Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Pirate Assmunch Hero

Bitchery reader Kelly writes:

I was working a double (afternoon shift then night shift) and had nothing
to do so I read the romance novel left in the desk drawer. I HATED it. But,
I figured if something that fucking bad was published there had to be better
stuff out there. In any case, I was hooked because, as you know, there was
waaaaaay better stuff out there. Thank you, Julie Garwood, Laura Kinsale,
yeah, and Johanna Lindsey. Go figure, the worst book I ever read is what
made me a fan for life – it’s been 18 years since that fated tome.
I am dying to know the title and author…this is how it went, if memory
serves.

Heroine ends up on a pirate ship, wait for it…he rapes her…and when he
sees the bruises he left he feels remorse. Now, that’s my kind of guy! So
dreamy and sensitive. They have unforced sex, I think. They are falling for
each other and something happens – she gets sent back to her father and he
goes to prison. The father tells the heroine her pirate-lover is dead, she
mourns and wears black.

Pirate-lover breaks out of prison and kidnaps her, the night she was told
she can no longer wear black or something.

For some reason he’s angry with her but still has to have her and takes
her to his super-secret pirate island. At some point, he’s all beat up and
near death and she sings to him and he can remember that stunning
voice…Now I’m probably just mixing shit up.

So, if anyone can tell me this title and author that’d be swell. I need to
look her up and maybe even read it again, if it’s at the library. There’s
no way I’m paying for that again.

Can I have a super secret island? No? Dammit.

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  1. 1
    Eileen says:

    It sounds like Island Flame by Karen Robards.  The hero’s name was Jonathan Hale and the hero was Catherine.  I don’t recall Catherine singing to Jonathan, but it has been a while since I read this one.

  2. 2
    MelissaG says:

    I think this might be Teresa Medeiros’ “Thief of Hearts” although I cannot remember precisely if there was a rape or not but the rest sounds familiar

  3. 3
    Stef says:

    Oh, good gracious! That book sounds wretchedly fantastic! I must read it! hahahaha I was laughing out loud as I read this post. Gotta love the type of woman who ends up loving the man who raped her.

    If anyone knows the title, let me know. I would love to get my hands on a copy. :)

  4. 4
    beggar1015 says:

    Gotta love the type of woman who ends up loving the man who raped her.

    I thought that was every heroine from a historical romance written in the 1970’s.

  5. 5
    Cara Davies says:

    I haven’t read that one, mercifully, but it reminded me of a classic This American Life segment where Robin Epstein visits RWA National and records some ladies waxing Woodiwiss about the rapist heroes of yore.

    If anyone’s curious, you can listen for free here. The RWA segment starts around the six-minute mark.

  6. 6
    Sheila says:

    Oh if you want a wonderful (idiotic) rapist hero you should read anything by Sharon Green…Rebel Prince is the best f**ked up romance disguised as sci fi.  I was 15 when I first read it, cover art has decent manly chest…heroine (if you can call her that) has beautiful red-gold hair.  Plot is utterly ridiculous, sex scenes are breif, awful and condescending.

    For some reason I kept reading Sharon Green, maybe in the hopes of improvement, and can’t remember a single book I liked wholeheartedly.  I remember thinking later that the writer had to be a man because of how awful the women were but after reading some of McNaught, Deveraux and Woodiwiss I changed my mind…unless they’re all men who like to write about ‘forcible seduction’. Bleck.

    reason93: and counting why I don’t read those authors anymore.

  7. 7
    Nadia says:

    Not “Thief of Hearts” – no rapage in that one, it’s one of my favorites.  Love, betrayal, redemption, high seas hi-jinxs, and hot consensual sexxoring.

  8. 8
    brooke says:

    Tempt the Devil by Connie Mason?  From what I recall, there was kidnapping, (semi) forced sex, and a secret pirate Island (in addition to such genius lines as “Though Diablo wielded more authority than most captains, every man had a say in ship rules and the disposal of booty.  And the girl was definitely booty.”)

  9. 9
    Ashley Ladd says:

    LOL – so many pirate/rape romances to choose from. My tbr list just grew (maybe not).

    As per this quote from above, “Gotta love the type of woman who ends up loving the man who raped her,” it reminds me of Luke and Laura in the old General Hospital Days. They were hot stuff, and yet, it all started from a rape. That’s not exactly a message I want sent out.

