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Laura's Reviews

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  • Just Come Over

  • Escape to New Zealand Series, Book 12
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 15 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 82

Rhys Fletcher is not in love with his sister-in-law. That would be a very, very bad idea, and he doesn’t entertain bad ideas. He also doesn’t lie to himself. Both of those things can’t be true, so he’ll do what he’s done since the long-ago night when his brother, Dylan, turned up in an Auckland bar after a brutal rugby match between their two teams, and introduced his new girlfriend - a dark-eyed, much-too-young girl named Zora. He’ll lie. Now, his brother’s gone, and Rhys is back in New Zealand and settling into his new job as the head coach of the Auckland Blues

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • He meant what he said and he said what he meant!

  • By eeebailey on 03-07-19

When life takes a turn...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-21-19

This book is part of the Escape series but feels totally different, somehow. Rhys is a coach for the Blues, and his sister in law has been caring for his nephew, now that his brother is gone. Rhys always had a soft spot for Zora, but she was his brother's and he married Victoria.

Things have changed and he suddenly finds himself a father just as his divorce becomes finalized. He's also back in Auckland where Zora and his fatherless nephew lives. Complicated doesn't even begin to describe the turns this book takes.

I think this may be my favorite of the series. Rhys's character may be questionable based on this seeming mountain of evidence, but the "public" reputation and private man need some reconciliation. Taking the responsibility for another man's actions shows a depth of character only those who truly know him can recognize.

Emma Wilder is amazing at the narration. She slides between characters so easily and well. Not an easy feat.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sexy as Sin

  • Sinful, Montana, Book 3
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164

Brett Hunter’s life isn’t unicorns and rainbows, and it sure isn’t sparkles. He’s a businessman, a disciplined man, a money man, and if he ever believed in magic, it was a long time ago. He’s not a hero, and he doesn't play one on TV. Oh, and he really doesn't like the water. What’s he doing, then, on an Australian beach in a custom-made Italian suit, up to his waist in the waves and helping a red-haired mermaid save the day?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best yet!

  • By Charlotte on 11-29-18

Brett's story & Emma Wilder is an awesome narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-29-18

This book had sharks, unicorns, rainbows, a chef and a handsome hero in a well-cut Italian suit. Although it seems as though these things don't belong together, Sexy as Sin is a wonderful book with interesting characters and intriguing plot lines.

If you read the earlier As Sin series, you'll remember Brett as the businessman in Montana. Willow is the "cousin" of Rafe & Jace who lives in Australia. This unlikely duo meet up in the ocean where he, who is afraid of water, jumps to help the rescue attempt during a shark attack.

Interesting and thoughtful, this book is not a rush to the finish to see the two realize their destiny. They each need the skills and strengths of the other to face the challenges of life. Well written and worth the listen because Emma WIlder is fantastic as a narrator!

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Tempting as Sin

  • Sinful, Montana Series, Book 2
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253

Rafe Blackstone may play the sexiest werewolf superhero to ever melt a woman's...heart...on the big screen, but Lily Hollander has already been bitten once by an actor, and once was enough. When she's fooled all over again, it's time to put that wayward heart in lockdown mode, especially once Rafe starts aiming his overprotective streak at her identical twin. Lily may seem like the softer side of the twinship, but nobody messes with her sister.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mmm ever so tempting!

  • By Lolli on 07-27-18

Tempting is right...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-18

Lily meets the handsome Aussie, Rafe, without knowing he is (1) a dreaded movie star, and (2) soon to be brother in law. What could go wrong? Returning home, Lily settles back into her shop and her little farm. Add in a “stray” dog and a little girl from the neighborhood, Lily’s life is quite full. When Rafe comes into town, a perfect storm of events will shake up her world.

Emma Wilder is an amazing narrator, adding an extra dimension to the characters. Tough, too, because Rafe has a split-dual character because he hopes people don’t recognize him. Brava, Emma!

