Top Five Lesser-Known European Cities I Love by Kim Fielding – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kim Fielding who is celebrating today’s release of Drawing the Prince. Comment here with your favorite lesser-known place. One lucky commenter will win ebook copies of The Spy’s Love Song and Redesigning Landry Bishop, plus a $10 Amazon gift certificate!


Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, here to celebrate the release of Drawing the Prince. In this book, Cal, an artist from a small town in Nebraska, meets Teo, who’s the son of the king of a tiny country in central Europe. I thought it would be fun to mark my new release by listing the Top Five Lesser-Known European Cities I Love. Not that I don’t also love Paris, London, Munich, Barcelona, and many others. But sometimes the smaller places can hold a special place in our hearts.

5. Opatija, Croatia. This town is located on the Croatian coast, right near where the triangular region of Istria joins the rest of the country. During the Hapsburg era in the 19th century, Opatija was a resort town where royalty and other rich people came to relax and sail. Today it’s much quieter, but you can still have coffee and dessert on a hotel terrace, looking out at the Adriatic. There’s also a really nice, lengthy promenade along the water.

4. Graz, Austria. Graz is a university town about two and a half hours south of Vienna. The old part of the city is lined with cafés, there’s a funicular up to a castle on a hill, a really cool armory museum, a glockenspiel that gives a show three times a day, and a contemporary art museum that I think looks a little like a giant stomach made of glass. There’s also a manmade island in a river, which houses one of my favorite European cafés.

3. Porto, Portugal. Porto is, of course, the home of port wines. But it’s also a charming city with beautiful tile-fronted buildings. You can sail on the Douro River in a rabelo (a traditional flat-bottomed port-cargo boat), tour some cool old churches, shop for art, or catch a concert at the Casa da Musica, which is a fantastic modern building. I found the locals laid-back and very friendly.

2. Ghent, Belgium. Ghent is also a university town with a long history. It’s a fantastic place to simply wander, maybe stopping now and then to drink some beer or eat some good food (it’s the vegetarian capital of Europe!) or simply sit by the water. I love the old guildhalls, and the castle dates back to 1180. St. Bavo’s Cathedral is renowned for the Ghent Altarpiece, a huge work that’s artistically significant. Ghent is also home to a recent fierce battle between competing sellers of nose-shaped candies. And the Marriott on the waterfront? It used to be a brothel.

1. Trieste, Italy. Trieste is located in the easternmost part of northern Italy. Because it’s at the top of the Adriatic, its port was once one of the most significant in Europe. Today it’s the home of Illy coffee. There are Roman ruins, a couple of castles, and a huge square along the waterfront. Because it’s so close to the border, Yugoslavians came to Trieste during the communist years to do a lot of their shopping. Trieste is also interesting because of its cultural diversity. While it’s now part of Italy, a lot of its residents have Slavic or Germanic roots. It’s especially significant to me because my grandfather was born there; he immigrated to the US about a hundred years ago, when he was a boy.

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Small-town boy Cal Walters doesn’t know whether he owes his phenomenal success as an artist to talent or to his connections to famous people. Doubt leaves him secluded—until a lost bet lands him on yet another blind date. But this one is different.

To Teofilo Vabriga-Kastav, playboy prince of the tiny nation of Porvunia and passionate art lover, Cal’s paintings are as intriguing as Cal himself. When Teo invites Cal to his country for an art competition, a whirlwind romance sweeps them up. But it can’t last—loyalties and obligations bind them to lives that are worlds apart.

Cal and Teo might’ve found their perfect complements in each other, but to hold on to their happiness, they’ll have to get creative.

About the Author: Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

Having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

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  1. Debra K Guyette says

    I would love to visit these cities. I have been to four of the five countries but not those cities. Your book looks amazing as well. thanks

  2. I would love to visit Opatija, Croatia. These are all great places though.

  3. I’ve never been to Europe, so I’d love to visit any of these places and a whole bunch of others. Maybe one day!

  4. I would love to visit all of these places! I love Lucca, Italy. It’s a beautiful town behind thick old walls. I really enjoyed visiting.

  5. bernie wallace says

    My favorite lesser known place is Lowestoft England.

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