Australia: 6 Perfect Romantic Settings

When it comes to writing romance, we Aussies are blessed for choice. Not only do we have a wealth of hero potential in Hugh and Eric and Julian and co., but there’s also those gorgeous, smart, deprecatingly-witty Aussie girls as heroine fodder and some of the most vivid settings in which to place our pair of potential lovers. Here are my top six settings for Australian romance.

1. BEACH: with over 36,000km of coastline (that’s further than the flying distance from New York to Sydney to London and back to New York!) Australia boasts A LOT of beaches, from tourist favourites such as Sydney’s Bondi and Queenland’s Gold Coast to pristine stretches of sand in remote wilderness locations. If size really does matter, how about Eighty Mile Beach (WA) and Ninety Mile Beach (Vic)? There is something elemental and evocative about an isolated beach, the sound of waves crashing against rock, the sight of two pairs of footprints meandering along the water’s edge. It really sets you in mind of THAT scene in From Here to Eternity, doesn’t it?
Try: Robyn Grady’s For Blackmail…or Pleasure. (How hot is that cover?)

2. SYDNEY: our most famous and populous city (4.28 million) is always a high rater in the world’s most livable city survey. If I could afford to live there, quite possibly I would. Sydney is reknowned for the world’s most beautiful* harbour and beaches and the iconic Opera House, which is more than a landmark. It’s also a symbol of the sophisticated side of a city better known for the laidback lifestyle represented by the building’s white sails. (*According to the Bron Not-Very-Scientific Survey of harbours and beaches.)
Try: Vows & A Vengeful Groom, Pride & A Pregnancy Secret, Boardrooms & A Billionaire Heir.

3. OUTBACK: the sheer scale of our country’s interior is awe-inspiring, as is the harsh beauty that awaits after the long journey to get there. As a setting for romance, there is much to be made of the isolation, the city-country disparity, the fish-out-of-water story trope, and the parallel of a strong, rugged Aussie bloke and the land that is his. As for romance itself, how about you, Mr Tall Dark and Enigmatic, and the clarity of diamond bright stars against a velvet dark night sky?
Try: my Rugged Loner or any outback title by Barbara Hannay.

4. THE TROPICAL NORTH: Is it just me or has there not been enough made of the sumptuous beauty of Australia’s tropical north? Think about the prospects of an island paradise set amidst lush rainforest, the scent of frangipani on the evening breeze and the white sand of a private beach dazzling in its purity. Imagine lazing beside a horizon pool sipping cocktails–the kind with tiny umbrellas and a fruity kick and colours as vivid as the coral and fish in the reef lagoon. Or if that’s too laidback for your kind of romance, how about the wild energy of a tropical storm unleashed after a sultry day’s brewing….
Try: Jan Colley’s Satin & A Scandalous Affair.

5. MELBOURNE: our second largest city (3.74 million) much loved as the sporting and events capital of Australia. Home of the F1 Grand Prix (today, as it happens!), the Australian Open tennis, our biggest horseracing carnival The Melbourne Cup, and site of Australia’s first Summer Olympics (1956.) But we love it for the shopping, the cafes, the footie, the trams, the blending of many cultures. As for romance, there is plenty of scope in the lux hotels and the glamourous suburbs and in the beauty of the nearby Dandenongs, the Yarra Valley, and the Bellerine and Mornington Peninsulas where the wealthy like to unwind.
Try: Maxine Sullivan’s Mistress & A Million Dollars.

6. WILDERNESS: there is something primal, majestic, magical about the mountains and forests, and I love romances set in a remote area where the couple are stranded by harsh weather. Often they are pitted against the environment in a battle for survival; always they battle the tension of forced proximity and survival becomes more about protecting a closely guarded heart.
Try: my Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge, which is set at a fictional Tasmanian wilderness resort.

Tell me which of these settings most appeal to you as a reader and/or which books/authors have sold you on a particular setting. I will be drawing one winner from the comments on Saturday March 22. The prize: my out-of-print outback romance, RITA-finalist The Rugged Loner, a signed copy of my April release Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge, plus a Colours of Australia address book.

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77 Responses to “Australia: 6 Perfect Romantic Settings”

  1. Oh My! So hard to choose, but I go with The tropical north, this definitely has me captivated. Just the description alone is enough for me to think about packing my bags. Maxine I think I just found another use for that million dollars (LOL). Seriously all the setting here are just as appealing, the way that you describe Australia defiantly has me looking to vacation there sometime in the near future. Sarah Morgan books, Sale Or Return Bride and Blackmailed By Diamonds, Bound By Marriage set in Greece come to mind in addition on what setting has me sold.

