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Today, Wednesday Writers welcomes J. Lynn Rowan, author of When In Rome, book 2 in her Sweet Somethings series, to the blog. Lynn’s description of how her setting was chosen made me want to run off to Italy with my man for some amore. Read on and see if you agree.
Rome, In Love
Kate Miller, the heroine of my second contemporary romance release, WHEN IN ROME, was a hard person to place. When she first showed up in BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE, the first in my Sweet Somethings series, she came across as something of a… well, it rhymes with witch, and let’s leave it at that.
But Kate had a vulnerable heart. As the author, I knew it. As the character, she knew it. Despite her best efforts to keep it hidden, that vulnerability needed to be shown.
I knew from the get-go that Domenic, the hero of WHEN IN ROME, would be the one to take on Kate’s passionate but often querulous nature. The question then became: where would she let down her guard and let her heart take some risks?
The answer came from my real life love story.
In the spring of 2007, my then boyfriend, now husband, took me on a trip to Italy during my spring break from my first year of teaching. We were young, in our mid-twenties, and honestly hadn’t been dating that long. Seven months, in fact, and we’d started planning the trip when our relationship was barely three months in.
I never thought I’d make it to Rome. But that Easter weekend, I found myself in the middle of The Eternal City. Our trip was filled with amazing sights, delicious food (including lots of gelato!), and the sweet, slow feeling of falling in love.
For a long time, I imagined how wonderful it would be to draw on my personal experience in Rome when it came time to write a love story. When Kate Miller and Domenic Varezzi popped onto my storyboard and outline, I knew Rome would be the perfect setting for their romance.
Many of the locations featured in WHEN IN ROME are described as I remember them from my 2007 trip. Just like Kate, we wandered the Roman Forum. We ate gelato on the Spanish Steps. We laid on the hills of Villa Borghese. And when Kate and Domenic travel to Taormina, Sicily, the sites she sees, at least most of them, echo what we experienced. The Greek Theater. Views of Giardini-Naxos from the cliff-side plaza. Castelmola. The ruins at the beach of Mazzarò.
And of course, there was love. The beautiful, crazy, blossoming of love.
WHEN IN ROME
By J. Lynn Rowan
Love isn’t always picture perfect . . .
Atlanta-based photographer Kate Miller doesn’t believe in fairytale romance or relationships of the forever kind. She’s determined to build her own happiness through hard work and professional success. So, when the opportunity arises to join an exclusive fashion photo shoot in Rome, she jumps on the chance to gain international recognition. But she’s not counting on an instant attraction to the charismatic, sexy, and irritatingly arrogant director of the shoot.
World famous, Domenic Varezzi is used to calling the shots. His clients trust his instincts and they’re willing to pay for the best. But while his career is thriving, his personal life has been lackluster at best. Hoping Kate could be the answer he’s been looking for, he’s determined to win her over. Every challenge she sends his way drives him to break through her tough-as-nails exterior to reach the vulnerable heart that matches his own.
Surrounded by the beauty and magic of Italy’s “Eternal City”, a foundation begins to form that could lead to a lifetime partnership, both in business and in love. Until Domenic’s past comes back to haunt the present and threatens to destroy everything.
“Let’s get moving,” Domenic says, taking the boarding passes from Joe. “Pilot wants to be cleared for takeoff in twenty minutes.”
The team lines up, toes tapping, as he thumbs through the boarding passes and starts calling out our names. “Corrine. Rafe. Dave.” Each person steps forward to take their passes and heads toward the gate agent. “Lauren. Joe. Miranda.”
Then it’s just me. Domenic and me, staring at each other steps away from the jet bridge. He holds my boarding pass out to me, and a little surge of indignation heats my face. I want to hear him say my name, the way he said everyone else’s, like it’s validation for my spot on his team. My brows lower and my mouth tightens. I stride toward him, close enough to take my boarding pass.
But I don’t.
I glare at him.
A little coil of something hotter than indignation winding through my core at the amusement shining in his emerald eyes.
He thinks this is funny. My discomfort and impatience is a freaking joke to him.
“Well?” I grind out.
Slowly, he extends my boarding pass toward me. A half-grin pulls at one corner of his mouth as I continue to wait. Something else appears in his eyes alongside that irksome amusement.
My stomach flips.
“Kate.” His voice is low and sonorous, just loud enough for me to hear.
The flip, and the simmering annoyance that’s been building over the past three minutes, explodes into an eruption of raging butterflies. Dizziness threatens the stability of my stance, and my cheeks are on fire. Short of breath, I snatch my boarding pass from his artistically elegant fingers and march myself down the jet bridge.
Want to read more? WHEN IN ROME PURCHASE LINKS
About the Author
Lynn Rowan started writing stories as a small child, usually starring her favorite cartoon characters. Most of her work through middle and high school was filled with typical teenage angst and melodrama, and usually mirrored the books she loved to read. But eventually she found her own author’s voice and decided to seriously pursue a writing career.
Historical fiction remains J. Lynn’s “first love”, but she has enjoyed the journey to becoming an author of romance and chick lit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. She is also a teacher who tries to instill a love of learning, reading, and writing in her students.
When she’s not writing, J. Lynn enjoys travelling, gardening poorly but enthusiastically, studying various topics in American history for her own expertise, and channeling Julia Child every time she steps into the kitchen.
A native of Oswego, NY, she now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her own Romantic Hero of a husband and the most adorable baby on the planet.
Book 1 in the Sweet Somethings series BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE is available at Amazon