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HaBO: Crushing Woes and Harlequin Presents-Ish Plots

Kia writes:

I read a contemporary romance at the end of my very long first pregnancy
over 6 years ago, though I’m not sure when the book was actually published.

The protagonist was a photographer, who had a troubled first marriage with
an abusive husband. Financially she is struggling because she walked away
from the relationship without a penny, with only her quiet beauty and
dignity intact. Luckily she’s housesitting for a friend with a fabulous
place by the sea. Her neighbor is a handsome, wealthy playboy. He’s
emotionally unavailable because of some manipulative ex, who has tried to
snare him and his seed.

Our heroine has fragile health and believes herself infertile. After
breaking what she believes to be the terrific news of her miraculous
conception, she is given a soul crushing speech in which the love of her
life states he will pay for his issue but wants nothing to do with either of
them.

She refuses the money, I want to say she rips up an obscenely large check
in front of their adjoining ocean front properties, the tempestuous sea
swirling in the back drop.

Valiantly she tries to hang on to her pregnancy but in the end she
miscarries all alone. After some investigating (including an interview with
her physician that I’m sure is unethical if not illegal. but such is
wealthy playboy’s magnetism…) he finds out that she wanted his baby and
not his fortune.

Bringing her back from the edge of despair involves an extended sailing
trip on his private yacht, many tears and on the final night a resumption of
their passion, with promises of never abandoning her again.

I owned this book but a couple of children later, I’ll be damned if I know
where it is. Under normal circumstances, not a memorable read but I’m
sentimentally attached to it and desperate to read it again.

Is it me, or does this sound like a Harlequin Presents? Anyone remember this book? And it is a prerequisite that all romance billionaire tycoons own yachts?

 

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  1. 1
    Jill F. says:

    Except for the housesitting it sounds exactly like To the Ends of the Earth by Elizabeth Lowell.  It was originally published as The Danvers Touch.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Ros says:

    What would be the point of being a billionaire tycoon if you didn’t have your own yacht?

    (Hah! Spam word= being35.  I can tell you everything you need to know about being 35 right now.)

  4. 4
    teshara says:

    and in exchange for your check, I will give you a boot up the rear…
    I hope he actually uses the words ‘I’m a tool.’

  5. 5
    RfP says:

    It’s unmistakably the Elizabeth Lowell.

    The over-the-top cover blurb pretty much captures it:

    Photographer Cat Cochran has been to exotic places most people only dream about—but all she wants to do is settle down and get her life in order. One last assignment and she can put her past behind her—forgetting about her heart’s disastrous misadventures as she loses herself in the natural beauty she has so far only glimpsed through a camera’s lens. But first she must photograph the mysterious and elusive ship designer T.H. Danvers and his awesome creations.

    A MAN IN A MILLION Travis Danvers is dangerous—a millionaire with an athlete’s body; an enigmatic charmer capable of breaking down Cat’s well-constructed defenses with a buccaneer’s arrogance and flourish. She knows she must resist him, for experience has taught her that pain is the eventual price of the pleasure to be found in the arms of such a man. But caught in the waves of a sensual sea, Cat hears sirens whisper seductively, telling her to abandon all caution; to trust and love Travis with all her soul, and to ride with him on the winds of forever.

  6. 6
    Barb says:

    Another vote for The Danvers Touch/ To the Ends of the Earth.  The Danvers Touch(1983) was published in the Silhouette Intimate Moments line—which featured a picture and a white cover background—very like a typical HP cover.  And of course, Travis Danvers is a typical HP alpha ‘hero’, which could lead to the impression that the book was an HP.The To the Ends of the Earth reprint came out in 1998, has an orange-ish cover with a stylized ocean and yacht.

    spamword: weeks29—I need 29 more weeks to get ready for Xmas!

  7. 7
    Gennita Low says:

    Yes, this is Elizabeth Lowell’s To The Ends Of The Earth, one of my favorite books.  It’s an over-the-top very Lowell book—emotional, heartstopping, a fragile-flower heroine and cruel hero who gets crushed by his mistake.  Loved it! Recommend reading it with violin strings.

