Help A Bitch Out

haBO: Fumes!

Ming Qi writes:

It’s always amazing how people on this blog are able to identify obscure
books on the HaBO posts, and I was wondering if you can help me figure out
the title of a book I’ve been thinking about. I don’t know much about it.
It is a contemporary. I read it in 2005 so it’s published before then. I
don’t remember the cover well and even if I did, it might not help because
I’m pretty sure it was a large-print version of the book. I think the hero
and heroine are close friends/neighbors. The two things I remember the most
about from the book are:

1. the hero learns that people can become attracted to each other when they
are exercising together, so he exercises with the heroine to get her to be
attracted to him.

2. he also learns that attraction can happen when two people mirror each
other’s moves. He tries to mirror the heroine’s breathing while she was
painting her nails, and I think he almost passed out because he was
breathing in nail polish fumes so deeply.

I’m not sure about this, but I think he was trying to get her to be
attracted to him because she had resolved to go out and get a boyfriend
(after being so long without one) and he didn’t like the idea. But then I
may be mixing books up. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t by an immensely
popular author.

Is it me, or is this a hero who utterly turns me off? He wants to breathe her nail polish fumes?! He stalks her movements while exercising? This is like a sitcom gone wild up in here.



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  1. 1
    AnnB says:

    Don’t know but the passing out from nail polish fumes is priceless! He sounds a bit of a shlub, poor guy.

  2. 2
    JaneyD says:

    Yikes. Desperate hero, that one!

    He won’t show up in my books, and my heroines have the good taste NOT to do their nails in front of witnesses and in well-ventilated areas.

    I can see this as a comedy script with David Spader pretending to be gay so the girl can “convert” him, but they’d just cast Jennifer Aniston in the part, and I bloody can’t STAND her.

    Janey now returns you to your regularly scheduled HaBO.

  3. 3
    Kristina says:

    I dont know it sounds kind of cute.  Like a younger guy would do.  Sounds to me he lanquising in the “friend” catagory and wants her to realize he’s good for more than the occasional cup of sugar and chic flick.  Reminds me of the Nerd series that was out a couple of years ago by Vicki Lewis Thompson.  Not all our heros can be super confident hung alpha males. 

    Security word:  added72.  Since finding this blog I have added 72 (or more) books to my TBR pile.

  4. 4
    FD says:

    That sounds an awful lot like a Lass Small that I read oh, six, seven years ago.  Damned if I can tell you which one though.  Will have a dig around and see if I still own it.

  5. 5
    Casey says:

    I have no idea what that book might be…all I can come up with is, “Wait…people actually write this stuff?  And it sells?!?”

  6. 6

    Sorry, no joy with the title.

    The hero sounds a bit dweeby, but hey, at least he’s not negging her, or any of those other stupid “rules for landing hot girls.” I just hope he’s twenty-five or younger, otherwise it skews a bit from sweet hopeless dude into the controlling jerk-off neighborhood.

  7. 7
    Mingqi says:

    Thank you all for the responses!  I can’t really remember what kind of guy he was- but I remember feeling that he wasn’t a dweeb or stalker alpha male.  I’m starting to wonder if it might be one of those large print versions of a harlequin novel because i remember it being not that thick…but then again I remember both characters as being quite ordinary- maybe too ordinary for harlequin?  I can probably go back to the town library where I got it from years ago and look at each book in the large print section one by one..but it’s abt 13 miles away.  I can’t drive and that’s a lot of books to look through.

  8. 8
    Melissa Blue says:

    Ming, not sure, but would the library keep track of all the books you’ve checked out? Won’t hurt to ask. *My library can tell me of all the books I owe money. Down to the dates. So I’m thinking they keep track of everything. May be wrong.*

  9. 9

    FYI Melissa – possibly several of the librarians on this site will chime in – in the post-Patriot Act world very few big US libraries keep track of your books once they’re returned fine-free. Perhaps if some small libraries haven’t gone digital and still use paper cards, but I think those are even easier to remove the records for. Librarians, very smart and dedicated people, are extremely militant about the privacy of their patrons’ reading habits and are some of the most well-organized anti-Patriot Act lobbyists. They will go to the barricades rather than answer a homeland security fishing expedition for your book list. Unless of course you owe them money!

  10. 10
    Jenny says:

    I’m a librarian at Seattle Public, and no, we don’t keep track of what people have been reading. Current holds, expired holds, current books checked out and fines will show up in your account, but that’s it. It’s a patron privacy issue… but it makes it difficult sometimes when people want to remember what they’ve checked out before…

  11. 11
    JamiSings says:

    Unless she returned it late, it won’t be on her records. (I’m actually surprised how many people are actually angry about this. They want the library to keep track so they don’t read the same book twice.)

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    Well, you know – all those books with the same cover art, it’s hard to keep them all distinct in one’s mind!

  13. 13
    JamiSings says:

    I can give them that, but they usually mean by the same author. Like if they’re a fan of Stewart Woods they want us to check if they had checked out that particular Woods book before.

    A lot of them though keep their own lists. Bringing in tattered note books with every title they’ve ever read and whom wrote it carefully written down.

  14. 14
    Susan says:

    I’ve read this one and can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called. I don’t think it was the nail polish fumes that made him dizzy; it was b/c the heroine was turned on and was breathing quickly due to her turned on-ness so as he breathed quick shallow breaths he became light headed. That’s part of what made the hero realize she was into him.

    Sorry, not helpful.

  15. 15
    quizzabella says:

    @ Susan

    I don’t think it was the nail polish fumes that made him dizzy; it was b/c the heroine was turned on and was breathing quickly due to her turned on-ness so as he breathed quick shallow breaths he became light headed. That’s part of what made the hero realize she was into him.

    Was the hero sure that she wasn’t just suffering an asthma attack?  (sorry , just got an image of the both of them flopping around like landed fish, which isn’t particularly erotic to me).

  16. 16
    LovestruckJC says:

    I think it sounds like a sweet story. But you gals are right. The guy should be young to do this kind of stuff.

    Ming, the story sounds so familiar. will think about it more. =)

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