Although I already purchased the Kindle version of this book, I received a free Audible 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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Just Say (Hell) No

  • Escape to New Zealand, Book 11
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 378

Marko Sendoa isn't a beach man. He's not an Auckland man. He's a hard man. Born Basque, raised in the heart of New Zealand's Southern Alps, and bred on hard work, discipline, and getting the job done. It's not easy for a rugby flanker to make it to age 32 at the top of his game, but he's done it. Next year is the Rugby World Cup, and he'll do whatever it takes to be on the field in the black jersey when the anthems are sung. He doesn't need a kitten. He doesn't need a pregnant cousin. He definitely doesn't need a too-short, distractingly curvy, totally unimpressed Maori barista.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of James’ best

  • By Virginia on 04-27-18

Say yes to this book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-18

This is a stand-alone book with wonderful character development and diversity. Yes, there are sports romances, but he is anything but the puffed-up pretty boy. Marko is quiet and a dependable family man who has his world flipped when he meets an artist/photographer. She knows who he is, though...

Emma Wilder is a wonderful narrator and seamlessly moves between characters and accents. Well done!

I love these books for the depth of the characters and descriptions of settings. They inspire my wanderlust even if staying close to home. You won’t be disappointed by using a credit on this story and the whispersync option is helpful when switching between the audio and Kindle version.

I received a free copy of this audiobook 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.

  • Guilty as Sin

  • Sinful, Montana, Book 1
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 330
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329

There are secrets. There are guilty secrets. And then there's switching places with your twin. Paige Hollander and her identical twin Lily stopped switching places a decade ago. But Lily's run into trouble, and Paige is on leave from the SFPD, recovering from a traumatic shooting. It's not like she has anything better to do, and she remembers how to be feminine. Sort of. How hard could it be?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great listen... mystery, laughter & tender romance

  • By gdbkescape on 12-13-17

So many twists and double-trouble

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-18

The first two chapters may send you astray, but stick with it. You will quickly meet Lily and Paige, twins who are both dealing with life-altering choices. Lily is non-confrontational, so injured but spunky Paige decides to switch places with her sister to deal with pushy real estate investors and town officials.

Paige, while posing as Lily, meets a recluse author and gets mixed up into some drama of his own. There is some suspense to the story (which may throw you off at the start), but the chemistry between faux-"Lily" and the "mountain man" takes off after a hilarious meet-cute.

Well worth the credit to listen to and I can't wait for Lily's story next!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • No Kind of Hero

  • Portland Devils, Book 2
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 348
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 321
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322

Beth Schaefer isn't just on the partnership track at her Portland law firm, she's in the lead. Unfortunately, she's about to fall at the finish line. When she makes a list of breakdown destinations, she can't even manage to choose between them. Which means she has to come home to Wild Horse, Idaho, for her breakdown. She has exactly 18.5 days of accumulated vacation time to devote to it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Real people fall in love . . . again

  • By Michigan Reader on 08-30-17

Evan's story - book 2 in the series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-22-17

Evan is the quiet, serious, hard-working single father whose unassuming manner makes him easy to overlook. His protective nature makes him an easy target for idle gossip, but he cares more than he lets on.

Beth, groomed to be a society woman, has worked hard for her law degree and is a year from making partner in the firm. Leaving behind Idaho, she has made a life for herself in Portland, but the hours of dedication to her job, and the loss of a case, has shaken her. Needing a space to reboot, she heads back to her family home and sees Evan, the one whom she let get away.

If you read the first book in the series, you met Evan. Seeing him through the eyes of the people who knew him best, you appreciated how he was strong when he needed to be, but he didn't let on that he had loved and lost. He kept his head down and did what needed doing. So when Beth reappears in his life, his compartmentalized life finds the space she can fit into. She was like his unicorn - a unicorn who'd been kicked out of the herd for conduct unbecoming -- but the prize of his heart if he could hang on.

No Kind of Hero is a wonderful story of love and loss, and a bit of the perils of small-town living, but more about the strength and resilience of women who rise above it and the men who need them.

