A "tasty smorgasbord of love and faith." -- AudioFile Magazine, April 2015
Budapest Romance is a wonderful story about two people who take the chance at finding true love even though they are from very different worlds.Through a slow and steady pace, Kati and Jan embark on a journey that will teach them to open their hearts to one another, slow down and smell the roses, discover what matters most to them, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Through the richly descriptive setting of Budapest, the reader can't help but become enchanted with the timeless elegance of the city and its majestic thermal baths, mystical landmarks, and the jovial atmosphere of the Hungarian people. As the reader follows Kati and Jan's week long adventures in discovering the essence of Budapest, you can't help but become engrossed in their journey, and then cheer them on when their trans-Atlantic romantic relationship strengthens and grows into true love.
Budapest Romance is a delightful and timeless romance story that will resonate with you for a very long time.
--Jersey Girl Book Review
From the Author
With ten days to while away while finalizing paperwork, I made the acquaintance of a fellow traveler taking the waters at my hotel. Ready for safe adventure but not encouraged by the cold, gray weather to walk around, we decided to visit thermal bath spas allover Budapest. Both inexpensive (averaging about $12 a day) and plentiful, most of them are open year-round.
I returned from Hungary to my corporate job in Manhattan, with the memory of time spent in Budapest's thermal pools soaked deep into my soul. I had never experienced such abandon to pleasure before: day after day of languorous lounging in warm, mineralized waters. My fellow bathers, mostly Budapesters with a handful of foreigners thrown in, showed me how to be fully present in the moment. It was a gift I've remembered forever, although I don't always apply it.
A few years later I left my job at a hedge fund. During the next six months, I wrote a memoir. It wasn't very good, but a necessary first step in my writing career. The one thing it taught me was how much I loved to write, how fully in the moment I was every second I spent in the act of creation. In order to hone my skills further, I took an online romance-writing course with Writer's Online Workshops.I decided to write a romance based on two foreigners, a Dutch man and an American woman who discover each other in Budapest's thermal bath spas. Both are there to heal from injuries. My hero has a neck injury due to a motorcycle accident. My heroine is mourning the recent passing of her father. More importantly, both are healing from psychological wounds. Jan's wife has left him. Neither she nor Jan can forgive him for having his son on the back of his motorcycle at the time of his accident, resulting in permanent injury to his son. Kati's inner wound is in not having known her Hungarian father, who didn't raise her. She is in Budapest not just to settle his affairs but to fill in missing pieces of herself. She was brought up by her American mother's side of the family in New England, and knows next to nothing about Hungarian culture. But with her Hungarian face and name, she has always known there was something different about her.
The guilt-free enjoyment of pleasure Kati observes among Hungarians in Budapest speaks to her soul. Jan introduces her to the city's glories and helps her discover the half-Hungarian side of herself she never knew she possessed. By the time Kati returns to New York, she's a changed woman. No longer a prisoner to the Puritan work ethic with which she grew up, she can't forget either Jan or the way she felt with him while soaking in Budapest's bubbling warm waters. Was it her father's spirit that inspired her trip and led her to Jan? Whatever it was, she feels pulled back to him and soon visits him in Holland. What happens next proves life-changing for both Kati and Jan. Their story is tender yet spiced, similar to Budapest's sweet yet spiced ambience.