Some bets were made to be lost.
Kate Lamonica isn't Koti James' type. Too small. Too dark. And heaps too much work. So it's an easy bet that he can be her friend for six weeks without making a move on her, no matter what his mates would have said.
Kate can't believe she's made the bet at all. New Zealand had seemed like the perfect escape from the stalker who'd threatened first her peace of mind and then her life. She certainly doesn't need any more trouble. Why on earth has she agreed to spend time with a Maori rugby player who's far too handsome and charming for his own good - and knows it?
But there's more than one game Koti's good at playing....
Note: This romance, like New Zealand, contains a bit of steam. If that isn't your cuppa, you may want to visit another country...er, audiobook.
©2012 Rosalind james (P)2014 Rosalind James
Pacific Northwest Gardener
Second in the "Escape to New Zealand" series, learn more about rugby and the Maori culture while you take a virtual tour of parts of New Zealand! I feel like I've nearly really had a vacation after reading/listening to one of these books. With a great romance story added in, to boot!! Seriously ... hubby and I have started a "New Zealand Vacation Fund" and I can hardly wait to go.
Kate Lamonica has BIG trouble when a boyfriend becomes a stalker. Trying to kill her type of stalker. So she leaves the USA for New Zealand and her friend that lives there, hoping to hide from said-stalker. Enter rugby player Koti James. Kate is definitely NOT impressed with gorgeous ladies' man Koti, and the feeling is mutual. Or is it? It all turns into a bet that Koti can't have a girl FRIEND and keep it platonic. Well, let's just say that it wouldn't be much of a romance if someone didn't lose that bet. :) There are some great, nicely written love scenes --- and they do get a tiny bit of kink on, so do be warned. (I did not find it offensive FYI).
I love the new-to-audiobooks actress Claire Bocking. She does a mean Kiwi accent (male and female) and adds a lot to her reading of a great romance story.
Highly recommended and worth a credit!
I liked how Claire Bocking gave each of the characters their own voice. She didn't just read a script, she made them come alive. I loved hearing the Maori words spoken (and the one song was so lovely). The New Zealand accent was wonderful, emotions came through loud and clear.
Definitely! I didn't know anything about New Zealand, the Maori, or rugby before I started reading the books in the Escape to New Zealand series, and I am hooked. I've even watched an All Blacks Haka on YouTube. So cool!
I think rather than presenting information, Ms. James weaves it into the story and dialogue and characters so skillfully that it simply flows right through the book, and makes you want to learn more. I have loved reading about the Maori traditions, history and music, about the All Blacks and rugby, and New Zealand, all woven together with an excellent story line and sizzling romance.
I didn't find anything wrong with the narrator's performance. It was wonderful. If I could ask for one thing, though, if would have been to hear one of the two songs Koti sang, in its entirety. Maori music is so beautiful and haunting. I loved the short song that was included. I just wanted more!
I would like to mention that I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This review is my own, and reflects my honest opinion of this book.
I love witty, fast-paced books that keep you turning the page.
This story continues the series surrounding the men of the New Zealand rugby team (the All Blacks), however don't assume it's a fluffy manfest that just serves a backdrop for some steamy scenes. Introduced in the first two stories (Hemi's and Drew's), Koti is a gorgeous, talented, pro athlete who is used to getting his own way and not having to work very hard to get it. He meets a strong american woman who calls him on his 'stuff' and helps him to learn that some things are worth working for. Even without the underlying plot of the stalker ex-boyfriend, the story was so engaging I hated to put it down. It made me laugh out loud, choke up a bit when warranted, and didn't have long, drawn out periods of angst. I loved that Koti didn't just instantly become a perfect, caring, loving man who was simply misunderstood. Ms. James' ability to create characters who are real, but don't put you off is a true gift. The narrator was fantastic. One of the best I've every heard, with authentic accents, clearly distinguished voices, good male as well as female voices, and a perfect sense of timing to pull off the funny parts. I hope that more of this becomes available on audio soon!
Yes -- the narrator breathes life into the characters. I am waiting for the next audio book before reading ahead in the series!
Well, this is a series,..
Claire's easy transition between accents is remarkable. I've only had one other experience with a well- performed series and it was done by Jim Dale. It was a completely different genre, but on my mind, Claire rates as one of my top performers. Brava!
