During his vacation, he tried to avoid drinking the water (a suggestion he offers to everyone currently planning a stopover in Cambodia) but he happily munched on the foods he was offered. He's an adventuresome guy. Among his nibbles? Water bugs, tarantula legs and fried cockroaches. He does not recommend the water bug.
As it happens, one of our future projects includes a steamy romance set (partially) in modern day Cambodia. We haven't seen too many romances set in Third World countries -- poverty and hunger take the edge off of sensual embrace -- but a fresh setting is always interesting to readers. Plus, we think we've got a spin to the tale that will allow love to bloom even if our heroine is sipping bottled H 2 0.
While we were happy to get a little color for our story from someone who's actually traveled to the place, and we were fascinated to discover that bowls of crunchy insects are served on purpose to restaurant guests, neither one of us thought this was the kind of detail to add to our romance. As Renée said, "Lips that touch cockroach will never touch mine"...and Harrell realized he has yet another secret to keep from her.
But would we read a Harlequin where the heroine slurps down spider appendages before enjoying a hot roll in the hay? Oh, yes, we would.