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Escape to NZ Cheat Sheet!


How about a cheat sheet for those of us who have trouble remembering the names?

That’s what a reader asked me yesterday. And I said: What a good idea!

Escape to New Zealand

JUST FOR YOU (Prequel):  Reka Harata & Hemi Ranapia (35), Takapuna (Auckland), and then Papamoa (Tauranga). Hemi: former No. 10 (first-five) for the Auckland Blues and All Blacks; after retirement, becomes backs coach for Bay of Plenty rugby team. Reka: former kindy teacher and mum to their four children: Ariana, Jamie, Luke, and Anika.

JUST THIS ONCE/JUST ONCE MORE (Bk 1): Hannah Montgomery & Drew Callahan. St. Heliers (Auckland), and then Papamoa (Tauranga). Drew (eventually Sir Andrew): blindside flanker (#6) & captain of the Blues & All Blacks, and after retirement at age 34, becomes head coach of the Bay of Plenty professional (provincial) rugby team. Hannah: marketing executive for 2nd Hemisphere clothing firm. Parents of Jack,  Grace, & a new baby boy.

JUST GOOD FRIENDS (Bk 2): Kate Lamonica & Koti James. Koti: No. 13 (centre) for the Auckland Blues and All Blacks. Kate: accountant for the Blues team. Parents of Maia & pregnant with a new baby.

JUST FOR NOW (Bk 3): Jenna McKnight & Finn Douglas. Finn: former No. 8 for the Auckland Blues and All Blacks; now retired from playing and serving as strength and conditioning coach for the Blues. Jenna: former Year 1 teacher. Parents of Sophie, Harry, Lily, and a new baby.

JUST FOR FUN (Bk 4): Emma Martens & Dominic (Nic) Wilkinson. Nic: No. 15 (fullback) for the Auckland Blues and All Blacks. Emma: knitwear designer for 2nd Hemisphere. Parents of Zack and George.

JUST MY LUCK (Bk 5): Allison (Ally) Villiers & Nate Torrance (Toro). Nate: Captain of the Wellington Hurricanes and, for the past two years, successor to Drew as captain of the All Blacks; No. 9 (halfback). Ally: rock climbing and kayaking instructor/guide. Kristen Montgomery & Liam (Mako) Mahaka Liam: No. 2 (hooker) for the Wellington Hurricanes and All Blacks. Kristen: Hannah’s younger sister, and a buyer for a Wellington department store. Parents of a baby girl.

JUST NOT MINE (Bk 6): Jocelyn (Josie) Pae Ata & Hugh Latimer. Hugh: No. 7 (openside flanker) & eventually captain for the Auckland Blues; also on the All Blacks. Josie: TV star. Parenting Hugh’s half-siblings, Amelia and Charlie.

JUST ONCE MORE (Bk 7): all of the above. Reunion book & Hannah and Drew again.

JUST IN TIME (Bk 8): Faith Goodwin & Will Tawera. Faith: Apartment manager, photographer’s assistant, & copywriter in Las Vegas; eventually, novelist. Will: No. 10 (first-five) for the Auckland Blues & the All Blacks. 

JUST STOP ME (Bk 9): Sabrina (Nina) Jones & Iain McAllister. Nina: lingerie & swimsuit model. Iain: Lock for the Auckland Blues & the All Blacks.

JUST SAY YES (Bk 10): Chloe Donaldson & Kevin McNicholl. Chloe: former principal ballerina, currently runs a dance studio attended by Hugh’s brother & sister (JUST NOT MINE). Also Josie’s best friend. Kevin: Wing (No. 11) for the Auckland Blues and All Blacks. Kevin is entrusted by Drew to look after Hannah in the bar scene in JUST THIS ONCE, and takes out Kate (semi-disastrously) in JUST GOOD FRIENDS. In JUST NOT MINE, Hugh takes Chloe out on a date that fizzles, but during which Chloe meets Kevin. 

JUST SAY (HELL) NO (Bk 11): Nyree Morgan & Marko Sendoa. Nyree: Maori; waitress, artist, and pet portraitist. Marko: Basque; No. 6 (Blindside flanker) for the Blues and All Blacks. Also features Marko’s niece, Ella, and a very stubborn kitten.

The teammates:


No. 2 (hooker): Mako (Liam) Mahaka (Hurricanes) – JUST MY LUCK (Kristen)

No. 4 (lock): Kane Armstrong (Crusaders) – JUST SAY (HELL) NO (Nyree’s stepbrother)

No. 5 (lock): Iain McCormick (Blues) – JUST STOP ME (Nina)

No. 6 (blindside flanker) – Originally Drew Callahan, JUST THIS ONCE; now Marko Sendoa (Blues) – JUST SAY (HELL) NO (Hannah (Drew), Nyree (Marko))

No. 7 (openside flanker) – Hugh Latimer (formerly Hurricanes, now Blues) – JUST NOT MINE (Josie)

No. 8 (No. 8) – originally Finn Douglas – JUST FOR NOW (Jenna)


No. 9 (halfback) – Nate (Toro) Torrance (Hurricanes) – JUST MY LUCK (Ally)

No. 10 (first-five) – originally Hemi, JUST FOR YOU; now Will Tawera (Blues) – JUST IN TIME (Faith)

No. 11 (wing) – Kevin McNicholl (Blues) – JUST SAY YES (Chloe)

No. 13 (centre) – Koti James (Blues) – JUST GOOD FRIENDS (Kate)

No. 15 (fullback) – Nic Wilkinson (Blues) – JUST FOR FUN (Emma)


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Kathy Harward
Kathy Harward
7 years ago

I love this. I’m so glad you put the kids in. I’m going to print it up.
Thank you so much.

Ginny Gilbertson
Ginny Gilbertson
7 years ago

Thanks! I was getting so confused…couldn’t remember if I read a book or who was who!

Mary Oklah
Mary Oklah
7 years ago

Love this – I already made one for myself but this is better.

7 years ago

Love this idea, I too had made one for myself, but I love this and am printing it out now!

Jessica Hirsch
Jessica Hirsch
7 years ago

Will there be more books?

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