Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Don’t run into a tree

Happy endings are much better if you don’t run into a tree. Take my word on this. Heather, however, wants to revisit the book wherein she learned this wisdom:

There was a bookstore that had 5 WALLS of romance novels – used – for very

anyway. I read this one that wasn’t better than any of the others for any
reason, but was the only one that stayed in my memory for some reason. So
I keep doing multiple google searches on the contents, to no avail.
SO .. maybe you can help me. I will type up my mish mash 20 year old
memory of the story line/stand out scenes and maybe you can help.

Girl – lovely, of course – hoping to hire a man to take her through a
jungle or down a river to either find her missing father, or something her
dead father had found and she felt obligated to go get.
She finds said man in the arms of a woman and is disgusted, but interrupts
anyway to haughtily tell him she would like to hire him. she either
promises him money she does have or maybe some treasure that will be found
at the end of the trip, I’m unsure.

there is, of course, fiery hidden attraction between them.
He fights it but takes the job, they go down this river. there is
potential malaria, lots of rain, and him fighting his baser instincts and
being very noble. at one point they are getting frisky and he reluctantly
pushes her away and she runs off in the rain and i believe runs into a
tree. but maybe that is me mashing together this story and The Princess
Bride. who knows.

anyway. that is all i remember. not very helpful, huh?

If you can find this book, I would be really thankful even if I don’t know
why I want to even read it again!

This sounds like a candidate for “I read this sh*t so you don’t have to.” Honestly. Anyone remember this book?



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  1. 1
    Amy says:

    It does sound a bit like Linda Howard’s Heart of Fire, but I don’t remember if anyone headbutted a tree.

  2. 2
    bounababe says:

    Yes, in the middle of reading the HABO writeup I thought it was a Linda Howard extravaganza, but couldn’t remember the name, or the tree.

  3. 3
    Lynn M says:

    Yeah, my first thought when I read this was Howard’s “Heart of Fire”. But I also don’t recall any tree. I do recall the hero and heroine getting it on in the rainforest (in a tent) so many times that she almost couldn’t walk the next day. So maybe she did crash into a tree by falling over.

  4. 4
    Riki says:

    I thought it was Linda Howard’s “Heart of Fire”, too. But I don’t remember any of her heroes “fighting his baser instincts”… much.
    (I love her books, particularly the older ones. I guess that’s why…)

  5. 5
    Courtney says:

    The store sounds like Trade-A-Book in Santa Clara, CA – I LOVE that store!

    The book reminds me of Marie Donovan’s “Her Last Line of Defense” (Harlequin Blaze #439, Sept ‘09)….

    heh, captcha is least96… I went though at LEAST 96 books trying to find this one off my shelf! (what? I have my shelves stacked two-deep…)

  6. 6
    Mama Nice says:

    Aaaah! I’ve read this one, I know it! I’ll try pull the title out of the foggy corners of my brain…but by the time I do, I’m sure another member of the Bitchery will have nailed it for you (the title and hopefully not a tree)

  7. 7
    Mama Nice says:

    The lightbulb went on! I’m really thinking it is Laura Kinsale’s The Hidden Heart

  8. 8
    Kate Jones says:

    I’m with the Heart of Fire crowd… I think she dislocated her shoulder, but I’m not sure if it was from running into a tree…

  9. 9
    Meljean says:

    I can’t remember if she runs into a tree, but I remember that Bittersweet Pursuit by Margaret Mayo had a lot of these elements.

  10. 10
    Sarah W says:

    It sounds like Romancing the Stone the Movie, as well as a number of other similar storylines. I think I have read 10 or so romances that feature the “hire the sort of scummy dude to take you into the jungle to do something totally awesome, but cynical dude just wants money, but eventually through adventures finds love is worth more.” I hope you find what specific story it was!

    Captcha word is truth92 (cause it is the truth lots of books are like this) at least 92 of them.

