Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Her Mom Really Loved It. And it was CRAZY Epic.

Brandy writes:

I’ve been searching for a book I read
years ago. I picked it up at a used book sale in the early nineties. It had
a plain green cover with no descriptions etc… I’m not really sure why I
picked it up even! My Mom then noticed it later and said it had been one of
her favorite books and she had read it sometimes in the 70’s (early 80’s
maybe). I don’t remember the title or the author but I would like to find
it again (my husband got rid of it the last time we moved).

It was a rather long book (more of an epic) about one woman. She married a man and they had
a rather tumultuous relationship and I think they were forced to marry. The
did quite a bit of traveling and somehow ended up in Africa (Egypt maybe)
where they encountered a “prince” who was really a woman. One of their
traveling companions stayed behind with the Prince because he had red hair
and their had been a foretelling of the prince giving birth to a red-headed
child. Somehow they then were captured by some type of nomad/indian/sultan.
He of course kept the wife and put the husband in bondage. The wife then
turned out to be pregnant by the husband. When the woman had the baby they
drugged her and told her it had died, when they actually gave it away.

The husband then got free and managed to get the baby and then raise it. The
mother then is somehow freed and then encounters the husband with the child
years later, not knowing it is her child. Not much to go on by I know. I
think the title was a very simple title (one word only) or maybe a woman’s
name. Any help you could give me would be great. I would like to find this
book for my Mother since she is not well and reading is one of the few
things she can still do. Thank you again for any help you can give me.

Brandy, I hope your mother makes a full recovery, but I’m not sure a book this crazy will help! Or who knows, maybe it will!

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  1. 1
    Rosie Carlo says:

    It almost sounds like a Bertrice Small book, maybe Skye O’Malley?

  2. 2
    AbbyT says:

    Nearly 100% sure it’s Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small.

    Her books are so purple-prose-tacular.  They’re my mind candy.

  3. 3
    Jodi says:

    Ho-ly plot twists batman. I would have sworn a book like this could not exist! But from my high school years working in a public library, I do remember that Bertrice Small was HIGH on the list of paperback trades. I opened one of her books at fifteen, read a line referring to “his throbbing purple manhood” and quickly slammed it shut before anyone I knew from church caught me reading it. Perhaps it’s time to revisit her? ;)

  4. 4
    Lorraine says:

    It sounds like Rosemary Rogers Wicked Loving Lies.  The books starts out with the heroine, Marissa, living at a convent.  She meets the hero, Dominic Challenger, in Spain at some kind of outdoor party…he thinks she’s a gypsy girl.  Somehow, they end up in France in Napoleon’s court and are forced to marry. 

    While traveling by ship to the Colonies, IIRC, their ship is overtaken by some kind of Arabian or Indian pirates.  She and another female passenger, possibly a preacher’s wife, are taken to the sultan’s, or something like that, palace and she’s made his favorite harem girl.  He dresses her as a boy, and IIRC, takes her that way…know what I mean? Husband is held prisoner. 

    She gives birth to the hero’s child, and is told it’s dead.  The Sultan gives the child to the preacher’s wife, who meets up with the escaped(?) hero.  They leave the country for the Colonies. 

    Somehow, the heroine is released and ends up in Louisiana.  To cut her out of her father’s inheritance, her evil stepmother says she the daughter of a slave.  She’s sold at auction, where, lo and behold, our hero is.  He buys her.  They fall in love while traveling across the country to California.

    I loved it back in the day and read it several times in the 70s and 80s.

  5. 5
    Christine says:

    It’s not Skye O’Malley.  Even though the whole taken captive and tossed into a harem is a plot device Beatrice Small uses quite frequently.

  6. 6
    Melissa says:

    Oh, cripes. I think that’s Lost Love, Last Love by Rosemary Rogers.

    Now I have to try to forget again that I ever read those books.

