A little distraction can be a wonderful thing.
Nate Torrance has a job to do, and the biggest rugby boots in the world to fill. He can't afford to lose his focus, especially not to a brown-eyed Canadian who pushes all his buttons and looks much too good in a climbing harness.
Allison Villiers may not know what she wants to do with her life, but she's clear about one thing. She's not impressed by the new captain of the All Blacks, however big a deal he is to the rest of New Zealand. If only her unfortunate taste for adventure didn't keep leading her astray...
Note: This romance, like New Zealand, contains some steam. If that isn't your cuppa, you may want to visit some other country... er, audiobook.
©2013 Rosalind James (P)2014 Rosalind James
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"Man Code Explained"
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 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.
I love all of Rosalind's books and have read them at least twice. But I find listening to them even better and this one gets a big WOW from me. There is strong Allie and poor clueless Nate, clueless with love but well informed with footy. And then there is Liam, what woman wouldn't love to have a Liam in her life. Claire does a wonderful job narrating, with her different voices and accents. Since it's winter here I guarantee that Chapter 23 will lower the heating bills! We all need some romance in our lives even if it's from a book. "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
"BACK TO NEW ZEALAND ... AND 2 FOR THE PRICE OF 1"
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]
"Another Gem from Rosalind James"
Because this is a review of the Audible version, I will start there. I really love listening to Claire Bocking. Her narration is wonderful- she puts sincere feeling into all the characters. I love how effortlessly she moves back and forth between an "American" accent and a New Zealand accent. Doing this truly brings the characters to life. Her story-telling skills take you right into the heart of the characters and their emotions. When a character cries, she cries (and so do I!). Her breathless narration of the love making is hot!!! I am a fan!
The story is another Rosalind James gem. In fact, it is basically two love stories in one- meaning the Audible version is 13 hours of listening pleasure! Both sets of characters (Allie/Nate and Kristen/Liam) are good people and Rosalind brings depth to all of them. She does such a great job with character background and development.
I also love the almost travel book descriptions of New Zealand. Rosalind has a true love for the country and it is evident in her beautiful accounts of the scenery.
This is Book 5. Please do not start the series here. Go back and start with Book 1 or the prequel so you will be well acquainted with the storyline and why Nate is the complex character he is.
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.
"Definitely got Lucky with this book!"
It's one of the best books in my library. I could listen to this one multiple times.
I like how the moments were real. Guys not comprehending their feelings, people that have a past and aren't perfect. It feels real. One of the moments that stuck out was when the girl said "I love you," first and wasn't met with an immediate response. I like it because it isn't a straightforward path. More story to build on.
Liam <3 I loved her accent and he's just a fantastic character.
When one of the characters was so heartbroken and everything was falling apart.
As usual, anything with the James/Bocking combo will be a homerun. Bocking reads the story well and the story is full, leaves you wanting more, but doesn't feel like it's missing parts.
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.
"Escape to New Zealand: a Double Play"
Nate is the new captain of the All Blacks. He has a past and is not ready to be in a serious relationship – he needs to focus on his new job. He likes to stay organized and keep his feet on the ground. Ally is on a work visa in New Zealand with her friend Kristen, whose sister married the past All Black captain. Ally works at a rock climbing gym. She loves the outdoors and adventure sports. Ally and Nate have an antagonistic relationship that grows into something neither expected. Meanwhile, Nate’s good friend Liam dates Kristen, who is determined to be celibate for at least six months. One couple comes together naturally, and the other struggles all the way. Their scenes are realistic and believable, and with New Zealand as the backdrop and rugby as the hook, you can't go wrong!
Claire Bocking does an incredible job narrating this entry into the Escape to New Zealand series. Her characterizations are right on and I love her accents.
If you haven’t enjoyed this series, you can start anywhere. Characters from past books pop up, but it is so natural that there is no confusion. A great series – you should read the books and listen to the audios. Both are awesome!
I received a free copy of this audible. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
"Stories about real-life hot men in NewZealand"
This is shortest review I've ever written for two incredibly difficult, detailed romances for the price of one. A lot of sadness that James injects with great realism, fortitude, old fashioned "winning" the girl, but modern courtships and pain that lead to Very Teary Happy-Ever-Afters. Nate and Liam really work hard to win their burned ladies in very different and concurrent courtships. Hardcore romantics are gonna love this.
