Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Location, location, location!

Hi DIK readers!

Since I’m here, hanging out on an island, I thought I’d talk about my favorite settings in romance novels and real life.
See, in romance novels, I have to admit I’m not one for the tropical settings. I love the cold and the dreary and the dark. Which is probably why I’m drawn to the paranormal and European-set historicals. (Although, give me an Egyptian-set historical, like one by Bonnie Vanak, and I’m ALL over that!!!)

In real life, I also prefer living in cold climates, and I’m perfectly happy living in places where it rains and is overcast 300 days of the year. (A by-product of growing up in Oregon, maybe.)
BUT…every once in a while, I adore a tropical or Mediterranean vacation. I loved Hawaii. Loved Greece even more. The warm sand, the warm, clear water, the fruity, frothy drinks on the beach.

The hot, tan guys in swimsuits. (I’m conveniently blocking out the fishbelly-white, old flabby guy in Speedos that are two sizes too small. Or worse, the fishbelly-white, old flabby guy in NO Speedos.)

Yeah, this is the kind of setting MADE for romance novels.
So why do I prefer the darker, colder settings in my romance? Maybe so the hero and heroine are forced to cuddle? Maybe so there are more clothes to strip off?
Honestly, I have NO idea. But it’s no accident that one of my novels, Snowbound, is set at a ski resort. And one of my favorite Sherrilyn Kenyon novels, Dance With The Devil, takes place in Alaska. And one of Lara Adrian’s upcoming Breed books, Shades of Midnight (tentatively set for Spring 2010) is also set in Alaska – I can’t wait!
What about you? Do you prefer romance novels set in sultry, warm climates, or are you like me, wanting a colder, harsher, more haunting environment? Something in between? What is your favorite setting for romance novels?
Tell me, and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of any book from my backlist up through Desire Unchained.
Thanks for putting up with me over these three days!


LVLM(Leah) said...

I like the colder climates in romance novels for the snuggle up by a fire place, discover the body underneath all the clothing thing, which just doesn't happen in a warmer climate.

But IRL, I have to say that hanging out on an Island for vacay where everyone is walking around relaxed and 1/2 naked in bathing suites or nude, isn't too shabby on romance either. :D

Larissa Ione said...

LOL, Leah! A nice, hot beach can definitely be good for the romance.

And OMG, I laughed so hard at the "acceptable, not acceptable" photo!

Lea said...

Good Morning Larissa!

Yikes, that "Not Acceptable", photo - so NOT... lol I have to say the cross really adds to the effect.

I like dark stormy settings in romance novels. As to whether it's cold or warm makes no matter. I love storms that add to the electrically charged atmosphere and excitement between lovers. "Riding the Storm", comes to mind actually.

From a personal perspective, Hawaii is my favorite place in the world and I have to admit I do enjoy it when the setting is there in a good romance novel.

Warm Regards

DIK Ladies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessewave said...

These pictures are absolutely stunning. I'm so jealous

The "not acceptable" photo reminds me of my vacation on St. Maartens where the only fit guys were gay men *g*

Larissa Ione said...

Oh, Lea, you're right -- I ADORE a stormy setting! Sheesh, how could I forget about that, since I LOVE storms???

Riding The Storm was SO fun to write because of my love of storms, and because I actually got to put my meteorology experience to work! Loved writing that book! :)

Jessewave -- LOL! That Not Acceptable pic reminds me of Greece. It was funny, because the people there were either pasty white Brits who had gone on vacation, just like us (I was living in England at the time,) or they were locals like that guy. Not that there weren't some really hot Greek men there, but they were all working and never on the beach when I was! *g*

Anonymous said...

Make it cold, harsh and haunting, please! Maybe it's that it feels more like an excuse for the protags to get intimate. You know, for warmth and to comfort one another. :D

Anonymous said...

I like the colder, darker settings in my novels, where the setting can be as strong as a character, filling the air with shadow and foreboding . . . and where men's jewellery is not bigger than their speedo's! *Ugh - scrubbing image from mind!*

Willa - *a-pasty-Brit-waving-from-dark-dank-overcast-England-darn-me!*

Larissa Ione said...

Am with you, Kmont!

