The Ultimate Seduction by Dani Collins – Review, Interview & Giveaway
The Ultimate Seduction
21st Century Gentleman’s Club #2
by Dani Collins
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
“I’m about to make you an offer you can’t refuse.”
Tiffany Davis takes her first delicious step into the exclusive masquerade ball hosted by the secretive Q Virtus gentleman’s club. Here, behind the mask, Tiffany can hide her scars and reveal her true self—a powerful businesswoman with an offer for the president of Bregnovia, Ryzard Vrbancic.
Astounded by her audacity, only the fire in Tiffany’s eyes makes Ryzard look twice. He has no interest in her business deal, but the promise of a woman who can match his ruthless determination makes him eager to seduce from her the one thing she’s not offering….
The Ultimate Seduction by Dani Collins is the second book in her The 21st Century Gentleman’s Club series. This is a very sexy romance of two people, hardened by a tragic past and both very different, that are drawn to each other sexually, but with no chance of a future.
We meet our heroine, Tiffany Davis in the beginning. Tiffany has spent the last few years recovering from a tragic accident that killed her husband on her wedding day, leaving her with horrendous scars, both physically and emotionally. She has had quite a few surgeries to fix some of her disfigurement, and now she knows she must begin to go out in public again, especially now that she is charge of a conglomerate her husband left her. Tiffany is very conscious of her scars, and tries to cover some of it with makeup. Her family is also wealthy, and well known, as her father is pushing his own political career. With the President of a small country visiting, her family insists she attend a private masquerade party to meet the president and convince him to allow her company help him make his mark in the United States. Tiffany does not want to go out to a public event, but is pushed to do so. The fact that it is a masquerade ball, makes it easier.
Ryzard Vrbancic is our hero, and is the President of Bregnovia. When he visits America, he often attends these events to meet privately with those who could help his country. When Ryzard sees this masked woman enter the ball, he is immediately mesmerized. What follows is a night of wild hot scorching sex between two people who have much to hide in the darkness of their room. Tiffany allowed herself to be succumbed by this stranger (not knowing he was the man she was to meet), as it built her confidence that someone was attracted to her. Ryzard was enamored by Tiffany and was determined to find out who she was. He could not get her out of his mind.
In a short time, Ryzard finds Tiffany and doesn’t allow her to cover up her face. To him she is beautiful with some battle scars. Of course, living life in a small country driven by war and revolution, Ryzard has seen much destruction. His heart though is frozen, by a memory of lost love, and this prevents him from ever falling in love again.
What we have are two people emotionally damaged, both deeply attracted to each other, as the sexual chemistry between them extremely volatile. Ryzard takes Tiffany with him, at first just to spend time on his boat, but then he brings her to the countries he is visiting, not letting her go. Tiffany finds herself falling in love with Ryzard, the man she originally felt contempt as she thought of him as a dictator. She learns differently that he is good man, who wants best for his country and his people. But Tiffany fears that Ryzard is using her to get her father to help him become accepted in the United States.
This is a very emotional romance of two people who come from different backgrounds, yet both need to rise above their emotional scars. The romance was very nice, and I did root for Tiffany and Ryzard to find a way to get past their deep issues. I sympathized with Tiffany throughout, as she was in a horrible place to overcome. Ryzard, though he was so good to Tiffany, helping her, his determination to not take their relationship to the next level was a bit annoying. Will Ryzard open his heart permanently to Tiffany?
Dani Collins has written a very nice and emotional storyline that was very real. The romance between Tiffany and Ryzard was extremely sexual, with a lot of sex scenes throughout. Overall, this was a very good story.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Author
Dani, we would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We are always looking forward to finding out about the author behind the book, and it is a pleasure to welcome you to The Reading Cafe.
