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Review – Escape to New Zealand series #1-3 – Rosalind James (@RosalindJames5)

Just This Once (#1); Just Good Friends (#2); Just For Now (#3)
Author: Rosalind James
Publisher: Self-published

So originally, I had planned on writing a separate review for each of the books in the series – but then I figured that since I managed to read all 3 of them (the 4th wasn’t available at the time), in the space of about 5 days, that maybe reviewing them together would work.

I discovered Rosalind James when her name popped up as an opportunity to host a promo blitz for the release of the 4th book in the series (Just for Fun) – but I decided that I wanted to read the other three so that I could read the 4th one (since I don’t like promo’ing books that I haven’t read/don’t plan to read).

Just This Once
just-this-onceDescription:
Everyone needs to be rescued sometimes.

Everyone but Hannah Montgomery, that is. She just needs a vacation. Three weeks in New Zealand to sort out her life, figure out what she wants, seems just right. Oh, and to relax. She should definitely put that on the agenda. She certainly isn’t looking for a fling with a professional rugby player, no matter how attractive he is. Hannah doesn’t do casual. But maybe just this once. . .

As much as he’s shared with Hannah, Drew Callahan has kept one very big secret. And learning the truth, now that she’s back home again, has made Hannah warier than ever. Drew knows that she’s right for him. But how can he convince her to let down her guard enough to explore what they could have together?

Review:
This first book in the series started off with a kick – I have to admit that I am a sucker for the knight rescuing the damsel in distress theme – in this case, Drew was most definately a life-saving knight (even in all-black – no laughing at my bad puns please), and Hannah needed his help. I thought that Rosalind was able to do a good job with the short-fused tension between the two of them – and loved that there was a quick resolution and that the story continued to grow. The long-distance part of the story was hard for me to accept – not because it was badly written but because I couldn’t see myself in a situation like that – even though I have lots of friends who have done it (heck, my parents did it in the time before emails – egads…yes, there was such a time). I learnt quite a bit about the All Blacks while reading this – having grown up in a country that played the All Blacks on a regular basis, I loved watching them do the Haka before the games.

Just Good Friends
just good friends
Description
Some bets were made to be lost.

Kate Lamonica isn’t Koti James’s 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…

Review:
Ahhh, the playboy who falls for a woman that sees past the brash bravado. I think of the 3 books that I read in the series, Kate is my favorite female lead. There is just something ballsy about her (but don’t worry, I won’t say what). She reminds me the most of me, if I was going to try and see aspects of myself in characters (which I did in weird ways sometimes). Unfortunately, I haven’t found my Koti yet (or my Drew or Finn, for a matter of fact). But at the same time, I can’t say that Koti was my favorite guy out of the three – I think that award might have to go to Finn in #3 (see below). I just had a hard time connecting with him as a character – of all the characters in the series so far, I think he was one of the weakest ones developed. Their love story was cute however.

Just For Now
just for nowDescription:
There’s no place like home . . .

For teacher Jenna McKnight, nothing spells “heartbreak” like finding her husband with somebody else–in her bed. It’s clearly time to reinvent herself. A new body, a new city, and a new job later, she’s done just that. The beautiful Auckland villa isn’t really her home, though. Finn Douglas and his kids aren’t really her family, however much she wishes they were. And playing house can be a dangerous game.

Rugby star Finn Douglas is just looking for a temporary nanny and housekeeper. Not a girlfriend, and definitely not a wife. He can’t resist Jenna’s cooking, it’s true. Who knew he’d have so much trouble resisting her? He wants to do what’s right for his kids. But waiting is so hard . . .

Review:
Ok, I am going to be extremely biased and say that Finn is probably my favorite male character so far in the series. There was just something strong about him, yet sweet at the same time. He kind of reminds me of the guy that The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) plays in the Game Plan. Large gruff exterior, but a heart of gold on the inside. I especially loved his interaction with his kids.

One thing that I didn’t touch on in the previous reviews was the reoccurring characters – I liked how Kate and Hannah both made continued appearances in the books. But even better was the one All Black (although I am completely blanking on his name ahhh!!!!) and his wife who appeared in all 3 of the books, and were like the stability couple (for lack of a better word).

But enough of my ramblings – in case you can’t tell, I enjoyed all three of books, and would rate them as 3.5-4 overall, but going to round up to 4. I can’t wait to read the 4th book now that it has been released. Oh and one more thing – I have to go squee over the covers – they are brilliant – some of the best covers I have seen on self-pub’d work – these covers are part of the reason why I made the decision to read the books – because I could tell from looking at them, that there was a level of professionalism that I don’t always see.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Book Review

 

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