The Highlander Next Door by Janet Chapman (Spellbound Falls #6)

18281991Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Jove

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Legend has it love is carried on the rising mists of Spellbound Falls, and not even time-traveling highlanders are immune to its magic… Birch Callahan has seen the trouble men can cause. After witnessing her mother’s four marriages, Birch now runs a women’s shelter and doesn’t want a man in her life. But there’s something about her neighbor, Niall MacKeage. Birch can’t figure out how the cop can be so big and gruff and yet so insightful and compassionate—and sexy. Or how she’s falling for a man who acts like someone from the twelfth century.

Niall knows that Birch is attracted to him, even if she seems to distrust all men. Yet he also knows she has a secret—something that drives her to place herself in harm’s way for the women of her shelter. Niall would gladly rush to Birch’s side to protect her from harm, but with their secrets standing between them, he’ll have to reveal his own truth if he wants to keep her…

A delightful addition to the Spellbound Falls series, a mix of contemporary romance with a bit of paranormal and magic thrown in to make things interesting.

Niall MacKeage is the new chief of police in Spellbound Falls, actually he is the first chief of police in town and he is busy getting use to his new job and the fact that he is now living in the 21st Century. He has only lived in the current century for twenty month as he was recently living in Scotland’s 12th Century; he came through time with magic.

Birch Callahan runs the Spellbound Falls Crisis Center, she is very wary of men, mostly because her mother Hazel has been married and divorced four times, but it is also because of her chosen field, helping the women and children that are victims of abuse. She not only accepts those that come on their own when she opened the center but she has also gone after some she has only heard about, which causes friction in the area putting her in danger. Niall is only too happy to help but as they get closer there is another more sinister problem that brings trouble to the area and a pesky new God that is thrown into the mix.

Ms. Chapman writes entertaining stories with humor and magic. I have read several of her Pine Creek Highlanders and thought this was as enjoyable. I have not read the first books in the series and although there seems to be many characters that live and work in Spellbound Falls that also interact with current characters, the author does a fairly good job of getting you caught up, however I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had read more about the mythological and magic that is involved with both Max and Titus.

Niall is a wonderful hero, of course he is recently from the 12th Century so all those that love a Highlander will enjoy his attitude and somewhat bias sense of duty when it comes to women, don’t get me wrong, he does not treat women as property, but does need a little more help when it comes their roles in our current society, such as he does not want to think about hiring a woman as a police officer but I did have to laugh when Birch shows him she can shoot a gun like no other.

Birch is a bit harder to get to like at first, she comes off very prickly and does not want anything to do with her sexy neighbor and his dog, almost to a point where is was annoying but she warms up to him fast and by the time trouble comes, their relationship has moved to a new level. They do have great chemistry and there are some humorous moments between the two as they dance around their attraction.

The secondary characters are numerous and are important to the story, this is a small town so everyone knows each other, plus the added bonus that many of them know about the magic and those who weld it and who are from a different century. Birch’s mother Hazel is generous and engaging, I like her sense of humor and her take on life, the exact opposite of Birch. Those that were featured in previous books also show up here and help with the current problems, and there are several newcomers that will make great new characters for upcoming Spellbound Falls such as Telos, how interesting he became in this story.

The pace started slow, we watched the relationship begin and grow between Niall and Birch but when the mystery is unfolded and the danger escalates the pace picks up and the ending is a race to find out what happens. An overall enjoyable story that moves the series forward, I wish I had read the first books featuring many of the mythical Atlantian’s settling in the area but it is recommended for those that enjoy romance with myth and magic oh and Highlanders.

I give The Highlander Next Door by Janet Chapman 3.25 stars!

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