Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: HIGHLAND DRAGON MASTER by Isabel Cooper

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HIGHLAND DRAGON MASTER (Dawn of the Highland Dragon, Book 3) by Isabel Cooper

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

582EAE0F-FC41-4248-8852-37A715CF0779Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

The war for Scottish independence rages on, but it’s only a matter of time before England is victorious. Exhausted and battle-weary, Highland dragon Erik MacAlasdair will face unknown seas to seek the Templar stronghold and claim a power so great it could free his beloved homeland forever.

If only that kind of power didn’t come with such a terrible price.

Daughter of a mortal woman and an ancient dragon, Toinette has never forgotten the proud Scot who once stole her young heart—she’ll gladly fight at his side. But when dark forces leave them stranded on a cursed island, it will take everything they have to defy their fate…and trust the passion that burns within the heart of every dragon.

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Excerpt

It had been decades since Toinette had fought with another dragon-blooded. She’d forgotten how appealing it was: as heady and easy to lose herself as in any life-or-death battle, but without the risk of death for her men, and with no need at all to hold back. When Erik staggered from her kick to the knee, she grinned.

Toinette didn’t stop when he recovered himself and used his angle to land an excellent upward punch to her stomach. Though the blow knocked the breath out of her, there was a satisfaction in the impact—even in the pain. This was real. This was solid. She could feel it, with nothing ephemeral or confusing, and she could hit back.

She did. A fist to the jaw left Erik shaking his head. Toinette tried to follow up by sweeping a foot at his ankles, but he pivoted away, stepping nimbly over a fallen branch, and then used the momentum to come back at her with a boot to the thigh.

Ow. Damn.

That one might bruise. She almost laughed aloud. Then she darted back into the fray, throwing an uppercut that landed on Erik’s shoulder.

Before she could pull back, though, he grabbed her wrist, then turned his body with a fluid strength that Toinette admired even as it pulled her weight off-center. Mortal bones might have broken; hers held, but she went flying over Erik’s head to land in a patch of grass, tucking her head just in time to miss a tree trunk.

Erik followed up swiftly. Before Toinette could get to her feet, he was kneeling above her, one broad hand holding down each of her shoulders. He was smiling too. One lip was bloody from her fist, but that only made him look wilder—and more handsome. “One fall for you,” he growled. “Surrender?”

“Piss off,” said Toinette, and whipped her head upward toward his nose.

Erik dodged just in time, but the effort of doing so shifted his weight. Toinette shoved him off and backward; twigs snapped beneath his body. She rolled up to her feet, shifted to fighting stance, and waited.

As she’d thought he might, Erik charged her, shoulder first. If he’d taken Toinette square on, he might have won then—he weighed more, in human form, and was at least somewhat stronger—but she sidestepped neatly, grabbed the hair at the back of his head, and yanked. At the same time, she slammed her lower leg into the backs of his knees. The combination took him over backward.

It was her turn to pin him, and she didn’t bugger about with hands on shoulders. She dropped to her knees on Erik’s chest, sending the air out of him for a change. “Second,” she hissed, “goes to me.”

“Pulling hair,” he said, gasping to get his breath back. “Typical woman. Scratch my face next?”

“If I was truly being womanly, you’d have had a knee in your stones by now.”

“Aye,” he said, and smiled again. “You’ve aged past that, have you not?”

“No,” said Toinette. Looking down into his eyes, feeling the muscles in his chest straining under her palms, smelling his clean masculine sweat, she knew why she hadn’t gone near his groin. It would have been her second target in any other fight—second only because men were quick to defend that location, unless she distracted them with pain elsewhere first—but she’d wanted Erik uninjured in that regard.
She lunged forward. He raised his head at the same moment, and their mouths met with heat and force. All the vital energy of their fight changed in an instant, finding different channels, but the transformation was incomplete. Still they struggled against each other, warring for control with lips and tongues.

Toinette stretched herself out atop the hard length of Erik’s tall body. Her breasts flattened against his chest with exquisite friction. The pressure bordered on pain; she welcomed the bright heat of that edge, the clarity of the sensation. A knee on either side of Erik’s hips held her stable and let her feel his cock hardening between them, tenting the cloth of his hose and pushing against her mound.