    (capster: lower27…that’s a low blow to girl with my name //stamping feet)

  8. 8
    Kathy says:

    Yet another nod for The Danvers Touch. That was one of the very first romances I ever read – I think my mother still has it (God love my mother and her collection of “books that will move with me until the day I die”)

    Although I have to clarify, she tears up the cheque, and then lights it on fire by sticking her hand into the open flames on the kitchen stove. That scene was pretty dramatic stuff for a 12 year old, and has such been burned into my psyche.

  9. 9
    Debbie Q says:

    Oh yes, that is To The Ends of the Earth by Elizabeth Lowell. One of my favorites I have to say.

  10. 10
    Alaina says:

    Sorry, hate to disagree with everyone, but this is a Harlequin Presents.  I read it and I’ll have to dig through some stuff, but I probably still have it.  I believe that the rich hero is a famous writer????  Thrillers????  He is buddies with the town vet and has a dog that is “special” is some way.  Can’t remember in what way, but I know the dog goes to visit Herione quite a bit.

    I’m on a mission to find this book now!!!!!

  11. 11
    Tanya says:

    Finally one I know!  It has got to be “To the Ends of the Earth”.

    More detail….The heroine losses the baby after saving a local boy from drowning.  She actively has to chose between her unborn child and the local boy.  The book made me cry several times.  The hero is probably the biggest ass I read about before and since.

    The book has a distinct cover and was the reason I picked it up.

  12. 12
    Tracy says:

    Oh, yeah!  I remember that one—pretty good, if a little melodramatic.

  13. 13
    Moriah Jovan says:

    Sorry, hate to disagree with everyone, but this is a Harlequin Presents.  I read it and I’ll have to dig through some stuff, but I probably still have it.  I believe that the rich hero is a famous writer????  Thrillers????  He is buddies with the town vet and has a dog that is “special” is some way.  Can’t remember in what way, but I know the dog goes to visit Herione quite a bit.

    That’s PRICE OF PASSION by Susan Napier, part of that free pack Harlequin put out for their 60th Anniversary.

  14. 14
    Cher Gorman says:

    Okay, call me stupid, but this plot sounds terrible.  She leaves a marriage with an abusive husband only to house sit next door to a playboy with a yacht.  Then she finds out she is pregnant (with ex-husband’s baby or playboy’s?)  I’m assuming playboy’s.  She then miscarries after saving a boy from drowning.  Then playboy realizes “Oh, you didn’t want me for my money after all.  So sorry about losing the kid.  How about a nice cruise on my yacht to make you feel better?”

    I’m shuddering just thinking about it. 

    Cher

  15. 15

    Wow…quite the plot. But which book is it? Now I’m really curious. And yes, I believe it is indeed a prerequisite to the billionaire boys’ club that a yacht must be owned.

  16. 16
    Ann Bruce says:

    Since the Susan Napier book was released in 2008, we can safely say it’s the Elizabeth Lowell book, which I currently have sitting on my bookshelf.

  17. 17
    Ann Bruce says:

    And I just skimmed the Susan Napier book, which I have on my iPod Touch, and the heroine is neither a photographer nor is she house-sitting for a friend.  And there’s no yacht involved.

  18. 18
    Theresa says:

    Wow, a HaBO that I actually knew but everyone beat me to the punch.  I second the vote for Elizabeth Lowell’s To The Ends of the Earth.  That was my first thought when I read the summary above.  I still have this book but not sure why since I really disliked the hero!

  19. 19
    sara says:

    Totally the Lowell book. God, that hero is such an ass. It’s one of the first romances I read, and I was both mystified and icked out when he was all, You enjoyed the sex! The sheets were all wet! Ew.

  20. 20
    scribblingirl says:

    Okay, call me stupid, but this plot sounds terrible.  She leaves a marriage with an abusive husband only to house sit next door to a playboy with a yacht.  Then she finds out she is pregnant (with ex-husband’s baby or playboy’s?)  I’m assuming playboy’s.  She then miscarries after saving a boy from drowning.  Then playboy realizes “Oh, you didn’t want me for my money after all.  So sorry about losing the kid.  How about a nice cruise on my yacht to make you feel better?”

