cover image Legend of the Highland Dragon

Legend of the Highland Dragon

Isabel Cooper. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-8467-0

Cooper (Lessons After Dark) populates her Victorian England series launch with supernatural entities, sending a secretary from London’s East End on an adventure that blends magic, history, horror, and sleuthing. Mina Seymour, who has pulled herself out of poverty by working as a scholar’s secretary, is concerned when Lord Stephen MacAlasdair visits her employer and leaves him visibly distressed. Visiting Stephen’s house to check up on him, she’s attacked by demons and rescued by Stephen—who is a shape-shifting dragon. Stephen, impressed with Mina’s cool-under-pressure attitude, enlists her help to defeat an evil sorcerer. The plot combines a cross-class romance with a mystical quest, neatly twining discussions of class differences with descriptions of magic. The relationship builds naturally and heatedly, but the abrupt ending will leave readers longing for an epilogue or a chance to revisit these characters in future books. (Dec.)