For years I’ve been trying to find a book I owned probably 15 years
ago, and I hope someone can put me out of my misery. I’m starting to think
this book never existed.
The book could have been a Harlequin publication, possibly published in the
late eighties/early nineties. I think it was pretty short and might have
been red, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. (Of course I can’t recall
anything about the title, so I’ve come to refer to it as The Mustard Book.)
(Explanation to follow.)
I remember the heroine being described as cautious and a bit of a prude, so
because I don’t remember any of the names in this book, I’m going to refer
to her as Prudence.
Now, Prudence has a young daughter, probably 8 or 9 years old, and has just
divorced her husband. The marriage was an unhappy one for Prudence because
her ex was a total d-bag. I don’t believe he hit her, but he certainly
treated her poorly. After the divorce, she and her daughter moved into a
place by themselves and I think the ex is mostly absent.
Prudence first meets the hero in a parking lot one night. She’s just come
out from some mystery building (maybe her office?) and when she goes to her
car, she discovers she’s got a dead battery. The hero notices her distress,
checks and confirms it’s a dead battery, then offers to take her home on
his motorcycle. Unsurprisingly, she declines the offer, but eventually his
charm and unassuming smile win her over and he takes her home. (To HER
As I said, I don’t remember any of the names, but because the hero drives
a motorcyle, I’m going to be unoriginal and call him Harley. Harley has a
daughter of his own, a spunky girl of sixteen or seventeen whom he adores. I
believe the mother abandoned them.
There are a few specific scenes I remember:
Prudence and Harley go for a ride on his bike and the song “Slow Hands”
comes on the radio. I think Prudence mentions her love of the song (having
something to do with her ex-husband’s decidedly UN-slow hands), so Harley
pulls over and they dance and neck a little.
Another scene: Prudence and Harley share lunch together. This scene is
either at his place or hers and they’re alone, eating sandwiches at the
kitchen table. Must be roast beef or bologna, for Harley winds up with a
blob of mustard at the corner of his mouth. Prudence points this out, but
Harley plays dumb so she’ll be forced to wipe the mustard off for him.
Needless to say, the moment quickly takes a turn for the sexy. (Hence, The
Mustard Book. AKA, “Must Have Been the Mustard”.)
One more scene: Harley has a pregnant dog and the dog happens to have the
litter of puppies while Prudence and her daughter are visiting. It was a
Tender Moment over which they all bonded.
That’s about all I remember. I don’t know how it ends (aside from the
obvious HEA), but I believe Prudence has misgivings about their relationship
and I think Harley has to convince her to take a chance on him. I hope
someone knows what book I’m talking about; I’d love to be able to read it
Someone knows this. Excuse me, though, I need to get a sandwich.