Losing Myself In My Favorite Vacation Romance Novel Settings

I spend too much of my precious time reading romance novels. Thankfully, I have a good excuse for frequently taking a break from whatever pressing matter I need to apply myself to: I have to nurse the baby. It has been my fortunate decision to breastfeed on demand. I made this call before I learned that my children could happily spend the day (and night) feeding. They pause to take a dump for a change, coo and gurgle just to be cute, or throw a massive, roof-caving crying fit for yuks, but most of the time, they’re nursing. Oh no, they don’t stop when they sleep. As a matter of fact, when I try to take my nipple back, it sets them off into an indignant yowling frenzy; forget that they were sleeping like peaceful angels a mere second ago.

So, yes, I spend most of the day nursing. It’s hell on my back, but one activity that I can actually do while I get the life force sucked right out of me is read (or watch TV, but I prefer to read). I lie there in bed, Kindle in hand, an infant latched onto my chest, while my husband enviously looks on, his mind humming as he diligently tries to come up with a valid excuse of his own to slack on his tasks. I watch him get absolute zilch for his trouble and read his mind as it says, “Screw it! I’m badass! I’ll nap if I want to,” before he zonks out, leaving me to whisper-yell at the older kids to be quiet as they tear the house down. Ultimately, my conscience kicks in and I give up the pretense and start doing work and chores. It’s not easy, but I can actually accomplish other things while breastfeeding. I’ve cooked fries and flipped pancakes while nursing; how’s that for ninja mother skills?

I do make serious business of getting sidetracked. Anyway, going back to my addiction to reading romance novels… Thanks to Kindle and its daily offer of free ebooks, I’m never out of new novels to read. This is obviously a healthy obsession. I’m not in denial, see? I know exactly why my kids are running around unbathed, why the sink is piled high with dirty dishes, and why my container gardens resemble mini jungles. I know my husband is considering intervention, but I just get so hooked on those darn stories. I especially love Christmas- and vacation-themed romances. Also, secret babies (hush, I know it’s a result of a long-denied penchant for watching cheesy soaps).

Vacation romances, however, have been my thing even before the dawn of electronic reading. It was my dream to travel wide, and I knew that back then the best way I could sate my wanderlust was to read. Forget guidebooks though. I always loved a good love story, so I used to prowl used book shops and skulk in the romance section, checking out covers and reading blurbs.

I had some favorite settings for these vacation mush tales. Being a Francophile even then meant I loved stories of romance blooming anywhere in France. Stories set in Jamaica were almost always a shoo-in too. Venice, Tahiti, Cornwall, and Zurich were my other favorites. Australia and its many gorgeous locales also fascinated me.

I particularly love reading stories set Down Under and imagining the hero with an adorable accent. They always spur daydreams of going to Coolum Beach for some sightseeing-cum-soul-searching and meeting a dashing stranger. It’s kind of bittersweet reminiscing these teenage fancies. Of course, these days, my daydreams involve staying at The Point Coolum Beach in one of their luxury villas with my husband and our brood. No matter. I can pick out a random girl and a random boy I come across and spin a tale for them. Apparently, I can also daydream quite efficiently while breastfeeding.

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