Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Reminiscing Over Romance

Bitchery reader Tamsin (Gosh I dig that name) writes:

I’m searching for the title and author of a book I read about ten years ago as a teen. My mother and I were discussing romance novels recently and both recalled this one but it has either been lost or trashed. As far as I remember, it would have been published in the early / mid nineties, likely as a Harlequin or Silhouette title. The book starts out with the heroine kidnapped and being held in some isolated cabin…. somewhere. Enter hero who has been sent by her family to rescue her. He may have been a hero of the clichéd Native American tracker kind, but not sure. He rescues her and they then start the journey away from wherever she has been held (if I recall correctly, a very remote, rural and I *think* snow-covered location) back to her family home.

I realize that this description is not all that detailed right now, so I offer up the very few random details I DO remember: at some point in the journey, they stopped at a diner and ate burgers. And apple pie. Also, once back at heroine’s family home, they get frisky in the stables (or barn?) and heroine’s brother walks in on them (the relationship was kept secret from her family). The threat to heroine and her family does not end once she has been rescued – I recall some ongoing mystery / suspense once back with her family. So yeah, this bitch would appreciate any help / hints / suggestions you smart bitches can come up with based on my very flimsy description… would love to find this again for my mother so we can reminisce.

I love that she and her mom are comparing notes on romance. Anyone else share a love of the genre with their parental unit? I love books as bonding items.



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  1. 1
    Karen says:

    No help with this one—but my mother got my sister and I hooked young (5th grade, I think) because “The stories are just so good!” and being a careful mom, she paperclipped the sexxx parts together…  Still makes me smile to think of it!

  2. 2
    Kate Jones says:

    I remember when I snuck Johanna Lindsey’s The Present home and tried to hide it from my mom. When she found it she scowled and announced that I couldn’t read it… because I had to start at the beginning of the Malory saga.  She then handed me all the books in order.  It was the start of something magical.

    Oh yeah, and I have no idea about the book.  Sorry!

  3. 3
    SheaLuna says:

    No idea about the book, sorry. 

    And oh, dear lord, my mother read romance novels?  With sex scenes?  Not at chance.  In fact, if she knew I read them, she’d think I was on a fast track to a Fiery Burning Hell.

    HOWEVER, my mom and I do share a love of Agatha Christie.  She introduced me to Christie when I was 10 years old.  To this day when I call her on her farm in Idaho from my flat just a few miles away from where Agatha Christie once lived in London, we get a kick out of comparing the latest installment of Poirot (TV series) with our recollections of the original novels.  We do the same with Jane Austen.  It’s been an amazing bonding experience with my mom.  Something I’ll always treasure.

  4. 4
    Randi says:

    I don’t have any idea about this book either. But holy books, Bat Man! My mom and I totally gobble up romances. Generally, we have the same taste, although every once in a while we differ. But we spend lots of money sending each other books back and forth (I’m in Philly, she’s in the Twin Cities). I keep a pile of books that are: To Be Sent To Mom. They don’t even get shelved.She just sent me 4 Loretta Chases and am currently imbibing The Sandelwood Princess. Yay mom!!!

    eye74: Yup, I have about 74 books that I am eyeing to send to my mother.

  5. 5
    SonomaLass says:

    My dad gave me my first romance, Jane Eyre, and my favorite, Pride and Prejudice. He also gave me Tolkien and T.H. White and got me hooked on fantasy.  My mom reads mostly mysteries, and we share some faves there.  I know that I passed my taste for fantasy reading on to all four of my kids, to some extent.

    I only started reading romance again a few years ago, as a result of the recommendations here and at DA.  My other kids joke about it, but my oldest (CupK8, she’s around here somewhere), is the only one I share this with.  We swap books, compare notes on authors, even keep a shared spreadsheet of titles we’re looking for—I never go to the bookstore without taking her list as well as mine.  We have very similar tastes; always have had.  It’s a very special aspect of our relationship.

    And I don’t think I’ve read that book.  I’m usually no help with these HABO requests.

  6. 6
    wendy says:

    This sounds like an old Linda Howard. Too lazy to look it up though.

  7. 7
    Meggrs says:

    I was perfectly happy to gab romance novels with my mom—until she started reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood and classified them out loud during a family get-together as “erotica.”

    My sis and I looked at each other, started screeching, and stuck our fingers in our ears.

    To be fair, this is a failing on OUR part, not hers. It’s just….no. I specifically read the BDB because of the over-the-top characterizations and sexuality, and gab with my girlfriends for hours about it, but apparently I cannot pull the caber out of my ass when it comes to discussing the sexxoring with the mom.

