Saturday, January 16, 2010

Welcome To the Weekend - A Feast for the Senses

Romance line author Nina Harrington is here at The Pink Heart Society to talk about how we feel...

Synaesthesia. The blend of the Physical Senses. Even the word has that subtle alliteration that appeals to the senses when spoken out loud.

We writers love to explore combinations of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch to add colour and depth to the sensory and sensual details of every scene.

For me, one of the most powerful examples of synaesthesia comes through the use of the sensory aspects of food and drink.

In my debut book for the Romance Line, Always the Bridesmaid, the setting was an Austrian bakery in London where my heroine, Amy Edler created the most delicious cakes and pastries. It is her passion.

Imagine the aroma of an Austrian strudel - the crisp all butter strudel pastry filled with rose water and orange scented cinnamon spiced plump dried fruit and chopped walnuts. Then the crunch sound and tingle texture of the pastry as it breaks into fragments between your teeth.

Or perhaps a Sachertorte cake? Smooth icing above rich chocolate cake? Cake crumb which will slowly melt into your mouth with a hint of fruity apricot jam and slide down with a sip of hot bitter coffee, the spicy aroma filling your nose and mouth at the same time as the sweet cake.

This is the line from Always the Bridesmaid when my hero Jared steps into the bakery: ‘his senses were hit with a solid wall of lively chatter, bright lights and the aroma of baked goods. Spices and vanilla combined with the unique tang of burnt sugar and buttery pastry and fresh baked bread.’

My poor boy is helpless to resist!

My second Romance Line book, Hired: Sassy Assistant, is set in rural England in late October where the glorious shades of the autumn leaves – conker browns, golds and flame reds mingle form a landscape with the lapping of a fast running river in the background. Little wonder that my hero and heroine snuggle up together in front of a roaring log fire sipping real hot chocolate blended with sweet spices. The texture of snugly warm clothing against cold skin. The crackling of the wood in the flames. And a dog snoring away by their side.

Do you see a trend forming?

And what better excuse for delving into sensory foodie delight that setting a book in an Italian restaurant? Tipping the Waitress with Diamonds has a celebrity chef as the hero – but you will have to wait until May to find out how he uses his skill to romance his soul mate.

Have I tempted you yet?


Nina’s second book for the Mills and Boon Romance Line, Hired: Sassy Assistant, is on the shelves this month across the USA and also in the UK as a 2 for 1 combination with Barbara McMahon.

Nina is thrilled to report that Hired: Sassy Assistant had a 4.5 star rating from Romantic Times and selected it as one of the Series TOP PICKS for January.
You can find out more about these books, and Nina, on her website and her blog


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed, Always The Bridesmaid and am not surprised it received such a high rating.

    I look forward to reading, Hired: Sassy Assistant too.

  2. Thank you Debs. I do hope that you enjoy it. love Nina