Theme Element: 9
This is an Official Review by a Time Travel Romance Writer Official Reviewer
Review for Highlander Next Door, The
Author: Janet Chapman
Date of Review: 01/04/15
Reviewer Comments: There are a lot of things that I like about Janet Chapman’s newest book. She again tells a story of magical Scottish men who have travel to our modern Maine and created a place for themselves in our world. I have read a few books in this series and didn’t have any trouble picking up the lore of the Spellbound Falls or what has happened here. As a warning, if you are new to the series, you might find yourself a little confused about who has magic, who is related to magic and who is a god. Ms. Chapman tries to fill us in on everything, but there is a lot to figure out. Birch Callahan has just moved from Canada to Maine and runs the local women’s crisis center. Since arriving, she has rescued one older woman after her husband shot their stove, a woman who is pregnant running from a cult and another teenager being abused by an aunt. Birch has her hands full and she doesn’t appreciate the Chief of Police and her neighbor not taking her concerns seriously. Birch has a good heart and wants to do well by her residents. She needs the cooperation of the police chief. Of course, her attraction to him doesn’t make her feel any better. Niall MacKeage time traveled to Maine a little over a year ago. He is still trying to figure out all the modern ways and when he was given the job of police chief, he also had to start learning the modern laws. He does want to protect the women in Birch’s care, but he sees the situations a little differently than she does and thinks that he can help in a different way. Niall finds it disconcerting that the more Birch yells at him, the more attractive he finds her. I loved the development of the relationship between Birch and Niall. They both have good hearts and want to help people, but they have different perspectives on what is happening with the citizens of Spellbound Falls. Of course, Niall also knows about the magic of the place and is tied to the founders. Birch is a relative newcomer without all that background. I appreciated the introduction of a mystery to add some suspense and drama to their relationship. Someone is after Birch and they have to figure out who and why. This definitely added something to Niall’s need to protect her and her need to accept that protection. One thing that I found made the story drag was the amount of time spent discussing and trying to figure out who the new god in town was and what his agenda was. Yes, he pops up in a helpful way repeatedly throughout the story, but it just seemed like his involvement took the story away from the focus on Niall and Birch. I like my romances to be simpler and by adding the new god, things seemed to get more complicated. When they discussed him, the talk also turned more to the magic of the place.