For those of you who aren’t familiar with Janet Chapman, she writes contemporary romances with a time travel/paranormal twist. I actually picked up her first release at a grocery store about 10 years ago and was so charmed that I’ve continued with every single new release she has put out since then. Not kidding, I’ve read every single book this woman has published. That first book was about time traveling highlanders who end up in modern-day Maine. Since then I’ve read about druids, time travelers, shapeshifters and wizards. There have been dragons and trees of life and the lost city of Atlantis. Each series kinds of morphs into the next with past characters either being mentioned or related to new ones in each new series. This is the third book in the Spellbound Falls series, which plays off of the Midnight Bay series, which stems from the Puffin Harbor Highlander series. Don’t be too panicked, I do believe that even if you haven’t read any of those earlier releases that you would still enjoy Courting Carolina.
Alec MacKeage is quietly working on building a nature trail for the new resort in town when he comes upon a woman being assaulted. After coming to her rescue he realizes two things: that this woman has been on the run for quite a while and that she isn’t who she says she is. He does agree to let her stay with him and hide out for several days until she can heal. That several days turns into a bit longer and Alec finds himself falling for Jane, the girl he rescued. He soon figures out that Jane is really Carolina, sister to Mac, who is one of the most powerful wizards in existence, and daughter to Titus, the demigod who created Atlantis and the trees of life. Now he has to figure out what exactly to do with her.
Carolina has run from her father and his expectations of who she should be and what kind of life she needs to live. He wants her to get married and live in a traditional wife’s role. She wants to be free and respected for her intelligence, not just for what she brings to a marriage. After being on the run for the last two years she ends up in kidnappers hands and is rescued by a gorgeous Maine highlander named Alec. Carolina and Alec start to build a very sweet relationship while she is staying with him in the scenic Maine wilderness, and although Carolina thinks giving her virginity to Alec will eliminate any chance of a marriage, Alec resists her attempts. They do have sexy times, lots of going not quite all the way sexy times. Alec also has a past, a mysterious past as a soldier and has decided that some of the things he has done in his past are so bad that not only does he not deserve Carolina, but had a vasectomy nine years ago so that he won’t be having any children either. When Carolina (or Jane as she now likes to be called) is finally discovered hiding out by her father and brother Alec must make a choice if he is willing to come to her rescue yet again, with the intentions of keeping her this time.
I swear, Janet Chapman writes the best heroes. They are just so MALE, but at the same time they are respectful, while also being protective and loving. They usually tend to fall for ordinary woman, occasionally they are too smart, or in a rough situation, but they are almost always woman who are in some way like you and me. Alec is a wonderful man because he knows exactly who Carolina/Jane is, but he wants her to be able to solve her problems for herself. Without his involvement. He offers to be her champion and help her face her problem, but that’s all he offers to do: help. Carolina falls in love with him because by letting her make her own decisions he empowers her. When she is taken away from him he goes on a mission to eliminate the competition set up for him by her father and he does it in such a way that I was, once again, charmed.
I guess I read Janet Chapman because I just feel good while reading one of her books. There is always magic and romantic heroes, highlanders surrounded by beautiful settings who are trying to catch that modern woman bent on trying to stay independent. I loved seeing Alec realize that no matter what he thought about himself he just couldn’t live without his girl. I will most certainly be picking up the next in the series that comes out in March, I believe this one will have an Atlantean hero in stead of a Highlander, but I’m sure he will be just as wonderful. After all, I just can’t resist a good love story.
And then she stood there, completely naked, facing him.
“I love you, Alec.”
And that, the figured, was about as naked as truth got.
Keeping his eyes locked on her, Alec shed his jacket, his tie, cummerbund, and borrowed shirt, then lifted one foot then the other to pull off his shoes and socks. He unfastened his pants and pushed them down along with his shorts and stepped out of them, and stood in front of her completely naked. “I guess I love you, too.”
“Okay, I know I love you.” He shrugged. “But I’m going to need a little time to get used to the idea, because I’ve spent quite a few years convincing myself that I shouldn’t fall in love.”