Help A Bitch Out

Help a Bitch Out: Raelene Asks for Help!

Bitchery reader Raelene asks for your help with an old skool romance:

I’ve been looking for this book for years, maybe all the wise readers here can identify it.

Probably from the 70s or 80s. An historical, probably Regency-set. Heroine is a lively (and perhaps a bit unconventional?) young woman making her come-out. She is courted by the son of a Duke. But then he goes off on her for some reason, shows interest in another woman, and disses heroine to his friends, putting her reputation in jeopardy. His father, the Duke (who isn’t all that old), feels he must save the heroine from his son’s behavior and ends up offering to marry her himself, which of course makes her immediately acceptable and popular in Society. Of course daddy Duke and the heroine fall blissfully in love. I don’t recall son/heir’s reaction to his old man’s behavior, but I bet he was pissed! I do recall one element near the end—she loves to wear green, which wasn’t a fashionable color. But once she marries the Duke, all the women start wearing “the Duchess’s color” to be in fashion.

Well that’s a new, or old, romance plot line: “My son is a selfish douchebag. Will you marry me?” And I personally love to wear green. I knew I was fashionable! (not.)


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  1. 1
    Liz C. says:

    I have no idea what the book is but I hope someone does because that totally sounds like something I’d read.

  2. 2

    Yeah, I’m not much on the Regency books, but this one sounds good.  Someone identify it!

  3. 3
    willaful says:

    I vaguely remember this one coming up on the Romantic TImes board, but I don’t know if it was ever solved. If it wasn’t you who tried there the first time, you might try again. :-)

  4. 4
    Charlene says:

    I’m wearing green right now. I can has a duke?

  5. 5
    Sarah says:

    I don’t think this is the book you’re looking for, but it sounds a lot like to plot to My Lord Protector by Deborah Hale. Only in that it’s uncle/nephew rather than father/son and the uncle is saving her from an abusive stepbrother.

  6. 6
    JC says:

    this is something I’d like to read too.  I hope someone figures it out.

  7. 7
    Susan/DC says:

    So she’s 18 if she’s making her debut, and the not-so-old duke has a son her age or perhaps a few years older.  Not so old must be at least 38..  I think I’d like the book better if he fell in love with her mother.

  8. 8
    Bron says:

    There’s a vague tinkling of recollection in the far reaches of my memory: I think I read this one, or one similar (rotten son, father marries scorned girl, unfashionable green), a few gazillion years ago. Like so many years ago that I was probably but a young thing myself – which means it’s likely to be a British author, not an American one, because we didn’t get many US books in them thar days.

    But I have no clue of title, author, or anything other than that faint tinkling of familiarity.

  9. 9
    Raelene says:

    Hey, Susan/DC,

    There is a Regency short story, I think from Georgette Heyer, that does have the older nobleman seemingly courting a young miss during her London debut—but actually he’s in love with her widowed mother (who’s only mid-thirties). Mother doesn’t even realize that he’s saying such nice things about her adored daughter merely because he wants to get on her good side. When he arrives to make a marriage proposal, she thinks he’s offering for daughter, and he’s horrified that she (mother) doesn’t realize how much he loves her, not silly young girl.


  10. 10
    Poison Ivy says:

    I’d like to read it, too. I did read the Heyer story, and it was fun. But it’s not the unidentified novel.

  11. 11
    belmanoir says:

    Wow, I read this one too.  I can’t remember ANYTHING about it beyond what’s here, but it sounds familiar enough I know I must have.  Which means it was probably a trad because that’s what I read in high school, although not for absolutely certain because I did occasionally borrow regular historicals from my friends.

  12. 12
    Amanda says:

    It sounds markedly similar to Julia Quinn’s 36 Valentines novella, in which the hero feels guilty that his feckless younger brother completely screwed over the heroine’s reputation the year before and sets out to rectify it by dancing with her.  And, of course, they fall madly in love.  But David was an Earl, not that much older, Susannah didn’t have any marked preference for green, and the story’s only a few years old, so I’m clearly just rambling here.

  13. 13
    Susan/DC says:

    I was envisioning the book I’d like to write with this theme if I had any talent whatsoever, with the enraged widowed mother confronting the father of the callow youth who had ruined her daughter’s   debut.  It’s nice to know that someone much more talented than I am has actually written it (or a variation thereof).  Thanks to Raelene and now on to the online booksellers to search for the short story.  If anyone remembers the title or where it could be found, I’d much appreciate it.

  14. 14
    Jan Arcand says:

    There’s a book from 1994 which seems similar, set in early Victorian times. It was Noblesse Oblige, by Helen Argers.

    The hero courts but then avoids the heroine, who is embarrassed.

    She later marries his adoptive father, really his uncle, who is a Duke.  She is soon widowed.  At one point she does become a leader of fashion.

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