  10. 10

    In Island Flame by Karen Robards, the story starts out like that, but I believe the heroine’s father seizes the pirate’s ship and the hero is about to be hung when the heroine tells her father she’s pregnant and begs him to spare the pirate’s life.  Then the rest sounds similar to what you describe, though I don’t remember any singing either.

  11. 11
    Jami says:

    Not the same but it reminds me a bit of the book Tell Me Lies where a woman is captured by pirates. She knows the crew wants to rape her so to save herself she seduces the captain instead. Then during sex hides the fact she’s a virgin. And yet, despite the fact that she herself made him want her so the crew wouldn’t rape her, views it as being raped simply because she was a virgin when they had sex.

    I wanted to smack her the entire book for that thought. She choose to have sex with him albeit it was to escape being gang-raped. And the fact was he was one of those guys with honor. If she had just told him “I’m a virgin” he wouldn’t have slept with her. In fact, he feels extreme guilt later on when her father confronts him with the fact that she was a virgin.

    Sometimes you just have to trust a pirate.

  12. 12
    Karla says:

    Cara-
    Great link, thanks!

  13. 13
    Ana says:

    It’s Island Flame, as some people have already said… only the “pirate island” is on the Canarian Islands, right near Tenerife… seriously, there were other people in Spain apart from pirates!
    I think the pirate was kind of angry because the father, when he learned that she was pregnant, kind of convinced an employee? to marry her and so the pirate thinks she cheated on him?
    But maybe I’m mixing up different pirate stories

  14. 14
    Kelly says:

    It’s not Island Flame…I read a synopsis online and it doesn’t sound quite right and the cover I found is not the one I recall. I can’t describe it because, well, I barely remember it, and it looks like all the others. I’m certain there was a phallic symbol somewhere in the background – the ship’s mast, maybe?

    I wish I could remember more. I think it was written after 1985, I woulda read it in 1988 or so and I believe it was published just a year or two prior to that.

    Thanks fellow bitches…appreciate the help.

  15. 15
    Kelly says:

    No pregnancy that I remember and no marriage to anyone else…and definitely singing while he was out of it.

  16. 16
    Theresa says:

    The first half of the plot sounds like Johanna Lindsey’s “A Pirate Love” (yes, even she had rapist heros).  But, in that book there’s an evil stepfather I think and I don’t remember the heroine singing….

  17. 17

    Hey, this is interesting, I wonder if you’d recognize the title from this list.

    http://www.likesbooks.com/pirates.html#pirates

  18. 18
    Lil' Deviant says:

    Could it be A Pirates Love by Johanna Lindsey?

  19. 19
    Elizabeth says:

    I think the pirate was kind of angry because the father, when he learned that she was pregnant, kind of convinced an employee? to marry her and so the pirate thinks she cheated on him?

    I don’t think Catherine marries anyone else in “Island Flame.”  Maybe that’s from another book?  Sometimes the bad ones run together in my head, I know.

    I’m trying to remember how Catherine and Jonathan’s Big Misunderstand thing happens.  They’re on his secret island, and she realizes she’s pregnant, and then there’s some battle that he’s in, and her rich father arrives and captures her back (what with her having been kidnapped by Jonathan and his pirates in the beginning).  Then it goes a bit hazy.  I think Catherine pleads for his life, because she’s with child and in love with her pirate and all, and maybe her father does a “Princess Bride” and tells her that the Dread Pirate Jonathan will be returned to his ship?  Jonathan definitely remains a prisoner, and the father has him beaten and tells him that Catherine demands the beatings, which he believes (but in a she’s-teh-ebil! way, not in a well-as-I-beat-her-and-raped-her-and-held-her-prisoner-maybe-she-has-a-reason-not-to-like-me way).  Maybe Catherine thinks that he’s free but abandoned her?  Eventually he escapes, and they go to live on his secret plantation in the South, and get married and she has a baby.  In the end, they’re still in a miff, and go to some ball where she flirts with other men (?) and he is so mad that he forces himself on her in the carriage on the way home, ripping her pretty gold dress.  And I think he feels slightly guilty for the first time, or something like that.  And they live HEA until the sequel, which I refuse to read.

    But you already said that this isn’t the book you’re looking for, and I’m pretty sure there’s no singing in “Island Flame.”

  20. 20
    Joseri says:

    Some parts of your description remind me of Trade Wind by M M Kaye but it’s been years since I read that book. I know there was kidnapping, rape and remorse followed by consensual sex, the heroine nearly marries her ?cousin and I think I remember singing. I don’t remember a super secret pirate island though. I do remember loving this book as a teenager but i suspect I would hate it with a passion now.