  2. bum – thought I’d be post #1 ! I love the beaches – years ago I visited a friend in the Northern suburbs of Sydney and they had their own hilltop house and private stretch of beach… yum!

    Also have to say that the Blue Mountains is right in my backyard and a simply gorgeous place to holiday. The Hydro Majestic is a historical hotel that serves high tea overlooking the amazing Megalong Valley – check it out here http://www.hydromajestic.com.au/hotels/bm/

  3. Paula, you and Avi beat me to the #1 spot. Phewy! But….. am I about to beat Jan to it? Quick hurry, Maxine. πŸ™‚

    Avi, yes, it would be easy to spend a million dollars travelling around Australia and visiting all the wonderful places Bron has described. Heck, I want to do that right now. πŸ™‚

    Bron, the government should pay you for being a superb tourism ambassabor. Great post!

  4. Bron, your description of Melbourne is perfect. And the F1 Grand Prix is on today. I wanted to join Briana and Jarrod at the corporate box but alas, I have a new book to write and can’t afford the time. Still, I’m sure Kim and Ric, and Jessica and Ryan, will keep them company. πŸ™‚

  5. Virginia H. Says:

    I am going with 3 the outback. There is just something about the rugged country and the men that go with it that I love. So send me to the outback, I’m a country girl.

  6. Which of those settings, Bron? That’s mean. I want them all! I love the beach, adore Sydney, would love to visit the outback (although probably not as much as I’d like to discover Melbourne…never been there :D). The tropical north appeals (so long as it’s not too hot. I don’t *do* sweat, LOL!) and hmm, the wilderness, now that would be fun to do too.

    Okay, I’ve decided. Melbourne. Think I might be able to fit it in this year?

  7. Yvonne, you’ve never been to Melbourne? And I thought you were an international jetsetter. πŸ™‚

    But if you don’t do sweat then don’t come here this week. It’s autumn and supposed to be cooling down and the other day we had a stinker of a day with more high temps forecast. Adelaide is doing far worse with something like over 10 days straight of high temps, so definitely stay away from there this week. After that, we’d love to see you. πŸ™‚

  8. Patricia Cochran Says:

    I’m a city girl who would love visiting Sydney and Melbourne, but Ive always been drawn to the Outback!
    All those early M&B and Harlequin books have piqued my interest, even though I know I’ll probably
    never visit your country. Australia has always been one of two countries I would visit if I could, The
    other:Scotland.

    Pat Cochran

  9. Avi, with a million dollars you could see so all this in style AND have plenty left over (or maybe you could just take us all! πŸ™‚ ) I don’t think I have read the Sarah Morgan books you mentioned, but Greece and the Greek Islands — all Mediterranean settings, in fact — do have a special vividness. The heat, the passion, the exotic, all go very nicely with those intense, passionate books. Bron

  10. Paula, I hope that northern beaches setting will feature in one of your books. Sounds perfect! Oh, and the Blue Mountains…which, now you mention it, is where a certain couple from the DDU series chose to honeymoon, I believe. πŸ™‚ Bron

  11. Maxine, I’ll gladly take the job. (Is their pay involved? πŸ™‚ )

    Re the Grand Prix: I’ve heard that the high-pitched whine of those engines can be heard for miles and miles and miles around Melbourne. I’ve often wondered how loud it must be trackside. Anyone been to a Formula 1 race who can satisfy my curiosity?

    Virginia, I’m a country girl as well and have been reading and dreaming about the northern outback for most of my life. Eventually I visited and despite my knowledge/expectations (from books, TV, etc) I was still blown away by the landscapes and the vastness.

    Bron

  12. Yvonne, I do hope you get to come to Melbourne this year especially if that trip takes in the RWA conference. πŸ™‚

    Maxine, the weather this past week has been beyond the pale, hasn’t it? Summer ended and the heat commenced. Anyone else suffering the weather extremes at the moment?

    Patricia, you probably read a lot of the same outback romances as I did. Nothing like those strong, masterful outback men.

    Bron

  13. azteclady Says:

    The outback, hands down.

    *waving* Hello, ladies!

  14. I’ll take The Wilderness, thank you. I love stories of stranded characters and how they come together for survival. A snowed in mountain cabin with a blizzard blowing outside will do it for me everytime.

