28 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Ah...the cliche of cliches - the secret baby/second chance/athlete romance. I have to admit a weakness of mine. I LURVE secret baby/second change/athlete romances. The fact that all three of my favorite corny cliches are found in this VERY well written novel seriously just made my weekend! The problem with loving books with the secret baby device is that the heroine often comes off looking like a selfish and immature little girl throwing a temper tantrum. Well written secret baby books with a believable premise and a sympathetic heroine are few and far between...but this is definitely one of them.
Emma meets Nic on an airplane on the way to Fiji after she's dumped on her wedding day and decides to go on her honeymoon alone since the tickets are non-refundable. She's 21, kinda flaky, a girly girl, and still has a lot of growing up to do. She and Nic meet when tipsy, she literally falls into his lap on the plane - thus setting off a blazing affair we get glimpses of in brief flashbacks throughout the book. Despite telling her he loves her and he'll call her, Nic, who's only 22 decides he's not ready for this kind of commitment, and takes his merry self off to England to play rugby, leaving a brokenhearted girl behind. He never knew she was pregnant, and she was unable to contact him to tell him. Unlike a lot of secret baby heroines, Emma never tried to keep Zack from Nic, she tried multiple times and multiple ways to get word to him and she's not too proud to ask for child support if it means Zack will have a better life with more security.
Nic finds out about Zack's existence when he's roped into volunteering at a friend's rugby camp, where Zack catches their attention because his moves are not just superior for a six year old, but reminiscent of Nic's own moves. When he catches a glimpse of Emma with the parents and notices the similarities of Zack's features to his own, that's when Nic realizes that his affair with Emma lead to a child and tracks them down. Thus begins their journey to HEA.
What I love about this book is that Nic is not just an immature arrogant athlete. Since his affair with Emma seven years before, he's grown up and matured. When he finds out about Zack's existence, he truly wants to be a good father and works hard to bond with Zack and become a part of his life. The complication is that he's engaged to his long time girlfriend, who's less than enthusiastic about Zack. Fortunately, there is no OW drama - the drama generated by his fiancee is minimal and resolves on its own so Emma is not stuck between them. Zack is also adorable - he sounds like a real six year old, and as evidenced in Just For Now (Escape to New Zealand), Rosalind James writes great kids - believable and age appropriate. It's kind of heartbreaking when he tells Nic very matter of factly that since he's not his father (before the big revelation) he can't really depend on him as you can only depend on your own dad and not other people's dads since they forget a lot. It's beautiful and heartwarming to see Emma slowly opening back up to Nic, learn to trust and depend on him, and come to the realization that he's a different man than the boy she used to know. It's also lovely to see Nic come to realize the important things in life - and it's not the fancy job, the big house, or the status his fiancee had drilled into his head.
This is a book without a lot of external conflict - there's no big misunderstandings, there's no cheating, there's no unnecessary drama and rehashing the past and all that stupid "he hurt me so bad I love him but I can't trust him so I must run away from him" crap that a lot of books involving secret babies and second chances fall into. This is a book about two people coming together after many years apart where they have both grown, two grown ups who want to do the best by their child, and two people who talk through their issues and come together naturally as a family. This is a book filled with warmth, humor, rugby, family, and the sweetness of rediscovery. For those who loved the prior books in this series (like me!), you see a bit of Hannah, a bit of Kate, and a bit more of Jenna. In fact, we see Jenna while she's pregnant with Lily and there's a nice scene between Finn and Nic as well. I love this book!
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Again, a lovely book in the equally lovely "Escape to New Zealand" series, this one centering on 27 year-old Emma, her six year-old son, Zack, and Zack's biological father, Nic. Nic is the rugby player in this book (as they all have rugby stars as their male leads), and he finds Zack at a rugby camp, noting what a gifted player Zack is and how much he looks like Nic .... Nic's able to put it together when he sees Emma pick Zack up from camp: he and Emma had spent a week together in Fiji nearly seven years ago, and Nic does the math.
Emma had valiantly tried to get ahold of Nic (through his rugby team's front office) to let him know of the pregnancy and then child, but she was repeatedly and successfully thwarted by his handlers. Nic never knew anything and is, at first, furious because he thought Emma had tried to keep it from him. He is then disappointed and feels bad that Emma had to do so much on her own (no help from her parents but lots of help from her dear older sister, Lucy).
The author paints (most) Kiwis as being upstanding, good-hearted, noble people, and Nic is no exception. As soon as he finds out about Zack, even before the DNA test confirms that he is the father, he wants to be involved in Zack's life. Nic is engaged to a lawyer, Claudia, and neither she nor their relationship are fully fleshed-out: evidently things aren't going great but we never understand why. Rather, later in the story Nic explains their differing motivations, but it never made sense why Nic and Claudia were together in the first place. Claudia refuses to have anything to do with Zack, and this is most likely the proverbial straw which breaks their engagement's back.
Both Nic and Emma find themselves fantasizing about one another and are still as drawn to each other as they were seven years ago. Naturally, a relationship does ensue, but for me this felt odd, maybe because I'd need A LOT of venting about being (unknowingly) left high and dry to raise a child alone. One thing I adored about both "Just Good Friends" and "Just for Now" is the amount of dialogue the author gave us -- we really got to follow and understand those characters' developing relationships. Given the extreme baggage Emma and Nic have, I just didn't see it. I didn't see how Emma could just let it all go and easily segue into a relationship with Nic (although she was clear she doesn't do casual and definitely couldn't do casual with him as he is Zack's father). I didn't understand the emotional connection they'd evidently made that one week in Fiji -- the physical, sure, but not the love they professed for one another. Obviously in these types of stories there is the need for suspending disbelief, but this one just felt like too much we had to accept on good faith.
Luckily, the author is not only a gifted writer but gifted at creating truly likable characters with dimension and depth, so even with these holes it is so easy to genuinely like and care for Emma and Nic as individuals, and with Zack as a family.
However, that "uh-oh" which evidently must occur in every romance was, happily, not about an unexpected pregnancy (SO tired of those) nor a (misunderstood) fling -- it was germane to the events and was an insight into Nic and his father, which was a nice bow tied.
I liked Emma and Nic, and Zack, too. I am rather keen on Rosalind James' writing style and that she doesn't treat us (readers) as stupid. It was terrific to do a bit of "catching up" with the previous Escape to NZ characters, esp. Jenna and Finn (and the scene between Finn and Nic where Finn describes being a father is esp. touching). And, of course, the bit of NZ tourism we vicariously get to enjoy is always a treat. For me, however, there were just too many relationship / plot holes, which is why this is 3.5 stars.