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  • Just for Me

  • A Rugby Romance (Escape to New Zealand, Book 15)
  • Written by: Rosalind James
  • Narrated by: Emma Wilder
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min

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Just for Me

Written by: Rosalind James
Narrated by: Emma Wilder
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Publisher's Summary

Luke Armstrong doesn’t want to be a pioneer or an inspiration. He just wants to be a prop.

What’s it like to be the first All Black to come out while he’s still playing rugby? Luke has spent more than 30 years not wanting to find out, but hiding has become so hard. He’s a man who doesn’t get tired, but now, he’s soul-weary.

Hayden Allen knows that if you keep that smile on your face, they won’t know they’ve hurt you. Never let them see you sweat, that’s his motto. What happens, though, when everything you’ve never realized you needed shows up bang in front of you?

Every man has his limits. And even the strongest man can fall.

©2023 Rosalind James (P)2023 Rosalind James

What listeners say about Just for Me

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  • Deor
  • 2023-09-29
Listener received this title free

Excellent new installment in the series!

This is one of those books, where if you have read the other books in the series, the main characters, especially Hayden, seem more like old friends than a character and as a reader I was just really happy for them finding each other and being happy and accepted.

I enjoyed everything about this book, from the story to the chemistry, but especially the coming out elements of the book. I am reading this from a straight POV, but I do think this book captures the unique time in LGBTQ history and specifically the generation that Hayden and Luke are part of. I am glad that James explored these characters and the familial and societal pressures they faced, and the support they found in each other and those around them. It is always good to be able to close a book and think that you just read about a healthy relationship.

This book really has some fantastic and memorable scenes, both dramatic and heartfelt and some comedy and I can tell be a book I think about, especially as little things remind me of the characters or the scenes.

Emma Wilder’s narration, as always, is phenomenal. I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to anything narrated by her. She really has the perfect blend of pacing, clarity, and dramatization.

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.

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  • rando213
  • 2023-09-26
Listener received this title free

Getting your Feet Wet

When you discover you are different, and you are on an all male sports team trying to figure out how to come out and feel good about it, how does that happen? Well, you meet the right partner. Rosalind has written an amazing story about Hayden and Luke and how their lives have fallen together. Her characters are individual and delightful. This is a fun and truly great book. Enjoy!
"I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.”

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  • JigsawGirl
  • 2023-09-21
Listener received this title free

Excellent Narration to an Excellent Story!!

****Audio Book Review 9.21.23****
I didn't think it was possible for this book to get better. It seemed like Emma Wilder put her heart and soul into this narration. All the "feels", emotions, and outrage at people intent on hurting, disrespecting, or ridiculing Luke and Hayden, felt stronger, more intense.

Whether you choose the audio book or ebook, you can't lose. If you want the intense feelings, I would recommend the audio book.


******Ebook Review 5.24.23****
Luke and Hayden appeared in a previous Escape to NZ book. They captured my heart then, so I was really glad I got to read more about them and their relationship.

It hurt my heart that both Luke and Hayden were judged, disrespected, and mistreated. It seemed like fate that they found each other after having their hearts and feelings bruised by previous partners. They found something in one another that most people would pay to have in their lives.

I love the way they stood strong together, and appreciated the people that supported their relationship. Luke being so stoic and Hayden's natural wit seemed to bring so much balance to their relationship.

This book also had a level of sensuality that can be found in the majority of this author's books. Loving, kind, caring, respectful, supportive, and generous are just a few of the words that came to mind while reading this book. I was glad to see Luke and Hayden get their HEA.

I voluntarily read/ listened to and reviewed the Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

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  • taximom
  • 2023-10-01
Listener received this title free

Just For Me - Luke and Hayden

I was willing to listen to this story, but wasn't sure I would like or enjoy it. In prior Rosalind James’ works, I liked Hayden as a secondary character and I liked Luke as a secondary character, but having them as the main characters in a story was out of the ordinary for me. You see, they are gay and I am not. Hayden is somewhat uptight and Luke is solid. Hayden is coming out of a relationship and Luke is coming out. The story is about people in love, with all of the angst and emotion that goes with it. The narrator, Emma Wilder, does a wonderful job with voices and accents. Even though both leading characters are male, her voice did justice to their characters. Give it a try - you might enjoy it!

