Saturday, December 8, 2012

'Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand Series' Book Tour

Contemporary Romance
Title: Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand #2)
Author: Rosalind James
Date Published: 8/31/12

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…
Read an excerpt:
Oh, for heaven’s sake,” Kate muttered the following Saturday afternoon as she descended the broad steps to Takapuna Beach. There was Koti at the foot of the stairs, his usual hoodie having failed to preserve his anonymity, having his picture taken with two young women.
Should I go away and come back later?” she drawled as she approached the group, just as one of the excited women switched places with the photographer to allow yet another picture to be taken.
Last one, girls,” Koti told them with a smile. “Got to go.”
Kate rolled her eyes as they walked across the broad beach toward the water’s edge. “That’s quite a fan club you’ve got there. Must be nice.”
You think so?”
Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy that. You sure seem to.”
Comes with the territory,” he shrugged. “That doesn’t mean I always enjoy it.”
Good spot here?” he turned to ask her as they neared the high-tide mark. “Want to swim to the point there, and back?” At her nod, he kicked off his flip-flops and pulled his hoodie and shirt over his head, dropping them with his towel onto the beach.
You’re kidding,” Kate said, staring at him.
What? Bad spot?” he asked, confused. “I thought you said it was all right.”
No. I mean, you. That’s just . . . that’s just ridiculous. Plus the tattoo, the pendant, everything. You’re like some kind of walking advertisement for New Zealand.”
My tattoo isn’t ridiculous,” he said, genuinely offended now. “My moko honors my ancestors. My pendant isn’t ridiculous either. It’s not for decoration. You’re slagging off my mana now.”
I’m sorry,” she said quickly. “I didn’t mean to be offensive. I just meant, I’m getting it now. You always have that hoodie on, that’s all. I never realized what you looked like. A little blinded here. I’ve never seen anyone as ripped as that in real life.”
He sighed. “It’s how I look. I’m not going to apologize for it. I’ve been training and playing rugby most of my life, you know. And I’m Maori. I can’t help being big, or having some muscles. You’re just going to have to get over it.”
Should have worn my sunglasses,” she muttered.
Were you planning on dropping your own gear anytime soon, so we can get in the water?” he complained. “Freezing my arse off here.”
No. I don’t think so,” she decided. “I’m seriously insecure, all of a sudden. Let’s forget it and go for coffee instead.”
Piking out first time, eh,” he mocked. “Not up to the challenge. Reckon I’ve won already.”
Kate’s chin shot up. “You’re right. But don’t watch me take off my clothes. Look at Rangitoto or something for a minute. Because I’m embarrassed now.”
He turned his back with a sigh. “This is what’s ridiculous,” he told her over his shoulder. “I’ve seen you in your togs twice now, remember? I have a pretty good memory of what you look like, too.”
I remember.” She adjusted her goggles and stepped out into the water. “I’m not your type. Too small and too dark. That’s OK. One of us being that beautiful is more than enough.”
She pushed off and started swimming before he could answer. Just as well, Koti decided as he followed. He wasn’t sure there was any good answer to that one. If he told her what he really thought, she’d probably poison his coffee. Or drown him.

**My thoughts**

I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I thought I would give the second one a go. I didn't like it quite as much as the first one, but I did still enjoy it for the most part. 

Kate is not an easy character to like. She was abused and threatened by a stalker, but has an amazingly huge chip on her shoulder. She can be nasty toward anyone, not just men. She has a lot of healing to do. Little did she know what kind of healing she would receive in the form of hottie rugby player Koti! Who says men and women can really be just friends? Not to mention how volatile their relationship seems to be at the beginning. Those who hate each other the most at first, end up having the hottest relationship.

You're going to get some sexy scenes in this book. If you only like vanilla sex with a little detail, then this book isn't for you. If you like steamy sex that gets a little creative, then you're good to go.

I also enjoyed having the Maori culture as part of the storyline. I didn't know much about the culture before and found it interesting.

There are at least two more books in this series. I look forward to checking them out.

Buy link on Amazon:

Author Bio:
Rosalind James is the author of the Kindle bestseller Just This Once and the three subsequent books in the Escape to New Zealand series. She is a former marketing executive who has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries, traveling with her civil engineer husband. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries.

Visit to listen to the songs from the books, follow the characters on their travels, watch funny and fascinating New Zealand and rugby videos, and learn about what's new!

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  1. Thanks for your honest review, Andrea! Yes, Kate was an interesting character to write. She was quite a departure for me too! It was fun to write somebody so different from myself. I think it was because she was so tough that she could deal so well with what happened to her. But I returned to a much gentler heroine and story with "Just for Now"--I'm guessing you'll like that one a lot better! (Still has some steamy sex though :)) Best, Rosalind James

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