Sparks fly in Janet Chapman’s latest Spellbound Falls novel, Courting Carolina, when a time traveling princess meets a modern Scottish warrior. On the run from her dictatorial father, Carolina Oceanus becomes “Jane Smith” and convinces Alec MacKeage to let her hide in his mountain camp. But when Carolina’s father, Titus, aka the King of Atlantis, realizes that his daughter is in danger from his enemies, he swoops in to get her married off as soon as possible. What Titus is not counting on is that Carolina has already found her perfect match … with Alec. Today RT’s Morgan and Dawn discuss just how one goes about wooing a princess.
Morgan: Who’s ready for some magic?
Dawn: I am! I am! Especially when that magic is wrapped around a hunky mountain man in Janet Chapman’s Courting Carolina.
Morgan: The opening scene of the book is pretty great when Alec charges in to save an unknown woman who is being kidnapped.
Dawn: What a hero!
Morgan: After making quick work of the attackers, Alec takes the woman, who is at this point passed out, back to his place …
Dawn: Which just happens to be a tiny cabin in the woods in Maine.
Morgan: Alec has spent all summer long on the mountainside clearing a hiking trail for a local resort.
Dawn: And, being in the middle of nowhere, there is not much in the way of amenities, but what the cabin lacks in indoor plumbing, it makes up for in its remote location.
Morgan: The very first thing the woman asks for when she wakes up is that Alec doesn’t tell anyone about her.
Dawn: Not that there is much to tell. All Alec knows about her is that she was kidnapped and somehow made it up the side of his mountain. And that her name is Jane Smith.
Morgan: Note to self: When on the run, use a better alias than Jane Smith. It raises all sorts of red flags. I think I’m going to go with something so horrible that no one would possibly believe I made it up.
Dawn: Veruka Peabody.
Morgan: Demiana Cresswell.
Dawn: Lavinia Gobsmith.
Morgan: Anyway ... the mystery around “Jane” continues to deepen when Alec doubles back to haul her attackers to the police -- only to find that they have been incinerated by lightening.
Dawn: Well, it does take care of her problem.
Morgan: Kind of. There is still the mastermind behind the kidnapping to contend with. As well as the reason Jane is hiding in the first place.
Dawn: She is not Jane at all, but Carolina Oceanus, daughter of Titus, ruler of Atlantis.
Morgan: And in his mind, ruler of everything else, as well.
Dawn: Titus certainly goes above and beyond with the protective fathering bit, but truthfully, he has to consider his enemies.
Morgan: So in order to hide from her dad and her kidnapper, Carolina decides to stay with Alec.
Dawn: Something Alec is not entirely against. He has spent all summer alone on the side of a mountain ...
Morgan: There are worse fates than to be trapped in a cabin with a beautiful, intelligent woman.
Dawn: But something Alec can certainly do without is Jane’s princess tendencies.
Morgan: She does order him around a lot.
Dawn: Like when she demands he get her bags, which were lost when she was making a run for it.
Morgan: Hey, if I had a cache full of jewelry and clothing like this girl, I wouldn’t want to leave my luggage either.
Dawn: And going through Jane’s bags does give Alec the opportunity to do a little snooping.
Morgan: Which just confuses him all the more, I mean why does she pack a condom around in her jewelry case — curious.
Dawn: Not so curious, I mean, what do you expect her to do with a condom?
Morgan: True. Jane is looking to lose her virginity.
Dawn: 30-year-old virgin time. Groan.
Morgan: Okay, normally I would agree with you. A worldly and beautiful character that has "never been kissed" can be a tad unbelievable. But in Jane’s case, she has been brought up to believe that her worth is tied to her staying chaste.
Dawn: Thanks to her overbearing, old-school father.
Morgan: You mean the quasi-omnipotent God, Titus, who can control the weather and time travel to any era.
Dawn: Yeah, him.
Morgan: His abilities are certainly intimidating.
Dawn: So it is a good thing that Alec doesn’t know about Titus. At least not right away.
Morgan: Not that much scares Alec.
Dawn: His military background alone shows that he is ready for anything. Plus, Alec is also part of a magical bloodline, so when the Oceanus name is mentioned, he doesn’t cringe too much.
Morgan: But he is still not ready to use that condom that Jane packed.
Dawn: Alec is respecting Jane. And showing her that she can be loved for more than just her body!
Morgan: But you have to admit that it is unexpected, to say the least, when Alec turns down Jane's advances.
Dawn: Well, he does get a little handsy.
Morgan: But when it is time for Jane to resume her life as Carolina, she returns to her dad in (mostly) the same state she left in.
Dawn: But even this does not make Papa Titus happy. He is out for blood and looking to pound some out of Alec.
Morgan: Not a great way to meet your future in-law.
Dawn: Not that Alec and Carolina are discussing a wedding.
Morgan: Well, they might not be thinking marriage, but Titus certainly is. He is totally and completely focused on getting Carolina a husband. So much so that he has scoured the ages looking for potential suitors. He brings back six warriors to modern-day Maine so she can choose.
Dawn: The group includes some very interesting men like a Crusader, a Bedouin, a Highlander...
Morgan: But Carolina is only interested in one man, Alec. And he is not in the running.
Dawn: However, just because he can’t join in the competition to win her hand, that doesn’t mean Alec can’t eliminate Carolina’s suitors.
Morgan: And down they go, one by one, in some very interesting ways.
Dawn: But the question still remains, will Carolina’s family ever accept Alec?
Morgan: And what about her would-be kidnapper?
Dawn: Readers will have to pick up the book themselves to find out what happens next!
Interested in reading in Janet Chapman’s Courting Carolina? It is on shelves now. And make sure to come back next week when RT’s Elisa and Janine Dish about Kevin J. Anderson’s new Urban Fantasy, Death Warmed Over.