I received a free copy of this audible in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.

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  • J. Marie
  • 2023-09-15

Love between a rugby player and a lawyer....

First off, I love Rosalind James’ Escape to New Zealand series. She draws you in with the beauty of New Zealand and the wonderful men who play rugby. I’ve learned more about rugby while reading her books than I ever thought I would want to.
This is the beautiful love story of Luke and Hayden. This story takes place concurrently with Escape to New Zealand “Just Say Christmas”. Luke had been hiding the secret of being gay from everyone in his family and all the rugby world. When he finally decides to join the rest of his family in New Zealand to celebrate his half sister’s wedding, he figures that might be the right time he finally comes out to his family and friends. He is risking losing his family, his friends and his place in the rugby world.
Hayden, contracts lawyer, meets Luke while helping paint a mural. One meeting and the sparks begin to fly. How will the families react, how will the rugby world cope, will Hayden who works at conservative law firm find himself without a job?
This is another of Rosalind James’ great stories that combines so many of her characters from other Escape to New Zealand books. It’s a love story that everyone needs to understand. That love isn’t exclusive to F/M, that love can be found everywhere. That when you meet the right person, hold on to them. Trust that your friends and most of your family will want the best for you.
Emma Wilder is an amazing narrator. She adds a depth of feeling that is unmatched by most narrators. While I have listened to everything Rosalind James has written and enjoyed them all, her books that are narrated by Emma Wilder are my favorite.

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  • Cathyst
  • 2023-09-10

Not James strong suit

Thank goodness for Emma Wilder. Awesome narration. As for the story.... just a tad disappointed. Hayden and Luke were just an ok couple. Felt their love story was a bit shallow. No real drama. Sorry. My first less than wonderful assessment of the series.
Awaiting another of her books eager to enjoy.
Can't win them all.

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  • Jane Austen
  • 2023-09-08

A Happily Ever After Story!

I was happy to see Ms. James told Luke and Hayden story. We first see them starting out in Escape to New Zealand book 13. When they have a chance meeting at Rhys house while painting Cassie's bedroom mural. We got to see a bit of their lives unfold during that book. It had left me wondering whatever happened with them since there was no closure. Then while reading The New Zealand Ever After series. They appear in book 3 Kiwi Strong. I won't spoil that book but if you want to read about what happens to them after this book. You can continue with the book Kiwi Strong. There is a lot of back and forth between this book #15 and book #13 of the series. It was telling the parts from Luke or Hayden point of view.

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  • Kathleen B
  • 2023-10-14

Very thoughtful

I've listened to all Rosalind James books and have loved all of them!
I really like when the characters from other books come back but are still a solo book. Luke and Hayden are brought up in other earlier books but their story hasn't been told until now. There is so much prejudice in our world today that it's nice to read a love story about how difficult it is to come out, but at the same time how support can come from people you never thought would support you. Whether they're in the same place, know someone who is, or just open minded enough that it doesn't matter. Hopefully someday it won't be an issue. Books like this will bring some awareness even if it's just all of their friends and family.
Also Emma Wilder does such a great job narrating. Her accents are so good and she's able to just go back and forth between them.
i always look forward to her new books!!
Although i received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.”

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  • Monica S
  • 2023-10-13

Loved it!

Great on so many levels. Rosalind James took a risk on this one and it more than paid off.

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  • knitplaywithfire
  • 2023-10-08
Listener received this title free

Luke & Hayden

We first met Luke and Hayden in a previous book, "Just Say Christmas." And they finally got their own love story.

Luke has hidden his sexuality all of his life since coming out as a professional sportsman is not the norm. And Hayden has always been out. But these two connect when they first meet. And the sparks fly despite Luke not being out. Hayden is coming out of a relationship that wasn't really a relationship with a man who turned out to be a narcissist, a liar and a cheater.

Luke is a very likable character. He is honest to a fault and cares about the people around him. He has mana. Hayden is adorable and comfortable in his own skin. Both of them care about their families, both biological and found families.

Two totally different men who end up together makes for a fantastic story. I want to point out that this is a love story. It is no different than what a love story with a male lead and a female lead.

This review is for both the audiobook and the e-book. Having read it and listened to it, I think I need another reread of it since it is that good.

I did receive a copy of both the e-book and audio book from the author in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

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