  7. 7
    Melissandre says:

    I’ve read Wicked, Loving Lies and it does bear a striking resemblance to the original plot description.  It was pretty epic, random, rapetastic, and horrid if I recall correctly (and if one book can actually embody all those contradicting adjectives).  Brandy, I’d certainly search through some Rosemary Rodgers titles, since this sounds like her style.

  8. 8
    Lorraine says:

    Sorry Melissa, Lost Love, Last Love is a Steve and Ginny book. I loved them too, back in the day.

  9. 9
    brooksse says:

    My first thought was also that it sounded like a Rosemary Rogers book I read a long time ago.

  10. 10
    Elizabeth says:

    I thought It might be one of the Angelique books by Sergeanne Golon – Angelique and the Sultan, maybe?

  11. 11
    Diane/Anonym2857 says:

    I haven’t read them in 20+ years or so, but I’m thinking it was Rosemary Rogers also… and most likely Wicked Loving Lies.  Tho as I recall, Steve and Ginny did some similar stuff in one or two of their books as well.  Ginny also spent some time in a harem, as I recall. Maybe in the second book?

    Diane :o)

  12. 12
    Kat says:

    I’m lovin’ the prince was really a woman part. My brain stopped about there and seems to be stuck, but what a wonderful book. I was thinking Rosemary Rogers, too, but I don’t remember the title.

    If your prince were female, maybe the entire court could just pretend to ignore the titular appendages making her shirts tent in the front.

    Or did they have her dress in ‘drag’ from the time she was a small boy… Oh yeah, this is messing me up in a completely fantastic way.

    Surely the queen would know her prince was a daughter. And depending on the times, she could get beaten for ‘slips’ in public such as referring to the prince by her given name, Julianna…

    And how the hell would ‘he’ marry? OMG I’m going to sign off and just consider this. I’ve never wanted to write a historical until THIS VERY MINUTE!

    Showed74 (74 ways I’m warped by liking this prince as a female idea…)

  13. 13
    beggar1015 says:

    It’s been awhile since I’ve read Angelique In Barbary but this doesn’t sound like it. She and her husband don’t end up in the Colonies until several books later.

    Whatever the book is, it really doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.

  14. 14
    Patrice says:

    Beatrice Small had another epic with characters that crossed-over into the Skye O’Malley saga but I’m not sure the cover was ever plain…it was called The Kadin, or maybe Adora? Just guessing, it’s been the 70s since I read them. :-) Hope you find it!

  15. 15
    cate says:

    I originally thought it was Angelique & the Sultan, but then my little brain clicked, and I actually think it’s Marianne & the Lords of the East by Juliette Benzoni.  She wrote the Catherine books, & she was slightly more kinky than good old Sergeanne as I remember. But it has been 30 years since I read them last
    Hope that helps & good luck in your search

  16. 16
    Susan says:

    I’m pretty sure this isn’t by Bertrice Small or Rosemary Rogers, unless it’s a very recent Rosemary Rogers.  I don’t think I’ve read her last coupld of books.

  17. 17
    Sheriguy says:

    It is definitely not Adora by Beatrice small. That was one of my favorite books in the 80’s. I do not remember a prince that was female. Though there was a lot of sultan /kidnapping/forced seduction.

  18. 18
    SakuraKat says:

    I looked up the Rosemary Rogers title, Wicked Loving Lies that was mentioned above. It does sound like it from the summary:

    “Born of scandal and denied his birthright, Dominic Challenger took to the sea, charting his own future. A true rogue, Dominic answers to no one, trusting only himself. Until Marisa.

    Born of wealth and privilege, Marisa is a prisoner to her father’s expectations. When the sanctuary she has found behind the walls of a convent is threatened by the news that her father has arranged for her to marry, Marisa flees . . . right into the arms of a pirate.

    From the safety of a sheltered convent to a sultan’s harem, from the opulence of Napoleon’s court to the wilds of the new frontier, Marisa and Dominic brave all that they encounter in this thrilling age: intrigue, captivity and danger. And above all, an enduring passion that ignites into an infinite love.”

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