  15. I’d go for the Tropical North. I’m not really very fond of cities and buildings and all that since I’m a city girl. Nature would be my choice especially with a sea involved πŸ˜‰

  16. Maxine, LOL, international jetsetter *snort!* I’ve been to Singapore, Holland, Germany, Belgium, England (but only London), Canada (but only Vancouver), the USA (Seattle, San Francisco, Reno, Los Angeles and Hawaii), Fiji, the Gold Coast and Sydney…so nope, no Melbourne yet! But I’m planning on it! And I figure that by August, and the RWAus conference, I should be safe from heat πŸ™‚

  17. I’m going to choose Sydney because it’s such a cosmpolitan city, with great sights and fabulous shopping. I think Melbourne would definitely be a close second. I would love to see the Aussie Open live.

  18. limecello Says:

    Hi Bron!
    Great post- I’d like to visit all of these places, but as to where I’d like to live… 1, 2, 4, or 5. I need a population of a minimum of 35K within 20 square miles, maximum. All those places sound so gorgeous and I’d love to see them all. I’m so glad the DDU series is introducing me to all these fascinating places. Thanks for all those book suggestions! I’m definitely going to write them down.

  19. The sites all sound so appealing and wonderful. What diverse and special settings for romance novels. I would love to experience the beach beauty mentioned. Sounds absolutely incredible and magnificent. I always love beach settings. I have read novels with the outback as a setting which has been captivating and enthralling reading. The Courtenay Saga was brilliant reading.

  20. Hi everyone (except Maxine…not talking to Maxine yet…)
    I’m sure you can’t guess which Aussie setting I would choose. But even if the tropical north wins hands down, all the others tug my heartstrings. Sydney must be the world’s prettiest city. Melbourne is full of heart and character – and the food, omg!!! My mum visitied the Blue Mountains a hundred years ago and loved it. Crocodile Dundee had me hankering for the outback, though I admit to being rather worried about the snakes and crocs and spiders…Tassie is supposed to be stunning. How did one country get so lucky??? It really does have everything.
    I’ll meet you at the Going Bananas Restaurant in Port Douglas, Mona!

  21. I enjoyed reading the vivid descriptions of the areas which all sound tempting. I am a beach lover first and foremost and know that white sugar sand beaches are my favorite spot for a holiday. Melbourne sounds delightful and charming though which I would love to explore. Thanks for this great peek into such amazing and unique spots.

  22. Crystal B. Says:

    My choice would be the Outback. But, I love books set in any of these settings. πŸ™‚

  23. Hi Paula and Maxine, sorry to beat you to the #1 post, better luck next time (lol). Jan you have my interest piqued with the mention of food, after this post I am going to search for some Australian recipes to try out. I recently tried out some Mediterranean Cuisine recipes, oh my goodness it is amazing; you all have to experience this kind of cuisine, if you haven’t already.

  24. Whoops my mistake, I sent the post before I was done, Bronwyn, Maxine is right about you doing a fantastic job promoting tourism; I am in my final year doing a degree in hospitality and Tourism and from some from some of the work we covered in my own country, I can absolutely say that you are really like a Tourism Ambassador for Australia. It is too bad that Australia is so far away because my class trip for β€œTourism Destination Planning” it would have been great to visit all these places but oh well I guess we will just have to stick to the Caribbean islands closer to me (lol).

  25. azteclady Says:

    Since posting my previous comment, I have been trying to remember which was the first book set in the Australian outback that I read, that made me fall in love with the people and the land–and I can’t! 😦 It’s been something like three decades since, and my memory ain’t what it was, I’m sorry to say :sigh:

  26. You know something, I have read so little about Australia, that I sure wouldn’t mind reading about all of them and then getting back to you! LOLOLOLOL But taking the question as where would I visit myself, I am a city girl, so Sydney and Melbourne would be number one. . . beaches and tropical north wouldn’t be a place I’d visit because I’m not a beach type of person. . . but maybe a day in the wilderness would be number 2.

    But reading, I’ll read them all!

    Lois

  27. Avi J, Mediterranean food is amazing , but I confess to liking just about any kind of food, so easily pleased.
    And must say how sorry for you I feel re being close to the Caribbean Islands. NOT!

    Azteclady, didn’t Margaret Way write some outback stories? Not sure, but with you on the memory – what memory??

