A Highlander for Christmas explores what it might be like for a Highland
warrior if he found himself transported from Scotland in 1745 to Boston in 2007. Sir Cameron MacLeod's foster mother has seen the future and knows the disaster that the Battle of Culloden will be for her clan.
With a bit of magic, she 'hides' Cameron in an acorn in a box, planning to release him when the aftermath of the battle has settled down. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't realize the seriousness of the after-battle events in Scotland and that she won't be able to release Cam. Instead, the box with its secret opening mechanism is handed down through the ages until it eventually arrives with Claire MacGregor,
an antique shop proprietress to whom an old Scottish man she befriends leaves
his personal effects - including the box. When Claire opens the box and finds
herself confronted with a six-foot five naked Scottish warrior, her life is turned upside down.
Sandy Blair writes amusingly of how Cam finds modern-day America. He doesn't know half of the rules, is introduced to cars, trains, elevators, escalators and more. His behavior isn't appropriate for his situation,
he and soon finds himself in trouble with the law. However, his natural charm helps him to make friends with Claire's neighbor
- and most women who cross his path. Claire's alternate exasperation and friendliness with Cam are well-written; she has to spend a great deal of money to keep him out of prison, clothe and feed him, yet his sense of honor means
that he feels he has to fend for himself, often with unfortunate consequences.
Cam's mission is to return to his own time to try to change history, and he and Claire spend a lot of effort trying to locate a witch to reverse the spell. Claire,
however, may find as the time comes for him to return that she doesn't want to be without him - and what about Cam?
The characterization in the book is fairly basic: Cam is an alpha warrior, charming but also rather apt to put his foot in it; Claire is an independent but lonely woman who has doubts about her own attractiveness, and neither of them particularly change. The interest in the book is how Cam learns to adapt to his new time and whether he will be able to return. The romance is one of propinquity and lust rather than any deep connection between the two, but it's reasonably well-written
There is one disappointment with this book, which is the pacing. Right until the end of the book, the plot unfolds at a good speed, always keeping the reader's interest and giving the characters time to get to know each other and to accommodate to the change in circumstances. However, at the very end,
the plot suddenly speeds up, with almost an entire year covered in a dozen pages and an important family reunion glossed over within a few paragraphs. It feels rather as if the author lost interest, and it also rather changes the relationship between hero and heroine (who apparently barely speak to each other for a year, despite being deeply in love).
This part of the book should have been fleshed out more, and some explanation given as to how Cam felt about hiding his job from Claire for the best part of a year so that she felt abandoned.
Still, all in all it's an enjoyable enough read with some amusing moments, and it certainly gives the reader the chance to imagine the huge differences in the daily lives of people in today's world compared to Scotland of the 1740s.