Ian MacKeage is the quintessential Highlander, granted they’re in Maine but that doesn’t seem to detract from his brawny appearance, chivalrous attitude and raw sex appeal. He’s drawn to Jessie from the moment he meets her inside Pete’s Bar & Grill, but realizes that she isn’t being as forthcoming with information about herself as he’d like. His hunch is confirmed when he follows her and Toby from the bar and witnesses one of her panic attacks firsthand.
Jessie is admittedly attracted to Ian but knows she’s not ready to embark on a new romantic relationship just yet. Emotionally she still has a lot of issues to overcome and physically, well, the attack did leave her with some rather severe scars. It would be easier to just be friendly when they cross each other’s path than attempt to form a romantic connection but he keeps showing up wherever she is – and horror of all horrors, busted her and Toby after she accidentally locked herself out of the hotel and poor Toby wearing a pink doggie sweater. It’s a humiliation of epic proportions. Ignoring the sparks flying between them becomes practically impossible – Jessie’s heard more than once that the area is magical but she wasn’t aware of just how powerful that magic is until she finally begins to heal, find love, and begins to regain her memories.
HIGHLANDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a thoroughly enchanting read from beginning to end. The romance between Jessie and Ian is very sweet, passionate, and develops gradually even though their attraction to each other is instantaneous. When I first picked up this book I was anticipating a lighthearted cute romantic read; in no way did I expect the emotionally driven storyline, troubled by lovable heroine, element of suspense, or even the magical occurrences throughout the book. I adored Jessie and loved her determination to live life on her terms. Ian is more than a pretty face; he’s a wonderful man with great insight into Jessie’s needs – which won major brownie points from me. I was even charmed by Toby who obviously loves Jessie and trusts Ian with his human’s care. Janet Chapman manages to bring this story to life in so many ways that it’s simply a pleasure to sit back and lose yourself in this quaint New England town with characters who practically leap off the pages into your imagination.
I honestly wasn’t even aware this title was a part of the HIGHLANDER series until I visited Ms. Chapman’s website. HIGHLANDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS can easily be read as a stand-alone story, but I adore these transplanted Scotsmen and I’m sure you will too. I will definitely be backtracking and picking up copies of the other titles. Here is the complete list of titles in order (Ms. Chapman’s website is currently missing two of them):
CHARMING THE HIGHLANDER
LOVING THE HIGHLANDER
WEDDING THE HIGHLANDER
TEMPTING THE HIGHLANDER
ONLY WITH A HIGHLANDER
SECRETS OF THE HIGHLANDER
A HIGHLANDER CHRISTMAS
HIGHLANDER FOR THE HOLIDAYS