Dani: My pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
TRC: Please tell us about yourself
Dani: Mostly I feel like a fairly boring person. I married my high school sweetheart, we have a girl and a boy. She is home for the summer, but going back to university in the fall. He will graduate in two years. We used to have a cat. We live in a very small town of 1500 people which swells to 5000 in the summer on account of the beautiful lake. But otherwise, not much happens. ☺
TRC: Did you always have an interest in writing? When and how did you first start writing?
Dani: Once I found romance novels in high school, I knew I wanted to write them. I wrote a few scenes back then, got serious (ie rented a typewriter) when I was 21 and wrote and submitted for 25 years, finally getting the call in May of 2012.
TRC: What was your first book ever published? Can you please describe your reaction when you found out you were going to be published?
Dani: Given the long wait, I was as ecstatic as you can imagine. I’d been working with the editors at Mills & Boon in London for a few years by then, receiving revision letters and I knew I was close so it wasn’t a lightning strike from the blue when my editor asked to call and speak with me. I said, “This is The Call.” And she said, “Yes, it is.” I still tear up.
My husband was on nights at the time, so I told my kids then told him as I was leaving for my day job and he was coming home to sleep. Later that evening we had a proper celebration with my parents and dinner and champagne. I was still in the closet at work so I only told one person. I floated all day, though!
TRC: Is there anything (in general) you find particularly challenging about writing?
Dani: Well, the worst was trying to hold down a full time job and write, especially before I sold because I worried I was wasting my time. Selling was enormously validating. Then I turned in 14 books over two years while keeping the day job and THAT was extremely challenging. Now, I struggle with typical stuff like how much money to spend on promotion. I try not to identify problem areas in my actually writing because for me, it’s a bit of an act of faith. If I show up, the words will come. We will not borrow trouble by saying, “I am bad at this or that.”
TRC: The Ultimate Seduction will be released tomorrow. Can you please give us a brief description of this book?
Dani: It’s the second book in a mini-series concept created by the editors in London. They wanted a 21st Century take on an old fashioned Gentlemen’s Club. I was lucky enough to work with two amazing Presents authors, Maya Blake (The Ultimate Playboy) and Victoria Parker (The Ultimate Revenge.) Together, we decided to call the club QVirtus and have it meet quarterly in a different location so Maya’s opens in Macau and closes in Venezuela, where mine opens. I close in Zanzibar, where Victoria’s opens. The heroes are acquainted through the series with brief cameos in each other’s books.
Every quarterly meeting opens with a masquerade social. In mine, the heroine, Tiffany, has terrible scarring, which is covered by her mask, allowing her to feel normal for the first time since the accident. She goes out dancing and meets a stranger, also in a mask. One thing leads to another-wink!-and she leaves him afterward thinking that she has a lovely memory to keep her company for her loveless future.
But QVirtus meetings are also about providing a private space for high level business deals. When Tiffany goes to present hers the next morning, guess who her client is?
TRC: How did you come up with the idea of this book?
Dani: I kind of explained the bigger premise above. In terms of my own book, I honestly don’t know. I had an idea what kind of characters Maya and Victoria were crafting and we didn’t want to all offer the same thing. I wanted my heroine to be a member of the club, so I had to figure out how that would have come about. I loved the idea that the hero is regarded as some kind of despot so I gave him his own country (Bregnovia).
TRC: A couple of months ago you released An Heir to Bind Him, which we reviewed. Can you please tell our members who may have missed the review, the premise of this story? Also, what is Mills & Boon Modern?
Dani: An Heir To Bind Them is the third in what I call the Makricosta series. My first sale book, No Longer Forbidden?, came out only in the UK, as a Mills & Boon Modern. That is what Harlequin Presents are called there. In Australia, they are called Mills & Boon Sexy. Just different covers and marketing, but the books are exactly the same.
In No Longer Forbidden? the hero mentions his three half-siblings which gave me the idea to follow their stories. So I then wrote More Than A Convenient Marriage?, which came out as my second Harlequin Presents and they made it a 2in1, putting No Longer Forbidden? in the back of it. So it’s super nice that my first book actually did come out in North America after all and was packaged with a linked book.
