Usually when books are set in Illinois, they're set in Chicago, the big economic engine in the north-eastern corner of the state. There's the lakefront, all of the cultural, entertainment, and retail choices, along with the vast variety of restaurants. It's a multi-cultural paradise for an author!
So my first book in the Reyes Family Romances, Never Too Old for the Game of Love, was set partly in Chicago. After all, the heroine and her bestie may live in a western suburb (as I do), but the hero is a driven, alpha-male who is very successful in his business. He lives in a condo in the downtown area of Chicago.
At the end of the book, her young teenaged daughter is with them in his condo. She's awed by the opulence and his original artwork. But she's heard he plans to move.
Later, after they had all eaten their fill of pizza, with cokes all around, they all sat back on the couches near the fireplace and relaxed. Katie was still walking around admiring the artwork, while the adults smiled at her, indulgently.
Finally, she walked back over to stand in front of Alexander, who was sitting on the futon with Tegan. He was having a difficult time keeping his hands off of her, and was mentally counting the minutes until he could pick her up tomorrow night, and drag her back to ravish her on that same futon, once again.
He leaned over to place a quick kiss on her ear, and whispered, “I live for tomorrow night.”
She turned to look at him, and she smiled at him with love. At that moment, Katie began to speak to them, with her hands on her hips.
“So, Tío Alejandro, you really expect me to believe that you are willing to give up all of THIS?” She waved her arms around at the richly-decorated condo, “For a crappy little house in the suburbs, with my mom and two kids who are going to test you until we get tired, then rest up and test you some more? We are going to irritate the hell out of you, and try to break you. And that’s what you want?”
Alexander shook his head at her and frowned, “What did your mother tell you about swearing, Katie? Not until you are eighteen and moving out of the house. It’s okay around your friends, but we are NOT your friends. We are your parents, and we love you. But do not swear where we can hear it.”
She gave him a considering look, and said, “You didn’t answer my question.”
“Yes. I’m going to marry your mother. And you can come along when we look at houses, to be sure we can find a bigger one that won’t be so ‘crappy’ to you. And as for the ‘testing’ that you two are going to do? Bring it on, girlie. There were eight after me. I can take it. And I can dish it back at ya. Just ask all of my nieces and nephews!”
She smiled at him and said, “Okay then. I approve.”
Then she ran back over to the balcony, to see where the loud music drifting up from the street was coming from.
Copyright, 2010, Fiona McGier
The rest of the series is set in the suburb a couple west of me--West Chicago. There are a lot of Hispanics living there, and since the Reyes family is Hispanic, it worked out well. In fact in the 6th book in the series, Love Therapy, Miguel Reyes goes to his 20th high school reunion, hoping to reconnect with his old girlfriend. She's there, but carries a lot of baggage they need to overcome, before their happy ending.
But how funny is it that when I was looking to add another high school district to my substitute list, I added West Chicago's school? Now I walk down the halls and think of which of my characters the students resemble, and how I can imagine my Reyes people walking those same hallways as teenagers.
BTW, 5 of the Reyes books are Kindle Unlimited, while the 6th book is a free download at Smashwords.
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