    Where are you from Lois? I think Australia seems to be going through some sort of renaissance – everyone wants to be there. I wonder how it compares on the world stage. I heard once that France was the most visited country in the world with an amazing number of millions going through every year – which I can certainly believe, it’s in my top two!

  28. Azteclady, waving with hands down? You are truly a woman of remarkable skills. πŸ˜‰

    Robyn, I must admit I’m also a fan of the snowbound/cabin storyline. My favourite is a Ruth Wind SIM, Her Ideal Man. Have you read that one?

    Another country girl. Hi, Mona. *waving* I’m a country girl through and through but that doesn’t stop me loving short trips to the city. Esp. for the theatre.

    Also waving to the international jetsetter. Hope we see you in Melbourne in August!

    Bron

  29. Jane, our cities aren’t NYC but I know you’d love them. Sounds as though Jennifer is with you. LOL at needing the population close by. Now where’s your sense of adventure? πŸ™‚

    Sabrina, hi and welcome. Glad you enjoyed the descriptions and hope you enjoy many more great Aussie books set in our outback and beach locations (I’m thinking the combination of beach/wilderness/tropical north is rather appealing…)

    Jan, have you visited Tassie? Perhaps too close to your own native mainland?

    Bron

  30. Hi Crystal. Gotta love that outback! (Yes, Jan, you do! Embrace the wildlife!!)

    Avi, I hope I get a chance some day to visit your beautiful part of the world so I can add to my not-very-scientific-at-all survey of beautiful beaches. I’m pretty sure you have some doozies.

    Mmmmmmediterranean food, mmmmm…..

    Azteclady, Lucy Walker perhaps? (hers are 60’s-70’s, I think, so perhaps not.)

    Lois, one of the many wonderful things about reading romance is the virtual travel. You definitely need some Aussie destinations in your TBR pile and we are happy to give recommendations. πŸ™‚

    Bron

  31. azteclady Says:

    Jan and Brownyn, thank you for the suggestions–I can’t tell for sure, though, because I first read Spanish translations 😦

    But I’m thinking that I should pester my sister to see if she has kept any of the old category romances, and if so, to give me names! πŸ˜‰

  32. Ha! We once did a night cruise on the Daintree (above Port Douglas in Northern Queensland) supposedly croc-spotting, and we’d had a meal and were throwing our scraps over the side and standing on a teeny observation deck about a foot out of the water. Saw nothing. Next day, went to Hartleys creek croc farm and watched as a guide threw a leaf on a perfectly calm pond and next thing this monster leapt about 2m in the air. Couldn’t even see it! I shuddered thinking how lucky we were not to ’embrace the wildlife’ the night before.
    Speaking of Tassie and wildlife, my bil and wife honeymooned there and were driving their rental, and he put the sun visor down and a massive spider fell on him. They couldn’t find it and it ended up in her handbag. I’m afraid I would have walked back to the hotel…I like wildlife – as long as it’s a cat of the domestic variety.

  33. Nathalie Says:

    I have to say I enjoy the books with a desert or beach setting… maybe it is my more mediterranean side that comes out!

  34. I remember reading some beautiful books by Essie Summers and thought that I would love to go to New Zealand, the scenery must jsut be beautiful.

    I also know that I enjoy books with a beach or some exotic island, it really makes it different from the city life, which is what I am used to!

  35. Rebekah Elrod Says:

    All of these settings sound great, but I think I would have to pick either the wilderness or the outback. I love stories where people are stranded in the middle of nowhere and have the beauty of the country side. I live by the Rocky Mountains and love the fact that I can look out my kitchen and bedroom window and see the mountains when ever I want. I also like the fact that I am close enough to drive there when I want. I like open spaces and someday hope to have some land to call my own, enough land that I don’t have neighbors right up against me.

  36. I do have one coming up — In The Heart of the Outback by Barbara Hannay. πŸ™‚ And I have read a couple of other books by Australian authors, but the Australian members of the h/h group were in other locations. LOL So yep, I have some catching up to do! πŸ™‚

    Lois

  37. Hi Jan I agree with you, wildlife is not so bad, as long as it is limited. I live in the country area and frequently come across spiders, iguanas and mosquitoes, but my dogs scare them away. Than God we don’s have crocs, but Caymans, and even those are in rivers far away. Jan OK I must admit the Caribbean islands are great (Hope you all get a chance to visit someday), so is my country especially now as it is the dry season and also cricket season.
    Hi Bronwyn, you had a part in your book in the series with cricket, which is absolutely my favourite sport (I play as well as watch the matches);
    Is it cricket season there as yet in Australia? My country hosted the part of the cricket world cup last year, and as you know the Australian team won, do any of you follow the sport or go to the matches?

