Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Kitchen Duties – Take Them Away Please

I take quite a bit of time planning the living spaces of the main characters in my novels – the layout, the décor, the colour schemes – even though I don’t go into great detail about any of that in my books. All I usually end up doing is giving a tiny glimpse of their living space, as an adjunct to all the other things in the story that point to their personalities.

I’ve had hero architects living in converted churches (my favourite of all the abodes I’ve created, and you can get a little look at the type of place on my Pinterest page for The Millionaire’s Proposition), over-the-top romantic bedrooms, rackety terrace houses, glamorous penthouse apartments, and stunning desert villas.

IMG_0674But one thing I’ve realised recently is that there’s one particular room where my heroines spend almost no time – the kitchen. My heroes are a different story, and can usually whip up a cordon bleu meal in their state-of-the-art kitchen out of almost nothing  (and if they can’t, they’ll know exactly where to take my heroines for a bang-up meal). I suspect this recurrent scenario has something to do with my own kitchen-avoidance and my desire to have all things food brought to me, not by me!

Sitting here typing intermittently as I watch television, I’m reminded of my kitchen apathy by my husband’s constant turning on and off of the kitchen tap behind me – because every time he turns on the blasted thing, I can’t hear a thing. And he does it, I swear, just when the detective du jour is either about to uncover a vital clue or actually name the murderer, which I subsequently miss. And I suspect this recurrent scenario is directly related to my own kitchen-avoidance and my husband’s desire to make me suffer for his having to bring all things food to me.

So, folks, I’m declaring right here right now that I detest that ubiquitous design feature of just about every home that goes on the market these days in Sydney: the open plan living space.

Check out this video – I am not convinced. At. All!

I feel a little bit weird saying this, because when the Hon and I happened to land a private viewing of our current house before the previous owners had even decided to sell it, I fell in love with everything about it on the spot. I loved the flowing room plan that encompassed the entrance, living room, kitchen and dining area in the one grand space – a space that screamed ‘party waiting to happen’. I even recall travelling to America shortly after that viewing and telling two friends over there that if my husband hadn’t made an offer on the house by the time I got back, I was going to divorce him.

Luckily, he had made an offer – and the rest, as they say, is history.

P1010305And it really is history, because after 12 years’ living in my dream home, I find myself thinking fondly of our previous, less modish house, with its closed off kitchen, where you could have all kinds of crap on the counters with no visitors any the wiser; when you had to make a conscious choice to go to the fridge in search of a snack instead of having it basically at your fingertips; where, faucet-free, you could hear Hercule Poirot name the murderer.

First world problem, I know. But in my next book, I’m pretty sure the kitchen of the day is going to be very distant from the television – a little like my Medical romance, From Fling to Forever, where for a good portion of the story, I had a whole Georgian-era London townhouse at my disposal, with a tucked away kitchen! Some quite special scenes occurred in that kitchen…

Fling cover medWhat started as a fling…could lead to forever.

When fate conspires repeatedly to throw together kindhearted nurse Ella Reynolds and deliciously sexy documentary filmmaker Aaron James, it’s not long before this unlikely couple finally gives in to their irresistible chemistry. Their hearts might be locked away, but what does it matter when it’s only a fling…? 

Spending time and saving lives together is bound to break down barriers. Yet with so much heartbreak and loss to overcome, can their fling ever lead to forever?

Please connect with me via my website or via Facebook and Twitter.



10 thoughts on “Kitchen Duties – Take Them Away Please”

  1. Hi Avril

    I have such a little kitchen with practically no bench space or cupboard space so although I do seem to spend a fair bit of time in it I would much prefer a bigger kitchen and then I would enjoy the time I spend in there my Hubby is not a cook and if I want something it is up to me to get it one reason I love visiting family for meals because I don’t have to do it and their kitchens are so much nice than mine 🙂

    I have you Medical calling to me I must get to it soon and I have to say I loved that converted church 🙂

    Have Fun

    1. The problem with my place is that not only is there not enough cupboard space, but everyone can see that there’s not enough the minute they walk in the door! It can be a little embarrassing.

  2. I have a large kitchen with an eating area in it. It is the hub of the house. There is no TV though as a television in the hub kills conversation. The large jarrah table has hosted homework and be thrown out to seat 12 for dinner parties. We converted the official dining room into a reading and music room. It has the piano, the trombone, the didg and two couches for reading. The TV is in the living room far away from the hub 🙂 I have been driving past a converted church for two years now…I think they want too much for it as it hasn’t sold but I love the concept!

    1. You kitchen sounds amazing! My house is very ‘inner city pad-ish’ – quite big by Surry Hills standards but the kitchen is basically a counter, a fridge and an oven and it is driving me out of my mind. I would like a small cosy room for watching TV and reading – and not have to listen to taps. A converted church – sigh! I dream of that. Or a lighthouse.

  3. Varil,
    You are too funny. My kitchen is away from the living area but the minute I step into it everyone in the house gets in the same three feet with me. Love your new book cover.

    1. There’s no doubt the kitchen is always a gathering zone when we have people over – and actually, I hate that, because you can’t even have a decent freak out when there’s a mini disaster in the making. In my house, I’m like ‘There’s a couch literally a foot away, why don’t you just go and sit down and I’ll get you a drink.’

  4. I bought my house in 1992, it was built in the 80’s and had the open plan concept ahead of it’s time, but it’s kitchen is so small more than one person in it is a disaster. I have less than 10 linear feet of counter space, and very few cupboards, so my small pantry is overfull with everything but food, and in the garage I have 4 plastic storage bins filled with all the things I love to use once in a while (specialty cookie molds, bundt pans in different shapes and sizes, and my huge bowls, platters and pots that i use infrequently) and an IKEA tall bookshelf my son put together so I can store my electric devices until I need them. Very inconvenient, but I love my house and neighborhood! Wish I had the man that cooked, tho..mine only makes peanut butter sandwiches.

    1. When I live in the Middle East, I had a kitchen that was ridiculously huge, and that’s the type I want. Even though I almost never cook, it’s the storage that is missing in this place, and because everyone can see it, you can’t even leave all the crap on the counter. But yes, I do love the neighborhood and I can’t recall a house I’ve been into around here that has a closed off kitchen. All the terraces have been ‘opened up’, more’s the pity.

  5. I realise every time I write a scene involving a kitchen its always the same design, Avril – large central bench with bar stools on one side….And there’s not a lot of food cooking/eating going on. They’re either drinking wine or maybe cocktails, eating food off each other or doing the wild thing on the benches 🙂

  6. Hi Avril – love your book cover. We broke down a wall between our kitchen and dining room to get that open concept. We feel it has made the house seem bigger, but we definitely don’t have a party house. ha ha. I personally am not a fan of big marble or granite topped islands, but I also seem to write them in my books. Not always though.
    Sorry I didn’t comment sooner but I was at RWA national conference and every moment was spoken for. And yes, I am officially exhausted.

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