I did - it actually took a few days of commuting, but I didn't start anything else!
I cannot stress how much Claire's narration brings to the story. She needs a fan club and I'll sign up!
Claire Bocking, as always, fantastic narrator. I like the story. I like how Kate is tough. The Waitomo Cave part was great (makes me want to go there). Great characters development. You never have to ask "what was he/she thinking?!" because she goes in-depth with the characters. I like how we see the characters from the first book and how that relationship is going, but it's still a good book if you didn't read the first one (but you should get the first one because it's good, too).
I really love how she changes her voice for the female characters. They are all so distinct and you can pick up the differences. She's a really talented voice actor. When there is yelling, Claire Bocking yells and it's startling, but in a way that's extremely effective and makes for a great performance. When there is sniffling or coughing, instead of just reading "she coughed," she actually makes the noises and I really appreciate that. Whoever cast her clearly knew what they were doing because I can't say enough good things about her.
Whenever Kate talked about her fears with her stalker, I really felt the emotion, in the writing and in listening to the narration.
I bought this book the hour it became available, at full price, and it was worth it. I've also listened to this book at least 5 times, I enjoy it that much. I can't wait for more NZ books to come out and hearing Claire Bocking narrate some more.
I just love this story and the narration is fantastic! Kate is fiesty, Koti is yummy, and the setting in NZ has put a trip there on my bucket list.
Sure, this is a fun romance, but there are well-developed characters, a tense subplot, and glimpses into the island and Maori culture.
Highly recommend! This is one of my favorite romance novels and hearing it with the Kiwi accent just enhances the story!
Claire Bocking's performance! I can't imagine anyone being more perfect for these books. She individualizes each voice and I love how she managed to carry over the voices from the first book to the second.
The growth of the relationship was natural. It was nice that it wasn't an instant love-at-first-sight story. And while there was some angst, it wasn't over the top.
The Kiwi accent!! I listened to it twice just to hear more of it!
No idea....I'm not good at tag lines.
I really enjoyed this story. It has all of the elements I look for and more. There is a strong sense of fun, romance (but only after a relationship develops), suspense, and the x factor. The x-factor is that thing that takes you to another place and gives you enough curiosity to make you go and google things after you are done with the story.
I liked Koti because he was a strong character with a number of defects that were explained and to a certain extent overcome. The growth his character goes through is a great part of the story. Plus he's hot. :-)
This is a strong story both to read and to have read to you. The narrator seems to handle nuances and the new zeland accent well enough that it didn't take me out of the story. However I will confess, I read this book before I ordered the audio book. I am happy to see Audible picking up this author. They didn't have her work available when I first discovered her.
I just Love the Allure of a Great Romance...a Pair of Rose Colored Glasses...some Fine Wine, and a Subscription to Audible...
Another light-hearted hit: Escape to New Zealand, Book 2, for Rosalind James!
"Just Good Friends" is a fun read that includes, just as in Book 1, historical and cultural points of interest about New Zealand...definitely enticing the traveler in me to take a trip there someday.
The narrator, Clair Bocking did a good job, and has a lyrical quality to her voice...her accents were right-on!
Definitely a fun listen when you are in need of a happy, basically stress-free book...
Have fun! Credit worthy...YES!
My grandparents and great-uncle always told great stories at the meal table. To this day I love a good story!
Rosalind has got it right again! Want a guy's attention? Be hard-to-get, especially when they are used to having it handed to them. Another well developed story that has you laughing, smirking, gasping, and ticked off, then cheering for the hero.
Cody is adorable, sexy, and clueless! Then he meets Kate, who does an immediate smack down that leaves Cody smarting, but coming back for more!
I so enjoy Claire's reading. A smooth lyrical reading style with great character voices. Keep up the great work Claire. You're doing a wonderful job on Rosalind's books!
There is more the one moment that I enjoyed Kate and Cody's story. I did particularly enjoy the scene between Cody's x-girl friend and Kate. Kate, who at this point is still just-a-friend, tells the jealous X to stop cornering her in the bathroom and encourages her to go convince Cody to take her home. A harassed Cody declined the offer and was a bit annoyed - especially when Kate was laughing at him.
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