#Review: Legend of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper

Posted December 11, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 10 Comments

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#Review: Legend of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper
Legend of the Highland Dragon

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: #1 Highland Dragons
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on December 3, 2013
Pages: 348
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There are certain words that are bound to grab my attention. ‘Highland’ and ‘Dragon’ are two of them and they were in the same title so…yeah, forgone conclusion that I was going to grab this one up for my reading pleasure. This was the first of a historical paranormal romance series and as such there was a deal of set up and introduction work going on. I enjoyed the story from all the paranormal races brought to life in Victorian London to the build up of suspense as a vengeful villain sought to harm the good guy dragon, but I wasn’t necessarily wowed by it when all was said and done.
Before I go much further, must address the cover. I focused in on the title for my part when I was choosing this one, but I want to give fair warning to all those who make reading decisions based on covers. Cover doesn’t match the story. Yes, Laird Stephen MacAlisdair is a highlander, no kilts to be seen, and yes there is a sword, but the story is set entirely in London and the sword stays firmly hooked to the wall above the mantle. Just wanted to put that out there for those looking for a sword-wielding highlander in a kilt in the highlands.

Story starts with Mina getting suspicious of one of her employer’s guests after her employer shows signs of fear. Her intrepid nosiness is rewarded by landing her in a heap of trouble involving a larger than life red dragon, shadow creatures, a vengeful human who wields magic and an autocratic Scotsman. Mina has raised herself up from her humble beginnings and has no intentions of letting her new situation intimidate or cower her. She learns the eye-widening lesson that there is more in the world than humans as she resides under the protection of an actual dragon who is the laird of a clan of dragons. Together they work to stop a man who doesn’t care about human life and has made it his mission to get back at the men who stopped him once before. Now, if she struggles to control her attraction to Stephen MacAlisdair, just the reminder that she is human and a commoner and he is neither, keeps things realistic for her.

Stephen was none too pleased when a bristling, stubborn, loyal and brave human woman stumbles into his life and his secrets. She juts out that chin, whips out his fire poker and thinks she’s brave enough to take on the supernatural nasties of London or at least she is willing to try. After a while, he comes to trust her judgment and respect her strong nature. When they complete their task of locating his enemy, he wonders what his life will be like without her in it.

This was one of those stories that had many things I liked which allowed me to enjoy the story, but there were things that left me less than satisfied too. The romance was just meh for me and I can’t really put the finger on why other than I wasn’t into the characters maybe. There was a nice build up where they first learned to respect each other and they gave into attraction a few times and I even liked them together, but all that being said, I was just mildly interested.
The action part of the plot was great until the last scene left me wanting more after the villain was built up as this big baddie. Not to say that it didn’t get real exciting there, but just that it was a wink and a blink affair.

As to the characters, I was a bit taken aback when this one opened. Mina was just so gung-ho into affairs that were not her own and then got all up in Stephen’s grill because he was none to thrilled about her interference. She’s a self-made woman and trust me, that has all my respect, but she was a bit of a reverse snob about it and oversensitive as a result. It was the whole demand respect instead of earn it thing. She had a bit of the ‘I’m right; you’re wrong na na na boo boo’ thing going too. And she was right, but many times she was just lucky too. Now while, Mina’s character sort of hits you in the face with her personality, Stephen’s is much more laid back and neutral. He takes his responsibilities and duties seriously, he is sensible in the face of other people’s expertise, but he doesn’t ooze power and personality.

So, it was a slow-building story with a mild romance set against a paranormal Victorian world. I enjoyed when Stephen was the dragon and want to read his brother’s story. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy the blend of the historical and paranormal romance with a romance that is more sweet than spicy and a plot with some good action sequences sprinkled throughout.

This was my TBR pile choice for the month which set me up nicely to be able to read the sequel about Stephen’s brother as a review commitment this month. Look forward to what you pick for me next month.

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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Red IzaBraine TSSophia RosekimbacaffeinateLover Of Romance Recent comment authors
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Lover Of Romance
Guest

Great review!! I felt the same way about this one. I think what I had the hardest time with was the romance.., they never seemed to connect fully

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, me too, Renee. The sassiness and tension was there, but the rest just fizzled out instead of sweeping me off my feet.

kimbacaffeinate
Guest

Why? Why do they do that with covers..wouldn’t it have been better to show the London setting. Ugh. There are aspects that make me think I would enjoy this, but the meh romance makes me think this should be a library pick up if I find the time. Great review my friend!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I know, I know, I try to think its just b/c someone wanted to make it pretty, but I know very well that a highlander and a sword will sell more than a man in fashionable London clothes.

Yes, that’s probably wise to make it a library pick. I won it last year at a Sourcebooks event so that’s how I happened on it.

Braine TS
Guest

I can’t remember all the things that I didn’t like about this book, I read this early this year I think and it wasn’t very memorable for me, but I didn’t connect with the love story either. I think I didn’t like the heroine at all and her dragons were underwhelming IMO

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I guess underwhelming is the key word for this one. I wanted to see his dragon take down the villain in the end.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I guess underwhelming is the key word for this one. I wanted to see his dragon take down the villain in the end.

Red Iza
Guest

I don’t think this one’s for me, the heroin would soon get on my nerves lol. Thanks for sharing 😉

Sophia Rose
Guest

She was definitely a tough sell for me, Iza. She got herself into trouble and naturally it was his fault. That never sits well with me when people blame shift. Mistakes happen, but own them and don’t get crabby with someone else b/c you screwed up. LOL! Guess I’m still not fond of her.

Red Iza
Guest

I can see that 😉 And I’m with you on it !