Jenn Bennett on Romancing the Tent

We at RT love Jenn Bennett's books, and we're super excited about her new YA, Starry Eyes, which is out today! This teen romance stars the great outdoors in a major way, so we asked Jenn to kindly outline for us how camping can be the kindling for a great relationship. It is vacation planning season! 

When readers think of romantic settings—April in Paris, a Hawaiian beach at sunset—I doubt “Camping in a National Park” even cracks the top ten. But it should! Sure, there are a few non-sexy hurdles that come with hiking and camping: insects, extreme weather, blisters on your feet, sleeping on rocky ground, wild animals … okay, maybe a lot of hurdles. But for all of you “I hate the great outdoors” people—much like my heroine of Starry Eyes, whose idea of nature is walking from her house to the car—I urge you to reconsider. There’s lots to love about camping and hiking, and it might be far more romantic than you can imagine. Here are five reasons why:

The View: Whether it’s the snow-capped mountains in Alaska or the otherworld beauty of a Pacific Northwest rainforest (heck, even discovering a private sanctuary in an unnamed forest near your home), an amazing view can inspire big feelings—for nature and the person enjoying it with you.

Privacy: I’m talking primo privacy, in which you feel as if you’re the only two people on earth. No traffic. No noisy upstairs neighbors. No family members barging in at inopportune moments …

Accomplishment: Can you light a roaring fire? Not by pressing the starter button in your gas fireplace. The kind of fire made by gathering the right kindling and firewood, building it properly, and nursing a spark into a full-fledged flame. Nothing feels more triumphant than fending for yourself. And all that confidence can spark a different kind of fire. Self-reliance is super sexy!

No tech: Sure, we all have moments when we wish we could put down the phone and stop checking social media or playing mindless games, but we never do. What if you had to because there was no service or wireless? For an entire weekend? Would you discover new things about yourself and others…and maybe appreciate the here-and-now a little more? I’m betting yes. Bonus: you might even discover more romantic things to do with all that freed-up time.

The stars: If you live in a town or city, you aren’t seeing the night sky. Light pollution erases half of it, maybe more. But out camping in the wilderness? Seeing the night sky as it really is? That can be a religious experience. Especially cuddled up with someone under a blanket on a chilly evening. Would you rather be anywhere else?

We are convinced! You can grab Starry Eyes today: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks. And for more YA reads, visit our Everything YA page.

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