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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

From the Top by Dani Collins - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway


Ilke and Nate only spent a short time together, but it was memorable. When Ilke returns to the Whiskey Jack Ski Resort a few months later because she accidentally fell pregnant Nate is perplexed. Nate is working at the resort that is being restored to its former glory to be as close to his son as possible. He loves him dearly and likes being a dad, but he didn't think he'd become a father again and hardly knows Ilke. For Ilke her career as a professional skier always comes first, what will she do now that she is pregnant? Nate is loyal and hardworking and doing the right thing is important to him, but his heart has already been shattered once, will he be able to risk loving someone again, especially when this person is as complicated and independent as Ilke?

Nate and Ilke slowly get to know each other better. There are decisions they have to make. However, something heartbreaking happens that will have a devastating effect on their relationship. Will Ilke and Nate be able to move on after everything they are being put through? Is their still new connection strong enough to handle all of the emotions that come their way and will they find happiness again after this awful tragedy?

From the Top is a beautiful romantic story. Ilke is used to being on her own. She doesn't let anyone help her and doesn't want to depend on others in any way. This makes it difficult for people to get close to her. Nate is an exception though, she does let him in and somehow she gives him a chance, even though she's never done this before. Nate's previous relationship left him wary. He's still hurting because of his ex-wife's betrayal and spending time with a woman again is a big deal for him. It was interesting to see what these two very careful people would do when true love finds its way into their lives.

Dani Collins has chosen such a wonderful setting for her story. Her vivid descriptions of the mountains and the resort itself are making it come to life in an incredible way. It was fun to read about the progress that's being made with the resort. There's always something unexpected going on and that makes fascinating reading. It was also great to read more about the main characters from On the Edge again. I loved the way Dani Collins continues their stories. From the Top is entertaining, emotional and sweet. I really enjoyed reading this heartwarming book.

Advice

If you love complex romantic stories about true love with beautiful settings you will definitely like the Blue Spruce Lodge series. The books can be read as standalones, but to get the full story I'd advise you to start with On the Edge before you begin reading From the Top.


About Dani Collins


Award-winning, USA Today Bestselling author Dani Collins thrives on giving readers emotional, compelling, heart-soaring romance with laughter and heat thrown in, just like real life.

Mostly she writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Presents and Tule’s Montana Born, but her backlist of forty books also includes self-published erotic romance, romantic comedy, and even an epic medieval fantasy. When she’s not writing—just kidding, she’s always writing.

She lives in Christina Lake, BC, Canada with her husband of thirty years who occasionally coaxes her out of her attic office to visit their grown children.

Links


Interview

Hi Suze and Anniek,
I’m so thrilled to be here at With Love For Books again. Hi everyone!

1) Can you tell a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m Canadian. I live in a super small town of fifteen hundred people right next to the American border called Christina Lake. (Go straight north from Spokane, WA and you’re basically on my doorstep.) I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for twenty-five years, but we began living together five years before that, so I count it as thirty years. We have two kids, one of each, who are both out of the house at school, so we’re empty-nesters. For most of my life, I held down various office jobs. I’ve been published since 2012 and for the last few years, I’ve been writing full-time.

2) You're always writing, how did this passion start?

I started reading romance in high school and knew I wanted to do this as a job. When I was twenty-one, I rented a typewriter and gave it a shot. Turns out writing is hard. It took me twenty-five years to sell a book, but through all those rejections and working a day job and raising a family, stories were always in my head, demanding to come out.

3) How did you get the idea for the Blue Spruce Lodge?

I knew I wanted to write a series that bridged my Harlequin Presents with its high-fantasy, luxury elements with my more earthy, blue-collar Montana stories. I also wanted to write longer so I would have room for a broader community. I brainstormed with my daughter and she suggested a ski lodge. My imagination flew from there.

4) You write about complicated relationships, what's so fascinating about them?

I’m just really aware that life is not as black-and-white and people aren’t as simplistic as we want them to be. For me as a reader, I’m never satisfied with the cookie-cutter characters. I want to know what drives people to behave the way they do. There’s usually a broader story there.

I’m also working out my own angst. I’m a perfectionist and beat myself up pretty bad when I’m in the wrong. I like to have my characters be human and make mistakes, then learn to forgive themselves and accept that they’re still worth loving, even though they’re flawed.

5) What does true love mean to you?

Oh, I kind of answered it above. Unconditional love. My husband recently told me he would marry me again, knowing me as well as he does now. We were laughing and he said, “That’s saying something!” But he was also being sincere and, to me, that’s true love.