An Heir To Bind Them tells the story of the middle brother, Theo. The Makricostas are in hotels and he has an affair with Jaya, one of his employees, the day she is leaving for personal reasons. They’re both in a state due to family issues and it turns into a one night stand. Eighteen months later, Theo is saddled with temporary care of his niece and nephew and calls on Jaya to help, only to discover there’s a third baby needing attention and fatherhood is anything but temporary.
TRC: You write both Romance and Fantasy genres. Do you have a preference in genres, and do you ever have a desire to write another genre?
Dani: I actually only have The Healer and a short story in an anthology that I wrote to hopefully drive readers to The Healer. While I loved, loved writing that book, it was huge and a ton of work on the plotting side. There is a cast of thousands. I have a character guide and a map!
I would love to write another, but to be honest, there doesn’t seem to be a huge audience for that genre for me. Or another way to say it is, I can’t write in that genre fast enough to build an audience for it. So for the moment I’m leaving it at The Healer.
I somewhat accidentally wound up with a pair of erotic romances also out in August (from HarlequinE). I had written the first years ago and when I sold it, they asked for a second. I had fun with that and the audience crosses over more between that and Presents than it does with fantasy, but I don’t know that I’ll seriously pursue an erotic romance career.
TRC: What is your writing process? Do you have a favorite spot or time? Do you like to outline your stories or just go with the flow?
Dani: I prefer to be at my desk in my office which is an converted attic. It’s actually quite spacious, I just have to be careful I don’t stand up too fast. I prefer mornings, before I get distracted by other things. I do write a synopsis for my editor to ensure she is on board with the concept and she often comes back with some comments or concerns that help guide me with the story going forward. It saves a lot of time working it out at that stage, for sure, but from there I’m a bit of a pantser and just run with it.
TRC: What are you working on now, and what we can look forward to in 2014?
Dani: I’m working on a Presents scheduled for March of 2015. My first sheik! Then I’ll finish Demitri’s story, which is Book Four in the Makricosta series mentioned above.
As far as 2014 goes, look for the erotic romances if you’re into that, plus a novella in the Chatsfield collection, Volume 2. Mine is called The Secret In Room 823. I’ve started working with Tule on their Montana Born series. Look for a homecoming novel in September or October and in November I have The Russian’s Acquisition, which is my next Harlequin Presents.
Yes, after waiting 25 years to publish, I am making up for lost time!
TRC: Many authors have friends or family, that they bounce ideas and information back and forth. Do you have anyone you like to discuss your stories with?
Dani: I’m the complete opposite. I hate talking about my work to anyone. If they get that look like, I don’t know…Is that really what you want to do? I just fall apart with second-guessing and losing faith in my process. I can take criticism from the editor because they know what they want, but I don’t enjoy talking about my work to anyone else. In fact, I’m so defensive, I always flip to a blank page when my family walks into the room. My daughter recently said, “For years I didn’t think you were writing at all when you disappeared into your office because there were never any words on the screen.”
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Dani: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been fun!
Favorite Food: watermelon
Favorite Dessert: watermelon
Favorite TV Show: Mad Men
Favorite Movie: Pride and Prejudice
Last Book You Read: I Love The 80’s, Megan Crane
Favorite Fictional Character (not your own): Don Draper
Milk or Dark Chocolate: Dark!
Thank you Dani for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you the best of luck with The Ultimate Seduction.
After a brilliant debut in the UK with No Longer Forbidden, a Mills & Boon Modern Book Of The Month January 2013, Dani’s first Harlequin Presents, Proof Of Their Sin, won the Reviewer’s Choice by Romantic Times Book Reviews for Best First In Series. While her focus is Harlequin Presents, Dani also writes romantic comedy, medieval fantasy, and coming August of 2014, erotic romance. Whatever the genre, she always delivers sexy alpha heroes, witty, spirited heroines, complex emotions and loads of passion.
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