Just Stop Me by Rosalind James

<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27814216-just-stop-me&#8221; style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”><img border=”0″ alt=”Just Stop Me (Escape to New Zealand #9)” src=”https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1451457122m/27814216.jpg&#8221; /></a><a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27814216-just-stop-me”>Just Stop Me</a> by <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6536019.Rosalind_James”>Rosalind James</a><br/>
My rating: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1491130031″>5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
You know how you start a book and don’t want to put it down once you start reading it? And once you realize that it is about to end, you don’t want it to end? Okay, this is true of all well written books but even more so with Just Stop Me. <br><br>First of all, Iain’s physical description makes me immediately picture Richie McCaw. Than the story starts with his fiancé leaving him at the alter and she is a member of the Silver Ferns, you have no choice but to think of the All Blacks recently retired captain, Richie McCaw.<br><br>The story starts out with Iain waiting for his mum to arrive back to En Zed from a trip to the UK to visit his sister. His mum has a huge heart and traded her seat that Iain paid for so another mother and her children would be more comfortable on the long flight. And his mum find another stray to take under her wing because she switched seats as well. Iain isn’t too pleased to discover his mother has not only taken this stray under her wing but she has hired her to look after his grand dad.<br><br>Nina looks like a waif who has escaped from a bad place. And there is an element of truth in that she has escaped from almost marrying the wrong man. A man who thinks because he is a prince, anything he says goes and the word no does not apply to him. Nina was engaged to him because it seemed like the thing a successful model would do. After all doesn’t every woman want to marry a prince? But after having second thoughts and telling Matthias that she will not marry him, she takes the steps she needs to escape from this gilded cage. (Obviously he doesn’t listen to her.)<br><br>Since there is no commercial air flights to Antartica, Nina ends up heading to New Zealand which turns out to be one of the best decisions she has ever made. On the flight from London to Auckland, she meets Iain’s mum, Carmella and everything is set into play.<br><br>Nina has never cooked or cleaned or done laundry or any of the basic things most of us do without a second thought. She has always been a model managed by her own mother so never has had to do ordinary things like basic household. But she wants to hide away and start over so working as a care giver to Iain’s grand dad sounds like a great idea to her since it includes a place to stay.<br><br>Iain is taking some well deserved time off from the All Blacks and has been planning to spend some time with his parents and grand dad at their home near Nelson on the South Island. With Nina being there, he is hooked and plans to keep a close eye on her.<br><br>Not wanting to give away too much but the beauty of the South Island at times steals the scene. As well as does Arthur, Iain’s grand dad. Iain’s parents are just as much a major part of the book and plot line. It is actually rather nice to see the issues his parents are having and how they chose to resolve them. Many books tend to focus solely on younger romantic partners and them finding their HEA. This book has a long standing relationship going through some adjustments as well. Plus how some one decides to continue on after their life partner has died. <br><br>The explanation of a relationship by Iain from his grand father’s words is wonderful and worth reading just for this alone.<br><br>If I write much more in this review, I will spill all of the juicy details which means that you won’t want to read the book.<br><br>Full disclosure – I was provided with an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for a honest fair review. Although I would buy this book because well hot rugby players are involved!
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Changing Seasons

It seems like Mother Nature has finally decided that we shall get some rain and much cooler temperatures.  It was lovely being able to have the windows open overnight for sleeping and it getting rather cool for early September around here.  As a knitter, I do love the cooler weather since it means time to grab a shawl or put on a pair of hand knit socks.

The colors of fall are not colors that I tend to gravitate towards since I do not look good in most shades of orange or yellows.  But this year, it seems like my knitting is matching up with the season.  I was given the opportunity to test knit a shawl for a designer I happen to like and I challenged myself to work outside of my normal color range.  The colors I ended up with are very not me but very fall like with golds, oranges and burgundy.  Okay, I do like burgundy since it is a red.  But will I wear the shawl once it is completely done and blocked? Hard to tell at this point.  But I do happen to know someone who loves these particular colors so it may end up being mailed off to her as a gift.

Even my knitting matches the change of seasons

Even my knitting matches the change of seasons

Even the flowers I am seeing at my favorite early morning farmers market downtown reflects the change of the seasons happening slowly.

Oranges and greens seem to mark the start of the change from summer to fall

Oranges and greens seem to mark the start of the change from summer to fall

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Hints of Fall

I am starting to see hints of fall in the items seen at the local farmers’ markets.  Baby butternut squash are my current favorite.  They are the perfect size for a single serving.  I can’t wait for the current heat wave to break so I can roast one of these lovelies.

Hints of Fall

The moon late at night has been orange.  Hard to capture but this shot reminds me that All Hallows Eve will be here soon.

Mysterious Moon

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Travels

This past weekend, I managed to talk a friend into wandering around a few rural parts of northern Virginia in a hunt for two new to me wineries.  We never actually found either of the two wineries I wanted to check out.  Google Maps said the one was about a 90 minute drive.  But it seemed like we kept going and going and going down this two lane road into the woods.

I will say that the little we saw of Mount Weather through the fences was stunning.  The trees lining the two lane road we were on meant that it was nice and cool for that portion of the drive.

After a while, we decided to head back towards the main road and find the cider place we had seen several signs for instead.  After all, this was meant to be an adventure.

I forgot to take any photos of the brand new hard cider place we visited in Bluemont, Virginia.  But I would highly recommend taking a day trip to go visit Wild Hare Hard Cider.  We sampled the two ciders they had available and I ended up bringing home a bottle of Windrush.  I plan to drink part of it once the weather cools down and use the rest to cook with.  Maybe as a glaze for some butternut squash.

After visiting the cidery, we found a micro-brew place called Dirt Farm.  Yes, it really is called Dirt Farm.  The only beer I tried was good but I am not sure I would go back.  It was the drive up to the tasting room is why I am not sure I would go back.  You literally are driving straight up a mountain on one lane farm road.  Coming back down it was a bit nerve racking since the other lane was a hard packed dirt and pock marked and you prayed no one was coming up on the paved lane.  Down hill traffic has to move over to the unpaved lane.  But the view was stunning.

Looking down the mountain.

Looking down the mountain.

We headed over to Middleburg, Virginia, after this to find another cidery that had been mentioned to us.  Mt. Defiance is not just a cidery but they also distill spirits as well.  We only did the cider sampling and again, they were good but nothing mind blowing.

But time for a late lunch so instead of staying in lovely Middleburg, we ended up in one of my favorite places to eat – Beans in the Belfry.  I bypassed a yarn shop to go to Beans.  I am not sure if it is the fact that this is an old church that has been creatively repurposed or the food or the combination.  But I love this place.  The food is always well prepared, fresh and local.  And yes, my friend loved the place as well.

MochaStairs to ....

And yes, I did drag her to another cidery but pictures and more details about that one after my next visit there.  It is local and I enjoyed their offerings enough that I plan to go back again.

But we finished off the day with a trip to South Mountain Creamery for an ice cream cone.

Nothing like a Deere

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Cool Water

A view up Carroll Creek on a hot August day.

A view up Carroll Creek on a hot August day.

A view up Carroll Creek on a hot August day is refreshing so long as you can ignore the gnats and bugs that seem to want to surround you.  The creek is very tempting to dip your toes in if you are brave enough.

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Farmers’ Market Bounty

This is the time of the summer when the farmers’ markets are super colorful with the stunning colors of assorted hot peppers.  The colors of these peppers offer a wonderful palette for stranded colorwork inspiration.

Color Palette

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Leafy Lace

Even in nature, there is lace to admire.

Even in nature, there is lace to admire.

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