Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Kitchen Romance

I’m celebrating the kitchen in romance.

In Lady of the Stars, my Regency time travel novella, Caroline and Richard begin their rocky road to romance in the kitchen, where each gets their first good look at the other.

Here’s the time-traveling Caroline’s view of her 1817 hero, Richard:

Not knowing where to go, she headed for the kitchen.

She saw Richard before he saw her. He stood in a beam of sunshine, his back to her as he poured water from a bucket into a large kettle sitting on the grate over the fire.

The sun glinted off his light golden brown hair, short at the sides and back yet full on top, a haircut many men of her acquaintance wore. Unfortunately, he was still dressed in breeches and boots, like the men in pictures from two hundred years ago. She had always laughed at the ornateness of men's clothes from that era. But in bright daylight, somehow, those elaborate clothes appeared utterly masculine.

His dark blue jacket was slung over a chair back and he wore a white shirt with flowing sleeves and a gray vest. Though the shirt was loose, the vest was not and she gazed down the expanse of muscle from broad shoulders to slim hips and sinfully long legs. Her gaze jerked back up to the breeches. They were as tight as his vest. Good thing his jacket had those ridiculous tails, or women for miles around would follow him just to see that magnificent backside.

And now Richard’s view of Caroline:

When he had examined her by the kitchen fire, he could see only dark hair and dark eyes, with a suggestion of regular and well-formed features. He remembered thinking she might be pretty when she was dry and clean.

Now that he had gotten a good look at her, whatever or whoever she was, he had to admit she was lovely. Short, but slim, her indecent clothes, drenched from the rain, skimmed her figure to reveal charming proportions. Her hair was a rich brown, her face a perfect oval, her eyes large and dark.

He paused. Brown. Her eyes were brown, the color of chocolate. He had seen their hue when he knelt at her side. What would she look like in the full light of day?

Aren’t kitchens grand?

Thank you all,


Linda Banche

Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal

Lady of the Stars--4 stars from Romantic Times, Regency time travel available from The Wild Rose Press

Pumpkinnapper--Regency Halloween comedy, coming September 30, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press

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Lindsay Townsend said...

Lovely, Linda! I love it when the hero and heroine take a really good look at each other. And the kitchen setting adds to the intimacy of the scene - a place where they can eat together, talk together. Having Richard at work in the kitchen shows off his masculinity as much as his beautiful clothes. I love what you do with the light in this scene, too. I can pciture it altogether as a moment from a movie. Delicious.

Excellent photo, too.

Sandra Sookoo said...

I use the kitchen alot in my books :-) It's where the heart lives.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Lindsay, Thanks. I'm glad you like the description. I've had other people tell me they can "see" my descriptions. I'm a little surprised, because descriptions are difficult for me.

The photo is courtesy of google images. Now that I've found it, I find all kinds of great pictures.

Hi Sandra, the kitchen is certainly a great room for love. The atmosphere is relaxed, which leads to other emotions.

Jennifer Ross said...

I particularly loved the kitchen actions in with the descriptions of the hero and heroine. While you are giving us these descriptions, we haven't stepped out of the story since the actions continue to keep us grounded there. A good example for me to remember!

Mona Risk said...

Bravo Linda. I took a workshop given by Donald Maass. He drilled in us that some areas were not romantic enough as setting. One of them was the kitchen. You certainly show that the kitchen is a fantastic place to start a romance. Great post.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Love the kitchen scene. Great romances can definitely start in the kitchen. The old cliche about getting to a man through his stomache has more than a grain of truth in it. LOL I realy enjoyed seeing this view of your characters as they study each other.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Jennifer, thanks. I keep reading that you have to incorporate action into your descriptions. People don't want straight description nowadays. I've found it's easier to do than I originally thought.

Thanks, Mona. As for Donald Maas, it depends on what you do in the kitchen **grins**, and I'm not talking about using the tabletop for that! The feelings can grow up anywhere. Why not the kitchen?

Hi Rebecca, thanks. Food or not, the kitchen is a place most of us spend a lot of time in, and romance requires the H/H spend a lot of time together.

LK Hunsaker said...

Linda, they are nice descriptions. Your work paid off. ;-) That's what I have to work at most, also.

I can't imagine anyone saying kitchens aren't romantic. Of course they are. Maybe they aren't when we have kids under our elbows while trying to throw a meal together, but a couple cooking together is very romantic. At least I have to think so, since I use it. ;-)

Mary Ricksen said...

Wonderful blog. We always spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so should our characters, because it works.

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, what Lindsay said.
How silly to think Kitchens can't be romantic places. If a couple is preparing food together that can be utterly romantic and a wonderful way to learn about each other.
I've used the kitchen in one of my books and just used it in a scene. The heroine doesn't know much about the hero, but because of circumstance they're together at his ranch. How people relate to each other over food and caring for each other is often key to the development of their love for each other.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Loraine, , Mary, Savanna.

Loraine, we'll work at it until we get those descriptions exactly the way we want them!

Mary and Savanna, sure, we should use the kitchen more often. We love the room, and so will our characters.

EA said...

I really enjoyed your thoughts on the work. A lot of our socializing does happen in kitchens so it makes perfect sense.

Debra St. John said...

Kitchens are fabulous. The hero in my latest work is a he spends lots of time in the kitchen. Things can really heat up in there!

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Of course kitchens are romantic! Well, I've had plenty of romantic moments in kitchens, anyway! great post, Linda. :)

Jane x

Linda Banche said...

EA, I agree, I think kitchens are underrated.

Debra and Jane, I'm glad you have such a great time in the kitchen!

Thanks for coming over.

MarthaE said...

Very nice descriptions of their first sites Linda! Interesting that kitchens in historical times work well as backgrounds as I think modern kitchens do too! Good use of lighting to accent the scene!

Cheryl said...


Oh, those descriptions of them through one another's eyes are just lovely. I never knew a kitchen could be so romantic! Looks like a great read. It's on my tbr list--I love time travels.

Linda Banche said...

Hi MarthaE, thanks, I think kitchens have always been always been the focal point of a house, perhaps even more so in the past than now.

Cheryl, thanks for liking my description. I had no idea the descriptions would work so well when I wrote them.