I haven’t been to Rome, so why did I set Her Shameful Secret there? One reason is that Rome is romantic, colorful and filled with beauty. It’s the place of myths and legends. Art and history. It’s no wonder that the city is popular with honeymooners and romance readers.
In fact, you don’t have to look hard in Rome to find the simple gestures of romance. I recently viewed over 800 pictures a relative took when they went to Italy. Yes, 800. I’m cursing the person who invented memory cards. One picture caught my eye:
So I asked: Did you see who left the rose? Was it an old gentleman like in Under the Tuscan Sun?
She: I don’t know.
Me: I wonder what it means. Ooh, I bet it was a secret admirer.
She: No idea.
Me: Maybe it’s an apology. No, I think that would mean a whole bouquet of flowers.
She: The Trevi fountain is in the next picture.
Me: In a second. Or maybe it’s a secret message. Like a code. From one spy to another.
She: Or maybe the florist left it there because no one was home.
Me: Aren’t you the least bit curious about the story behind the flowers?
Me: Seriously? You’re killing me.
I decided that I don’t want to know the real story behind it. In my mind, it was a secret admirer. There’s an old charm about it, so I want the flowers to have been from an elderly gentleman with a hat and cane. And he was wooing a woman with white hair, wrinkles and wicked gleam in her eyes.
Rome is probably not as romantic and beautiful as I imagine. But I like my idealized version and that’s the one that’s in Her Shameful Secret.