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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sexy, some suspense--great read
I bought this and the third book after reading "Just This Once." This book is a little lighter--funnier, sexier (warning--there's some pretty spicy sex in here!), and with a romantic suspense element that gave it some extra tension. Likeable, believable "tough girl/bad boy" combo. I liked that Koti, though he did take some walks on the wild side, was a good guy. And that...
Published 23 months ago by boardwalker

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86 of 106 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars some of the sex scenes are out of place here
I just read this book and I am not sure if i dislike the book or hated it. I can't believe saying this, but this book would have been so much better without the sex scenes. I blame what I call "50 shades of gray effect" it seems like every writer need to put a light s&m scene in their books just to be edgy, and it really had no place in a book where a women was trying to...
Published 21 months ago by margaret


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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sexy, some suspense--great read, September 1, 2012
This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I bought this and the third book after reading "Just This Once." This book is a little lighter--funnier, sexier (warning--there's some pretty spicy sex in here!), and with a romantic suspense element that gave it some extra tension. Likeable, believable "tough girl/bad boy" combo. I liked that Koti, though he did take some walks on the wild side, was a good guy. And that Kate was feisty, spirited, etc., without crossing over into bitchiness--at least, when she did, you could see why. And that she didn't behave like an idiot, unlike a lot of the "spirited" heroines in romantic suspense novels. Oh, and the Maori aspect was very fun!

Bonus--Drew and Hannah from "Just This Once" show up again, and their romance added to the book's "heart" and tender side. I do love Drew! (You wouldn't have to read the books in order, but I thought it was more enjoyable that way.)

A very fun read.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spicy, romantic getaway done right, September 3, 2012
By 
R. Pryor (OAKLAND, CA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
With this second novel in her "Escape to New Zealand" series, Rosalind James has earned herself a permanent spot in my romance novel-buying budget. The principals this time out are Kate Lamonica, a compact-but-feisty American who's fled to New Zealand to escape an obsessive stalker, and Koti James, a near-preternaturally good-looking (need you ask?) pro rugby player of Maori heritage, who's also a bit of a showboat and has a history with the ladies.

As in her debut novel, "Just This Once", James displays a sure hand for both the initial bantering and verbal fencing between these two bright, passionate people and their growing attraction, as they find they're both in danger of `losing' (or is it winning?) the bet they made about not getting involved. There's a lot more going on in this hard-to-put-down story -- as in James's first book, you learn a lot of fascinating stuff about New Zealand and its indigenous Maori culture (Well, it was fascinating to this Yank) -- but the main focus is on the romance. To me, one of the signs of a good novel of this type is when you know where the story's ultimately going, and yet you still find yourself worrying and hoping the characters will get there. James has that skill down pat: When Problems Arise, we want to just about physically drag these two together before they let each other get away. The ending of the book was right on target, emotionally -- sue me, I love this kind of stuff -- so, as I say, all in all, a terrific read, highly recommended.
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86 of 106 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars some of the sex scenes are out of place here, November 25, 2012
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This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I just read this book and I am not sure if i dislike the book or hated it. I can't believe saying this, but this book would have been so much better without the sex scenes. I blame what I call "50 shades of gray effect" it seems like every writer need to put a light s&m scene in their books just to be edgy, and it really had no place in a book where a women was trying to out run a stalker. She won't him (the stalker)control her life, but she will let the hero control her at least in bed does not sit well with me. I don't why authors do this, but this is not first time I have run across this situation. It is like the author is trying to do the new "in thing" to create buzz, but it does not fit in with the story line.

I am not saying that the scenes are as explicit as 50 shades of gray, but I can't be sure since i have not read 50 shades. Three slaps of the butt in one scenes and hand over the mouth in another may be explicit to some (it is to me), but also the tone is all wrong for this book. The book starts as one type of book (story of friendship turning into love), then turns kinky and then switchs back. This causes a huge diconnect in both plot and tone of the book. I literally said "what the heck" when I started reading the those scenes.

If the heroine had not been strong in rest of book, then it would have been no star book. And to be fair that was one scene where the heroine had taking control in the bedroom but it was short lived and all actions taking were done with her consent.