  8. 8
    heathero says:

    My first thought was Linda Howard too. The one about Zane Mackenzie, but when I looked it up, he rescues the girl from Libya… so probably not the book you’re looking for.

  9. 9
    AgTigress says:

    I’m pretty sure the book is not a Linda Howard category romance.  Other than that, I am no help, I fear.

  10. 10
    Gail says:

    My dad is the one who got me hooked on romance novels, he’s a professional computer geek and he started reading them because he was looking for happy endings and no computers to relax with. Enter Amanda Quick :)
    I remember one day we were eating lunch at a restaurant and I had one book from a romance series and he had a different one from the same series (we were glomming), the waitress thought it was great and said “I hope someday my daughter and I are reading the same books!”
    But I have no clue what the book being searched for is.

  11. 11
    Jan Oda says:

    It reminds me of a Harlequin I have in Dutch somewhere around.
    He was a rodeo cowboy and she was a rich girl who ran away to lead her own life. Her brother sent some muscles after her because he didn’t think she could be safe on her own, the overly protective knows it better magnate brother type. She lost her purse and everything else whilst trying and ended up borrowing the cowboy’s motelroom. He plays reluctant hero and buys her some food. Next day, the muscles show up, she hides in his truck and he ends up taking her with him.
    They have burgers on the road, but the muscles arrive there by pure luck so they sneak out. They split in the town where the next rodeo is held. She wears a shirt without a bra for the first time. She calls it dancing breasts. Hero gets horny because of the dancing breasts, gets angry and leaves. Big Misunderstanding Go!!!

    Hero gets hurt in the rodeo, she drives him to his ranch, which he left because of dead wive and child.
    They finally get it going on in the field, where they pull out lots of flowers mid-action. Next morning they are having breakfast, younger brother walks in. Brother tells about teh wife, girl feels sorry, hero get’s angry, girl leaves, younger brother fights hero to smack some sense in him, hero goes after the girl. They make up.

    If this rings any bells I’l go look for it in the attic, if not, I won’t.

    I think the hero was called Brody, not sure though, and translations often change names.

  12. 12
    Nicole says:

    Prince of Lies by Robyn Donald?  It’s a Harlequin Presents category romance that has at least some of those elements (rescue from kidnap, brother…no apple pie that I remember).

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Laura says:

    It’s not “Deep in the Heart of Texas” by Linda Warren, is it? It sounds very familiar! (Although, to be honest, quite often plots sound familiar because there are at least twelve very similar books, varied only by the heroine’s hair colour or the hero’s occupation of soldier, sailor and sexy duke. :) Or, in this case, mountain hermit.)

  15. 15
    Kathy says:

    I give my romance novels to my mom to read, but the first 2 questions out of her mouth are “Does it have sex in it?” And “How far into the story do I have to read before there is sex?”  Like I mark the pages….okay, I do, but damn.  Look up the sex on your own.

  16. 16
    Tina S says:

    No idea about the book, but Mom gave me “Frankly My Dear” by Sandra Hill to read when I was about fifteen. After I finished it I asked for something ‘meatier’ and she gave me “Outlander”. I haven’t looked back.

  17. 17
    Anna says:

    I do remember this book.  I read it a couple of years ago, but I cannot remember the title at all.  At the time, I wasn’t keeping a list of books that I read. I know that my comments aren’t a lot of help.  I can add a few details though, that might help someone remember the book.  It took place either in Wyoming or Montana and it was wintertime.  The hero and heroine got caught in a storm, blizzard, probably.  She had several brothers in her family that were VERY overprotective of her and the hero was either a friend to one of her brothers or kept getting into arguments with them (which was why they kept the relationship secret).
    The mystery/suspense angle had something to do with her father, who was a very rich man.  I think he had died recently in the book, though I am not 100% sure. 
    I know that might not give a lot of detail, but I hope it helps!

  18. 18
    Suze says:

    apparently I cannot pull the caber out of my ass

    I am so totally stealing that line!

    The book sound familiar, but it could be a number of them.  I’m thinking Elizabeth Lowell, Outlaw or Granite Man or something?  Some guy named Cash?

  19. 19
    Vicki says:

    My parents wouldn’t let me read fiction, let alone romance. So I don’t discuss books with my mom. I did buy all the Susan Elizabeth Phillips for my younger (25) daughter and have no problem with either of them reading anything I am reading. SEP was the first romance my daughter had read, now she wanders around with one of them open in her hand while she fishes in the frig for something for supper with the other.

