What place in the world is more romantic than the Caribbean? My latest romance, out next month, is The Hard Bargain. The middle third of the story takes place in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
I’ve been to the Caribbean four times: twice to Puerto Rico, once to Cuba, and once to the BVI. When I went to the BVI it was for a kind of family reunion. We stayed at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda. It’s a gorgeous resort, and I remember it vividly.
I love the Caribbean. The soft air. The billowy clouds. The emerald and azure water. The swaying palms. In a word: paradise.
The Caribbean is one of my favorite places in the world. Given the amount of travel I do, I now realize – as I write this blog – I don’t often make a point of going there. However, I have visited it twice more in my novel-writing imagination.
The Caribbean: Swept Away
The first time was Swept Away. I wrote the story after visiting Puerto Rico.
It’s set in early 17th century. My hero, Adam Winthrop, and my heroine, Eve Sedgwick, do not encounter pirates, no. Instead I cast them onto an island inhabited by the Arawak. The inhabitants are part of the Taíno population.
I didn’t choose a particular island. But I had in mind one of the smaller ones in the Greater Antilles.
It was great fun creating the tropical setting and atmosphere. It was also great fun writing a hidden treasure story. However, in my usual way of inverting things, Adam and Eve find the treasure first then they find the map.
One, at no point in the story do I ever make their first names a thing.
Two, the inversion of the treasure and the map is fundamental to the plot.
The Caribbean: The Hard Bargain
I revisited the Caribbean in my latest contemporary romance The Hard Bargain. The first and third parts of the story are set in New York City. The middle third is in the BVI, as I said, above.
The story has a hero-has-to-get-married-in-order-to-inherit plot. Said hero, Arthur Wexler, is a billionaire. His best friend is a playwright who knows just the right woman, namely talented actor Carla Pereira, to play the part of Arthur’s fiancée. All Arthur and Carla think they have to do is give a one-time performance for Arthur’s aunt, who controls the fortune, and convince her they’re in love.
Unfortunately Carla’s performance is so good that Arthur’s aunt invites Carla to join the annual family winter cruise in the Caribbean. And that’s where the hard bargaining comes in. If Carla is going to keep up the act, Arthur is going to have to pay.
We’re in billionaire world here, not my usual one, but hey. Anyway, the family and Carla fly down on a Bombardier Global 7000.
They cruise the Caribbean for a week on a luxury yacht.
I’ve never been on either a private plane or a luxury yacht, so imagination has to come into play. I made it all up. But I didn’t have to make up my experience of the Caribbean. I only had to draw on it.
About the plot I won’t say more. However, if you want a billowy Caribbean escape, I’ll recommend The Hard Bargain.
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen