Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Pickpocket Fiancees

Danielle writes:

About eight or so
years ago, a friend of mine got a romance novel from the library and told me
all about it. I don’t remember the title, all I remember was that it
involved a girl thief or pickpocket who tries to steal from a lord, gets
caught by him, and he makes a deal with her where she pretends to be his
fiance or something (not sure why…I want to say to make his family stop
bothering him to marry or something…). I remember the cover was pink
(along with about 90% of romance novels) and that when I opened the book,
there was a picture of the girl in a pretty pink ball gown (with a guy of
course). I also remember reading a scene from the book where they are at a
ball and the two characters are out on a balcony at the ball argueing about
something she said while pretending to be his fiance and there is lots of
tension. I have been looking for this book everywhere I can ever since my
friend read it. Unfortunately my friend does not remember what book this was
and since it was from the library, I have no idea of knowning how old it is.
I do know it was not published before 2000. If you know of any book that
might fit this plot, I would greatly appreciate it. I don’t mind if it
takes you a while to get back to me (since I’ve already been looking for
years). Hopefully this rings a bell.

Danielle is like me, in that she totally remembers the cover. I remember things like that, plus where certain words or scenes appear on a page. But aside from all that – anyone remember this book?

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  1. 1
    Sara N. says:

    Well, this came out in 2005 and it isn’t pink, so it’s probably not what you’re looking for. But Julie Ann Long’s To Love a Thief pretty much uses that exact plot. And it’s pretty charming, so if you can’t find your original book, maybe you’ll enjoy this one!

  2. 2
    Lavinia says:

    I don’t remember the title, but I think it’s by Melanie George.

  3. 3
    ocelott says:

    Melanie George’s Like No Other has a plot very much like this, although again, the cover’s not so much pink.  Who knew thief/gentry romance was so popular?

  4. 4
    kalafudra says:

    MaryJanice Davidson has a SciFi story with a thief who gets gets it on with a rich guy. (Amazon says: A possessive cyborg captures a mutant thief come to steal a priceless Rock; he’ll let her have it, if he can have her…for three days and three nights.)

    While I’m pretty sure that it’s not the story you’re looking for, I thought I’d mention it here.

    [Minor disclaimer: I haven’t read this story, nor am I a fan of Maryjanice Davidson, so this is technically not a recommendation.]

  5. 5
    Kristin says:

    Um, maybe Vanity by Jane Feather? It’s got a pink cover, but the hero’s a highwayman too and he’s looking for something. I also found this one that I’ve never read called Once More, Miranda by Jennifer Wilde. The cover looks dead on, see it here. However, what little I could gauge from the plot, Miranda enters the guy’s house first as a servant after he catches her. Maybe the fiancee bit comes later.

    All About Romance has a pretty comprehensive list, believe it or not, about this subgenre.

  6. 6
    Katy says:

    If it weren’t for the fact the cover isn’t pink (it’s blue) I would say “A Loving Scoundrel” by Johanna Lindsey.  It’s Jeremy Mallory’s story and the love interest is a thief (who lost her memory in childhood) that he catches and she does go with him to the ball as his fiance to hopefully convince another girl who is angling for him to give up.

  7. 7
    Melissandre says:

    I think I know this one!  It sounds like “Promise Me Tomorrow” by Candace Camp.  The plot is that this orphan girl has been taken in by a band of thieves, and because she’s sooo pwetty she can infiltrate rich people’s parties and pick their pockets.  I’m in an airport on my phone, so I can’t confirm the plot point about the fake engagement, but the cover was pink, and the original printing did have an inside cover w/ the heroine.  Btw, if this is the book, it is part 2 in a trilogy about children stolen at birth by their evil uncle.  Good stuff.

  8. 8
    Jenna says:

    It sounds to me like Loving Julia by Karen Robards. The current cover is yellow but when I read it back in the 80s it had an opulent pink cover of the two characters in a clinch.

  9. 9
    December says:

    To Love a Thief by Julie Anne Long was a fantastic book!  I just got a little swoony thinking about it again.

    But its not pink.

  10. 10
    Joanna says:

    I agree with Katy. This definately sounds like A Loving Scoundrel By Johanna Lindsey. My copy has a yellow cover, but that’s the Australian publication. There’s a balcony scene in it with tension as well.

