Dream Date with the Millionaire: Settings

I was thrilled to set Dream Date with the Millionaire in San Francisco. I'll be honest, it's my favorite city in the world. I set my very first romance, Fiance for the Night, there as well as opened Win, Lose or...Wed! there, too. The city seemed the perfect place to set Dani and Bryce's story!

Why do I love San Francisco so much?

Well, it's where I fell in love with my husband. We were both living in the Marina District at the time. Pretty much all our dating happened in and around San Francisco. From walking through Crissy Field across the Golden Gate to hike in the Marin Headlands to catching the bus to North Beach for Italian food and coffee to sailing on the bay, our dating centered around "The City" When it came time for my then boyfriend to propose, he knelt on the beach at Crissy Field with the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge as the backdrop. At our west coast wedding reception (we were married in New York), we even had food stations themed to match the various neighborhoods of San Francisco.

I was fortunate enough to pay a visit to San Francisco in the summer of 2008 to attend the Romance Writers of America conference. It was fun to see all the places I'd mentioned in Dream Date with the Millionaire. Here are a few of them:

Chapter 5 and Chapter 8 - The Palace of Fine Arts

Two scenes in the book are set here. One during the afternoon/twilight and another at night. No matter what time of day, The Palace of Fine Arts is a great place to visit with its lovely landscaping and Roman-Greco inspired architecture.

When I lived in the Marina District, this Palace of Fine Arts was walking distance from my apartment on Beach Street. It was one of my favorite places to take a stroll both alone and with my then boyfriend-now husband. More than once, I saw film crews taping shows or commercials. For one ad, a car commercial, they added a backdrop that enclosed the circular area. I bet now they'd just use CGI to obtain the same effect!

Chapter 9 - Lovejoy's Tea House on Church Street

Summer of 2008, I attended the Romance Writers of America's conference in San Francisco. Imagine my surprise when I received an invitation to a tea hosted by the Harlequin Mills & Boon editors to a tea house called Lovejoy's, the same tea house I used in Dream Date with the Millionaire. I'd found the place via a google search, but it was so fun to actually go there for afternoon tea!

The interior was as cozy and eclectic as the website claimed it would be. Lots of chintz and lace, mismashed tea cups and teapots, old pictures and other knick knacks. I could easily see Dani preferring to have tea here rather than one of the fancier hotels. And I know she would have loved the scones!

Chapter 9 - Union Square

Dani takes Bryce on a tour of San Francisco. Even though Bryce was born in San Francisco and had lived there his entire life, he still hadn't seen a bunch of the touristy spots the city had to offer so Dani takes him on a tour. Fisherman's Wharf for a shrimp cocktail. Ghirardelli Square for hot fudge sundaes. And of course, a ride on a cable car.

When the pair reaches Union Square, Bryce takes over the roll of tour guide so he can show Dani his part of town. This includes Union Square and Maiden Lane. Maiden Lane used to be the red light district during the Barbary Coast area. Now it's a small pedestrian street with expensive boutiques and cafes. I took this picture when I visited in July. Unfortunately none of the umbrella covered tables are out yet, but you can see the iron gate the characters walk through as well as Union Square in the background.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for showing the setting with pics. It makes the story so much more real for me.


Melissa McClone said...

I'm so glad you liked the pictures! It was fun writing about a place I loved living, and then getting to go back there and visit again!