Romance on the Road

Why Traveling Always Reminds Me What True Love Is All About

By Kate Clayborn


From the time I was young—decorating a shoebox for the annual school Valentine’s Day celebration—I remember being taught that this holiday was all about gestures. The cards, sure, but also the flowers, the chocolate in a pretty box, the jewelry. At this time of year, going into your local Target means getting hit with a tide of red and pink decor, reminding you that you better not leave without something for your partner.

One thing I love about reading and writing romance is that I feel like it’s made me a little more immune to the common trappings and gestures associated with Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a card with a big red heart on it as much as the next person, but romance novels are reminders of all the ways people show their love without also having to hand over a gift receipt.

This week, I’m prepping for a quick trip to New York, and it’s got me thinking about the time I spent there when I was researching Love Lettering, and how my own Valentine, Mr. C, helped me prepare and push through. Before we set off for the city, Mr. C helped me organize a strategy for all the walks I wanted to get through (take a look at our very marked-up map!), and during the walks themselves, he knew exactly where to stop for food, or where to find a quiet spot to rest. And even though a walk through a very busy New York City during rush hour isn’t his favorite thing, he stuck with me the whole way through.


Trips like this one often make me reflect on how the best romance novels show us the way characters learn to work as a team, and how characters show their love for each other by anticipating the other’s needs. I’m a nervous traveler in general, so Mr. C often helps by going over a packing list with me or by picking out places to eat in advance. In my favorite romances, there are often moments like this—a character recognizing a point of struggle for another, and helping them find a way through it. No fancy card, flowers, chocolate, or jewelry required! Do you have favorite moments like this in romance?

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“I can’t wait for the whole world to fall in love with Love Lettering!”—Jasmine Guillory, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Proposal

In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts a woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other, both try to ignore a deepening connection between them. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late…