Nicola Marsh

I have a savage sweet-tooth. I adore icecream and chocolate in particular.

So imagine how lucky I am that I live in Melbourne, a city which has an entire street dedicated to cakes and pastries and the most delicious sweet things on the planet?

FOUND: HIS FAMILY started over coffee and cake at Acland Street with my first editor Kimberley Young (out from London for the RWAustralia conference 2005) and fellow Romance authors Ally Blake and Barbara Hannay.

Picture a perfect winter's day in Melbourne: cloudless sky, sun, gentle breeze and the hip vibe of bayside St. Kilda. It's a fabulous suburb filled with cosmopolitan cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels. Any time of day or night, St Kilda is bustling with tourists, locals and Melbournians lucky enough to have this funky suburb on their doorstep.

Acland Street is famous for its amazing cake shops (yes, those mouth-watering displays in the windows taste every bit as delicious as they look!) and while devouring a nougat slice, I thought "wouldn't this be the perfect setting for my next book?"

And Aimee Payet, the heroine in FOUND: HIS FAMILY, was born.

Aimee runs Payet's Patisserie in Acland Street in the book, a single mum who is a successful businesswoman and is able to handle anything. Until her precious son Toby falls victim to leukemia and she is forced to contact the one person who can save her son: sexy TV chef Jed Sanderson, Toby's father.

Of course, I had to return to Acland Street several times to 'research' this book, eating at the fabulous Greasy Joe's (where Aimee and Jed have their first date), visiting Luna Park (scene of another date) and strolling along the Esplanade on a Sunday morning, where an eclectic market is set up on a weekly basis (and where Toby tries a little matchmaking for his parents!)

And yes, I did eat some more cake. All in the name of research, of course!

I write for Harlequin Romance but with the upcoming merge with Silhouette Romance, FOUND: HIS FAMILY is being released as my one and only Silhouette Romance release. It's out now in North America.

I'd love to hear what you think of the setting. (Me, fixated on cakes?)