Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!

A tour of Sydney: the places that inspired settings in the Sydney Harbour Hospital Series

For those readers who are enjoying the Sydney Harbour Hospital series I thought I’d give you a bit of a tour of  the Emerald City (Sydney) and show you some of the places that appear in the books and/or inspired places in the books.

My husband’s been working in Sydney on and off so I’ve been lucky to have a few trips up there. The harbour really does make it one of the most beautiful cities in the world which is ironic given it started life as a penal colony!

When a series is written, the authors involved come together to make a few decisions. As Sydney is a huge city we had to ‘place’ SHH. We chose North Sydney, which is just across ‘the coat-hanger’ otherwise known as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  This photo shows Kirribilli House (the Sydney residence of the Prime Minister) with buildings behind it. One of those buildings is Kirribilli View, the block of apartments where many of the staff of SHH live.
The swimming pool where Finn does his laps everyday to keep his pain at bay is the North Sydney pool.Emily Forbes suggested this and what an amazing place it is.  Even I’d swim laps with that view!  Luna Park is just next door.

The  beach-side cafe with the ‘best big breakfast in Sydney’ which  Tom and Hayley go to was based on  Doyle’s in Watson’s Bay.Doyles is a family owned and operated seafood restaurant which has been trading since 1885! In Australian terms that’s a very, long time.

Half of the Doyle’s experience is the very pretty ferry ride and it is magic on a sunny day. Once you arrive at the restaurant, the tables are virtually on the sand and the old wooden fishing boats are pulled up on the beach. You can sit and watch the ferries pull in and out and easily while away many hours and in the distance you can just see the tall, city buildings.

This is the view of Doyles from the jetty in the other picture. It was taken on my birthday last year.
Parkes University where Tom lectures
was inspired by  the
glorious sandstone of Sydney University. Isn’t it just fabulous? How could you not be inspired to study surrounded by architecture like that. Graffiti tunnel really does exist but unlike the scene in SHH: Tom’s Redemption, it is very safe. I love
walking through it and checking out all the art.
Amy Andrews came up with the idea of ‘Pete’s’, the bar/watering hole where the staff gather when they’re off duty. I’m not sure if she had a pub in mind or whether she was thinking of ‘Cheers’ but hopefully she’ll call by and tell us!
One thing you might be interested in is the picture I had in my mind of Tom when I
wrote Tom’s Redemption. It was from last year’s Sportscraft catalogue. The male model I felt depicted Tom perfectly….slightly ruffled and that jacket says ‘sexy professor’ don’t you think? And just picture the model with chestnut hair and we have Hayley.
There are eight books in this series of SHH and all are stand alone stories but they share an interesting thread between the enigmatic Finn and the lovely Evie.  The authors involved are Marion Lennox,
Alison Roberts, Amy Andrews, Fiona Lowe, Melanie Milburne, Emily F
orbes, Fiona McArthur and Carol Marinelli and yes, you guessed it, we all live in
 Australia or New Zealand, but ironically, none of us live in Sydney!
I hope this little pictorial tour adds to your enjoyment of the books. We’d love to hear what you think about the series so far!
Sydney Harbour Hospital:Tom’s Redemption is Fiona’s 16th Harlequin Medical romance novel and the first book she’s ever set in a big, city hospital. Riding on a gorgeous big, green Sydney ferry, flying on a helicopter over the opera house and the harbour bridge and eating at Doyle’s for research was extremely hard work and she hopes her readers appreciate her dedication to the cause.  😉

20 thoughts on “A tour of Sydney: the places that inspired settings in the Sydney Harbour Hospital Series”

  1. This pictures are gorgeous and yes, it does help to see pictures. It’s nice to see how close I came ‘seeing’ the setting the first group of authors’ provided. I’m loving this series!

  2. Wow Fiona! This looks amazing to have all the landmarks of SHH laid out in one place to look at. I always pictured Pete’s to look like the bar in Grey’s. Love how they all go there after work to relax, wind dwn ad sometimes even hook up 😉

  3. Thanks for that Fiona. I’ve been to Sydney a couple of times but not to the North Shore. Have ridden a ferry to Manly and seen the Harbour Bridge. Lovely to be able to put pictures in my mind as I start on Lily’s Scandal and Zoe’s Baby. Then of course will be Tom’s Redemption. I’m a sucker for a hero with a disability (I work in the industry so spose it’s logical). Like the piccy of Tom and Hayley as well. A nice excursion.

  4. Wow, Fiona! Fabulous tour! And your photos are wonderful! Ooooo, and I do appreciate your dedication to research to bring us all this wonderful background for the Sydney Harbour Hospital mini-series! 😉
    You’ve made writing a series sound like great fun!

  5. Hi Fiona! Great post- so lovely to see the pictures and be able to imagine the characters in those settings. I was in Sydney at Christmas and I loved it- but I didn’t get to see the university- what a fabulous building. I love Pete’s too! When I was training to be a nurse we all used the pub across the road from the hospital. In the days before pages and mobile phones the hospital administration set up a dedicated telephone line straight into the pub- when it went off we all sat i hushed groups praying it wasn’t for any of us!

    I’m so glad you’re setting the bar high regarding research- just wait until I tell DH what’s expected of a budding medical romance author! Hmmm, now where can I set my next book…and what exotic things do my characters need to do? 😉

    1. Louise. I’ve set a book in Vietnam. I wanted to do Borneo but that one didn’t work. The helicopter flight was a gift from DH’s boss who owns his own helicopter for my and The Lad’s birthday and to impress the French exchange student. 😉

  6. Hi Fiona!

    Lovely photos. I sort of already had these settings in my mind when I was reading Tom’s Redemption and then Amy Andrew’s Luca’s Bad Girl. And yes, I had Grey’s bar in mind when we came to Pete’s!

    These actual settings look awesome!

  7. Nas, how great you could picture it all so clearly. I am embarrassed am I to say I really can’t picture the bar in Greys! I only watched one season and it was a long time ago. I better go check it out!

  8. Fiona,
    I love the trip through Sydney! The books are wonderful and the setting perfect. My mother and I visited Sydney a number of years ago. I wished I’d known of all these places and we would have seen more. The harbor is like no other and you must love water to live there. I felt right at home.

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