[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to welcome author Janine Rosche to the site today. She’s sharing her love of mountainous settings with us. Take it away, Janine!]
When it comes to romance novels, island beaches can have their sun-bleached summer. Small towns can bedazzle themselves in the Christmas glitter. English manors can drench themselves in spring rains.
But don’t you dare take autumn from the mountains because as the days shorten, temperatures drop, and the leaves trade their modest green for vivid yellows and reds, those peaks and valleys are made for love. Whether you want to read, write, or live out a romance novel, here are five reasons you should pack your scarves, knit hats, and comfy socks and head to the high altitudes this season:
1. The Beauty
Autumn. The name of the season itself likely fills your mind with a vast array of colors—so many that even Vincent Van Gogh did not claim to have enough to capture its beauty. Nowhere is this more easily observed than in the mountains, where the land isn’t content to rest on a single layer, but instead, stretches itself toward the sky again and again to display its magnificence. Evergreen pines, ruby-red maples, and gilded aspens set our hearts aflutter.
Even better, we get to participate by donning our plaids shirts, tall boots, and warm sweaters. There is a reason why everyone looks forward to fall fashion so much. Its flattering nature and vibrant colors make every heroine, fictional and real, feel comfortable, stylish, and confident. And who doesn’t love a handsome hero in a flannel shirt?
2. The Danger
The mountains, by their very nature, are rustic, reckless, and wildly unpredictable. This is never more apparent in the autumn when the weather can range from warm to freezing in the same day, the animals are preparing to hunker down for winter, and darkness extends its reach earlier and earlier. When danger and risk are near, there’s a flare of excitement that draws two people together after a shared experience. Just look at Outlander’s Claire and Jamie or The Hunger Games’s Katniss and Peeta.
What better way is there to turn Friends-to-More, Enemies-to-Lovers, a Fake Relationship to a Real Relationship, or a Marriage of Convenience to a Marriage of Convenience?! You get me?
So venture outdoors for a hike, a campfire, or some star-gazing, and as the owls hoot, critters scurry on the fallen leaves, and clouds obscure the moonlight, tell me if you don’t grasp a little tighter onto the arm of your date.
3. The Adventure
Speaking of venturing outdoors… There are limitless date possibilities in the mountains in autumn. When others are busy tailgating or watching ball games, you and your date can catch a train ride through a prismatic forest, descend into underground caverns, go horseback riding on a trail, soak in some hot springs, or see a concert at an outdoor venue. I highly recommend Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado—don’t forget your blanket!
4. The Chill
Which brings us to our next reason you should head to the mountains for love in September, October, and November—the falling temperatures. The heroes and heroines in our romance novels know this truth well: brisk air and nippy breezes on mountaintops and canyon floors are the quickest way to remove the distance between two people. When the temps fall, opportunities increase for jacket-offering, arm-grazing, hand-holding, hot cocoa-toasting, blanket-sharing, footsie-playing, and couch-cuddling. Am I right?
5. The Sanctuary
And the final reason mountain romance is best in books, movies, songs, and real-life during the fall? Because mountains offer somethings that other landscapes don’t—a place to get away and hide. From your troubles? Maybe. From your past? Perhaps. From the encroaching winter? Sure. Throughout history, people have used the mountains to shield themselves from trouble. They’ve found sanctuary in the shadow of those heights. I know I’ve certainly sought refuge there a time or two.
That’s why my hero Shane Olson in Wildflower Road leaves the Midwest in favor of the Montana mountains when he loses everything, including his reputation, marriage, and faith. And it might have worked if he didn’t run into my heroine, Ryann Ashcroft, who refused to let him stay in his shame. Wouldn’t you know it? Romance just so happened to follow.
While I know that not everyone can make a literal trip to the mountains this autumn, but you can always take a figurative one via a book. It will still do your romantic heart good!
About the Author:
Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into her Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.
Wildflower Road by Janine Rosche, out now!
After her husband’s tragic death, Ryann Marie Ashcroft’s only remaining dream is to save her family’s struggling mountain resort. And the last person she wants to rely on is a brooding stranger with secrets of his own.
Nicknamed America’s rock-and-roll pastor, Shane Olson arrives in Montana after a viral video destroys his marriage, his ministry, and his reputation. Working side by side on the banks of the Madison River, he and Ryann get a second chance at love. But not everyone wants to see their happily ever after.