  11. 11
    Angela says:

    I second Vanity by Jane Feather. The cover is pink and the whole plot fits.

  12. 12

    I have two guesses: 

    Shirlee Busbee’s Whisper to Me of Love.  Heroine is a pickpocket named Morgana, aka Pip.

    Kat Martin’s Sweet Vengeance has a pickpocket heroine named Jocelyn. 

    Pretty sure both of these had pink covers…

  13. 13
    Ciar Cullen says:

    Cracks me up that it could be one of several titles…except for the pink cover! How many plots are there?

  14. 14

    Ciar—when I worry about that in my own writing I remind myself that there are only 12 plots, and Shakespeare used them all.[g]

  15. 15
    Krista says:

    Could it be A Scandalous Lady by Rachelle Morgan?

    Here’s the blurb on Romantic Times:

    http://www.romantictimes.com/books_review.php?book=18841

  16. 16
    SonomaLass says:

    there are only 12 plots, and Shakespeare used them all

    You said it, Darlene!  And he used several of them more than once.

  17. 17
    Tibbles says:

    Other than the pink cover, I was thinking of Dancing on Air by Susan Wiggs.  He’s an Irish lord and she’s a long lost lady her parents thought died in a boating accident.

  18. 18
    Kalen Hughes says:

    and she’s a long lost lady her parents thought died in a boating accident.

    Of course she is . . .

  19. 19
    MB says:

    Sounds like something from Lisa Kleypas to me.

  20. 20
    Emma says:

    This totally sounds like a Samantha James novel, but I can’t remember which one…yes?

  21. 21

    I think Celeste Bradley did a book like this, and I think Liz Carlyle did too—darned if I can remember the names of either. Both of them would have been published after 2000.

    And then there might also have been one by Elizabeth Thornton, too.

    I agree…the pickpocket/lord plot has been done in many ways! Good luck.

  22. 22
    reesa says:

    I thought this was Samantha James’ “A Perfect Bride” – the girl is taken home by a lord but I checked Amazon and the girl wasn’t a pickpocket (and the cover is grey).

    Someone mentioned “Promise me tomorrow” by Candace Camp.  My cover of that book is light purple (I got it when it first came out) but it looks like there are multiple covers – per LibraryThing.

  23. 23
    Katherine C. says:

    sounded like A Loving Scoundrel to me too, but I’ve also read Sweet Vengeance — both a long time ago — so they may be merging together in my head. The Johanna Lindsey is the one that jumped to mind first though.

  24. 24
    Trash Addict says:

    Could also be White Roses by Janet Nickoles. Pink cover, girl thief, the ton. She sneaks into his room at night to steal (cufflinks?) from him. Bonus points for Regency romance with insane asylum/missing-neighbor’s-daughter backstory….

  25. 25
    Hell says:

    Im pretty sure its Kat Martin’s Sweet Vengeance, everything fits!

  26. 26
    schwartzie says:

    Sarah, when you figure out which book it is, will you let us know?  Historical romances were the first trashy books that I read (at a very early age) and this sounds right up my alley!!!  Thanks!

    Also, The Romance Reader (http://www.theromancereader.com/) dedicates part of their site to things exactly like this.  I’ve found a few books from them.

  27. 27
    Eirin says:

    I have nothing to add, I just want the follow-up notifications. I’m just terribly curious :)
    Who knew this plot was so popular?

  28. 28
    Kelly says:

    It also sounds a lot like “All Through the Night” by Connie Brockway, although I can’t remember if there is a secret engagement or not…

  29. 29
    Jackie says:

    This must be a common plot because Deception is about exactly the same thing.  The cover’s not pink, however.

  30. 30
    Liz says:

    I think I know this one!  It sounds like “Promise Me Tomorrow” by Candace Camp.  The plot is that this orphan girl has been taken in by a band of thieves, and because she’s sooo pwetty she can infiltrate rich people’s parties and pick their pockets.  I’m in an airport on my phone, so I can’t confirm the plot point about the fake engagement, but the cover was pink, and the original printing did have an inside cover w/ the heroine.  Btw, if this is the book, it is part 2 in a trilogy about children stolen at birth by their evil uncle.  Good stuff.

    I absolutely loved this series, so when it was first mentioned i thought of it too.  It definitely sounds similar, although there is no fake engagement, just a fake courtship.

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