We asked Emme Cross about her experiences on St Barts and what inspired her to use that setting for her novel.
I made the mistake during the early, poverty-stricken days of marriage to read Vogue magazine. An article on St. Barts caught my attention. Our first Caribbean cruise (paid for with change harvested from beneath couch cushions) took us to neighboring St. Martin. Much spousal cajoling later, we took the ferry to St. Barts. It was tiny and French…and perfect. Much as I imagined the south of France to be, only with a laid back vibe overlaying the obvious signs of wealth.
Yachts filled the harbor at Gustavia and the streets were lined with designer shops and restaurants run by ex-pat French chefs.
It was love at first sight. And at first bite.
We’ve been going back ever since, renting out apartments and villas around the island whenever the budget allowed. Our favorite spot is high on the hill by the police station with a view of the sea and the Leeward Islands. We drink our fill of the scenery, gorge on croissants and cassoulet and walk up and down steep hills until our calves are screaming in protest.
Sometimes we stumble upon celebrities. One day, my husband almost clipped a jogger at a blind corner. He was tall with reddish hair and glasses and was wearing an Indiana State University T-shirt. It was David Letterman.
Another day Hugh Jackman worked out shirtless on Shell Beach. Everyone lingered at the restaurant overlooking the sand, nursing their mojitos and their fantasies.
It’s not just the celebrities who flock to St. Barts; the locals are equally entertaining, like the chef at our favorite restaurant overlooking Gouverneur Beach and a friend down the street from our villa who helps arrange high-end parties.
St. Barts is a fantasy come true, the perfect mix of relaxation and inspiration. The perfect place to set a romance novel.