10 Reasons Summer Is A Good Book Setting

I think lazy summer days and hot summer nights make a perfect backdrop for a romance novel--especially if you're writing a sassy, sexy romance.

I use the Texas summer heat in my Texas One-Night Stands series. (The one-night stands aren’t exactly what you might think. *g*)

10 Reasons Why Summer Is a Good Setting

1. Men with shirts off. Let’s be honest. Men tend to take their shirts off when it’s hot. Usually this won’t make a woman stop and stare. In fact, you may wish you could un-see some sights.

(I’m thinking of my middle-aged, pot-bellied bachelor neighbor of twenty years ago who wore only a Speedo when he mowed his lawn. {shudder})

But then there are men like my husband who is still well-built and gorgeous. He does push-ups and sit-ups every morning. (No, he didn’t pose for the cover of The Trouble With Love, but I tell him he could have.)

2. Women wear less clothing. That makes for a sexy situation for the hero of the novel. He can be enchanted by the curve of her…shoulder. Or the long lines of her legs. Less definitely equals more in a romance novel–at least when it comes to clothes.

3. People are more relaxed and casual in the summer. Most of the working world and the student world look forward to unwinding in the summer. People automatically think of fun when it comes to hot weather: beaches, swimming, sunbathing at the pool, backyard barbeque, picnics, etc.

4. Summer is the season when people are more open emotionally. High temperatures translate to high emotion. Live Science looked into the theory of “Summer Love.” Did they find that there is a biological and a social science reason that people are more open to falling in love during this season? Apparently, they did if you believe their research based on pop culture. (Interesting article. Be sure and read it.)

5. People are more open to trying new things in the summer. That just might include a new romantic relationship. It’s as if people are in a box from September through May. Summer arrives and they want to not only think outside the box, they want to jump out of it and maybe into a new box.

6. Vacation time is the time to make a love connection. At least, that’s what this year’s Expedia article Romance on Vacation says. Again, read this if only for the statistics it quotes, i.e., 52% of respondents said they would be “somewhat or very likely” to propose on vacation. (Good news for long-suffering girlfriends. Get your sweetie to book a trip!)

7. Summer lowers inhibitions. The Expedia article cited stats from respondents who admit trying something that they’d never do otherwise–like nude sun bathing.

8. Summer food. You know the old axiom: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” I make fun of that truism in my romantic comedy, JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES, with one of the characters saying: “If you think that’s true, you don’t know much about male anatomy.” But there is a nugget of truth in that. I’ve never seen a man who didn’t like good food. Summer time is perfect for feeding your guy chocolate cake and ice cream or luscious fruit salads. Learn how to make homemade ice cream, and your man will stick to you like glue. Or that's the theory at least.

9. Summer movies. Yes, most of them are outrageous stunt-filled vehicles for aging action stars, but there are some romantic movies that are the perfect backdrop for cuddling with your sweetie.

10. Beach books. Need I say more? There’s an entire industry of publishers producing books to tempt readers who make more time to read in the summer. I’ve even got a video about some of my beach books, HIT THE BEACH: Sand, Surf, & 4 Romances.


What do you think? Are there other reasons hot summer nights are good romance settings? Or do you think winter is better because it’s snuggle weather? Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win the audio book edition of The Trouble With Love. (Ebook available at most ebook sellers including Amazon Kindle.)

Takeaway Truth

I’ve received fan mail from men who say after they retired, they started reading my books with their wives. Good for them. I always say if a man wants to know what a woman wants, he should read a good romance novel.

(Note: Part of this post was previously published on The Authors Billboard.)

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