  38. while I wouldn’t say no to the more civilized places I’d be just as happy on the beach, in the wilderness or in the outback.

  39. Azteclady, I’m intrigued. Do you still read Spanish translations? And if you don’t mind a bit of sister-pestering, then do let us know. I love to talk (obviously! :-)) and esp about books and authors.

    Jan, you’re afeared of a dear old croc and our little-bitty spiders? 😎 Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I am slightly wary myself and if I’d had an experience like your friends, I would be traumatised for life.

    Nathalie, your Mediterranean side is French, oui? I wonder why there aren’t more romance novels set in France? Esp with Paris recognised as the city of romance…

    Bron

  40. Rebekah, you have a view of the Rockies? How awesome. That is one majestic mountain range and I love any place with a view whether mountains, beach or city lights.

    Lois, Barb Hannay is a wonderful writer. Love the emotion she packs into her stories and she always uses the setting to enhance the story. No surprise that she won a RITA (last year) and also our Australian Romance Book of the Year (R*BY) a couple of years back.

    Christa, any preference between those settings in romance novels?

    Bron

  41. Avi, you play cricket? How cool! What is your particular skill or are you an allrounder?

    As for the cricket season: with the money involved in professional cricket it’s become an all-yr-round pursuit. There ALWAYS seems to be a tour or a series on somewhere. That said, summer is the traditional season and when comp’s are played at a local level. My boys played in school and I had to learn to score. And then to concentrate so I didn’t miss the count of balls bowled per over. Our major domestic comp is being played this week. My state, NSW, is kicking Victorian butt (apparently, not that I’m watching, just hearing the score updates.)

    Tessa is a big fan of cricket and often goes to the big matches in NZ. Yoo-hoo, Tessa, are you there?

    Bron

  42. I do enjoy cities such as Melbourne, so cosmopolitan and fascinating and Sydney with the beaches. Never having had the opportunity to visit they sound wonderful. I grew up and lived in a large, metropolis so prefer now to life in a smaller town. I have the Sandias as a backdrop which is magnificent. For a holidy though I would always opt for the beach setting. Sounds so perfect.

  43. azteclady Says:

    Brownyn, these days I read the English original–or the Spanish original, depending on what it is. I’m a bit too proud of my command of English, for one thing, and for other, I’m a bit of a word pedant myself πŸ˜€

    I will definitely pester big-sis, and since she’s a pack rat and our mother is an ex librarian, chances are some of those books are still around. I will certainly let you know (here or at your blog).

  44. Some authors are so brilliant building the setting into a book that it evokes a desire to jump up, through the door and out onto the beach or the city streets or whatever. Bron’s Vows did such a good job it made me homesick – and I didn’t particularly enjoy my time living in Sydney! (as a new mother, with my own mother 1000 kms away)

    A few people have mentioned the mountains – I loved Fiona Lowe’s mountain set book, (wish I could remember the title) that too made me homesick, I grew up in East Gippsland between the Ninety Mile Beach and the mountains.

    I was so happy to read Maxine’s millionaire series – it was long overdue that fabulous Darwin got to star as a setting!

    But if I have to pick just one setting I guess it’s the outback. Why? It’s romantic all on its own and anything is possible there. I loved the outback as a tourist, I loved it as a resident and I love it’s mythology, both ancient and modern.

    *sigh* and now I’ve made myself homesick again . . .

    H! πŸ™‚

  45. Hi Bronwyn, I am actually an all rounder and I am an off spin bowler. In addition when I played for my school I had to learn how to score and Umpire (Although it was only at the school level I did this) It really does take concentration doesn’t’ it. My favourite part is actually taking a wicket and seeing those stumps and bails fly.

  46. Bron
    If I had to pick one setting it would probably be the outback. Reading about a rancher at one with the land and having a h that is a little out of her element.

  47. the big city is fine with me, like ny and la i s still fine with me. so much more to see.

  48. I gotta admit, like Kim H, I adore the cities – Sydney and Melbourne especially, for the shopping πŸ™‚

    But I also love the quiet of the country. When I was in Denmark, I lived about 30mins outside Copenhagen and at night it was *deathly* silent. I mean, not a sound, not even crickets or traffic or anything. Amazing to fall asleep to!

  49. Pearl, excuse my ignorance, but what and where are the Sandias?

    Fellow word pedant, you should be proud. πŸ™‚ If you’re interested in Spanish translations (if anyone is, in any translations, for yrself or family or friends or library or whatever) email me.

    H Maree, thank you for that compliment. I’m very happy to drag you into my story world although not so happy about the home sickness. It sounds as though you have lived in a lot of beautiful places and that has to be a boon for your writing.

    Bron

  50. Avi, you take wickets? Howzat!!!

    Christa, I haven’t written a complete fish-out-of-water gal in the country yet, perhaps because that concept is so foreign to me. But it’s definitely worth considering.

    Ah but Kim, that depends on what you like to see. (Not that I don’t love NYC.) And, as Paula pointed, there IS all that wonderful shopping…

    Bron, who can’t sleep without the quiet

  51. Bron, my brother-in-law lived on a sheep station for many years. They were an hour from the nearest town and whenever we visited I couldn’t sleep. It was just too quiet. And spooky! I kept thinking an axe murderer was going to come out of the scrub and kill us all. LOL!

    Of course, no fear of that happening in the city, right? πŸ™‚

  52. I love beach settings…but outback settings do it for me every time! The first book I read as a child set in the Outback was Kit Hunter-showjumper Bush Adventure, written (ironically) I think by a British author. I can still visualise the cover: Kit with plane in the background in the outback. Then I discovered Mary Patchett and shortly after that the Silver Brumby books. I was sold! I can’t remember who wrote the first Outback I read–probably Lucy Walker.

    As far as cities go–I’m a sucker for a city by the sea. Sydney, Auckland, Hong Kong, Cape Town–all gorgeous & romantic. I’d love to visit Seattle and Vancouver someday.

    Avi, I don’t play cricket–but I love the game. I s-o-o-o-h wanted to come to Barbados for the world cup. So did my boys. I didn’t get to many matches this year- a couple of domestic 20/20s and few others, like the Boxing Day ODI against Bangladesh (which was originally going to be a relax-n-read day πŸ™‚ ). Usually do much better. Right now the Black Caps are in the middle of a test series against England–each team has one one match. The third game is going to be VERY exciting.

    Most of my Saturdays are spent watching schoolboy cricket. I love it. Great way to spend time with the kids, relax–really relax, and get a set of tanned legs!

    Avi and Bron, you guys rock if you can score. I can’t. I’m hopeless. I don’t multitask well. One thing at a time. That’s me. And scoring doesn’t work for that. It’s too hard. Trying to watch the ball…watch the kids who are batting…get the bowler’s names…work out the umpire hand signals…check that the result tallies with the other scorer… tell the kids busy bickering in front of you to pleeeeez move out the way… tell own kid that no, there is no more chocolate/ muffin/ whatever in the bag and no, he can’t have money for another coke…and then the cell phone rings…answer it, then I’ve lost the pencil and all track of what’s happening in the game. That is TOTALLY beyond me.

    I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen cricket mentioned in a romance…and I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I know Robyn Donald’s characters turned up at the heroine’s secret babies rugby game (loved that!) And I recently read the first book in Anne Perry’s WWI trilogy, No Graves as Yet, which opened with a cricket game, but that’s not romance. Wait, I know, Wayne Jordan is a huge cricket fan–his Kimani romances, may have mentions of cricket.

    Tessa

  53. Avi J

    You must either be from Jamaica or Trinidad. As Tessa said I’m from Barbados (where the final of last year’s World Cup) was held. And like you, I love, love, love cricket and though I have no kids, I also follow the school competition since my school where I teach is one of the leading school teams in the island.

    Ironically, my last Kimani Romance, November 2007, features a hero who is a former cricketer, but has an accident and goes blind. TO LOVE A KNIGHT is the second in my Knight Family Trilogy and is set in Barbados.

    I’m also the Kimani, Passion and Adventure host on eharlequin.com Community.

    Of course, like you I’m gearing up for the West Indies/Sri Lanka tour.

    Wayne

  54. I guess if I have to pick just one it would be the Outback. My second choice would be the beach. I am familiar with beaches altho those are in the US. But the Outback has always fascinated me.

