Top 5 Reasons Why Reading Harlequin Presents is Better than a Hawaiian Cruise!

by author Jennie Lucas, The Greek Billionaire’s Baby Revenge

I recently got to travel to Hawaii with my family. Ah, a Hawaiian cruise–what a fantasy! Palm trees, blue water, warm breezes, and–since I’m a bad cook and enthusiastic eater–all that lovely cruise food! Aloha, 24-hour gourmet buffet!

Our luxury “family suite”

But within a day of getting on that beautiful cruise ship, I was ready to go home. Dying to go home. My toddler and 10-month-old constantly were waking up amid the rocking of the ship and barely managed 9 hours of daily sleep instead of their usual 14. They were cranky all day and impossible to console, and frankly so were we. I yearned to go back to the housework, mess and cold weather of home, if it meant I could have uninterrupted sleep and a few precious moments to read before bed!

Here are the top five reasons I wished I’d stayed at home and read a Harlequin Presents instead of taking a cruise.


Harlequin Presents = $4.75 or less. Hawaiian cruise = $2,000 or more.


No one has ever gained weight from reading romance. Whether writing Presents or reading them, I often get so involved in the stories that I actually forget to eat. (In fact, I’ve lost 70 pounds of baby weight since I sold my first book a year ago.)

Lamentably, the food included free on the cruise is not really that delicious. But it is plentiful with lots of variety, so people nearly always gain weight. The question is, would you rather gain two pounds eating lukewarm fries from a heat lamp on the buffet line? Or lose two pounds getting hot over a seductive Spanish billionaire?

…Although you can’t beat the view!

3. BED

Taking a cruise with small children, beds lose all their power. No sleep. No privacy. And sadly, no sex. Exhausted, cranky parents with children barely sleeping nearby€”does this sound like a recipe for romance? Uh, no. Give me a hot, passionate Presents, where the hero makes love to the heroine for hours on end€”in a bed, on a deserted beach, in a bubble bath inside a Spanish castle. And afterwards, they sleep for twelve hours straight! (Now there’s a fantasy!)


Ah, the glamour of travel. Lost luggage. Waiting in line. Returning home on an overnight flight, the exhausted, miserable screams of my babies reverberated for hours across the dark, crowded coach cabin. As we crossed the Atlantic, my toddler and I were locked in the bathroom for two hours€”where we’d been banished by the flight attendant€”as I futilely tried to comfort her and calm her howls. All she wanted was her bed at home. All I wanted to do was wail with her.

In a Harlequin Presents, we would have all flown via private plane. My children would have peacefully slept in their own ensuite bedrooms, while I took a nap or possibly sipped Dom Perignon as my husband threatened to kiss me.

What I want to know is: where’s my $*#@ private plane?


At last, the number one reason why reading a Harlequin Presents is better than a cruise! Nothing beats the total feeling of escape, of losing yourself in a world of romance and adventure. The excitement. The glamour. The passion. It all grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go till the last page.

Case in point? I didn’t get a picture, but I swear it’s true!

The most relaxed person I saw on my whole cruise was a gorgeous, dark-haired fortysomething woman with Gucci sunglasses and a big hat. She was lying by the pool, drinking a pina colada and reading a book. What book?

Italian Boss, Housekeeper Bride by Sharon Kendrick.

Harlequin Presents is better than an exotic cruise–I rest my case!
— Jennie Lucas, Thrilled to be home at last!

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about my May release The Spaniard’s Defiant Virgin, or see before-and-after pictures of how I lost the 70 pounds, please visit me at

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Comments ( 8 )
    March 11, 2008 at 2:40 pm



    Your account of the cruise vs. reading a Presents is priceless! Got a big kick out of it. Loved the pics and details. You’re a doll for being straight-up honest! You deserve stars for surviving this glorious getaway in one piece!

    I vote — we all order Jennie’s BOOK! Not only does it promise to be an awesome read–by God she deserves it!

    Oh, if you find that private jet — swing by and pick me up! I could use a getaway too!



  2. Jennie Lucas
    March 11, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Marian, you are so sweet! You really made me grin. Thanks!!!

    I’m totally mad at myself in a way…I’m sure most moms would have found a way to have a marvelous time even with cranky kids and no sleep, trapped in a closet-sized room. But I couldn’t, and that’s really a character flaw on my part. We did have a few nice afternoons walking around the charming colonial village of Kona (on the Big Island), and splashing around the beach of Lahaina (on Maui). I have some adorable pictures of smiling, happy kids sitting in my husband’s lap in blue water on a white sand beach. That was a fun day!

    But mostly I found myself counting down until I could come home. It’s amazing how you can take the comforts of home (space, your own stuff, books, a good night’s sleep) for granted until you lose them! And that flight home was the worst. My poor exhausted kids. I wanted to kiss the dirty carpet of my floor when I got them home. I was so thrilled. I think my baby hugged his crib!

    BTW, my husband took that picture of me doing “house work” last week. I was actually reading Lynne Graham’s The Italian Billionaire’s Pregnant Bride. What a page turner! Lynne Graham is brilliant!!

    And Marian, if I ever get that private jet, you’re definitely invited. Maybe Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? (The setting of the book I’m working on now!)


  3. texasmom22
    March 11, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    I think you’re brave for even attempting it with 2 toddlers!! Wow!

  4. abby green
    March 12, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Jennie that was brilliant! Love it. Except for the fact that I was feeling seasick just reading it…!
    x Abby
    p.s. glad you’re back safe and sound

    March 13, 2008 at 9:49 am


    Only a writer would look back at the experience and call it–a character flaw–that she didn’t love the whole deal!!! LOL!

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil all sound great! I’M IN!

    But let’s make a stop in Italy to check out our favorite Italian hero’s, okay? And I’ve got Lynne Graham’s latest on my bedside–can’t wait.

    Hugs! My bags are packed . . .


  6. Luggage Sets
    May 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Luggage Sets…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

  7. Plus Size Bridal Gowns
    May 12, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Plus Size Bridal Gowns…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

  8. Shannon
    March 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Oh no! I just came across this blog entry. I’m so sorry you had such a rotten time on what should have been a cruise around paradise.
    I love presents novels and I can say that that picture of you next to your vacuum and unfolded laundry looks eerily similar to some days at my house!