Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: My Hand! My Hand!

Bitchery reader JC writes:

I want to go back to the first
romance I remember enticing me.

I cannot remember the colour of the book, the names of the characters, or
even the year it was set in, though it was probably written in the mid 90s.
It was an historical, probably Regency. The only sure thing I can remember
was the scene that sold book for me: the Hero settling in for a quiet drink
in his study, self assured in his (mis-)assumptions of the Heroine, when a
close friend/father figure/trusted servant unknowingly blabs the innocent
truth about said Heroine’s past, and the Hero shatters the glass in his
hand. He has a great self-flagellating moment while he realizes what a dick
he has been, while his friend who just delivered the plot turn says
something equivalent to…Dude, your hand! And the book has a wonderful
description blood and glass everywhere with the Hero replying something
along the lines of “My hand, who cares about my hand! I was a Dipshit.”

If any of your readers can remember a book based on this scene I would be
eternally grateful and wonderfully surprised. Unfortunately, since this
scene is the only thing I remember from the book, I think I must have a
little sadist streak in me that may never be gratified.

Ah, the glass shattering in his hand with the strength of his manly, furious grip. RAH! Do you remember this book? I can think of a few times when the threat of the glass shattering was made, but most of the time he has the sense to put down the glass first.

And what kind of glass was he drinking from anyway? The kind that are made extremely fragile on purpose so you can stomp on them at Jewish weddings? (“MAZEL TOV! You’re a dipshit!”) I’m holding a glass in my hand and there’s no way I could shatter it. What the hell is he drinking from?

 

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  1. 1
    Jenny says:

    No idea, but I really want to read this one… most of the books I’ve read recently have featured hero jerkfaces who never feel the need to apologize/grovel for their jerkfacishness, and heroines who don’t have a problem with this… bah.

  2. 2
    joanneL says:

    I don’t know the title of this book but I would be all over a romance where the hero called himself a dipshit.

    Truth in Advertising will win me over every time.

  3. 3
    Scrin says:

    If he had a wineglass or a similar, curved glass, he could totally break it, especially if he was gripping it up near the rim where it would be thinner and the curve would create highly useful stress points.

    I’ve broken a glass before by accident (not a wineglasses, but a drinking glass, made of glass), and I can only assume this guy has a better grip than I do, me not having led a life of huntin’, ridin’, and wenchin’.

    Next Lesson: How To Turn Beer Bottles Into Weapons Without Hurting Yourself.

    spamword: picture82. To prevent your from experimentally squeezing wineglasses, picture 82 stitches in your dominant hand and doing everything with the other hand until they’re taken out.

  4. 4
    Nadia says:

    In “Whitney, My Love” Clayton crushes a glass in his hand as he watches Whitney take off in a carriage from his house, but he had already figured out he was an utter douche as he forcibly relieved her of her virginity the night before, so perhaps that’s not the right book.

  5. 5
    Minx says:

    I’m not sure AT ALL, I just have this feeling it might be a Kat Martin (maybe Devil’s prize or Bold Angel?). I can’t check this because all the books I’ve read from her were from the library, but I remember that her heroes have always spent long evenings in their study by the fire and I distinctly remember the scene you described. Again, I’m not sure it’s Kat and I might have just mixed different historical shit up in my head. So, basically, I just gave you squat. Good luck on finding the book!

  6. 6

    I think I’ve read this plot device – shattered glass, injured hand, don’t bother with the bandage, man, call my carriage – a couple times. Perhaps one is an early Julia Quinn, and one is definitely Judith McNaught. But I remember the other person in the room b/c I thought the information delivery was intentional and slyly done, in the nicest way, to prod the hero. Brother or cousin I think.

  7. 7
    Gemma says:

    (The weaker man’s version of a “crushed” glass, is the glass thrown in the hearth. IIRC, I read a book where the hero one-upped this trope and threw a whole *decanter* into the fireplace. I can’t remember if a fire was lit at the time….. struck me as an interesting way to burn down your mansion though!)

  8. 8
    Brandi says:

    What Scrin said. I broke a wineglass in my hand trying to catch it when I bumped a display. I caught it by the bowl and my grip had a little too much adrenaline fueling it. (Apparently Crate and Barrel employees either don’t have a first aid kit or were too startled to find it, since I ended up being bandaged with a pad of the rough newsprint-like wrapping paper—the stuff used to KEEP glasses from breaking when you bag them—held on with Scotch tape!)

  9. 9
    Noelinya says:

    In Captain’s Bride by Kat Martin, the hero breaks the glass he’s holding when his brother tells him the truth about the heroine, and don’t even know he is bleeding until his brother starts putting something on the wound. Then he says he has destroyed the heroine and she will never forgive him.

