Robin Lovett enjoys reading and writing about her favorite things: croissants, France, and sexy athletes. It’s no wonder Racing To You, her debut novel, features all three. Learn more about Robin and her books at her website.
Going to France costs so much money. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to go there to study during graduate school. And now I’m a writer, what better way to travel back, without buying the plane ticket, than to write a novel set in France?
I want to be transported on the pages of a book. To go to the south of France, to smell the pastries in the patisserie, to feel the breeze off the Mediterranean, to watch the seas of the Côte d’Azur sparkle in the sun, and listen to the French language spoken wherever I go.
But even when traveling in person, it’s not always as perfect as one hopes. My first view of the Mediterranean as a student was on an overcast rainy day, and I was decidedly disenchanted. Without the sun, the water was as gray as any river and the rain reminded me so much of home, I wanted to cry. How could this be France? It was miserable, and no one should ever be miserable in France, right?
That wasn’t the only trouble. I left home thinking my French was stellar. I’d studied for years and spent weeks brushing up, but I never counted on how difficult it would be to understand native speakers. I could barely converse with the locals.
Travelling alone, managing the European transit system without anyone’s help—it scared me. I never knew how much I depended on having loved ones and friends nearby until I was in a strange country with everyone I knew across an ocean.
The good news, though, I had plenty of time to learn and experience. It wasn’t a vacation where I had to go home in three days. I had weeks. The sky eventually cleared and when the sun came out… the sea was so blue, it was blinding, and the sun so bright I could feel it warming me from the inside out. I learned to navigate the town, found my favorite places, and studied how to converse with the local people.
It became as idyllic as I imagined, even though, just like any good story with a well-earned happy ending, it wasn’t easy at first. But the good stuff was all the sweeter when it happened. It made me a braver, stronger person and showed me I was more independent than I ever thought I could be.
Writing Racing To You was as cathartic as I’d hoped. I will go back to France someday. But I learned what I miss isn’t just the place, but the amazing things the journey taught me about myself.
Racing to You
Love—the one roadblock they never expected.
Aurelia is living her dream, teaching for a year in the south of France. Except it’s all going wrong. The carefree culture is challenging her academic goals, and her students are so difficult that she wants the unthinkable: to give up and go home.
Meeting Terrence doesn’t help. When he’s not training for the Tour de France, the cocky pro cyclist is flirting with Aurelia, but she didn’t cross an ocean to hook up with an American jock, even if he does have killer dimples and looks hot in spandex.
Until the jock sets out to prove he’s more than mere muscle. He wants to teach her what having fun really means, which could be as dangerous to her structured life as it is to her heart.
As life hits unexpected roadblocks, they turn to one another for support, and flirtation becomes game-changing love. But Terrence is chasing his dream of being the fastest man on two wheels, and she isn’t sure how far he’ll go to win…or how far she’s willing to follow.