Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Riverboat ahoy!

Romantic girl is searching for one of her first romances. She writes:

Unfortunately, I don’t have very many details but would love to find it again.  It was among the first romances I ever read.

It is a western historical. I remember that most of it was set on a
riverboat owned by the hero. The heroine might have been abducted by the
hero, but not exactly sure on that point. I remember there was a painting
that was important to the heroine. The hero had it in his bedchambers. Her
finding the painting was a big deal, but I can’t remember the signifigance
behind it. I think her father might have painted and that her father was
part of the plot somehow.

I believe the book was mostly red.  I don’t remember a specific picture, but there might have been a riverboat on it.

This is a tough one – there’s not a lot here. Anyone recall paintings on a riverboat?


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  1. 1
    SheaLuna says:

    What about Riverboad Seduction by Caroline Bourne?

    Or possibly Once a Gamber by Carrie Hudson.

    Neither mentions a painting, but OAG is certainly red and both involve gambling and riverboats.

  2. 2
    Edie says:

    Do you remember roughly when you read it? 80s 90s 00s?

  3. 3
    Tati says:

    Could it be Straight for the Heart by Marsha Canham?

    I don’t remember the plot, but it has a red cover, the stepback looks like the couple are aboard a riverboat, and the heroine gambles in riverboats.

  4. 4
    Sasha says:

    It is Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Come Love A Stranger.

    Lierin and Ashton fall in love in New Orleans.  His riverboat is captured by pirates and Ashton thinks that Lierin drowned after falling overboard. Fast forward 3 years and during a freak carriage accident, Ashton believes he has found Lierin again.

    But she has AMNESIA!!!!!

    It is a good one, but very old school.

  5. 5
    Sasha says:

    Oh, and there are several paintings in this story.  The painting of Lierin that Ashton thinks proves that the girl he hit with his carriage is his supposed late wife.  The painting the villian brings (also seemingly of Lierin) that he tries to use to prove that “Lenore” is *his* wife.  And the painting of Lierin and Lenore’s (yup, TWINS!!! in addition to AMNESIA!!!) father that helps Lierin/Lenore figure out what has been happening in the story (a bit too complex to sum up before I need to get to work).

    Hope this helps!

  6. 6
    Romantic Girl says:

    I read it in the early 90’s, probably around 93.  It was a ST not a category romance.  None of the books mentioned so far seem right.  The only one I thought might be close was Straight For the Heart, but I don’t remember an identical twin at all.  I wish I could remember more!!  Thank you so far for all the suggestions!

  7. 7
    Nik says:

    My first thought was Kathleen Woodiwiss’s “Come Love a Stranger” too.

  8. 8

    Johanna Lindsey had one, Silver Something I think, I don’t think it was Western but it was historical

  9. 9
    SKapusniak says:

    I thought it might have been The Naked Huntress by Shirley Parenteau, but having dug that book out, I’m pretty sure it’s not it despite the significant painting, and being early nineties, as it’s wrong colour, is a category, and has no riverboats as far as I can see from a quick flick through.  Not sure about the gambling :)

  10. 10
    Suzanna says:

    Patricia Potter’s “Rainbow” features a painting on a riverboat and a kidnapped heroine. The heroine (Meredith) secretly works for the Underground Railroad. She’s a very good painter, but has created a persona as a brainless bit of society fluff. The hero (Quinn) admires her painting and has one on his riverboat. He kidnaps her because he’s caught her snooping, but at this point doesn’t realise she’s the painter and far from brainless.

    One of my favourite romances, with a wonderful heroine.

  11. 11
    Romantic Girl says:

    Suzanna, thank you!!!  I think that is it!  There are a lot of aspects of Rainbow that sound very familiar.  And I always thought the author’s first and last name started with the same letter, but I wasn’t quite sure about that.  Thanks!  I thought this one going to be impossible with the few details I had.

  12. 12
    Vicki says:

    Amazing how quickly the Bitches can find any book on the scantest of details! What a great group.

  13. 13
    Suzanna says:

    I forgot to add that Meredith is searching for her half-sister – her father’s daughter by a slave woman. Her father sells the sister (Lissa?) because he thinks the girls are too close to each other. That’s what starts Meredith off with the Underground Railroad.

  14. 14
    Romantic Girl says:

    I’m 99% sure that is the book.  The half-sister thing sounds really familiar as well.  I just forgot about it.  A local bookstore actually has a copy so I’m going to pick it up tomorrow.  Thanks so much, this book has been driving me crazy forever.  The Bitches are awesome! :)

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