I personally don't care s&m in any form and wish there was a disclaimer on the book. I thought i was reading a sweet story about a man who helps a woman learn to trust again, but it was a story of man and woman have a kinky hook-up, with a side story of a stalker. There was no romance in this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars,well-written informative Maori/NZ sexy romance, July 19, 2013
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This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Caveat: I have read the Escape to New Zealand series and this may be my least favorite, but only because I didn't "feel it" for the two protagonists, Kate and Koti. I was spoiled by falling in deep like with the characters in Just This Once and Just For Now (which bookend Just Good Friends).

However, Rosalind James continues to be an author whose books I want to read (even if I'm not taken with the main characters) because of how she treats the reader: as if we're smart and interested in the world around us with a lot of plausible romance and a dash of fun sex. As a bright, highly educated, professional woman, **these** are precisely the kinds of books I want to read. I hate being pandered to, or books graphically filled with ridiculous, meaningless sex, or reading books by authors who clearly aren't as bright as I. (sounds horrible but if you're reading a book by Rosalind James you're probably just like me and therefore you'll know how lucky we are she's writing!)

Kate is a petite American woman who was being stalked in California, to save her life flees to NZ on the advice of her former colleague, Hannah (whom we met in the first book of this series, Just This Once), and Hannah's husband, Drew, who help her settle in Auckland. Drew is a professional rugby player, so a big part of his assistance is getting Kate's resume into his rugby team's business office (she's an accountant) where she secures a job.

There she meets Koti, a Maori and supposedly gorgeous player -- in both senses of the word (rugby and womanizer). They bicker, figure they can't be friends but make a bet otherwise, that they will become friends, nothing sexual (even though they like the looks of the other).

Kate is prickly, no doubt partly from her scary experiences with her would-be murderer / stalker, but also because she just seems to be that kind of personality. Koti is immature and entitled; he's the only son in a family with three older sisters and a single mother. He is reputedly too handsome for words, so has women dropping at his feet and numerous (and lucrative) endorsement deals capitalizing on his scrumptious appearance. Meaning: he has been repeatedly rewarded for his looks so he takes them (his looks) and people's reaction for granted.

And for me, that's the rub. I just didn't care much for either of them. I didn't *dis*like them, but I wasn't taken with either of them. Probably in real life I'd get a kick out of Kate and her feistiness and we'd be friends, and wouldn't give Koti a second thought (although if he's so handsome I might give him a second *look*).

I loved the amount of dialogue, extended, real-seeming and real-sounding dialogue these two had. Loved it. I love reading how the characters come to like and fall in love with one another, and in this book I could really see it. We never have to fill in any blanks -- it's clear they are physically attracted to one another (again, credit the author), but due to the thoughtful conversations they have throughout, we witness and totally understand Kate and Koti falling in love.

Rosalind James writes dialogue so fantastically: in each of her books I've now read I can hear each character and they really have their own voice and are consistent not just throughout the book, but throughout the series (as they tend to pop up in the other books, too). My biggest nit(s) about Just This Once is (are) that we didn't get enough of Hannah and Drew's conversations, especially as they conducted a long-distance relationship for a while, and we also didn't get enough of Drew's perspective (except toward the end which was super). I don't have that issue with Just Good Friends -- we get to be a fly on the wall both to their conversations and also to Koti and his thoughts and thought processes. That's why his immaturity and entitlement make sense and we're able to root for him to figure it out even though he's acted somewhat stupidly.

Another boon to Just Good Friends is how much we get to learn about Maori culture and the (young) history of NZ -- it never felt like a history lesson from the author, or being hit over the head with the "healthy stuff" (as opposed to the "good stuff"). Rather, it was presented in their dialogue, with Koti being understandably proud of his heritage and both sharing with and informing foreigner Kate of mores. What a treat to have learned so much about New Zealand and the Maori culture in such a fun, entertaining way.

