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Night of the Highland Dragon: Highland Dragons Series, Book 3 Audiobook – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition
A story melding history and dragons? How could I resist! I’m not always the biggest fan of historical Scotland tales, but this one is well told and quite fun. Loch Arach is full of interesting locals who aren’t simple clichés and the lady herself, Judith, is suitably strong willed and imperious without being overbearing. She has an interesting history and I loved seeing how her long years and increased strength had shaped the course and choices of her. She definitely has more than her share of pride, and a wee touch of arrogance too, but I liked that she never let it lead her into foolish choices. She’s smart and bold and will do everything she can to protect her ancestral lands.

As for William, I loved that he’s never put off by Judith’s strength – both before and after he discovers her secret. He never once thinks she’s unwomanly or strange because of the power she has and the strength she wields. He might have a few thoughts about societal manners, but they’re soon overcome and I enjoyed the way the two grew gradually closer and learnt to trust each other. William’s no fool either, and although at times it felt like his investigations were pretty slow, he is smart enough that I could believe he’d work things out eventually.

However, I thought the villain of the piece was too obvious from the start, and for a book with Dragon in the title, actual dragon time was sadly short. The pace is gradual, giving the romance time to blossom, though even that is taken at a steady pace. The only thing that did feel slightly rushed was the climax of the villain plot. For a bunch of characters who never assume anything up to this point, afterwards a lot of assumptions seemed to be made and other things were left a little more open than I might have liked.
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Format: Kindle Edition
While the tale is a little slow to get off the ground, with many introductions, introspections and conversations, we can sense that a gradual buildup to dark deeds is occurring. Set in Scotland at the turn of the 19th to 20th century, this shapeshifter story includes dark magick and demons. An English gentleman from a secret department arrives in a Scots village to find out what is happening after a person has died mysteriously. William Arundell meets a lady laird, whose villagers and tenants are fiercely loyal, maybe because there were no Highland Clearances here. Apparently she is well preserved, for her age, doesn't socialise and rides astride when not in polite company. Some livestock are found dead and mutilated, much as the traveller was.

I find the writing good at providing details of the times, and weaving in just those which will be needed later in the story. We also learn that Lady Judith MacAllister has been secretly a soldier or sailor in past years, acting a man while her supposed ladyship is absent from the castle and is said to have died abroad, before she returns as a relative looking the image of her grandmother. This aspect reminds me of the Diana Wynne Jones story Fire And Hemlock. The demons are a new departure and are creepily and convincingly written; they were like a Janny Wurts story. I also enjoyed the shapechanging sequences featuring a green dragon. When we get action there is plenty of it.

Romance also features because it wouldn't be a castle without a beauty and a beast, though not as that legend normally goes. This is an adult romantic tale with strong paranormal aspects and some gruesome scenes. However, there is also plenty of wooded Scots countryside and fresh air, which gets William out of smoggy London and stifling dinner engagements. Just as well he brought some silver bullets.
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Format: Kindle Edition
William and Judith will have to put aside their differences and band together to save the British Islands from its deadliest foe in this riveting paranormal romance. The author has created a fascinating world with dragons and magic with an interesting feel to it, while the story is definitely historical with just the right amount of Scottish dialogue to add to the Highland feel without going overboard, it also has a kind of slight steampunk feel to the story, probably because of William’s magical gadgets. I was completely caught up in the story from the very beginning and found it quite enjoyable but I am still a little unclear on just what the bad guys wanted Judith for…other than they were up to no good of course.

See my full review at: Paranormal Haven .com
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