Tanya Eby is an excellent narrator to the story - adding another dimension of personality to the characters. I was given an ARC copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Just Say Yes

  • Escape to New Zealand, Book 10
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 401
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 375

Kevin McNicholl may be a brutal force on the rugby field, but off the field, the star New Zealand All Black is a famously nice guy. His new tenant, though, arouses more than his protective side. She sets him on fire. Pity he's evicting her. Every woman deserves her dreams. Chloe Donaldson can't afford dreams, though, so she's given them up. Marriage, her ballet career, and now, her beautiful tower apartment with its view of the sea. Her new landlord is kicking her out, along with her three-year-old son, Zavy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just Say YES to "Just Say Yes"

  • By EstherF on 04-07-17

Just say YES to this ballet/rugby romance!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-17

You wouldn't think that there were similarities between rugby and ballet, but considering the athleticism and grit of both makes Chloe and Kevin an unlikely, but well-suited pair. Chloe, a retired ballerina and single mum, teaching dance to the next generation of dancers, meets Kevin, a player for the Auckland Blues & All Blacks, and family man. Kevin, coincidentally bought the house Chloe was living in, becoming her landlord.

Neither have perfect situations, but see something in the other that is worth fighting for, and Kevin's driven-personality doesn't deter him from potential setbacks when he has Chloe in his sights.

I laughed and cried in this story, and was totally thrilled to see these two, who had cameos in earlier books, have their own story. It was also fun to see characters from earlier stories make appearances here! However, the book may be read as a standalone and not knowing the relationships of these cameo characters will in no way deter you from the plot.

There is definitely some steam in this book, but knowing that they are living in close proximity should not make this a surprise! Some of my favorite lines from Rosalind James came from this book, too. "Sometimes, though ... you don’t choose what you do. It chooses you.” Truth.

Emma does a great job narrating the accents of the characters - although the first bit of the story seemed a bit lacking in energy. It may be the sound mixing was off because I had to really crank up the volume, but it seemed to sort itself out a while in. Don't be discouraged - it does improve.

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.

  • Found

  • Not Quite a Billionaire, Book 3
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250

There's that phrase, though. "How's that working out for you?" The answer, when it came to Hope Sinclair, was, "not so well". She might be little, she might be sweet, and she might be young, but if I'd thought she'd be compliant anywhere but in bed, I'd learned my lesson. To keep her, I had to let her go. To hold her, I had to turn her loose. To have her in my life, I had to accept that she was 9,000 miles away in New Zealand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What happens AFTER the Happily Ever After?

  • By EstherF on 02-18-17

Narrator is amazing in this satisfying conclusion

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-24-17

Found is the last installment in the Not Quite a Billionaire series by Rosalind James. This was, hands down, the best of the series. Things that annoyed me about the two main characters in the earlier books (Hope's immaturity -- especially at the end of the second book, and Hemi's rigidity and selfishness -- again at the end of the second book) worked themselves out in this book. Hope, staying behind to help Hemi's grandfather, seemed a bit convenient, but it allowed the time for Hope's sister, Karen, to develop a relationship with Hemi. He needed to learn how to be a parent, and her teenage post-illness-freedom showed why she needed that male father-figure. That relationship would not have developed with Hope in the picture.

The series concludes with this book, and I loved that I could find references to "Just in Time" in this story (if you haven't read other books from Rosalind James, this series is a spin-off of a story idea started in Just in Time -- so, it is worth checking out to see how this story originated). I'll admit I cried in some parts of the book -- there are some parts that just touch those raw edges in yourself. But, those are the parts of the story that really resonate.

In my opinion, this is the strongest book Ms. James has written. There are twists and turns you don't see coming, but you truly want to see the characters find happiness. The emotional investment the reader has in the characters plays out through the story. Emma Wilder is a fantastic narrator and really brought Hope and Hemi to life.

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.