NO Need to have read previous books in series to love this book. This is my first in series, and I'm gonna buy them all. My gratitude to Rosalind James is huge.
For younger readers who "haven't been around the block", pay very close attention to the insight into male behavior which is completely on par.
CAUTION: I actually looked up the team mentioned in the book--New Zealand's All Blacks and not only do they exist, but everything the author says about the bodies in the book bear out online and will cause old-fashioned fainting spells. Hyperventilation, hot sweats and other adverse reacations may occur. Be forewarned.
-teary, but hot n' bothered
Buy this book.
"Not so much"
I like this series, however one of the main characters (Allison) I found made me think of a spoiled brat at times. ****spoiler****......Speeding and thinking he should have used his celebrity influence on the officer..It made me mad that she even thought he should. ****end of spoiler**** I thought this book in the series was not one of the better ones.
"My favorite series still!"
I adore this series-it's not a secret. I've decided that the narrator Claire Bocking is one of the best narrators out there. She can speak with an understandable accent-regardless if it's a New Zealand or American one. She puts the emotions into her stories. This book was like 2 in one, as it followed two couples-Nate & Ally, and Liam & Kristen. The only thing I will say, is Liam stole the book for me. This was not my favorite of the series to read, but it was one of my favorite to listen to. I was driving home from work crying. If you want a really sexy, fun, engaging read, this is the one for you. Spend your credit!
I was given an ARC of this to provide an honest review. The opinions here are strictly my own.
"It's your lucky day when you listen to this book!"
I loved the book when I read it in print. After having listened, I love it that much more! Why? First, the story itself fits nicely in the series yet it's its own "entity"--there's no obvious "recipe" to Rosalind James' books in this series other than the ties because of the All Blacks and family/friendships. If you haven't read or listened to the other 4 books in the series, you might miss some details previously shared but I think that it would still be highly entertaining. Ally & Nate and Kristen & Liam get a story that is each their own and each relationship is unique to the characters. I'm drawn to Ally because she's strong and assertive and not the least bit apologetic for not being a girly-girl. She gives as good as she gets and yet her vulnerability is very real. Nate is, well, Nate. He's a strong man in a new leadership position open to public scrutiny which requires that he be mindful of how he conducts himself at all times and he struggles with how to handle his new job as well as relationships--and not just the romantic ones. Kristen is well written as well. (For those of you that have read or listened to "Just This Once"--I found Kristen to be highly immature and irritating. Not so in this book.) I appreciate the insight into why she is the way she is and does what she does. She's one of the "beautiful" people that doesn't see herself that way. Liam is real. He's screwed up in the past--didn't know how good he really had it until he (nearly) lost it all. This time, he realizes how good he does have it and works for it. I found myself empathizing with Ally, getting frustrated at Nate, and chuckling at the repartee between them. I also found myself cheering for Kristen, barracking for Liam (wouldn't want to "root" for him in NZ ;)) and having lots of "aww" moments with them.
Claire Bocking does yet another phenomenal job of narrating. She does a great Kiwi accent and seamlessly switches between different character voices, as well as the "narrating" bits. I love that, even though the it's just her narrating, the pitch/tone and speech patterns/cadence really gives each character their own voice and you can tell who's "talking". I'm not sure if I'd like the audiobooks as well if there was a different narrator--they'd have a lot to measure up against to even come close to Bocking's narration.
"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.”
"Excellent narration pulls you right in"
Claire Bocking brings this story of two contrasting couples to sparkling life, her narration and capture of the personalities is spot on. Again set in New Zealand and with Rosalind James painting her usual vivid picture, this story has the All Black rugby back drop but the story is more about relationships - developing, challenging, faltering, give and take and there's fun, pain and laughter along the way ( and some steam)
Allie for her spark, sense of fun,generosity, self doubt and determination .
Liam - somehow he has a smile in his voice!
At 12 hours ? It took 3 days and sucked me in.
You don't have to have read the series or the book to make sense of or enjoy this audio. I had read the book but I liked the audio even more.
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