Escape to New Zeland #4
Author: Rosalind James
Published: January 1st 2013
Source: Received for a blog tour.
What if the person who broke your heart turned out to be the only one who could mend it?
Nic Wilkinson is a responsible, organized, disciplined rugby player at the top of his game. Emma Martens is a sometimes-scattered, often-emotional, and always-broke would-be designer with a big chip on her shoulder where Nic's concerned.
They have no history together, except one perfect week. Nothing in common anymore, except the most important thing of all. Getting together again would be messy. Complicated. Scary. And, just maybe, worth every risk.
Just For Fun was a romance that really surprised me! I think that the story is quite simple, it talks about a father, Nick, who didn't know he had a son and then eventually, he finds out and wants to be part of his son's life, even if he has to deal with the objections of the mother; nothing special, actually, isn't it?But I think that what made Just For Fun a special read for me, was the approach the author had to this kind of plain situation. For example, she hasn't dwelt too much on the difficulties that naturally arise from the rapprochement of the father, something that I find pretty boring, if not well written, but she focused her attention on describing the relationships between father and son, but also between father and mother. I will not lie, and I will tell you that I didn't find quite realistic the thing that Emma, Zack's mother, immediately re-welcomed Nick in their lifes but then, at the same time, I realised that it was probably one of the reasons why I really appreciated this book. The important part of it infact, was not about the past, and about the mistakes that brought the two of them to split apart (even if yes, of course, they have their importance) but about the future, the rebirth, the forgiveness, the only elements that could grant to the three of them an happy life. Infact, what is the benefit of bitterness?
Another aspect I really liked was the romantic suspense that wrapped some parts of the book! I was so caught up by the story and curious about how was it going to end with Nick and Emma that I kept reading all night, I mean ME! The less romantic girl on earth! (I really think the author should be proud of herself) The relationships between the characters were absolutely one of the best aspect, as I said before, but I particulary liked how the author described the progressive attempts of Nick to conquer his son. It felt realistic, extremely sweet and moving at the same time, seeing how a six year old boy reacts to a complicated situation like the one he was involved in.
Emma was a great woman, strong, indipendent, the classic woman who had to built all by herself. I have to say that if there is something I didn't like about her personality is how submissive she was in love, probably the main reason why she reaccepted Nick so easily in the first place.I mean, yes, of course you can't deny to your son's father the chance to be part of his life, but she could also make him sweat a little more to get what he was looking for! Also, in great part of the book her fragility and devotion toward Nick were evident, and most of the time Nick was, not only aware of it, but felt a kind of pleasure in this attitude of hers.
Nick was a famous football player and a very charming man; I liked his responsability and his determination and I particulary enjoyed how ready he was to give up to all he had for the ones he loves. I loved how strong he appeared for great part of the book and then how fragile and needy he became when a difficult period will test his patience; probably the thing I liked most was the change in his attitude when passing from Claudia to Emma, because it was evident that Claudia's personality was absolutely not for him, she really was trapping the real Nick.
Well, what about Zack? He was sweet, adorable and incredibly mature sometimes for his age. Nothing more to say, just, read to get to know him better!
A heart-warming, flowing romance that will make you understand the importance of relationships and family.
I Hated This Book! Or, Coping With Negative Reviews
by Rosalind James
To be honest, I thought this one would be easier. In the first place, I haven’t had that many negative reviews (knock on wood). So I should be able to dismiss those I have received as outliers, or shrug and say, “can’t please everyone,” right? Alas, it’s not so easy. It’s like somebody telling you your baby is ugly. It still hurts. Here’s what I’ve found:
1. People love it or hate it for the same reasons. For example, “Just for Now” is a tender, funny story about family, without a lot of external drama. It is many readers’ favorite of my books. But other readers haven’t been crazy about it, for the same reason. Too much family, too much about the kids, not enough excitement. It’s personal taste.
2. An apropos quote. Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” It’s one thing to examine your negative reviews, or negative comments within positive reviews, for anything that is truly HELPFUL. Was the ending rushed? Do you have grammatical errors that need to be fixed? That’s helpful. That your book didn’t appeal to someone’s personal taste—not helpful.
3. Your mileage may vary. I’ve written four books, and just in my little critique circle, there are four different favorites! My readers share the same diversity of opinion. When I think about my own favorite authors, I don’t love all their books equally. Some of them I don’t even care for very much. I’ve never been a huge fan of “Mansfield Park,” because Fanny Price is kind of a drip, isn’t she? And she and Edmund seem set to have a mighty virtuous and boring life. And yet I’ve read it at least three times, because Jane Austen writes so well.
4. It goes double for sex. Think people’s opinions differ about your heroine? Get reviewers going about the sex in your book! I’ve had people say, about the SAME BOOK:
“I loved . . . that the sex scenes weren’t so intense.”
“I found the sex scenes to be a little kinky for my taste.”
“Too much explicit sex.”
“Plenty of hot steamy sex.”
One reviewer thought that the hero putting his hand over the heroine’s mouth was BDSM (that would be the “hated it” category). Bottom line (so to speak), there is a huge variation in steam levels in contemporary romance. When your books are just getting known, people are finding out if they like the way you write, and in particular, the way you write sex. You are finding your audience. And that ain’t everybody.
5. The acid test. I realized, after wrestling with the “ping-pong ball” effect, where I’d think: “It’s good!” “No, wait, it’s bad!” “No, it’s good!” after every review, that the REAL question was, “Did I write the book I wanted to write?” And in all four cases, I answered, “Yes, I did.” That is all I can do. And it’s all that matters. On to Book Five.
*Note: it contains also adult contents*