Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spotlight Review:

COURTING CAROLINA – Janet Chapman
Spellbound Falls Series, Book 3
Jove Books
ISBN: 978-0-515-15106-0
September 2012
Contemporary Romance w/ Magic

Spellbound Falls, Maine, Early Fall

Some years ago, a group of twelfth-century Highlander warriors—and their horses—arrived in modern day Maine through the machination of an old wizard. The MacKeage clan settled on TorMountain and have since married and had families. Alec MacKeage spent time—as all the MacKeage sons have—serving his country in the military, Alec in a clandestine unit. Now he spends his winters on his family's ski resort on the mountain. He's spending this summer building a wilderness trail up a mountain for another resort by the new inland sea recently created by a huge earthquake. (How that came to be is another whole other story to be found in Ms. Chapman's CHARMED BY HIS LOVE, out last June.) This tale begins with a storm coming up and Alec finding a woman on the new trail being manhandled by two men. He hastens to her rescue and succeeds…with the help of her dog. Leaving the men unconscious, Alec carries the woman to his sheltered camp where he takes care of her slight wound and gets her dry and warm, meanwhile noticing that the dog is a wolf . When the woman comes to, she gives Alec her name as Jane Smith and pleads with him not to contact the authorities. Jane tells Alec there was a third man still after her. Alec has his doubts about her name, but goes along with her wishes. (When he goes back to check on the men, he finds them where he left them, but dead from a lightning strike or two.)

Alec and Jane get along quite well for the next few days, but he's right about her name. Jane is really Carolina Oceanus, sister of Maximilian Oceanus, for whom Alex is presently working. She is also the daughter of Titus Oceanus, the most powerful Dr ù idh on earth and the one responsible for creating and hiding Atlantis beneath the sea. Jane/Carolina ducked her bodyguard and ran away from home to escape being forced into an unwanted marriage. Jane keeps all this from Alec while they spend a happy interlude together. He allows her to keep her secrets, and she learns what it's like to be respected as a person, not as just a female with no mind of her own.

Inevitably, however, Carolina is located, and her parents come to the area. Her father invites a group of suitors to vie for her hand, warriors all, but from various places and past times. They have until the grand opening of the new resort to win her hand. But Jane likes being Jane, and she has no idea Alec has figured out who she is. For some reason, Mac doesn't want his sister to have anything to do with a MacKeage.

In spite of the intrigue, suspense and sometimes amusing aspects of COURTING CAROLINA, it's essentially a story of two people finding themselves and each other. Alec had vowed never to marry and father children after a heartbreaking mission for the government. Carolina's parents are loving, but after centuries of societies where women have little control over their lives, even in Atlantis, she chafes under restrictions and blooms in present day soil.

COURTING CAROLINA has a large cast. Some of special note are Katalanta, AKA Kitty, wolf on land and killer whale at sea; then Nicholas, Carolina's body guard; they love each other as brother and sister. I was hoping he would get his own book…and he will! There is also a MacKeage among the suitors summoned from the past. He seems very interested in the delights of the modern world, so maybe he'll join his descendants and stay around.

Janet Chapman has created an endlessly captivating world with heroic and likable characters. Her world is spread through all her series and, while self contained, are connected. It's a magical world in which astonishing things may happen, but the focus never strays far from the human heart and its capacity to love. Check out www.janetchapman.com .

Jane Bowers

1 comment:

Laurie G said...

I've only recently discovered Janet Chapman's books. Looking forward to more delightful tales!

Last one I read was MYSTICAL WARRIOR.