Thursday, April 07, 2016

Time out Thursday - the joy of research trips by Kate Hardy

Thank you to the Pink Heart Society for having me today!

One of the great joys of my job is research. Everything counts as research. I’m always dragging my husband and the teens somewhere in the name of research.

Sometimes, that research does a bit of double duty. So in Holiday With the Best Man, where Roland strikes a deal with Grace that she’ll brush up his dating skills while he’ll sweep her off her feet (all within a very narrow agreed time-frame so they won’t do anything stupid, such as falling in love with each other), I borrowed some of my favourite bits from past research trips (and then borrowed a bit more from the internet, which kind of got transferred to the ‘next time we visit there, we need to see this…’ list).

So. What do you do, to sweep someone off their feet when they’re immensely nerdy? Three things from my bucket list: it will involve fireworks in the grounds of a stately home, set to classical music; a trip to Bletchley Park; and a trip to Sir John Soane’s House in London (preferably a candle-lit one – this is something for history fiends and fans of architecture). They’re still bucket list, so I can’t actually give you photographs.

The other thing is straight romance. And the two most romantic cities in Europe, for me, are Venice and Paris.

I borrowed the hotel from elsewhere (but ohh – this is the ceiling in the reception area of the hotel where we stayed). 

And we went by Eurostar rather than the transport Roland books (which is so on my bucket list! What is it? You'll have to read the book to find out...)

We didn’t tango by the Seine – but we did see the Eiffel Tower sparkling on the hour at night.

We also went to Montmartre and ate cinnamon crepes in the street, and visited the Sacre-Coeur.

As for Venice – Grace’s reaction to the very first sight was the same as mine. (This was our actual view.)

The quadriga in St Mark's. (These are the real ones, inside - the ones on the balcony are copies.)

The gondola ride. (I know it’s touristy, but it's an experience not to be missed.)

Dancing through St Mark’s Square at night… (These were the musicians outside Quadri.)

Where would you take someone to sweep them off their feet?

Two weeks with the billionaire! 

The moment has come when best man Roland Devereux must follow the bride and groom and dance with bridesmaid Grace Faraday. But as he takes her hand, the chemistry hits him. For the first time since he lost his wife, he lets his guard down. 

Roland can see that gorgeous wallflower Grace deserves to be swept off her feet. He makes a deal—he'll give her a two-week whirlwind holiday, and Grace will help him learn to date again. Except somewhere between Paris and Venice, Roland realizes two weeks with Grace will never be enough…

Kate’s latest release is Holiday with the Best Man. You can find out more about the book, and Kate, on her website ( - or find her on Facebook 

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