I have author Barbara Wallace here talking about the locations in her book.
For billionaire Whit Martin, Jamie Rutkowski is the one who got away. Now his college girlfriend is back to celebrate their best’s friend’s marriage. As their chemistry reignites into an even greater passion, Whit’s determined that this time their relationship will work. But are they ready to unlock the secrets of their past…if it means a chance at forever?
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One of my favorite things to do when writing a novel is to find settings that haven’t been used before. Thus, I’ve had my characters visit the Roman ruins of Provence, a hockey rink in New Hampshire, and an underground cavern in Mexico.
My latest book, Reunited with Her Blue-eyed Billionaire takes place in Boston and New York. Here are three of the locations my characters visit.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA.
My book opens with the engagement party set at the Gardner Museum. It is here that Jamie Ratklowski and Whit Martin see each other for the first time since college.
The Gardner Museum is a small art museum located in the shadow of Boston’s famed Museum of Fine Arts. Bostonians love the museum because of its courtyard. Located in the middle of the museum, Renaissance-style garden features flowers and foliage selected to reflect the season. The display changes monthly. Pre-Covid, people would visit the courtyard to escape the noises of the city.
Another interesting fact about the Gardner: In the book, Jamie mentions having written a book about the museum’s art theft. This was a real event. In 1990, thieves broke into the museum, tied up the guard and made off with several pieces, including works by Vermeer and Rembrandt. They were never caught, and the pieces were never recovered, making the heist one of the biggest, unsolved art crimes in history. And just like I described in the book, the empty frames from those paintings remain hung on the wall in anticipation of the art’s return. (BTW, there’s a $10 million reward if anyone feels like playing amateur sleuth.)
Roman Baths, New York City
While in New York, Whit convinces Jamie to take a snow day, a romantic winter adventure that concludes with a visit to a Roman-inspired bathhouse. (Naturally, he rents out the entire building for privacy.)
I patterned the setting after the Aire Ancient Baths in Tribeca. Sadly, unlike some of the other settings in the book, I haven’t had the chance to visit. However, as soon as I saw the photos, the place scored a spot on my post-Covid bucket list. There are Aire Ancient Baths all over the world. This particular one is in a refurbished factory where you can unwind by candlelight while enjoy a variety of thermal baths from steaming hot to ice cold, a salt bath, as well as soothing aromatic steam room.
Tower Hill Botanical Garden, Boylston, MA
Finally, we reach the end of the book where we visit yet another garden. I like the idea framing the book with gardens because flowers represent not only romance, but life and rebirth. This particular garden is considered one of the nicest botanical gardens in the country. In the winter, they host a magnificent light show, while the rest of the year guests can enjoy 17 different gardens. It’s was one of my favorite pre-Covid walking locations.
And okay, it may also have been where I secretly hoped my son and daughter-in-law to hold their ceremony. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a wedding reception here?
Apparently, my son and his wife, because they selected a different venue. That’s all right. Being a writer means I can host a fictional wedding.
The Tower Hill gardens are where Whit and Jamie finally have the conversation they should have had in college. These two hard-headed idiots let fear and insecurity rob them of years together. But, thanks to a few sharp words from the bride and a trip to the Japanese garden, they finally take steps toward the future.
There are several other great locations in this book including the Central Park zoo, a literary bar in Boston Public Library and Italy. Each location marks an important step in Whit and Jamie’s romance. I hope this blog inspires you to take the journey with them.
Barbara Wallace is the best selling author of over two dozen romance and cozy mystery novels. Her books can be found world-wide, including the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Australia.
A native New Englander, Barb lives in the suburbs with her husband of thirty-one years. Their only son is married and lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her hard at work at her other job, that of an unappreciated caretaker to two demanding rescue cats. For some reason they seem to think laps are for petting, not laptop computers.