LOL, Willa! I hope you didn't take the pasty white thing as an insult! I was very pasty white too! It was so funny tho, being on this hot, sandy island, and EVERYONE on the beach was white as paper. Hilarious. *scrubbing same guy in speedos from mind* Yeeech!!!

Shannon said...

Mwah hahaha!!!! I'm sorry, did I blind you all with Mr. Cross and Speedo? :)

I like urban settings for books, especially if it is a place I have been or lived (Chicago, New York, Portland.) Storms are always fabulous for creating mood. Who doesn't want a warm bod to snuggle with on a dark, stormy night?

For vacay I want water. It can be the rocky, cool coast of Oregon or the white paradise of the Cayman Islands. Now that was a trip to remember!

Anonymous said...

No, no, no - wasn't insulted, laughed, pasty white is right!!Lol!


Carolyn Crane said...

Whoa! There is some contrast in those man pics. That guy with the necklace is going to have some holy tan line.

Okay, the setting question is a hard one. I like to read about warm places as part of the vicarious fantasy (bc I'm in Minnesota) but I think I relate better to snowy, gray places, and especially dreary gothic type settings!!!

Sarai said...

I'm the freak that's dying for more midwest stories that don't revolve around cowboys. We have the perfect weather. Heck Kansas (yes I did just write heck) has 4 seasons beat that!

In romance I like it warm but not hot and no cold I'm sick of winter. Although rain is nice occasionally. Hum... that's a great question I've never thought about it before.

Renee said...

One of my favorite escape places is Mendocino (northern coast of CA.) It's windswept beaches, often foggy, very romantic. Especially, when you're inside with a fire and hot drinks. I'd take it IRL or in a book (though I haven't yet read a book set around those parts.)

LesleyW said...

As a sunstroke sufferer, I have to go with a cold climate - my favourite seasons being spring and autumn.

For novels though, as I'm a UF fan, I think it's usually a cityscape at night. And quite often raining. :)

Lori T said...

I am pretty easy when it comes to locations...if I had to choose, I would probably go with a warmer location just because I like warmer weather.

The "Not Acceptable" look was well quite the look! "Acceptable" was very nice however.

Bridget Locke said...

Hey, a fellow Oregonian! Sweet! I prefer the dark and cold too, though I have read quite a few books that were set in the jungle. I'm not a fan of hot and humid. Ick!

tetewa said...

I'm all about the warm weather, love beaches the sun and plenty of water!

Larissa Ione said...

Hey, ladies! Sorry I didn't back sooner! I have a horrible cold and was feeling crappy yesterday, kept trying to nap...and I couldn't...

Insomnia is NOT your friend.

Shannon, you're eeeeevil!

Willa, you can not mention it all you want, and I'm still jealous! LOL

Carolyn Jean...OMG, I'm laughing at the image of that "holy" tan line!

Sarai -- you know, I never thought about that, how midwest stories do tend to have cowboys! Huh.

Renee, that sounds nice!!!

Lesley, ooh, I love the UF settings of cities at night!

Lori, I had a good laugh at those photos too! Well, after I stopped alternately shuddering and having hot flashes.

Bridget! Yay for Oregonians! :) I SO miss it!

Tetewa, I think you might be in the majority!

Thanks for coming by, everyone!

Amanda said...

I love books that are set in cold and wet places.... probably comes frim being in Ireland and thats all I pretty much seem to see here LOL.

But just something about a remote place, where its cold and the hero and heroine have to stay indoors and snuggle up together! Hmmmm bliss I love curling up with a good book and watching the rain poor down outside while I can safely sit in by the fire and imerse myself in the story!

Tracy said...

I so late! Sorry.

I really don't have a preference although I do like snowy cabin romances a lot. I guess I don't really pay too close attention to where they are unless they book is horrid and I'm forced away from the romance! lol

Thanks again for visiting!

Larissa Ione said...

Hi Everyone!

So sorry I didn't get back sooner to announce a winner for this post!

I'm seriously brain dead.

Anyway, from, the winner is...


Congrats, Renee! If you'll email me at with your address and choice of books from my backlist, I'll get one sent out!

Thanks, everyone! This was fun!

Robert said...

I have to laugh at the acceptable vs. non-acceptable picture. OK! There are guys that should not wear speedos! But, lets admit it people,...there are just as many women that should be rethinking what they are wearing at the beach!

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