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 ... R..Show More »UGBY! 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.
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 f..Show More »eel 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.
I like to listen to audio books while mowing the lawn, driving long distances or cleaning my house. I have listened to many audio books and have even..Show More » stopped a few when they became an unbearable shadow of the book. Just for Now: Escape to New Zealand has a great narrator, Claire Bocking, and her reading gives more life to the book than I anticipated. If you are new to audio books, here are a few points that make Claire such a great fit. First of all, ever character sounds believable. She has an advantage reading Jenna but she does an equally wonderful job reading Finn’s character. Secondly, Claire has great diction and keeps the novel flowing. Lastly, who wants to listen to a bad impersonation that takes away from the story? Unfortunately, there are many out there that do just that.
As for the actual novel, Just for Now: Escape to New Zealand book 3 may be my favorite. Since I hope that James writes many more, this book sits tentatively at the top with a little wiggle room for future novels to claim #1. I really appreciated the depth the characters developed through action and dialogue. I come across a fair amount of books that often lack character development. No worries on that note when you read one of James’ novels. The age-old struggle of finding love among the balancing act of life with children makes Jenna and Finn a wonderful love story. The one criticism I would have is regarding Jenna and it’s a personality conflict on my part. I really don’t think that I could be around someone who knew as much as Jenna and not feel resentment that she was such a nice person. I guess that reflects poorly on me but I kept thinking, “I would have blown up over that” or “WOW! She is crazy understanding!” I still liked her character overall and overlooked her ‘goody two-shoes’ approach to life. :)
Overall, the audio book for Just for Now: Escape to New Zealand book 3 is well worth the money and your time!
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.
Just My Luck: Escape to New Zealand, Book 5, continues in the same fashion as many of Rosalind James’ books with the rugby and New Zealand theme with ..Show More »romance interwoven. If you read any of her previous books, this may be one of the reasons you continue to read the Escape series. I know it is a big plus in my book. Book 5 does not rely on reading many, if any, of the previous Escape books. I would say that Just My Luck could act as a stand-alone if you are looking to give James a try. As far as the Audible version goes, Claire Bocking is dead on with her performances. After listening to her for several other Escape to New Zealand books, I would be willing to give any of her audio performances a go. She’s really that talented.
In Book 5, you are introduced to Nate and Ally, with a sub-story of Kristen and Liam. You get a taste of New Zealand outdoors with this pair and I found the accident prone Nate to be a bit refreshing as he had many romantic missteps in this romance. I have to say I really enjoyed Ally and Kristen's conversations on Man Code. Spot on and hilarious. This book presents a strong female lead, don't go looking for the submissive in Ally.
To give you a peak hole into James’ writing, she leads you along a path of realistic story line while adding humor and some New Zealand flavor (at least in the Escape series). I gravitate towards book that are more likely to be realistic so that willing suspension of disbelief is not stretched too far. If you like books that are not only impossible, but lack continuity and character development I suggest you move on and miss out on these books. If you are one who likes a quick wit with a zing of adventure and travel, give the Escape series a knock.
I depend on reviews to purchase books, like many of you. While I receive an ARC on occasion from several authors, my reviews are not automatic positive reviews. 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, for whatever that is worth.
Sometimes the best option is right in front of you
I would listen to this book again. The characters were insightful and compelling, and I found myself relistening to sections to pick up the nuances of..Show More » their dialogue. Claire does a nice job keeping the character "voices" separated -- the trying 12-year-old-going-on-30 voice was dead on 😄
I would say that the audio edition is better than the print because of Claire Bocking. I have listened to other audio narrators and can say she is my..Show More » favorite! She is able to capture many different characters, both male and female, and make them believeable. She has spoiled me for audio books!