From the TopAuthor: Dani Collins
Series: Blue Spruce Lodge #2
Also in this series: In Too Deep
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Release date: February 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Their hot New Year’s Eve wasn’t supposed to have consequences…
Fiercely independent after a difficult childhood, Ilke Lunquist devotes herself to one thing: skiing. She’s on the cusp of gold when an unexpected pregnancy throws her future into chaos.
Nathaniel Hart takes on the daunting project of restoring Whiskey Jack Ski Resort to be close to his young son, but with one failed marriage behind him, he avoids serious relationships.
They might be virtual strangers with only a baby in common, but Nate is determined to be part of his child’s life. Ilke didn’t become a champion by backing down from a challenge, especially not one where her child’s happiness and her own heart are on the line. When tragedy strikes, heartbreak draws them closer together. Nate discovers he’s more than ready for a bigger family and maybe, just maybe, Ilke will find the home that has eluded her all her life.
The Faerie Queen’s review
CW: This book does bring up past sexual harassment, as well as a pregnancy-related experience that some readers might want to avoid. It’s up to you whether you want to be warned: View Spoiler »During the course of the book, Ilke suffers a miscarriage. « Hide Spoiler
From the Top released just after the Winter Olympics, and the timing was perfect. Why? Because it’s set right after the Olympics. After a New Year’s Eve fling, Ilke intended to continue with her dreams of gold medals, only to crash and burn thanks to an unexpected pregnancy. From the Top opens with Ilke returning to the site of her one-night-stand, and the man she had such an enjoyable night with. The problem? Neither had any intention of seeing each other, or of getting into any relationship in the first place.
I haven’t read the first book, and I think this might be a case where reading the first book in a romance series is recommended. This was a new couple, but they’d had a previous sexual encounter, so I missed out on that. Plus, there were a lot of characters that weren’t that likeable having not been endeared to them in the previous book. (Rolf, I’m looking at you.) So my first bit of advice is to treat this series as a connected one. This isn’t like a lot of other romance series where you can easily drop in at any point.
It’s fitting that I reviewed a book like this on International Women’s Day. The expectations placed on men and women when it comes to sexuality and parenting featured big in this book. For example, Ilke questioned why she was expected to give up her career as a professional athlete when men could keep going after having a child. It wasn’t just a case of the actual biology; it was also expected for her to take care of the child after birth.
That was how she tried to approach the big decisions in her life. Men didn’t worry about hurting feelings or how they were perceived. They did whatever advanced their own interests. Doing the same shouldn’t make her a criminal, just because she had a uterus.
And honestly, that extract right there can apply to so much more than taking care of children. Women do need to be so much more careful about feelings and perceptions, especially at work.
There were some seriously tough subjects raised in this book, so I wouldn’t class this as a light and fluffy read. Ilke shares past experiences with sexual harassment as a teenager, as well as her difficult upbringing, showing it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when your genetics grants you curves and beauty at a young age. But even more difficult to read was something that affected Ilke during the course of the book. I appreciated how, as far as I could tell, it was sensitively handled, and I also really liked that Nate’s own struggles were shown. It was a very complicated and very emotional section to read.
But to balance out the rather heavy topics addressed in this book was pure chemistry. Both Nate and Ilke had to work through their own internal battles, and it certainly helped that there was more than just physical attraction between them. And when things finally clicked into place, it was so endearing. (Nate is such a caring guy, it almost hurts.)
Overall, a bit iffy to get into since I hadn’t read the first book, but ultimately a satisfying read!