    I’m shuddering just thinking about it.

    Cher

    LOL

  21. 21
    Marita says:

    If I were a billionaire, romance or otherwise, I would definitely have a yacht.  Also, I need to read me some more Lowell.  It’s been years.

  22. 22
    Cher Gorman says:

    CrystalB- I’m glad I’m not the only one who really thinks this story goes askew. :-)

    Cher

  23. 23
    Michele says:

    Darn…first HABO that I’ve actually known, and everyone beat me to the punch.  The Danvers Touch was early 80’s….the reprint To the Ends of the Earth was late 90s, and was significantly longer.  Lowell revised and added in scenes (which were not usually necessary to the story as a whole) in order to make it a full-length single versus a category.  I own both, and was amazed that she ended up with him at the end.  He was a downright cruel to her for most of the book.

  24. 24
    DS says:

    Okay, call me stupid, but this plot sounds terrible.  She leaves a marriage with an abusive husband only to house sit next door to a playboy with a yacht.  Then she finds out she is pregnant (with ex-husband’s baby or playboy’s?)  I’m assuming playboy’s.  She then miscarries after saving a boy from drowning.  Then playboy realizes “Oh, you didn’t want me for my money after all.  So sorry about losing the kid.  How about a nice cruise on my yacht to make you feel better?”

    Lowell’s early Silhouettes can make the reader cringe.  If you want a truly horrible experience try Summer Thunder from 1982.

    A top clothes model returns to her home for a shoot.  This was the first time she has been there since the death of her parents in a car wreck (I think) on her 16th birthday.  This was the same night she shared a kiss with a much older (in his 20’s) neighbor rancher who she has never been able to get over.

    The neighbor rancher is a total bastard who can’t trust her because she is beautiful (he was hurt by a beautiful woman dontchaknow) and in a passage I can’t forget but wish I could, referring to the heroine:  “Mongrels need a firm hand if you want to show them in the companion class.” 

    This one was padded and reissued by Avon as Desert Rain.

  25. 25
    Cher Gorman says:

    < "Mongrels need a firm hand if you want to show them in the companion class." >

    Ewwww!!  That’s terrible! 

    Never read Summer Thunder but I have read some of her earlier books and some of the heroes are brutish.  And yet the heroine still falls for them.  Go figure.

    Cher

  26. 26
    Anonie says:

    That’s PRICE OF PASSION by Susan Napier, part of that free pack Harlequin put out for their 60th Anniversary.

    When I headed to check out that link, number one in the Top 10 Bestsellers sidebar list was:

    “Powerful Geek, Unworldly Wife”

    OK, so I mis-read it: he was actually from Greece, not IBM. But wouldn’t you read that book?

  27. 27
    Moriah Jovan says:

    “Powerful Geek, Unworldly Wife”

    OK, so I mis-read it: he was actually from Greece, not IBM. But wouldn’t you read that book?

    You better believe it!

  28. 28
    Lizzie says:

    TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH is one of those exquisitely awful books that I am deeply embarrassed to love.  I’ve read it 3 or 4 times….each time marvelling at how profoundly purple the prose, how arrogant the hero….and yet I do indeed love this book. 

    My only explanation for why I like it is that the hero delivers a properly effusive grovel at the end.  So often the alpha-jerk heros who wrong the heroine get away with it or do a minimal apology…..which dimwit heroine STOPS in the middle because she can’t bear for her man to suffer.  Not in this one.  The heroine really is damaged and he was to work his butt off to get her back.  Loved it!

  29. 29
    Linda Rader says:

    Elizabeth Lowell definitely.

  30. 30
    Estelle Chauvelin says:

    “Powerful Geek, Unworldly Wife”

    OK, so I mis-read it: he was actually from Greece, not IBM. But wouldn’t you read that book?

    Definitely!  I was disappointed to realize it didn’t exist.

    (And yes, I’ve already read all the Vickie Lewis Thompsons.)

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