For effective escapist lit, Indieland editors recommend three romance novels set elsewhere—Goa; England, Belgium, and Italy; and France—in pandemic-free locales. These picks are more than the sum of their settings; there’s complicated love geometry among doctors, an attempt to revive a marriage via bicycle trekking, and a ninth-century nun who’s tempted to break her vows.

A Goan Holiday by Anitha Perinchery: In Perinchery’s romantic mystery, Dr. Anjali Joshi is back in Vagator in the coastal Indian state of Goa, with its glorious, world-renowned beaches. Our reviewer says, “The reappearance of an old boyfriend complicates the failed marriage of two physicians—and raises many ghosts from the past—in this romantic mystery….An engaging tale about a love triangle.”

Tailwinds Past Florence by Doug Walsh: A global cycling trek might save a troubled marriage. “With the settings ranging from Washington state and Canada to London, Belgium, Paris, and, eventually, Italy, the novel captures the intense details of the trip, including the couple’s…emotionally heightened fights and sniping and their moments of romantic rejuvenation in new, exotic surroundings,” notes our review. “The book boasts an impressive knowledge of cycling as well as the history it draws from, be it Renaissance Italy or the time of the French Canadian voyageurs….Travel, both conventional and through time, brings rousing action, romance, and unorthodox marriage counseling.”

The Nun’s Betrothal by Ida Curtis: Curtis’ romance takes place in ninth-century France and stars an inexperienced nun and a worldly aristocrat who have the hots for each other. “Curtis paints a historically authentic tableau of the period in France, deftly explaining the religious and cultural context of the plot without didactic commentary….An engaging love story, historically captivating and romantically gripping.”

Karen Schechner is the vice president of Kirkus Indie.