Needless to say, Kate and Koti both lose (or win?) the bet, becoming good friends and then becoming lovers. There is more sex and it's more graphic in this book than in Just This Once, maybe than in the other books, too (? have to think about it). In general I enjoy reading well-written sex scenes but a few seemed a little out of character for Kate who is actively recovering from being stalked, but who knows? As Kate herself says after one encounter she surprised herself by liking it, so maybe Koti brings it out in her.

My favorite parts of the book, though, are getting to revisit Hannah and Drew from Just This Once. The extended scene where Hannah is due to give birth is my favorite section of the book, which is telling (to me). And truthfully, if just for that the book is worth it. It's also worth it for learning about NZ's history and the Maori culture. As I wrote, I just wasn't that invested in Kate and Koti either individually or as a couple, but I happily kept reading for both the reasons mentioned above and also because I love a dialogue-heavy book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun!, September 2, 2012
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This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This was such a fun book to read! I love reading about flawed characters (who wants to read about perfect people anyway) and I loved the banter and tension between the main characters. There's so much detail and description into Kate and Koti, including all sorts of interesting tid-bits about the New Zealand and Maori culture, that I could completely visualize these characters and feel the tension building between them. I was drawn in from the start and couldn't put it down. And, what starts as a loud, passionate, and often angry relationship results in some pretty loud, passionate, and HOT sex! I want a little Koti in my life too!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Language, laughter, and love, September 12, 2012
By 
Rocky Schnaath (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
As a translator I loved the use of language in this book, from the sarcastic banter to the many colorful En Zed colloquialisms and Maori stories and songs. I also enjoyed the historical and cultural references woven into the story. And as in Just this Once, the heroine is an athlete who swims In the ocean, learns to surf, and runs, and shares all of those activities (in addition to some very steamy sex) with Koti. Great character development, many heart-warming family and romantic moments, and a suspenseful ending. And of course, rugby, which Is central to the story and interesting to learn about as well. I read this book straight through! There are lots of funny and interesting kiwi videos and info on the author's website too. Love the Maori music, so beautiful. Again taken back to my visit there last year. Sweet as.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars is just not enough, November 24, 2012
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This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I read the first book in this series and fell in love with this author. The details that she puts in th her writing is amazing. I found myself falling in love with not only the characters but with New Zealand as well. I wish that I could to go there, but her description of the area makes me almost feel like I have been there and gotten to know the people. The love scenes are incredible and the way that these two are friends first and then lovers is really sweet. I can't wait to read the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good!, October 11, 2012
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This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This is the second in the series by Rosalind James. i actually liked the first one a bit better. But this wasn't too bad. Initially, I wasn't crazy about Koti because of his playboy style. That lifestyle is less than impressive to me, so I normally would have dismissed a book with one like him for a lead. But, he was matched well with Kate and their relationship was entertaining. I give it only four stars because while I do appreciate a good sex scene, I wasn't as crazy about these ones. But that's a personal preference, not to be taken away from the author's talent. I love the foreign aspect, and the suspense in this one...I would recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars suspenseful and, September 2, 2012
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This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This is a great escape novel. The story is engaging, I didn't want to put the book down and read almost the whole thing in one night! Kate is an American starting a new life in New Zealand. Through Rosalind James' descriptive narrative the reader experiences New Zealand through her experiences. Interjected into the plot are interesting tidbits about the Maori culture and New Zealand's history which added depth and interest to the story... not to mention the handsome Maori Rugby player who comes to Kate's rescue!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as Amazing as the First!!!, October 14, 2012
This review is from: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I read the first book Just This Once and automatically fell in love with Hannah and Drew!This was a good book to read and I couldn't put this down the same way I couldn't put down the first book! This book was amazing and had some suspense which I LOVED! Katie is an American in hiding from an obsessed-stalker and Koti is Hot/Good-Looking Maori Rugby Player(OMG)!!! Koti and Katie are great together and have great chemistry! There was more information on New Zealand and the Maori culture that added more of an interest to the story which I loved!!!

There is also more about Hannah and Drew in this Story, which I do love since I do love Drew!!!

Very Good Read!!! Would Recommend This Book!!!
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