  21. 21
    Stef says:

    Um… Can I just say that I love this series of comments going on right now?? I’m laughing so hard!

  22. 22
    Ana says:

    don’t think Catherine marries anyone else in “Island Flame.”  Maybe that’s from another book?  Sometimes the bad ones run together in my head, I know.

    I don’t think they get married, just the father looks arround after she confesses she’s pregnant, and one of the men who heard it is like a captain who works for him, and so I don’t remember exactly how they reach an agreement for this other captain to say it’s his child and to propose to Catherine…
    But the synopsis you gave sounds quite right to me, specially with the beating and all… can’t believe there is even a sequel!

  23. 23
    Sycorax says:

    Some parts of your description remind me of Trade Wind by M M Kaye but it’s been years since I read that book. I know there was kidnapping, rape and remorse followed by consensual sex, the heroine nearly marries her ?cousin and I think I remember singing. I don’t remember a super secret pirate island though. I do remember loving this book as a teenager but i suspect I would hate it with a passion now.

    I thought of Trade Wind too, but there is definitely no super secret island, and I don’t believe there’s singing either. He takes her back to his house (after rescuing her from her uncle, not father) and they start a shelter for typhoid orphans. I also loved that book as a teenager, and I still kind of like it, despite the rape. Unlike her two other historical romances her protagonists are quite flawed (she’s a prig, he’s a slave-trader), which makes the story more interesting.

    I read The Sheik recently, in a spirit of curiosity. It… made me feel kind of ill. Unless you count the M M Kaye books I hadn’t read any of these notorious Old Skool romances before. I don’t think I’ll dabble further.

  24. 24
    Karla says:

    It sounds like it might be The Captain’s Doxy by Lafayette Hammett

  25. 25

    I never know which books anyone is looking for but I just LOVE reading the comments – and this

    He takes her back to his house (after rescuing her from her uncle, not father) and they start a shelter for typhoid orphans

    really tickled me today. Where do these authors come up with this stuff?? :)

  26. 26
    Overquoted says:

    It definitely sounds like a Connie Mason book. Then again, it’s been nearly ten years since I read one of those. :P

    Brenda Joyce?

  27. 27
    Suzanne says:

    Trade Wind is one of my favourite books ever…even with the rape and them ending up together. The rape is actually dealt with in an interesting way… for him its partly an excuse to have her, but mostly revenge on her fiancé for stealing and raping his arab mistress who then commits suicide. For her she is attracted to him anyway, despite knowing his shady background, but she forgives him because she feels guilt from being the fiancee of the evil Clayton. She met the girl who died and her daughter and knows that the little girl (who later dies) will never have a proper parent.

    Anyway… while rape is an unforgivable crime, a lot of ladies like to read these shall we say bodice rippers, the no no..erm…yes yes kind. Its fantasy pure and simple. Authors tend to write what culturely people are asking for.

  28. 28
    Lyssa says:

    Shanna by K Woodiwiss?  As I recall the Heroine (Shanna) marries a man in prison to keep her father happy, he is condemned to the gallows. He gets transported instead.  Some how along the way Pirates enter the picture as well as the typical Woodiwiss You think I am just a poor man but really my wealthy family owns Virginia note. And the hero’s name is Ruark who can go wrong.

    returned47=has had 47 happy returns this year!

  29. 29
    beggar1015 says:

    the father has him beaten and tells him that Catherine demands the beatings, which he believes (but in a she’s-teh-ebil! way, not in a well-as-I-beat-her-and-raped-her-and-held-her-prisoner-maybe-she-has-a-reason-not-to-like-me way).

    Oh, that’s classic. And so right! It’s always alright for the hero (??) to act like an assmunch, but when he gets what’s coming to him, he feels like he’s the victim and it’s so unfair. Boo hoo.

    I read The Sheik recently, in a spirit of curiosity. It… made me feel kind of ill.

    Oh, I hope you’re not talking about the “classic” (and I use that word loosely) Sheik by Edith Hull. If I had known I would have warned you in time to avoid this book like the plague. Sometimes I think this is the story to blame for all these you-raped-me-so-now-I-love-you books we’ve been talking about.

  30. 30
    Elayna Smith says:

    I feel like I have read this book.  I wondered about Woodiwiss also

    I don’t think it’s Lindsay’s Pirate’s Love.  I remember most of the plot to that

    Vaguely curious myself now :)

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