  • Take Me Back

  • Paradise, Idaho, Book 4
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
  • Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320

Hallie Cavanaugh's late father just left her millions of reasons to stay away from Jim Lawson, deputy sheriff of Paradise, Idaho, and the man who broke her heart fourteen years ago. Hallie has worked hard for independence, but she can't dismiss a massive inheritance, even if she has to follow her father's manipulative terms to get it. How hard can it be to spend six months back in Paradise - and not sleep with her old flame?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another Good Installment To The Series

  • By Lia on 06-12-17

Take Me Back: suspense and second chances in love

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-14-17


Paradise, Idaho is back in the next installment and it is Jim's story! A widower with a pre-teen daughter, he is trying to balance being a single dad and deputy sheriff of Paradise.

Hallie, never expecting to set foot back in town, must return to deal with her father's unexpected death. Too bad he wasn't more liked because it seems that Hallie isn't the only one not unhappy he is gone.

But Hallie and Jim have a history -- going to the same schools while growing up in the same small town, they were not strangers to each other and had an unfortunate run in when she was rushing back into town. It seems that some things never change, while other things change a lot.

Hallie found teaching work in town (a condition of the will that she stick around) and Jim's 11-year-old daughter ends up in her class. However, not everything is smooth sailing as there are forces in motion that Hallie didn't predict, and she will need the assistance of the sheriff's office -- or, more specifically, of the deputy sheriff. It is hard not to hope these two get together, even if the will stated they couldn't...

My favorite line came from someone not even an actual character in the book. Jim's deceased wife told him before she died: "You’re my hero, and you can do this. You’re going to keep living hard and working hard and loving hard, and you’re going to come out on the other side. You’ll see." And he does.

It is great to see characters from earlier books in the series make appearances in this book. It is a stand-alone book, so you will not need to read the earlier ones to continue the plot line. But knowing there are other books with interesting characters and stories will draw you in to the rest of the series.

There is a big mystery starting off right away and there are many twists and turns to add to the plot. Paradise isn't exactly idyllic, but the story resolves and does not result in a cliffhanger (no pun intended)! In addition, Ms. Pressley's southern twang to Jim's voice is quite charming and adds to the story.

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fractured

  • Not Quite a Billionaire, Book 2
  • By: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228

When I'd taken Hope Sinclair and her sister to New Zealand to meet my grandfather, I'd known I'd be making the return journey as her husband. I hadn't reckoned, though, on the demons of my past coming back to threaten our future. And, as always, I hadn't reckoned on Hope. I had hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of employees to tell me I had better judgment and more self-discipline than most people, and neither my self-control nor anything else I possessed had been won the easy way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love it!!!

  • By Kathleen B on 01-26-17

Both main characters live up to the title

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-10-17

The story of Hemi and Hope continues in this book. There is a cliffhanger at the end of this book, but readers of 'Just in Time' will recognize references from that story in this one (some of the photographs mentioned in Just in Time become scenes in Fractured).

Hope and Hemi pick up where they left off in the first book of the series, Fierce, and now issues of "real life" play out in their romance. Hemi has unresolved issues in his past that become an important part of this story. Hope's sister, who was ill in the first book, is feeling better and testing her limits with both Hope and Hemi. It is tough for a new parental/authority figure to show up in a teenager's life, and it is a challenge for her and for the adults. Each of them have a lot to learn about dynamics in a "family" group!

"Fractured" is a good title for this story because everyone involved is a bit damaged coming into this relationship, and it is hard to hold everything together when these fragmented lives either don't hold together or are held together too much. Loose bits slip out...

Although I love all of Rosalind's books, these "loose bits" were out-of-character, or perhaps really revealed the extremes of characters. Hemi is even more high-handed in this story -- which is hard to believe after the first book! -- and Hope does some seemingly irrational and immature things, too. For a couple who starts out wanting to communicate clearly, that falls apart in this story. I am sure these communication and impulsivity issues will be addressed in the third installment of the story, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out!

Emma is an outstanding narrator and seamlessly switches between characters. She is a true gem and really adds to the telling of the story! I found I appreciated the depth of characters more by listening to her than by reading it alone.

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.