Clothing was a very stupid idea.

She would have done something about it, but that would have meant releasing Erik, and she didn’t trust him not to take advantage of that. As she’d shifted position, he’d snaked a hand up and around her neck, his fingers long, forceful, and nearer her jugular than Toinette would have permitted from anyone else, particularly anyone whose nails could become claws with a thought.

With Erik, the contact sent tendrils of humming desire down through her body, hardening her nipples and spiraling inward to her sex. She made no move to shake his hand away. When he pressed her head down, crushing her mouth against his, the hint of pain only went well with the pleasure, a sharp wine with a rich meal.

Yet she had no wish to surrender. The fight was half the fun.

Toinette dug her fingers into Erik’s shoulders, hard enough for him to feel the nails even through his shirt. At the same time, she pulled back: not enough to stop kissing him—she didn’t want to do that—but far enough to bite his lower lip. She did no damage, but she wasn’t entirely gentle either.

The sound he made was as close to a growl as human lungs could manage. Erik’s hips flexed upward, hard and sudden and involuntary, driving his erection between his stomach and Toinette’s. As the heat in her own sex spread outward, she wondered if she could drive him over the edge still clothed. The thought made her pulse with arousal—and, at the same time, chuckle low in her throat.

Erik was the one to pull back this time. “Oh no, lass,” he said hoarsely. Sweat was beginning to glisten at his temples, darkening his golden hair, and his eyes were almost all pupil, but he had enough confidence to smile up at her again. “You’re not winning this one.”

Then, with a quick twist of his arms, he rolled them both over.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

3 Copies of HIGHLAND DRAGON WARRIOR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

During the day, ISABEL COOPER maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager in legal publishing. In her spare time, she enjoys video games, ballroom dancing, various geeky hobbies, and figuring out what wine goes best with leftover egg rolls. Cooper lives with two thriving houseplants in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: HIGHLAND DRAGON REBEL by Isabel Cooper

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HIGHLAND DRAGON REBEL (Dawn of the Highland Dragon, Book 2) by Isabel Cooper

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

7493EE03-9B62-4374-9E7E-7DA5DFD79361By wing, by claw
By fire, by death
So long as dragons rule the skies, Scotland will forever be free.

After a long and bloody war, Scotland has finally won its independence. But Highland dragon Moiread MacAlasdair knows peace balances on the edge of a blade, and she will do anything to keep her homeland from falling to English control.

Even if that means escorting a powerful new ally into the otherworld itself…and defending him with her life.

Madoc of Avandos is on a critical mission to cement alliances against the British. Powerful men would kill to see him fail—but as he and his fiercely beautiful warrior fight their way through hostile lands, Madoc is faced with a difficult choice: sacrifice everything for the cause…or let himself burn for the love of a dragon.