  55. Hi Tessa glad to know you love cricket too, I am from Trinidad W

  56. oops That was suppose to be Wayne,
    Tessa I wanted to go to Barbados as well for the World Cup But Exam finals got in the way. (lol) By the way Tessa after the West Indies (which is my home team) New Zeland is my favourite cricket team I try to follow the matches on TV when I can. Hope they win the game

  57. Wayne, Knight families abound! My first trilogy was a Knight family too! πŸ˜€

    Tessa, Seattle and Vancouver are simply amazing. If you get the opportunity you really must visit both. Although I wouldn’t recommend the drive back from Vancouver with a very unsettled 16 month old who settled every time we stopped the car. Later we figured she must have been feeling car sick because everything else (food, water, nappy/diaper, body temp etc) was fine. One of my favourite memories of Seattle is watching the boats go through the locks. Absolutely amazing!

    Maxine, you crack me up πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  58. Wayne, that sounds like a wonderful book. Even without reading the back cover I know how frustrated and tormented your hero is…talk about hooking me in!

    Ellen, do you have a favourite Outback book?

    And Yvonne, you just made me keener to get there. Your poor baby, that couldn’t have been fun!

    Avi, the West Indies are great! Brian Lara is a legend in our house. Hope your finals went well and thanks for your support for the Black Caps πŸ™‚

    I just watched the opening 2 overs of the final game…they’re playing in the Hawkes Bay which is one of my abs fav places in the whole world. (That’s why my next book MISTAKEN MISTRESS is set there.) And first born son just said, “Why didn’t we get tickets and go down there for Easter?” Talk about tempting! Stunning sea, fantastic vineyards, lovely people – the Hawkes Bay has it all.

    Tessa

  59. Teresa W. Says:

    My favorite place would have to be the Tropical North, I’m all about fun and sun on a beach!

  60. Joanne Graves Says:

    On the subject of cricket in books, one of my all time favs is The Object of the Game by Vanessa James. It’s a Presents, around 1985.set in Cambridge. The hero, Alexis, a uni professor, is playing cricket – it’s a vllage versus university team game and there’s a whole chapter devoted to the game. Just gorgeous and atmospheric of an English summer.

  61. Greetings! I have always had a keen interest in the “Outback!” It seems like a remote jungle/survival, almost barbaric land. Yet, there is mystery and beauty in the Outback. “Crocodile Dundee” reminds me of the way out land of Australia! Men who look rugged have always appealed to me more than the baby face kind. Truth be told, I like them to act a little bolder, also!
    Your book, the “Rugged Loner” describes exactly what I prefer. The hero tried his best to stay distant and alone, but then his softer side comes through. A mix of virility and romance is the perfect mix! Thanks,Cindi

  62. Tessa, you are lucky you can watch the game, I have to have a pot of coffee just to keep me awake because of the time difference, its a good thing it is the Easter week end here and I have a few days off from my university so staying up won’t make much difference. I loved your trilogy Billionaire heirs; I am anxiously looking forward to your next book, just like Maxine’s and Bron’s up coming books. Exam was good but I did have to stay up late some times to study extra to get a balance of good grades and world cup cricket and I still have my West Indies and New Zealand jerseys from the world cup last year.
    I actually started to play cricket because of seeing Daniel Vettori from New Zealand. I wore glasses in school and although I love to play cricket I thought this was a restriction, but when I saw him playing with glasses I thought well it’s not impossible to play with glasses and tried out for the team. Eventually I became an all rounder for my team.

    HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

  63. Theresa N. Says:

    I’d pick # 3 or #6, two opposites.

  64. Maxine said: And spooky! I kept thinking an axe murderer was going to come out of the scrub and kill us all. LOL! Of course, no fear of that happening in the city, right?

    LOL, Maxine. It’s funny, but my elder sister hates being alone in the country and the quiet with I love. Even though we both grew up in the same house/environment, she heard the metallic scrape of the clothes line on the verandah as someone sharpening a knife. I didn’t. Perhaps she should have been the writer! πŸ™‚

    Bron

  65. Tessa said: The first book I read as a child set in the Outback was Kit Hunter-showjumper Bush Adventure.

    Tessa, this sounds as though it has every element I loved as a child. The outback, adventure, horses. It would have been my favourite, too!

    Cricket scoring: I tried because someone had to do it but we are talking local kids, Saturday sport, no sheep stations. No way would I have volunteered for a rep. game or anything. Shudder.

    As for cricket in romance, hmmm, interesting. I did mention the boy padded up and wanting Ric to bowl to him in the backyard in VOWS, which Avi noticed. I hope that showed a tiny glimpse of the father Ric would be.

