Some fires warm you up. And some burn you down.
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.
She should hate him. But when a man looks at you like that, it's so easy to lose your focus.
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Just Say Yes to the Lovely Book
It was with great happiness and joy that I reviewed Just Say Yes (Escape to New Zealand, Book 10) when it was first released in print. I was thrilled that Rosalind James had returned to her literary roots of writing sweet stories with strong, likable lead characters. Being set in New Zealand was a bonus. Not surprisingly, the book was well received. Now the book has been released in an audio format and, I am pleased to say, it is just as enjoyable and well worth a listen, losing none of its charm and with excellent narration by Emma Wilder.
Just Say Yes made my heart sing and I loved reading it. I appreciated that Chloe Donaldson, while carrying some baggage, wasn’t overly brooding and fearful. Chloe is a former star ballerina whose career was derailed first by an injury and then an unexpected pregnancy and failed engagement. A strong, disciplined woman, she does what most women would do and comes up with a Plan B and, though not her dream, she opens a ballet school. Kevin MacNichol is nearly perfect and I won’t complain about that. Kevin is a wonderful young man, fully engaged in helping his family to the point that his younger twin sisters are living with him and he has purchased a house with an attached apartment for his brother and family to move into. Unfortunately for Chloe, this means that she needs to find another place to live in Auckland’s pricey and limited rental market. While she is hunting for a place to live, she becomes well acquainted with Kevin and his twin sisters. Along the way she also meets much of Kevin’s family. The relationship between Chloe and Kevin and how he offers support and encouragement without being too overbearing, is the main focal point of the book. I include the relationship of Chloe and Zavy and the relationship of Kevin and Zavy in this storyline because, ultimately, Zavy is a part of Chloe and, therefore, Kevin’s relationship with Chloe, a part that Kevin welcomes with open arms.
The secondary storyline involves Chloe, her parents and her ex, Richard Clemmons. Chloe’s parents, though not necessarily of the huggy and kissy variety, have been supportive of her over the past three years while she has been raising her son, Zavy (Xavier), alone. Their relationship, particularly Chloe’s relationship with her mother, develops a big rift when her mother allows Zavy’s father back into his life without talking it out with Chloe first. Their relationship, though not severed, is further stressed as her mother pushes for Chloe to allow Zavy to spend more time with his father, Rich, and initially defends his less than stellar parenting abilities. This goes against all of Chloe’s best instincts. While it is the law in New Zealand that Rich be allowed to see Zavy, Chloe rightfully feels betrayed by her mother’s actions. Rich is not the least bit likable.
How the two storylines play out is so enjoyable to listen to and how the book ends (no spoilers here!) will delight the listener.
Beyond these two primary storylines, there is the interaction between Kevin’s twin sisters and how Chloe is able to help them resolve their own issues. The twins relationship is very true to life and add depth to the story. The book also includes a few characters found in other New Zealand books, most notably Josie Pae Ata, now married to Hugh Latimer. Other All Blacks have brief cameos.
This is a wonderful, heartwarming book and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I strongly encourage any listener who enjoys romance and certainly fans of Rosalind James to buy this book immediately. This is one of my favorites in the Escape to New Zealand series and it is in my stack of books to be re-read and savored.
Just Say Yes to Reading This Book
- Patricia "Busy mom and "Nana." Love the audiobooks so I can keep hands free for multi-tasking. Originally from So. Calif., living in Montana"