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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Highlander for the Holidays (Highlander Series, Book Eight) by Janet Chapman
Contemporary Paranormal Romance published by Jove 25 Oct 11

I’m always wary after a number of books in a series that they can and will start to sound the same, nothing new going on, and everything becomes boring. But I have thoroughly enjoyed this series from the beginning. Janet Chapman has kept the characters and the storylines fresh and she’s kept these brawny Highland heroes true to their ancestry and homeland, though they’ve been in the modern-day United States for several decades now.

What started out as a time travel romance with the first book in the series has turned into one with magic dancing through these characters generation after generation. This time around it’s Ian MacKeage who must take responsibility for the magic coursing through him, especially after he meets Jessie, a woman both physically and mentally scarred after enduring a tragic and brutal attack.

Jessie has uprooted her life and come to TarStone Mountain Resort in Pine Creek, Maine to start anew. Since the death of her husband she’s felt out of sorts and out of place, not belonging any longer. So after perusing a brochure, she just knows this wonderful, magical place is where she needs to be, despite the flack she’s getting from family and friends. They want her to stay put, forget what happened, and go on with a life she’ll never be happy with.

But the moment she sets foot in Pine Creek, Jessie knows she’s done the right thing. And on her first night there she meets a man. Ian MacKeage. An old-fashioned, handsome, sexy Highlander. Which throws her into a panic wondering how he might react to her scarred and deformed body. Well, at least the place feels like home – especially when she finds the perfect house – and she figures Ian probably won’t bother with her again anyway.

Good thing Jessie figures wrong. Ian is completely taken with her, even more so after witnessing one of her flashbacks, which totally incapacitates her and requires her service dog, Tobias, to stand guard over her until she’s back on her feet. While Ian has his own demons to fight, which have caused him to spend more time on TarStone than in his own home after his return from Afghanistan, he still wants to get to know Jessie better. He also wants to prove to her that her disfigurement and scars don’t mean the same to him as they do to her. Ian MacKeage is the kind of man any woman would love to have in her life, accepting, nonjudgmental, loving, protecting and the list could go on forever.

Of course, with all the magic swirling around the MacKeages and TarStone, things get a wee off track at times and they have to find their way through, hoping they’re headed in the right direction. An ancestor of Ian’s – we’re talking from way back – meddles something fierce. He’s a hoot of a character, but Jessie learns and Ian knows not to second guess the man when it comes to his hints about the future. The scenes and descriptions of Camp Come-As-You-Are are fun and just the vehicle Jessie needs to know why Ian looks past her physical impediments and sees who she is inside.

The only thing that left me scratching my head and wondering about is near the end when Ian takes Jessie to the summit of TarStone and through his magic, which he now embraces, find out what happened that night four years ago when she was attacked. I know it’s his magic behind all of this, but I don’t understand his taking on the mountain to do it. Nothing more is said about that once he drives his staff into the rock and the magic takes over. We find out what happened to Jessie and who’s responsible for that night, but that’s all. Unless something just went right over my head, which is possible!

But even that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of this book for me. It’s wonderful seeing the entire family again, catching up with them and their lives. And this book also has more of a Christmas feel to it than its predecessor, A Highlander Christmas – which I also enjoyed quite a bit – especially Jessie and her Christmas tree.

If you’ve not started reading this series and you’re a Highlander fan like me, you need to get with it. You have a lot of fun and magical reading ahead of you!

SandyMGrade: A+


After a brutal attack, Jessie Pringle moved to the small mountain town of Pine Creek, Maine, to start over. But she never expected to meet Ian MacKeage, who had seemingly stepped right out of the Scottish Highlands. As drawn to Ian as he is to her, Jessie finds it more and more difficult to deny her own desires…

Then, on one of her long walks through the wilderness, she meets a kindly hermit who sells her a walking stick-one imbued with a magic that may allow Jessie to finally be rid of the pain of her past, and build a future with Ian.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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