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Excerpt

“You’ll only have to do this the first time,” Moiread said. She sat tailor-fashion on a flattish stone. The brook at her side rushed loudly, swollen with the spring rains. “After, it’ll just be a matter of saying the words. It’s a compact you’re making, like most spells, though I’ve not heard of anything coming in person to agree. Too minor.”
“It’s rare that they do,” Madoc agreed, “or at least rare that they show themselves for it.”
Magic, or most magic, was a matter of talking directly to the forces of the world: the spirits of those forces in the oldest tales, the demons or angels governing their spheres in more modern lore. All spells invoked, most indirectly. Madoc had never been present for an actual summoning. When he was thinking sensibly, he was glad of that. Everything he’d learned said that even the holy ones would frighten the bravest man.
“Good,” said Moiread, evidently sharing his thoughts. “Here.”
She held out a twig of yew, dark needles and bright-red berries attached. In the last village they’d passed through, Moiread had taken them by a churchyard and stopped long enough to break the twig off the tree, which, as in many villages, grew by the gate.
“Now,” she went on, when Madoc had taken the twig, “hold it up and repeat after me.”
Slowly Moiread began, in Latin as good as any priest’s. “In the names of Gabriel, Amariel, Nargeron, and Almighty God, I call upon you, O powers of the worlds. I invoke you, and by invoking, I command you to grant me sight of the union of the spheres. Part the veil that blinds mortal eyes and give me to see the subtle workings of the world, now and whensoever I should invoke it again.”
As Madoc followed her lead, he felt power gathering. It wasn’t much—as Moiread had said, this was a minor spell—but the earth and the air both shifted, as if he could feel them being drawn slightly toward the yew twig. The twig itself began to feel both heavier and less present. Madoc was half worried that his fingers would go through it. In the sun at midday, it was hard to see, but he also thought it glowed. Moiread nodded. “Now crush the berries. Close your eyes, and smear them on your lids.”
The sliminess Madoc had expected lasted barely a moment. Then it turned to a cool tingling across his closed eyelids and, in another heartbeat, vanished. His skin felt untouched.
“And open.”
Madoc did, and caught his breath. He was no stranger to magic, but never had he been able to see the whole world through such entirely different eyes.
A faint haze hung above the grass and trees, a paler shadow of their natural green. The rocks and road looked normal, though their colors were deeper than they had been a moment ago. Madoc looked to the horses, peacefully cropping new grass a few feet away, and saw that each of them glowed a shade of brown: the steady darkness of wheat bread for Moiread’s horse and a slightly lighter color for Rhuddem.
Madoc raised a hand in front of his face. His fingers shone red, shot through with streaks of silver. He flexed them, and the colors shifted accordingly.
“By God,” he said. “This is truly a lovely art you’ve shown me.”
“Useful, at times. But aye,” Moiread said admittedly, “rather beautiful too, in its way.”
She was beautiful. The spell stripped her of her illusion. Her hair lengthened slightly, her figure swelled and narrowed, and her face became a shade more delicate, so that a young-looking woman in men’s clothing sat facing him. In the world of the spell, a pattern of dancing lights played across her body, like diamonds set onto the crisp blue that washed over her skin.
In this world, her shadow was nothing remotely human. Two vast wings stretched out behind her, the brook running through their shade. When she tilted her head to watch him, the shape of an immense head, on a serpentine neck, separated itself from the larger shadow and turned toward Madoc. The same pattern of lights glittered in the shadow.
Mayhap it would have been sensible for Madoc to fear her then, but he wished only that he had more time to sit and watch her.
“A bit revealing, aye?” Moiread asked, clearly aware of where he was looking. To his relief, she sounded amused. “That is why we don’t generally teach the spell. We didn’t come up with it, but we’ve enough luck that not many know it.”
“Do you care so greatly for concealment?”
She shrugged a shoulder. “It’s no great peril, in my view of things, to be found out. There are already those who know what we are and speak of it with varying degrees of truth. Once more knew, or we were more willing to admit it, or both.”
“What happened?”
“To us? Time and duty. The world gets fuller. A clan turns from hunting to farming, and it’s no’ such great use for its laird to spend his days flying in dragon shape. Less use still in court, and we must go there to be part of the greater world, to lead a clan rather than a tribe in a cave. Our sires have other duties, and we as well. Our foes have magic of their own. Dragon shape is no sure victory.”
“I have heard that,” said Madoc, “and seen a little too. Only ran into one sorcerer myself.”
“We’ve not fought them often, no’ directly. The English magic turns more toward enchanted weapons”—she rubbed her calf, wincing in memory—“ or strengthening castles. Crafty spells.”
“Like the one I’m doing?” Madoc asked, speaking the words that courtesy would have Moiread avoid.
“No shame in taking a weapon from your foe,” said Moiread. “We may have fought the people we learned this from”—she gestured around her, indicating the world revealed—“ or we may fight them in the years to come. I’m still glad to have it.”
“So am I.”

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

3 Copies of HIGHLAND DRAGON WARRIOR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

~*~*~*~

About the Author

During the day, ISABEL COOPER maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager in legal publishing. In her spare time, she enjoys video games, ballroom dancing, various geeky hobbies, and figuring out what wine goes best with leftover egg rolls. Cooper lives with two thriving houseplants in Boston, Massachusetts.