Presenting the Perfect Pool…

by Natalie Anderson, author of Bought: One Night, One Marriage

One of the things I adore about writing and reading Presents is the wish fulfillment aspect – the fantasy, the escape, the indulgence… and I don’t mean in terms of the passion, I mean how these characters get to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that I can only dream about!

Actually, I do a lot of this dreaming in the shower – indeed my husband despairs at the length of time I can stand in a hot shower and frequently knocks on the door pretending to be ‘the man from the council’ coming to turn the mains off because I’ve used up our annual limit… But there’s something magical and inspiring about water – the sound of it, the feel of it on your body, the beautiful blue of a large expanse as it reflects the sky… pure paradise.

So one thing that I love to have in a book is an ‘I’ve-died-and-gone-to-heaven’ sort of swimming pool. Now this isn’t completely self-indulgent of me – I think that swimming fits with my kind of hero and works well with some of the attributes I like to give him, for example:

  • he’s fit, with the kind of all-over-body strength that swimming gives (and I do have a thing for broad shoulders)
  • he’s self-disciplined and highly motivated (up early every morning and diving in regardless of the weather, or the late night or whatever)
  • he’s competitive (often in an individual rather than team-based sense)

And then there’s that sort of whole body sensuality when in the water – that freedom that comes with floating and being weightless (oh to be more weightless!). And of course, there’s the revelation of skin (and sometimes ‘self’) as they strip down and plunge in.

When I was writing Bought: One Night, One Marriage, I knew there were some key scenes that would take place by (and in) the hero’s pool.

I wanted to be able to visualise it clearly and I needed this pool to be something else.

Naturally, as part of a diligent research process, I spent several days surfing the internet in the quest for the ideal image. Finally I found the perfect pool – well, ok the perfect view. Blake lives a little out of town along the coastline of Sydney in a mansion complete with pool house and luxurious privacy. This is what I came up with:

Oh my heart beats faster every time I see it! But what do you think? Could you cope with the idea of spending some time there??? How about another angle to help you make up your mind?

(By the way, this is a real home in Sydney and you can rent it if you want through

Now check out the cover of Bought: One Night, One Marriage – I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see the pool there – and I think the art department did a wonderful job of capturing the style – don’t you agree?

So what was my heroine Cally to do when her bedroom overlooks the water and every morning she wakes to the sight and sound of Blake swimming first thing – au natural – I mean, can you blame her if she watches for a while… and maybe gives in to temptation? Wouldn’t you??!

I’m constantly on the search for more unique and wonderful water play areas – bathrooms are a whole other topic – and I’ve given one hero, Luca, a lap pool with an adjustable floor (no joke!) in the basement of his central London apartment. (You can check it out in Between the Italian’s Sheets to be released in the UK next year). There is a company that will do this – and there’s a wonderful apology on their website about lack of portfolio photos because of privacy restrictions from their well-known, well-heeled clients.

And we can always go beyond pools too – how about a private stretch of beach, or a waterfall, or a lagoon, or hey, why not a whole private island?

My ‘real-life’ fantasy would be to have an in-ground pool with a decent length lap lane and then a splash/play area built to the side. I’d be in it every day. I found a perfect example in a brochure recently but alas it was for a hotel-sized serviced apartments complex, not a private dwelling. I’m not desperate to have a spa, but where I live the pool would have to be heated for year round enjoyment. Of course I’d then want someone else to come clean and maintain it, and maybe someone else to provide me with fresh pineapple juice and fruit salad, and maybe yet another person to tend to the magnificent lawns and gardens surrounding the water… hmmm… definitely dreaming aren’t I?!

What about you, have you got any pool fantasies you care to share?

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Comments ( 11 )
  1. anna cleary
    December 4, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Nat,

    Lovely to hear from you.

    What a wonderful imagination you have! Are you sure it’s the water that inspires you, or is it the potential for sunbronzed heroes with Hugh Jackman chests?

    I must say, all your heroes are to die for.
    I’ll definitely be looking out for Between the Italian’s Sheets. What a great title!

