Help A Bitch Out

Help a Bitch Out: First Chapter Challenge

Bitchery reader Gabby has a big challenge for y’all: identify this book based on the excerpt chapter she read in the back of a book. It is ON!

I’ve been checking your site everyday for quite a while now and I know how helpful you guys are at finding books. I have one that I’ve been trying to find for ever with no luck.

It was only an excerpt in the back of a book so I only got to read the first chapter. I think it was set in colonial America, where there were a lot of bandits and stuff. The heroine was a bit homely and she worked in a jewelery store. She was extremely competent and the owner of the store trusted her. There was another girl who worked in the store. She was drop dead gorgeous but not the sharpest tool in the shed. I think she might have been a bitch as well.

Anyway, the hero comes along and he is all handsome and sexy. He charms the pretty girl but I think he also flirts with the heroine as well. He looks at all the jewelery and ends up stealing a necklace. The heroine sees it and does something that sounds an alarm. Then all hell breaks loose with the officials coming in and arresting the man.

The heroine in infatuated with the hero whilst resenting him at the same time. The only other thing that I remember is the hero actually getting away with the necklace despite getting arrested. Or at least I think he did. He winked at her and she almost swoons or something.

I don’t think there’s a lot of information there but if you could help me out I would be so grateful!!

I almost thought it sounded like Jude Deveraux’s “Wishes,” except I don’t think Nelly works in a jewelry store. And the competitive beauty is her sister. So that’s not it.


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  1. 1
    Kristin says:

    I don’t know what the book is, but I’ve read this excerpt too.  It’s not set in colonial America though, it’s set in modern times.

  2. 2
    Acacia says:

    The book is Always by Jude Deveraux. First chapter is here:

  3. 3
    Rachel B. says:

    It is so eerie how somebody always knows the answer! I love this site.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Charity Mullen says:

    That is Always?  That excerpt Acacia linked to doesn’t sound like one of the books in her “Forever” Trilogy.  That actually sounds like a good book. 

    I only read Forever, the first book, and that was enough to turn me away from her books altogether.  She used to be one of my favorites.

    What happened to Jude Deveraux? 

    Heh, my word is quality96.  How appropriate.

  6. 6
    Kate Hewitt says:

    From the blurb on Jude D’s site, it sounds like the rest of the book takes place in colonial times (or sometime in the past, anyway). I read the first in this series and was very disappointed with the almost slapsticky psychic thing. She was going that way for awhile but it got a lot worse.

  7. 7
    Gabby says:

    Thanks so much guys! Sorry about the wrong info. That’s probably why I could never find it lol.

    I’ve read Forever and Always and wasnt impressed. I never would’ve thought that this was a sequel.

    Thanks again!

  8. 8
    Charlene says:


    Is the book meant for younger readers?

  9. 9
    Christina says:

    I miss Deveraux’s historicals from back in the day.  The first romance I ever read was one of hers—one in the velvet series.

    I read the first in this series and it wasn’t good, at least to me.  From what I understand about the other two books it sounds like it gets phenomenally worse and I don’t think she even finds her missing husband at the end.

    That’s just crappy.

  10. 10
    Cat Marsters says:

    Oh damn, I actually knew that, too!

    I liked the first book…well, most of it,  the ending could have used some work, but the second two went into increasing realms of WTF??

    I don’t think I’ve read another JD since.  Not that I’m boycotting her or anything, but I do think she’s gone off the boil somewhat.  Shame, she was one of my favourites, too.

  11. 11
    Lorelie says:

    and I don’t think she even finds her missing husband at the end.

    I think she finds her husband but has so fixed his life that he’s no longer interested in her.  But then that whole series was so WTF-y that by the end my brain broke.  So I may not be remembering right.

  12. 12
    Cat Marsters says:

    Yes, she finds him, but his life has been sort of rewritten so he has no clue who she is.  So they have to start again.  That worked for me in her time-travel books, but not in this one.  I wanted a payoff, dammit, for putting up with constantly changing parameters (romance?  Mystery?  Ghost story?) and inconsistent narratives (first person?  Third?  Both?), and I didn’t get it!

  13. 13
    Christina says:

    Lorelie and Cat—That ending just sounds so craptastic I’m glad I didn’t bother reading the other two.

  14. 14
    Acacia says:

    Yeah, I found it through google-fu and when I read the excerpt I was intrigued enough to want to read the book. Then I saw the plot summary and went WTF? I would never have found it if I hadn’t had Kristin’s clue that it wasn’t a historical.

  15. 15
    Charlene says:

    I’m still…that first chapter is so mind-numbingly craptastic that if my fanfiction beta pal sent it to me I’d ream her a new one.

    MY GOD was it written for someone with a Grade Two reading level? Or is it the combination of the infodump and the horrendously trite characterizations that’s got my stomach churning?

  16. 16
    tandis says:

    What happened to her? She used to be an automatic read, but in the last ten years she’s been going steadily downhill. It’s gotten to the point that I’ve had one of her books checked out from the library for a few months and more than likely it’s going to get return unopened (once I dig it out from under a stack of papers in the spare bedroom, that is ;-) )

    As for this book, I read the first two in the series, but just couldn’t bring myself to read any more. After checking out the link to the first chapter, the writing is so god-awful *bad* that I have no interest.

    What happened to her?!

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