  10. 10
    tracyleann says:

    Found some more info on Captain’s Bride, to see if it prods JC’s memory. Publisher’s Weekly did NOT like:

    Start with a comely, courageous but none too bright heroine, add a hero whose machismo occasionally veers toward sadism, toss in sheer stupidity as a catalyst and you’ve got Martin’s ( Dueling Hearts ) latest romance set in the 1840s. Master of a South Carolina plantation, Julian Summerfield has sent Nathan, his illegitimate son by one of his slaves, to be educated in the North. But when Julian dies suddenly, his embittered widow forces the young man into slavery. Glory, Julian’s legitimate white daughter, decides to help her half-brother escape to the North, talking her way onto a merchant ship owned by her father’s friend, Nicholas Blackwell. Shipwrecked during a storm, Glory and Nicholas are stranded alone on an island, and the captain, tired of her Southern belle ways, decides to trim her sails: ‘‘He’d hate to bed her against her will, but . . . she deserved whatever she got.’’ Unable to resist such charm, Glory finds herself seduced and abandoned; although eventually rescued from the island by Nicholas’s crew, she is left to face life as an unwed mother and social outcast—until Nicholas learns the truth of her situation and realizes there’s more to Glory than mere beauty.

    JC, could you have forgotten a dimwitted southern belle (according to PW), an illegitimate half-brother who is the son of her plantation owner dad and his slave, a shipwreck, and a secret baby? And OMG, does this hero sound like King of the Asshats, or what?!

  11. 11
    rednikki says:

    I’m betting it’s “The Secrets of the Heart” by Kasey Michaels. Which I actually kind of hated, but I seem to remember this scene taking place in it.

  12. 12
    Brandyllyn says:

    Dude, that totally sounds like Whitney My Love, Judith McKnaught.

  13. 13
    rhelease says:

    Could be Catherine Coulter’s “The Nightingale Legacy”. I believe something really similar occurred wherein North Nightingale thought the heroine was his deceased cousin’s mistress or something to that effect and was rather ass-like towards her. His BFF (in a totally manly way) befriends the woman and finds out the truth which she is keeping from him for no reason at all, and reveals it while drinking brandy in the parlor or somesuch. Good luck… I think this basic scene is pretty popular, actually.

  14. 14
    Helen says:

    I had a pair of insanely expensive burgundy glasses (very large, almost fishbowl-shaped wineglasses) that were so fine that I broke them when drying them with a teatowel. A big chunk just snapped.

    Sounds like a good read…

  15. 15

    DUDE.  That review… wow.  Sounds like “Captain’s Bride” would be a great book to have on a girl’s night in.  Lots of booze, some reading aloud, and a great deal of snarkalicious MST3K-style action, and I’d be all over that like white on rice.  Or, rather, like asshattery on a historical hero.  Dare I say, it would be Glory-ous?

  16. 16
    Noelinya says:

    Well, in Captain’s Bride, the part where the hero behaves like a complete ass lasts only a couple of chapters – not trying to excuses him, because I was so angry, but he really does a lot to atone after the wedding.

  17. 17
    krsylu says:

    spamword: picture82. To prevent your from experimentally squeezing wineglasses, picture 82 stitches in your dominant hand and doing everything with the other hand until they’re taken out.

    Scrin: Thanks for that lovely word picture. I’m never picking up another wineglass as long as I live…  Just to be on the safe side.

  18. 18

    In fact,  the book is Gallant Waif by Anne Gracie.  Just to be a complete smart@$$ down here.  It was her first book pubbed by Harlequin Historicals and got a RITA nomination for best first book.  Lucky she wrote it then, not now . . .

  19. 19

    Amelia “Fuckheady Bitchipants” Elias:

    … a great book to have on a girl’s night in. Lots of booze, some reading aloud …

    Re: the lots of booze, I just hope the cautionary tale of this thread hasn’t been lost on you, Amelia. What sort of glasses are you serving this lots of booze in? I might suggest you invest in some plastic pint glasses, like the super-shady dive bar I used to frequent in Cambridge, Massachusetts had. They kept the feral townies from cutting the shit out of each other with glass shards, and they might just save you some palm stitches. With that caveat, do invite me.

  20. 20
    Scrin says:

    Scrin: Thanks for that lovely word picture. I’m never picking up another wineglass as long as I live…  Just to be on the safe side.

    Hey, have your dominant hand rendered unusable SUCKS. I broke my right arm when I was 12, and had to do everything left-handed for about three months. You would not believe what a pain 3-ring binders are when you’re left-handed.

    Also, as promised:

    The secret of breaking a glass bottle (such as a beer bottle or wine bottle) to use as a weapon when you really need it:

    Break it over a corner, and hit it closer to the flat base than the neck (assuming you’re holding it by the neck.)

    I included that as a joke last time, but I saw a new story were about an attempted rape outside a bar last night by some drunk who thought he was hot shit. I figure since alcohol and its containers are often present and sometimes a factor in these incidents, people should be aware it can be helpful.

    Just remember, hold it by the neck, and use a corner to break it.

    After that, going for the face generally gets someone’s attention. If needs must, the throat or the stomach, as they’re both soft without any bones in the way. And while you’re doing randomized surgery on the douchebag, be sure to yell your fool head off for help.

