Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand) Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand)

While running away from an abusive ex-boyfriend, Kate Lamonica develops an unlikely friendship with a hot rugby player who may help her finally let her guard down. Kate's life has been in turmoil ever since she became involved with her ex-boyfriend, Paul. Kate ended the relationship because of Paul's violent temper and controlling nature. He has been stalking Kate and threatened to kill her. The day Paul nearly broke into Kate's apartment, she realized that she needed to leave town immediately or her life would continue to be in danger.
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Kate gets in contact with her friend, Hannah, who currently lives in New Zealand. Hannah finds out about Kate's situation with the ex-boyfriend and suggests she spend time in New Zealand until things calm down.

After Kate arrives in New Zealand, Hannah helps her find an apartment and lends her a car. Kate manages to get a job as an accountant with the Blues, a professional rugby team. She isn't interested in interacting with any of the rugby players, but Hannah introduces her to a cocky, handsome player named Koti James.

Koti is very flirtatious. He has had flings with several women in the office. When Koti speaks to Kate, he tries to be charming but she is not impressed.

Even though Kate is far away from Paul, she is still on edge and fearful of men because of what happened in her last relationship. She is experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Hannah recommends Kate see a therapist.

When Kate attends a barbecue at Hannah's house, she runs into Koti again. She tells Koti that he is probably incapable of having a platonic relationship with a woman. Koti objects to Kate's accusation and makes a bet that he can be friends with her for six weeks without making any moves on her.

Koti and Kate start spending time together on a regular basis. As they get to know each other, Kate begins to feel more comfortable around Koti. They both admit that there is a strong sexual attraction between them.

Before the six-week period ends, Kate and Koti give into their desires and make love. During the next few months, Kate meets Koti's family and becomes a more significant figure in his life. Kate really cares for Koti and wants a long-term relationship with him.

Kate suspects that her feelings aren't reciprocated when she finds out Koti is thinking about playing rugby in Europe without discussing it with her. Kate is deeply hurt and breaks up with him. Koti is distraught. He doesn't know where his career is headed or if he can make a full commitment to Kate.

Since Koti is a well-known rugby player in New Zealand, the newspapers published stories about his relationship with Kate ending. Kate is worried that Paul will get access to this information and find out where she is located. A few days later, Kate realizes her fears are justified when Paul attacks her as she is exiting her apartment.

Koti stops by Kate's apartment reconcile with her. As he enters the building, he hears her scream and sees Paul pinning her to the ground. Koti quickly knocks Paul unconscious and contacts law enforcement. Paul is arrested and Kate receives treatment for her wounds in the hospital.

It becomes clear to Koti how much he loves Kate. He wants to build a future with her and Kate is relieved to have Koti by her side.
Best part of story, including ending: The book accurately describes the constant fear that consumes a woman who has been stalked and harassed. When Kate states that Paul is really dangerous, Koti initially thinks Kate may be exaggerating and finds it hard to believe. It is typical for many women who are victims of this type of predatory behavior to have their fears dismissed or disregarded by other men.

Best scene in story: Koti tended to be selfish and always opted to take the easy route in every situation. Koti is confronted by his teammate, Hemi, in the Blues parking lot. Hemi lets him know that if he ever wants to grow as a man and earn respect, he needs to change his behavior. Koti learned that if you really want something that is worth having, you need to be willing to sacrifice and work hard for it.

Opinion about the main character: Even though Kate was really scared after being harassed by Paul, she didn't allow it to hold her back and pushed past her fears.

The review of this Book prepared by Pamela Parker a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand)

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Inner struggle subplot    -   Yes Struggle with...    -   angst over abusive past lover

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   sports figure Age/status:    -   20's-30's Sex makes him    -   blissful

Main Female Character

Age/status:    -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   clerk Effect of sexing    -   blissful


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Pacific Islands

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death What % of story is romance related?    -   nearly 100% How explicit is the sex?    -   vague references only Focus of story    -   equally on him and her How much dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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