    Wayne, your book with a former cricketer sounds fab. I’m a bit of a fan of the former sportsman as hero. I mean, he’s played at an elite level , I figure he’s going to attack everything afterward with the same dedication and mastery. I used that theory with Tristan in Bought-And-Paid-For Wife. He was a former AFL footballer. And Jan and I wrote friends from Aust and NZ for our Dakota Fortune books. We decided they’d met at uni playing rugby. πŸ™‚ Also have included a few horseracing assocations and polo, also in Wife. Maybe I need to do a post of sport in category romance…

    Bron

  66. Ellen, the outback is very popular in romance. I think you nailed the reason with your comment about being familiar with beaches from your own country. But so few people have seen the outback so it retains that mystique.

    In a similar vein: Knight as a hero’s surname. It instantly conjures up a man of integrity of honour, yet, who is willing to fight for his own. I love when a character’s name brings something extra to the book!

    Yvonne and Tessa, I also have a yen to visit the Pacific Northwest…but not with a sick baby. Poor, Y, that must have been a nightmare trip.

    Bron

  67. Hi, Jo. Wow, a category romance with a whole cricket game scene? Cool…I think. Perhaps if it was 20/20 cricket? My sons have a saying, aplicable to all kinds of situations. “Just like 20/20 cricket, but without the excitement.” Kinda like golf. πŸ˜‰

    That said, I did use a golf lesson in Quade: The Irresistible One (hmm, noting, I use quite a few sports references, don’t I?) even after my editor suggested, quite politely, that golf was not a sexy sport. She left the scene in so it must have worked out okay.

    Bron

  68. Cindi said: I have always had a keen interest in the β€œOutback!” It seems like a remote jungle/survival, almost barbaric land. Yet, there is mystery and beauty in the Outback.

    Well said, Cindi. Crocodile Dundee and Paul Hogan really made an impact, didn’t they? Talk about iconic. And thank you so much for your praise of The Rugged Loner. I’m so glad that Tomas and Angie hit the spot.

    Hi there, Theresa and Theresa. Another vote for the outback, one for the Tropical North, and one for the Wilderness. The stats geek in me wants to turn this into a poll (another of unscientific ones) so let’s see: yep, as I suspected. The outback “won” hands-down with double the votes. The other 5 are all about equal.

    Bron

  69. And now I need to dive into my big old barrell of names and draw out a winner of my Colours of Australia prize. And the winner is…

    Avi J!

    Congratulations, Avi. Please email me with your address and I will get yr books in the mail.

    Thanks to everyone for the fun discussion about two of my favourite topics — Australian settings and sport! Hope to see you all again here at DDU and at Bronz Blog.

    Cheers,
    Bron

  70. azteclady Says:

    Congrats, Avi J!

    Thanks for having us, Bronwyn!

  71. Yay, congratulations Avi J!

  72. Congratulations to Avi J, who also won the random drawing when I blogged about Mistress & A Million Dollars a couple of weeks ago.

    Avi, you’ve got a lot of reading to do. πŸ™‚

  73. Wtg, Avi J.

  74. congratulations Avi J

  75. WOW thanks a lot everyone and thank you Bron for the prize

  76. Hello to you all.

    I just stumbled across this site and I must say this blog is most interesting.

    May I introduce myself. I am Romona Hilliger, Australian author of bush romance. At this point in time, I live in Melbourne, Australia. We have all four seasons here and right now it’s Autumn. In the Northern Territory of Australia, which is my home, there are only two seasons known as The Dry and The Wet.

    My husband and I criss-cross the Outback of Australia, both with his work and on holidays. Discovering the magnificence of wind-crafted outcrops of granite and sandstone, vast ochre plains stretching to eternity, the wilderness of Tasmania and our interest escalated. We extended our trips to gold and gemstone-fossicking adventures and following in the tracks of explorers. The notes I kept translated into a series of travel articles for a magazine and then, I realised what better backdrop than this sun-drenched wilderness for conjuring up stories of unique blend–love up against impossible odds.

    While most of my books are set in the Outback, I also have one set in India during the dying days of the British Raj. Research was done through several visits and actual experiences of my own family who lived there at the time. My interests are animal welfare, both domestic and wildlife. I am a WILDLIFE WARRIOR. A Steve Irwin project for the protection of animals, worldwide.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to blog with you all.

  77. Some really fascinating places up there. Keep up the good work.

    There’s a similar post on this which you might find interesting http://www.juicemag.co.uk/the-worlds-most-romantic-cities πŸ™‚

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