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: Escape to New Zealand #4 (Rosalind James)
“Mum!” Zack burst in through the front door. “It was brilliant!” He kicked his shoes off impatiently, dropped his rugby boots next to them before struggling out of his jacket. Nic followed him in, grabbed the jacket and hung it on the brightly painted rack next to the door when Zack would have dropped it on the floor.
Emma reached out for a hug that, Nic saw, the boy was still willing to give his mother, at least here at home. Her eyes met Nic’s as she looked over her son’s head. How did she always look so soft? So . . . pettable? She was wearing another sweater, that was all, he told his troublesome libido. Another light, lacy one, prettily trimmed once again. A pale pink cardigan with pearly shell buttons, edged in cream, over a long stretchy top and leggings. She looked like an invitation to cuddle. Like the best blankie ever.
“Can Nic stay for dinner, Mum?” Zack asked excitedly, offering a welcome distraction from his wayward train of thought. “He could help me tell you all the things we did. We’re having spaghetti!” he told Nic. “It’s really good.”
“Can’t, mate. Sorry,” Nic put in hastily at Emma’s instinctive shake of the head. “But I’ll have a glass of water, if one’s on offer.”
“Sit down,” Emma told him. “Please.”
Nic slipped off his own shoes before heading to the couch with Zack. “Cheers,” he said as she came back from the kitchen to hand each of them a glass, then took her own seat in a small armchair next to the couch, the only other option the little room offered.
“You look tired,” she said abruptly. “And bruised. Are you OK?”
“Just a bit confused on the sleep schedule, still,” Nic admitted. “I took a wee pill on the flight home, but it never works that well.”
“It’s a long way, Mum,” Zack put in. “South Africa’s really far.”
Nic took a long drink of the cold water, looked around for something to set the glass on. “Coaster?”
“Just put it down,” Emma told him.
“Don’t want to spoil this,” he said, looking more closely at the coffee table. The simple rectangle had been transformed into a forest of ferns, with native birds peeping out from underneath fronds, perched in trees. The parson-throated tui making a meal of red fruit, the colorful, stumpy takahe on the forest floor, tiny fantails darting overhead.
“You can’t,” Emma assured him. “It’s all enamels. Everything in this house is pretty indestructible.”
“Did you find the ruru yet?” Zack asked him, leaning forward.
“Don’t tell me,” Nic said. “Let me look.” Zack watched him eagerly as he searched and finally pointed triumphantly to a notch in a tree where the owl blended into the bark. “There.”
“You did this too, eh,” he asked Emma. “Nice.”
“I did everything. That’s my decorating theme. Things I made.”
“I like it,” he assured her. The warm colors of the lounge seemed to cocoon them. Two walls were a rich caramel, the others a warm yellow. She didn’t even paint every wall in a room the same color, he realized. Well, at least in the kitchen it was all the same. Purple. He wondered what color her bedroom was. How it looked. And found himself wishing, against every better impulse, that he could see it.
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 www.rosalindjames.com 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!
I was sent this book for an unbiased review. The truth was I wasn’t sure this book was good until I reached Chapter Three. From there, to me the story took off. So I should never judge these things. When he wanted a DNA test, my eye brows perked. Emma doesn’t seem happy about the baby. David is the jerk of a fiance who dumps her before the wedding but gives her the tickets for the honeymoon. I wish she gave me more warning of the time jump to where we go fast forwarding to the future and the baby is Zack. And good old friend Nic is there for her again. Nic wants his son and Emma back in his life. Could the story run easier? Sure, BUT I read the whole book without complaining. I can’t pick out any particular moment that bothered me, and what bothered me was likely the reading format not the story. I’ll be buying this to read on my kindle and see it more clearly. I’m a sucker for secret daddy stories, and this had the making of a good story. I’ll see if I can update the review after I buy to read on a different format.
Author Guest Post:
Don’t Let Rejection Get You Down (Yeah, Right)
“Dear Author: Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately . . .” And your heart sinks again.
You tell yourself that Gone With the Wind was rejected 38 times. That over a hundred publishers turned down Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries. That Tom Clancy, after everyone else had said no, finally found a publisher for The Hunt for Red October—the Naval Institute Press.
But still, what you’re hearing is that your baby is ugly. And that nobody, anywhere, will ever love it. So how do you keep from getting discouraged? Here are some thoughts that may help.
- Publishers Are Risk-Averse. Also agents. I worked in the publishing industry for 20 years, and have been on the other end of this one many times. If a publisher thinks a book has a 40% chance of making $100,000, he will take that bet over a 5% chance of making $2 million. What does this mean? More of the same! They want more of what’s been selling lately, because it’s too hard to predict what will sell tomorrow.
- That doesn’t mean your book isn’t good, or that the public (as opposed to the publishers) won’t buy it. It just means that, if you aren’t writing the Flavor of the Moment, you’re less likely to be snapped up. You can choose either to keep trying, keep polishing your query and your manuscript, sending out a few queries at a time until you land that fish, or . . .
- Consider Self-Publishing. We are living in a unique moment, when the barriers to entry have come crashing down. Yes, this means some books are being published that probably shouldn’t be. But it also means that authors whose books sat rejected for years are putting them out there, and guess what? People want to read them!
- The downside: What downside? If your book succeeds, the publishers may come to you. Maybe you’ll finance a little bit more writing time. And if it doesn’t sell much, what have you lost? Some time and the money for (I hope) a professionally designed book cover. So make sure your book is edited and the very best you can make it, do your research on producing and marketing your work, and give it a try!
- Keep Writing! Whichever way you choose to go, don’t stop writing. If people whose opinions you genuinely trust are telling you your work is good, and you believe in your heart of hearts that it is, you owe it to yourself to keep going, and to find a way to put your books out there for the market to judge. Nobody’s tombstone ever said, “I wish I hadn’t pursued my dream.”
Helen Keller said it best. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” Good luck, and good writing!