6) You're married to your high school sweetheart, how does your own relationship influence the relationships you write about?

We’re pretty honest. Yes, we have disagreements, but we usually get past the temper as quickly as possible and try to get to the heart of the matter. I like to bring that to my characters. Emotions are real, and they’re the way we react initially, but after we cool off, we usually find there are less obvious reasons for our hurt or anger, and that’s the part you have to address if you want to move forward.

I also love brainstorming with him, especially for a male point of view. For instance, with the first Blue Spruce Lodge book, On The Edge, I would ask him about his relationship with his own brothers, whether they had rivalries, what sort of trash-talk was crossing a line, that sort of thing.

7) Where do you write?

We have a room that previous owners converted from an attic space. It’s pretty big, but has slanted ceilings. I keep thinking I should move into one of the kids’ rooms, but it’s easier to stay where I am. Here’s a video if you’d like a virtual tour: https://youtu.be/3lKX_Txh-hU

8) You've written a large number of books already, what makes you keep going?

Well, it’s my job and if I don’t work, I won’t get paid. My day jobs were fine, but none were the kind of fulfilling career that this is, so I would much rather do this for a living.

I’m a bit of a workaholic, though. I genuinely love what I do and it’s often hard for me to walk away. Today is a great example. I’m writing this on a Sunday. I’ve got my word count in for the day and I’m entitled to the rest of the day off, but I’m here—maybe because the alternative is vacuuming or shovelling snow! Ha.

9) You’re passionate about romance, what do you like the most about the genre and how did this love start?

Initially, I simply loved that every romance ended happily. I have no patience for stories that are a lot of struggle and then no one triumphs. I was in a book club for a lot of years and we read a lot of what I call, ‘Oprah picks.’ They were beautifully written, but I didn’t come away uplifted. To me, life is hard enough that I don’t have to be told how hard it is. I like something that says, Life is hard, but hang in there. It’s worth it. I can honestly say that I was inspired by the plucky heroines of romance to persevere with my own dream of becoming a romance author.

Related to that, I also love that romance novels are a conversation between women, a positive one. These stories remind women that their feelings and aspirations are important and valid. I personally like books where the characters are people I would want as friends and that’s something I strive to offer my readers. Life is hard and if someone is sitting beside her sick mother in hospital, and I can bolster her spirits by taking her to Paris for three hours, why wouldn’t I want to do that?

10) What are your plans for the future?

Write more books! With the kids out of the house, my husband and I talk a lot about what our lives will look like moving forward, but for now we’re working and living, traveling when we can.

If you’re asking what kind of books I have planned, watch for Trigg’s story later in 2018. He’ll be the third Blue Spruce Lodge book and I’m already having a ton of fun with him. I also have three more Harlequin Presents scheduled for this year and just turned in the first of what will be a duet that comes out early 2019 with them. See my books page for more info: http://danicollins.com/books/

Or, if you’d like to be notified when my next book comes out, join my newsletter. When you do, you’ll automagically receive a link to download Cruel Summer, a short ebook romance I give away as a welcome gift. http://danicollins.com/subscribe/.

Giveaway

Dani Collins will send a postcard to anyone who asks, so please feel free to send her a message.

Dani Collins is also giving away a signed paperback of Consequence Of His Revenge on her website. This giveaway will run till March 3rd. You can sign up here.

Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive signed paperback copies of Consequence of His Revenge and Bought by Her Italian Boss, a postcard and book related swag from Dani Collins.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

18 comments:

  1. From the Top sounds like a funny, sexy and emotional story featuring strong character who want to do the right thing but face struggles in their professional and personal life.

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  2. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

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  3. I love emotional romances, It sounds awesome!

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  4. Love the sound of these two books!

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  5. love the sound of this, always nice to know a bit about an author xx

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  6. Oh boy, this sounds like an emotional whirlwind, I'm sure that I'd be losing a few tears along the way whilst reading this novel.

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  7. Great story around the slopes. Love it.

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  8. I hope I will win and have the pleasure to read the book :)

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  9. I love Dani's books, I always come back to them. I'm so excited for these two.

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  10. this book sounds sexy and romantic. hope can read it :)

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  11. congrats on the new release! Thanks for sharing :)

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  12. I love to read Harlequin books from time to time, it's a total treat - like a big chocolate sundae!

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  13. Your book sounds wonderful and a real book too! Love that! Great cover too! Rita Spratlen

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  14. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

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