in the Scottish Highlands so I was excited to get her story. I’m not sure if this is the last of the series, but she is the final dragon sibling so I’ll assume that’s the case.

The story is obviously part of a series, but like the other two, it can be read alone or out of order though it’s obvious that the siblings stories go in a certain order.

The story opens with Crown special agent, William Arundell, sent out on a mission to solve the possible ritual murder of a boy and curious way of killing some livestock near a remote highland village where the local lady of the castle is reclusive and mysterious. William has been doing his job long enough to believe most anything is possible and danger can lurk in the most innocent of disguises. He observes everyone, notes anything out of the ordinary, and is struck by the Lady Judith MacAlisdair who is definitely more than she seems, but is she guilty of killing and black magic?

Judith has lived a long life and with her brothers has successfully preserved the family secrets. She does not need a curious outside poking around in her village and nosing about for his own mysterious purposes. She definitely doesn’t need a dangerous killer who may or may not be human. She has cared for her people and her lands for a long time and by claw and flame or her own strong will, she will continue to protect them. However, her long drought from intimacy has her interested in Mr. Arundell and for more reasons than just to suspect his activities and his investigations.

I love dragon shifter stories and I also love historical romance particularly set in the Highlands so this was an easy please me. And for the most part, I did enjoy it and found it engaging.
That said, it took a long time to get going so that it was well over the half-way point before any dragon sightings or excitement begins.

The same is true of the romance. They had some sparks sizzling before that and after a time got up to some real heat between them, but thoughts of any sort of relationship or romance wasn’t present until near the end. I do like that at least it wasn’t an insta-anything and I certainly thought William and Judith were a great pair together all around.

It was pretty cool that William was like the James Bond of the Victorian age with his spy work and magical gadgetry and that Judith was this experienced and engaging woman who had already seen it all. There was a real sense of her age unlike many paranormal romances achieve. She is dragon and powerful. William has no insecurities on that score and doesn’t mind taking turns with whose in charge so that was definitely a plus.

The conflict was pretty exciting and wow that was an intense grand finale and denouement for the main characters. I was a tad disappointed when the explanations behind the villainy occurred because it stayed vague. I was given clues that there was some complexity, but not much on explanation. So I got the full force of the evil activity and the rap-up without the psychology behind it if that makes sense.

Like I said, I’m not sure if this was the end, but I liked how things were updated with the other MacAlisdairs and left things with a clear direction for all their futures.

In summation, it got off slow, but built to an exciting and rewarding finish. There was dragon excitement, a paranormal mystery, a strong heroine, an exciting Victorian spy, and a satisfying all around story. Historical Paranormal Romance lovers would probably adore it.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #229 HR

Cliché Klatch #141 ‘You can trust dogs to be dogs’

Historical Romance #57

About Isabel Cooper

Isabel Cooper lives in Boston with her boyfriend and a houseplant she’s kept alive for over a year now. She maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing. She only travels through time the normal way and has never fought a demon, but she can waltz.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Ooo I want dragon excitement, a paranormal mystery, a strong heroine, and an exciting Victorian spy You threw me off as it said #1 but it’s really number 3. I will probably read it order.

    • Oops, sorry to throw you off. It is indeed book three. Her two brothers get their stories first. Yes, the paranormal historical romantic suspense is a fun combination in these. They take off slow each time, but get exciting by the end.

  • Oh I love this cover! With the tartan elements in her dress and that fierce look. I don’t think I have read a lot of highlander romances so far, although I visited Scotland once and lvoe that country! It sounds like the paranormal and historical romance elements are nicely interwoven. And the conflict sounds well done, although it soudns like the villian could’ve been a bit more interesting. I just finished a book like that as well, the villian was just evil just because and I just wanted a bit more depth behind why he did what he did. Great review!

    • The combination of story elements was a definitely plus for me. Lucky you to see Scotland! 🙂

      Yes, I did want more explanation about the villain’s motives b/c I never really understood why he did what he did in the end.

  • A Victorian James Bond, oh how sexy! Too bad I quit this series after the first book 🙁

    • Yeah, that first one left me iffy, too, and so did the second, but I was curious about their sister so gave it one more chance. I liked her story much better. It helped that it was actually set in the highlands and that the hero was investigating a murder mystery.

      • I used to love Highland books. I don’t know when I stopped reading them…

        • Moods and phases! 🙂

          • I devoured them in my teens til my early twenties. So much that I got in plaid even when it wasn’t in style! lol Thank god Clueless came out!

          • I devoured them in my teens til my early twenties. So much that I got in plaid even when it wasn’t in style! lol Thank god Clueless came out!

  • It sounds like this one has a combination of great factors to make it a fun story. When I read this one, I will remember about the slow start! Great review.

    • Definitely a winning combo and yeah, patience was tough, but it paid off.

  • Lindy Gomez

    I enjoy a good shifter story, but haven’t read a dragon shifter one yet. I like the setting of the Highlands and how you compare William to the James Bond of the Victorian Era. Judith sounds like a great character also. This is the first historical paranormal romance I’ve seen! Wonderful Review!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • I had such a good time with this one. William was a nice character and his investigations were a strong point.

      Oh, I can’t get enough of the historical PNR mix. You should try Kristen Callihan’s series, too, if you want to immerse in some good ones.