Sometimes you have to run away to find yourself.
Lots of young women dream of being a princess. Nina Jones isn't one of them. After escaping from her palace/prison in the back of a gardener's van, she ends up in a beach cottage on New Zealand's South Island. She's meant to be looking after a cantankerous widower. Too bad she doesn't know how to boil an egg.
Iain McCormick may be an All Black, a member of New Zealand's elite rugby team, and a bona fide celebrity. During the offseason, though, he's meant to be a regular Kiwi bloke. A good son, a good neighbor, and a good citizen. But civility comes harder when you've been dumped at the altar. He doesn't need anybody he has to look out for. He definitely doesn't need to fall in love.
4 Stars - Would Recommend to a FriendJust Stop Me is another strong entry in the Escape to New Zealand series. Don't worry if you are new to Ms. James' work, even though this is the 9th book in the series, it stands completely on it's own.
In Just Stop Me, we meet Iain (our All Black/Auckland Blues Rugby player) who is nursing a bit of a bruised heart and ego after his would be marriage came apart at the alter. He is at his parent's home for the tail end of his rugby off season. We also meet Nina, a model who walked away from her own wedding less than a week before the big day. She is running from her fiance and mother, neither of whom seem to treat her as an adult. A chance encounter with his mother on a flight from London leads Nina to Iain when she agrees to work as a companion to his grandfather.
One of the things I really enjoyed about Just Stop Me is that Iain and Nina really didn't like each other at first. He kept "stuffing" things up and having to apologize. Even though the time line wasn't terribly long because it was Iain's holiday, we got to see them get to know each other and become friends and then become attracted to one another. We also had a front row seat for Nina's growing independence and Iain softening from his heartache. These two were a lot of fun to watch together, even when things weren't going smoothly. It was a treat to see them being willing to work on their relationship to make sure they were the other's "shoe." There are sweet moments, romantic moments, and a few fun sexy times too.
The supporting cast was also fantastic, more family than ruby based in this book. Iain's parents are having a rough patch in their own relationship and it was wonderful to see an example of people continuing to work on their relationship 30 years in versus just giving up. Arthur, Iian's Grandfather is a fun addition to the story. His gruff exterior hides a caring heart and he is great source of advice for both Nina and Iain.
Just Stop Me is well written, as expected from Ms. James, and runs the gamut of experiences. There is romance, humor, growth, and even a little suspense before we find out if our couple can find their happy ever after. Definitely a book I would recommend, whether you are a fan of Ms. James or new to her work.