As a kid, I loved everything about summer. Running, playing hard, swimming, staying up late. Now, as an adult I wonder if there is there anything more magical than sitting under the stars on a summer night, watching whatever show nature has in store (do fireflies make anyone else feel like a fairy princess?). Summer makes me think of fireworks and fireflies, beaches and mountain streams. It’s a time for people to develop summer crushes, and to fall in love. For families to reconnect and relax on vacation. Ever since I was old enough to understand what romantic love was all about, each place I visited, I focused the lens of “could I fall in love here” on it.
There were several spots I answered with a resounding yes! Here are some of the spots I think would do the trick for me.
The Spanish Steps, in Rome. Although it was February when I saw them, they are most beautiful in the summer with pots and pots of flowers marching resolutely to the top. On the little house at the top of the steps, there is a plaque on the wall stating Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived there for a time.
Glendalough, in Ireland. I saw this on a soft, misty day in July and was so intrigued by the sight I decided I'd make two of my characters fall in love in the shadow of this kind of scene. That will happen in Noah Kerrigan's story, book five of the Five Senses series.
The Maine coastline. I didn't get to spend much time there, but I was enchanted by the sight of the rocky shore and the various light houses there. This became the back drop for the harbor in Granite Pointe, the town where all of the Five Senses books are set. In fact, I'd originally set Noah's story in New Hampshire, but had to move it to Granite Pointe, mostly because of the harbor. Maine is also the state I'd most like to retire too, even though my family thinks I'm crazy.
But the place I fell in love was in my own backyard. Under a summer sky filled with stars. Magical, just like the man I fell in love with, then later married in August, another reason to love summer.
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Mix a chef and her contractor, stir in a mystery, and cook up a romance.
Jemima George leads a charmed life as a personal chef and assistant to reality television’s latest darling. But that changes in a New York minute when her Aunt Caro dies under odd circumstances, bequeathing her a small restaurant. Jem plans to sell the café and continue her life in NYC, until a dramatic phone call from her cheating boyfriend convinces her to experiment with the ingredients for happiness and accept her Aunt’s legacy. Throwing herself into remodeling the restaurant with the help of the town’s delicious contractor, Jem revamps the menu and renews her faith in herself.
Jack Kerrigan considered Caro a surrogate mother and hates the idea that the café could be sold. He doesn’t need the remodeling project, but if it means Caro’s beautiful, fascinating niece will stay to run the restaurant, he’s all in. He wouldn’t mind being savory to Jem’s sweet.
Jack’s brassy ex-wife is cooking up a scheme of her own, where Jack tosses Jem like a salad and comes back to her. Fold in a creepy attorney hiding secrets of environmental mayhem, add Jem’s claustrophobia, half-pint niece and nephew twins, one mysterious lockbox, and bring to a boil—a recipe for romance.
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