  21. 21
    Wendy says:

    Just remember, hold it by the neck, and use a corner to break it.

    After that, going for the face generally gets someone’s attention. If needs must, the throat or the stomach, as they’re both soft without any bones in the way. And while you’re doing randomized surgery on the douchebag, be sure to yell your fool head off for help.

    Scrin, do you teach this stuff? ‘Cos you sound like someone who taught a “this is what it’s like in the real world, ladies” class I went to once. I was half-terrified of her, half in love with her after an hour.

    (Security word “methods93” – lol!)

  22. 22
    Scrin says:

    Scrin, do you teach this stuff? ‘Cos you sound like someone who taught a “this is what it’s like in the real world, ladies” class I went to once. I was half-terrified of her, half in love with her after an hour.

    (Security word “methods93” – lol!)

    No, I don’t. But it is a thought.

    I’ve picked up some stuff (and reasoned out more) and worked out the beer bottle thing by helping a cousin clean up after a party, after my cousin mentioned someone he knew once tried to smash a bottle and was left just holding the neck.

    Here’s another bit of self-protection, I got from reading a discussion of Dungeons and Dragons rules:
    —————————————————-
    Good old shanking
    For this, you: Sleight of hand vs spot; draw a weapon and strike an un-prepared target; perfect, that simulates drawing a weapon, and striking; you know how most fatal stabbings occur.

    One of the best lessons I ever learned about knife-fighting from an instructor was: “stabbers never show; and showers never stab”

    Seriously, the sneak attack that comes from someone facing you, who you didn’t see armed with a weapon; will be the one that kills you.

    I’m completely serious for everyone that reads this. If you see someone that hides their motherfucking hands and keeps them together, or keeps them touching their body, do not let them close to you.

    All of that grabby-hands with your own body, or the sleeves of your sweater/coat/waistline of your pants is how a inexperienced, but willing, person who is going to try and shank you.

    The guy who shows their knife you can actually feel relieved about. They want to scare you, and take your wallet, they usually do not want to hurt you at all. Give them the cash in your wallet, and call it a day.

    The fucker playing patty-cake with his own hands, or playing grabby-hands with themselves; stay the fuck away from. They can and they will try to shank you.

    The worst stabbers will keep their weapon concealed in their hand, or sleeve, and will not do amateur-hour bullshit. They will move up, slip the knife out, and give you two or three fast gut stabs; then back off, wait for you to collapse, and take your stuff.

    The likelyhood of noticing an experienced, or trained, shanker is low. They hide the signs of being armed very well, and can bluff you well enough that you won’t realize what is going on right away. Keeping away from people approaching you for no reason you can figure out is a good idea. “

    ————————
    There’s more, and I’ll link upon request (it’s a cached page because one poster was being a douche and got it closed).

    But it can also work for you. The lessons to take away are “Don’t pull out a weapon you aren’t prepared to use” and “Don’t give the other person time to think.” Put them down. Non-fatally if you can help it, but put them down.

    If you are carrying some kind of weapon and you feel you have to pull it out, you attack as soon as you pull it out, before they realize what’s happening. If you feel you have to use it, why would you want to hesitate?

  23. 23
    sandra says:

    I’m the type who checks information, so I got out my copy of The Gallant Waif by Anne Gracie, and Elizabeth Rolls was right.  On p 262:  “Jack groaned and clenched his fist.  There was a snap as his glass shattered in his hand.  Francis sat up, exclaiming at the blood dripping from Jack’s fingers.  Jack waved him aside impatiently”.  It wasn’t just a wineglass, it was a brandy snifter !  Spamword is needs53, as in “He needs 53 stitches”.

  24. 24
    Abby says:

    kryslu: Thanks for that lovely word picture. I’m never picking up another wineglass as long as I live…  Just to be on the safe side.

    I love your thinking.  Why mess with wine glasses at all?  Skip the middleman, go straight for the bottle, and in a pinch, it’s clearly a handy weapon.  GENIUS.

    spamword: take76… 76 bottles of wine on the wall!  76 bottles of wine!  Take one down, pass it around…

  25. 25
    Sarah W says:

    Serin, please link to further info!

  26. 26
    Scrin says:

    Serin, please link to further info!

    http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:bDupza8tkUwJ:www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?p=122175+“grabby+hands”+“sneak+attack”&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    Sorry for such a long link, but the thread was officially closed because of Shadzar, the douche with the top post. This is the cached version. The person you want, is Judging_Eagle (spelling it like he does so you can copy and CTRL+F). Most it isn’t relevant to self-defense or anything, but you could take a cue from him and attend some courses. I’m sure there’s places online where you could ask around for what’s offered in your city.

  27. 27
    Ana says:

    This has nothing to do with the post, I just wanted to thank Elizabeth, for I tried Anne Gracie (never heard of her before) and am now reading my 3rd book from her (Gallant Waif, The perfect Rake and the Perfect Waltz) I’m really having a lot of fun, and adore her heroines. So thanks for coming up with the name!

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