Romance Novel Settings

Romance Novel Settings
Hello, and welcome back! I'm home from my trip and ready to go back! I hope you've all done lots of reading while I was gone.

So, have you ever read a book and loved the way the author wrote about the setting so much that you wanted to visit the place? Generally when this happens to me, I'm reading either a historical or paranormal set in the past, though there are a few contemporary authors whose sense of place makes me feel as though I'm really there with the characters. How many of you have wanted to visit Clava Cairns in Scotland after reading Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series? Just to see the stone that sends Claire back in time to Jamie? Or to Bath because of one of your favorite Regency authors?

Scotland is, right now, one of the more popular historical settings, and I can tell you from personal experience, there's good reason for it. The land is beautiful, with the steeply-sloped mountains rising up out of the lush, green land, and the low clouds that look as if they're resting on the mountaintops. Then, too, there is the historical sites all over the country. I saw Clava Cairns and the split stone for myself this month, as well as the Culloden Battlefield, though that would have been better seen on a gloomy day to better get a sense of the day; when I was there, the weather was simply gorgeous--nothing to complain about, but it made it difficult to imagine the day of the battle.

Then there are the castles dotting the land, and if you're blessed with a vivid imagination, as most writers and readers are, you'll have no trouble picturing the lairds and their ladies sweeping down the stairs to the courtyards, even in the castles that are virtually ruins, such as Urquhart or Menzies. Despite not being in livable condition, both of these castles are truly awesome, and I'm itching to read something set around them.

One of the contemporary authors whose sense of place is very strong is Jayne Ann Krentz, with her many Pacific-Northwest settings. Her new book, Summer in Eclipse Bay (Jove), is no exception to that. She's back to the Madison and Harte families in Eclipse Bay, Oregon in this one: Nick Harte's turn, and Octavia Brightwell has no plans to make things easy for him. There are a lot of things in this book related to the two before it in the series, and I'm not certain that someone who hasn't read them will be as easily able to follow as someone who's enjoyed the first two books. Nevertheless, this one is vintage JAK, with the sexy hero and a heroine who's his match, and subtle plot twists that will make you say, "hm...." In any case, this one is going onto my keeper shelf with it's predecessors. Of Cupid's five arrows, it's earned four. Let me know what you think of this one.

Until next week, happy reading!

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