Fun Summer Read

  • Book: Just This Once (Escape to New Zealand #1)
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Author: Rosalind James

Review Author: Melissa90



With Summer rapidly approaching, and the temperatures starting to rise I decided to escape with a bit of light reading.

I am not a regular chick lit reader – however, I quite enjoyed this novel. I loved that it incorporated a sampling of New Zealand’s rich and beautiful culture into the plot – from the Island nation’s obsession with rugby all the way to the Maori culture, and its legends. In addition, it was nice to simply read a book where I didn’t have to think too hard.

On one hand, I will admit that this plot followed somewhat of a predictable pattern. However, there is something charming in this story – the idea of falling in love and escaping to New Zealand is an idea that would appeal to many readers.

In terms of the setting, New Zealand was the major factor that directed me to this book. I believe the beautiful setting added something special to this story. In addition, I loved that this novel drew in some of New Zealand’s extraordinary culture – Including their love of rugby [especially the unwavering loyalty to the All Blacks], and the Maori traditions. As someone who has never been to New Zealand, I felt I got a little bit of an insight into Kiwi culture and language

The major flaw I found in this book, was that Hannah’s character got to be a bit grating – her emotional flaws were acceptable up to a point. However, there came a point when the “I can’t rely on anyone” routine got old. Also, I felt that this novel could have had a few less sex scenes – however, that is just a minor preference.

Ultimately, “Just this Once” was a fun and airy summer read – which was also free might I add [at the time]. In future, I will be sure to check out the other books in the “Escape to New Zealand Series” by Rosalind James.

Fun facts:

Te Ika-a-Māui is the Maori Name for New Zealand’s North Island
The Haka is the Maori battle cry – now commonly performed at All Blacks’ rugby games to intimidate the opponent.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

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Entries close 6th November 2021