    OTOH, I am sitting here with my mouth hanging open after clicking Jess’s link above. I had heard about Google books before but hadn’t realized the breadth involved. Thanks for the link.

    not92 – no, I am not, not by a long shot

  20. 20
    Stephie says:

    I’m pretty sure this is “C is for Cowboy” by Lisa Jackson, part of her Love Letters trilogy about the McKee family. The hero and heroine in “C is for Cowboy” were Sloan and Casey. There’s also “A is for Always” about Max and Skye and “B is for Baby” about Jenner and Beth. Took place in a little town called Rimrock, Oregon, following the ‘mysterious death’ of the family patriarch.

  21. 21
    Kelly C. says:

    I started reading romances by pilfering my mom’s HP’s and/or HR’s in the early 1980’s.

    I now like to refer to myself as my mom’s book-pimp.  LOL

    She reads whatever I recommend.

    However, I cannot / do not / will not let her read any of my *smut*  :-D   Some things, afterall, are sacred.

  22. 22

    I used to sneak them out of the linen closet where my mom would hide them. I’d usually sneak 5 or 6 of them. I thought I was being subtle. I knew my mom would flip if she knew I was reading about sex before I was 13. I’d devour them to the point where I was reading one a day behind my social studies book in 7th grade. Finally I stole whatever book she was reading, one time too many and she opened up the closet and said, “help yourself. Just stop taking whatever I’m reading at the moment.”

    Now we share books all the time.

    The book to me does sound like Jude Deveraux’s Princess. But I don’t think she had brothers. And I’m SURE she was in the wilds of the Washington rain forest.

  23. 23
    Theresa says:

    Oh my gosh!  My mom used to paperclip the explicit pages too!  Not that romances were that explicit in the early 90s.  I thought it was funny because it was obviously easy to unpaperclip them if I wanted.  But what was even funnier was that my dad let me read his scifi books.  Well, when everyone thinks they are going to die, end of the world scifi books can devolve into orgies. I think he just forgot about what was in the books.

  24. 24
    Alyssa F says:

    I’m thinking Elizabeth Lowell, Outlaw or Granite Man or something?  Some guy named Cash?

    Nope, I don’t know the book described, but it is very definitely not Outlaw, Granite Man, or any of Elizabeth Lowell’s other Rocking M ranch series books.

  25. 25
    Wendy says:

    My parents wouldn’t let me read fiction, let alone romance.

    Wait, what?

  26. 26
    Jojo says:

    I must confess that last week, as a 22 year old, independent woman, last weekend I hid off of my romance novels because my mom was coming to my house and I couldn’t bear the disapproving looks.  I kept telling myself I was going to be brave and leave them out, but…  that didn’t happen…  On the other hand, I can’t wait until my younger sister is old enough (and out of my parents house) that I can share my romances with her.  :P

  27. 27

    I used to think my mom was nuts when she’d hole up in her bedroom to read the latest Kathleen E. Woodiwiss instead of joining the rest of us in the front room to watch a horror flick…LOL But it was her love of KEW that started my own obsession with romance novels, so I forgive her.  ;-)

    I’d bought used copies of The Flame & the Flower and The Wolf & the Dove while vacationing with my boyfriend (now husband) and his family in the U.P.  Planned to surprise her with them since our house had burned down several years before, and we’d lost everything.  It was a 4 hour ride home, so I decided to read The Wolf & the Dove.  I barely understood half of it, but man, by the time we arrived home, I was hooked.  Thankfully, my MIL had a stash of romance novels, so I spent the next week reading pretty much non stop. :-)

  28. 28
    Tracy says:

    I share the romance luuuuurve with Mom AND Gramma, although Gramma’s taste tends toward the more G and PG rated.  Which is OK, as thinking about parental and grandparental units reading about sex and liking it kinda makes me throw up a little in my mouth….

  29. 29
    Ash says:

    I have never posted on this site before. But I just had to say THANK YOU to everyone who literally made me cry with laughter at their “parents + romance novel” stories…

  30. 30
    April says:

    I started reading early and voraciously. After I started picking through some of my mother’s books, she suddenly had two bookshelves, one in the living room… and a small one in the top of her closet.  And for a couple years I never thought twice about it.

    Then when I was about nine my grandmother (father’s mother) made a snide comment about my mother reading romance novels (spoken in the those books voice).  After that I had to know what romance novels were, and of course if they warranted the italics voice, those must be the books in the top of the closet.

    I ended up with “Flowers in the Attic” and “Searching for Mr. Goodbar”.  It was probably a decade before I figured out my mother had probably left the “romance novels” in the living room and I’d gone straight to the extremes.  In the intervening time, I had this scary impression of incest and abuse and drug use to go with the romance genre.

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