Pacific Northwest Gardener
hunky, drool-worthy rugby players! I've never followed any sports, ever, but after reading this series, I have discovered a new love of my life ... RUGBY! And a trip to New Zealand has moved to the #1 spot on my bucket list. I am amazed that a romance novel series could wrought all of these changes in my life ... but they did. Hear me out ---
Messed up, walled-off lady really needs a break from her life and takes a three week vacation to New Zealand. There, she stumbles into a (she thinks) short-term fling with a really great guy that happens to be a rugby player ... whatever that is. :) (She does have a vague notion of rugby, like most American women.) There's times you're going to "hate" Hannah and get very frustrated with her ... but I "got" her. She just needed someone to break down her walls and convince her that not everyone in her life would bail on her. Hannah and Drew's journey to the HEA is enchanting and spicy-hot (very well done love scenes!) and fulfilling.
The author (an American who spent time in En Zed) also gives us a travel-show-worthy view of New Zealand and the Kiwi culture. I was enthralled with the language, the glimpses of the natural wonders of New Zealand and the Kiwi-ism (with Glossary included in the book or ebook.) I loved how she showed how different our professional athletes are from Kiwi sportsmen and how friendly the people are. I can't wait to visit.
And last ... the reader did a GREAT job with all the Kiwi accents and really did justice to a great story. I gather she is rather new to audiobooks, but I hope we hear a great deal more from her. I've also heard that the rest of this series will be available soon.
Highly recommended and well worth a credit!
If you’ve read any of my other reviews for this series, you know that (like a lot of other readers) the stories really piqued my interest ... and now love ... of rugby. And prompted me to set up a “New Zealand Vacation” fund, as Rosalind really shows us how gorgeous En Zed is and instills a fervent curiosity about a lesser-known country. (I’m getting close, folks! Yay!!) I can’t think of any other audiobooks I’ve listened to (or books that I’ve read) that have inspired that sort of ‘fan-dom.”
This story begins with Hugh Latimer just having one heck of a time. He’s just broken his hand, which takes him out of the line-up playing rugby for the All Blacks for the Northern Tour. That’s bad. No, that’s awful! And to make everything worse, he has to play parent to his two younger half-siblings who have been recently orphaned, as his aunt has decided to take a break from her custodial duties and travel to her native England. Well, we do learn to love Hugh, but this guy is bordering on clueless. He’s lucky to get himself places on time, never mind Amelia’s ballet lessons, Charlie’s rugby practice and ... oh! don’t even mention the grocery shopping. And hoovering ... with a cast on. He’s expected to do the hoovering, too!?!? (That’s vacuuming, for all you Yanks.)
Well, it’s hard to sleep with a cast on ... never mind worrying about all the aforementioned stuff. So, early one morning, Hugh feels like he’s just gotten to sleep, but he’s awaken by the next-door-neighbor wailing at the top of her lungs. This is just too much and he isn’t going to stand for it! He’s either going to rescue the old bag or get her to shut up. Except ... it’s not the old bag. Hugh has a new neighbor.
Okay ... with a set-up like that, you’ve got to know what happens next, right? =) So, go spend your credit!
Our narrator is the very, very talented Claire Bocking. You’ve got to know that she’s good with an Audie nomination under her belt for her very first audiobook (“Just This Once.”) [Way to go, Claire!] She just keeps getting better and better with these “Escape to New Zealand” stories. She’s funny, she makes you cry, her timing is impeccable, you never have to guess who’s talking ... well, I could go on and on. Just know that she really adds to the story and she’s wonderful!
[I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.]
I just keep falling more and more head over heels for this “Escape to New Zealand” series. This time around we get two stories for the price of one. One (Kristen and Liam) is a fairy tale romance (oh, Liam!) ... and the other (Ally and Nate) is a gritty, true-to-life, love-never-runs-smoothly story.
Ally and Nate start off … well, it’s fairly funny. Even though he’s a superstar out on the rugby pitch, Nate is just downright graceless when it comes to women — or at least to Ally. You know the type. He’s never had to work for it before and Ally is singularly unimpressed with him. We also get a nod to the “Pride and Prejudice” storyline, which makes me smile. Our Wickham nemesis (Devon O’Neill) is a real scumbag. You’ll love to hate him.
But Nate’s primary focus is really on the footy, not a girlfriend, no matter how much Ally intrigues him. It has to be, as he is now the shiny, brand-new captain of the All Blacks (after Drew’s retirement.) Ally knows what she wants, but it doesn’t seem like Nate’s head is in the same place. Oh, Nate. Sometimes you have to lose something to really appreciate what you had. [Have tissues handy.]
The wonderful Claire Bocking is our narrator again. She just keeps getting better and better. And her reading adds so much to the story (already read on my Kindle.) Well done, Claire!
And … I still really, really want to see New Zealand with my own eyes … because this book series has pulled me in and beguiled me. That NZ Vacation Fund is growing! =)
Highly recommended and IMO well worth a credit!
PS. 2015 – It’s Rugby World Cup year. Should be good! Can the All Blacks do it again?
[I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own]