    To be honest, poolside I can take or leave, but I can’t ignore a beach. All my life I’ve adored beaches, and their romantic possibilities keep creeping into my books.
    In My Tall Dark Greek Boss there was a beach wedding, and in my current UK release, Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin, there’s a love scene on a midnight beach that has inspired readers to write me some very interesting letters!

    Something about that midnight beach seems to strike a chord! I guess I’m not the only one stirred by moonlit sand, foaming surf and the smell of the sea.

    Love your post, Nat, as always!


  2. Sri
    December 5, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Hi Natalie,

    I just got your book, Bought: One Night, One Marriage yesterday. Can’t wait to read it but have to wait till Saturday. 🙂


  3. Heidi Rice
    December 5, 2008 at 4:04 am

    Oooh Nat, I love your pool picture. And the thought of your fit, bronzed hero swimming nekid in it as well, frankly that’s a bit too much for me first thing on a Friday morning.

    As far as pools go, I love them, especially the one at my mum’s place. She lives in a beautiful cottage in the middle of Thomas Hardy country in Wiltshire, England and she had a natural swimming pond put in this year. It’s got plants and a deck and the water is filtered by the plants so no chlorine needed (no fish either, that would be yukky!) and the kids love it. Only prob, it’s not heated, so you have to be pretty brave to jump in, especially nekid!

    Heidi x

  4. Natalie Anderson
    December 5, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Hey Anna! Now I’m with you on the beaches – the view, the blue, the sound of the surf… but you know what? The reality sometimes isn’t as romantic as I’d like sometimes – I live in a temperate climate and get a little too hot, sticky and scratchy with all that sand and not enough shade. Let me confess something (apologies if I’ve told this story before!) – for our honeymoon hubby and I had a few days on an island in Fiji – beautiful, our own little bure on the beach with hardly any people, yummy fresh fruit and warm weather… except on day ONE my Scots-descended fair-skinned hubby got the most awful sunburn down one half of his body despite being in the shade and I got stung **right across my breast** by these little sea things and got the most awful red, itchy rash – ***right across my breast*** (oh I mentioned that didn’t I)… ugh.
    Cue the rest of the honeymoon lying on bed in a silk robe, reading and occasionally dipping in the POOL… and you know despite the burn and the rash it wasn’t so bad!

  5. Natalie Anderson
    December 5, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Hi Sri! Oh I do hope you enjoy it – but why wait? Why?? Go on, go read a chapter now… 😉

  6. Natalie Anderson
    December 5, 2008 at 6:37 am

    It IS a nice piccie isn’t it Heidi – just love that view… oh but your Mum’s pool sounds fantastic!!! I love the idea of no chlorine (and no fish!) – not so sure about the lack of heating though… I’d need heating… gosh, so many wonderful options – I can waste a LOT of time looking at pool designs… hmmmm, maybe I’ll have to have a pool designing heroine sometime??

  7. Nicola Marsh
    December 5, 2008 at 7:57 am


    that pool is divine!

    I’m a huge fan of water for my characters’ pleasure too…whether it be the beach, a pool, a spa…

    Loads of possibilities 🙂

  8. KimberlyLang
    December 5, 2008 at 9:43 am

    That is a fantasy pool!

    Now, any pool fantasies I may have, I’m keeping to myself. 😉
    (of course, there’s always the chance I may put one in a book someday!)

    But now that you mention it, yeah, I do put my characters in/by water…hmm. Interesting…

  9. redlighting
    December 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Hi, Natalie , I am just now reading this one. I loved the cover & thought it was so dreamy, romantic, tropical so I bought the book. I am at the part where they are at that place together.
    I love the soup idea in the story too. I always loved blending together various soups but my dh wont eat very much as he wants something to munch on like Blake ( a man thing). I like the fact that Cally isnt into vanity (she seems so ordinary but in a relaxing easy going way) so that I like her character.
    I love to swim & just envy that pool.

  10. lidia
    December 5, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    What a gorgeous pool! Your book is in my TBR pile.

  11. Robyn Grady
    December 6, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Oh Nat, what a dream location/pool/beach. Water sports – Modern Heat style – is a fav of mine too. Sand, boats, showers or just a steamy, hot bathroom…
    Which reminds me, I’d better get back to my WIP!

    Can’t wait to read your latest.