  11. 11
    Mama Nice says:

    I love Kinsale, so I can’t imagine that it would be considered “no better than any of the others for any reason” but the whole set up just sounded so familiar to Tess and her explorer father who were in the Amazon when he died, thus forcing her to “hire” Gryphon to sail her home.

    I don’t remember the running into a tree bit, but there was certainly storms and jungles and a lot of running away from each other!

  12. 12
    GrowlyCub says:

    That sounds like one of Theresa Weir’s best books: Amazon Lily

    I highly recommend it! :)

  13. 13
    Phyllis says:

    There’s a Bettina Krahn (sp?) book where they go to Cuba in the midstof some uprising and then up the Amazon. It’s a historical and written fairly recently – within the last 5 years. I don’t remember a tree part, though.

  14. 14
    SusannaG says:

    Were the parents missionaries in the Amazon?  I think I read one of about this vintage with that detail that sticks.

    That said, I can’t remember the title, except I think it was one of the “colored spine” Harlequins.

  15. 15
    AgTigress says:

    I don’t know the specific book referred to here, but this type of plot, with the heroine hiring the hero (whom she loathes at first) as a guide on some trip through jungles, rainforests etc.,  or alternatively, with the hero rescuing the heroine from some dire fate in remote places, was very popular in the 1980s. 
    I can think of examples by Elizabeth Lowell (Dark Fire), Linda Howard (Midnight Rainbow , the more recent A Game of Chance, as well as Heart of Fire) and even a couple by JAK, though I forget the titles of Jayne’s.  There is at least one Barbara Delinsky category romance along similar lines, too, but again, I forget the title, and would have to rummage through a whole lot of books to find it.
    I am sure there were many others by other writers.

  16. 16
    Cathy B says:

    I’m sure it’s not The Hidden Heart. I just re-read it last week. Tess is probably the LEAST likely heroine to run into a tree. Trip over a ballgown, yes, run into a tree, no.
    That said, no idea what the book actually is.

  17. 17
    Ken Houghton says:

    If not for the complications Heather would certainly have mentioned, it sounds like Kresley Cole’s Dark Desires after Dusk.

    But forgetting about the Valkyrie and Loup Garou aspects is probably A Plotpoint Too Far.

  18. 18
    LEW says:

    My first instinct was to go watch The Mummy, but I think @Sarah W was closer with Romancing the Stone.

  19. 19
    RSR says:

    This sounds ridiculously similar to a book I read about orchid hunters in South America. It was historical and the description from Heather brings it to my mind. I can’t remember the title or author for the life of me, though.

  20. 20
    Kerri says:

    There was a Anne McAllister with that kind of plot but like all the other commenters I can’t remember if the heroine ran into a tree!

    The description from the author’s website reads:

    Harlequin Presents #1099
    August 1988
    ISBN: 0373110995


    Aidan Sawyer was the quintessential jungle guide, and being in his company was akin to cornering a panther. Courtney realized quickly that jaguars and river bandits were not the only dangers on the Amazon.

    Since day one of their river trek to find her missionary parents, Aidan had tested and teased Courtney with every manipulative macho trick in the book.

    Her only hope for temporary relief from Aidan’s relentless mischief was to find the mission — fast! But once there, she found her life had even bigger problems. Enormous ones, if marrying Aidan seemed like any sort of solution!

    Hope (though I doubt it) that this helps.

  21. 21
    Anon76 says:

    Don’t know the book but just wanted to opine that the last Mummy movie—The Dragon Emperor, or what not—sucked big hairy Yeti balls.

  22. 22
    LEW says:

    @Anon76, I agree about The Mummy 3, but I have always thought a yeti would make a fabulous throw rug.  (You know, once you shampoo it….)

  23. 23
    Maria says:

    I ran into a tree once. It was the result of a series of bad choices involving walking my dog and a squirrel. Did you know squirrels can laugh?

    Anyway, I have no idea what the HABO is, but I love reading all the comments.

  24. 24
    Nicole says:

    Glenna McReynolds’ River of Eden?

  25. 25
    Missy Ann says:

    @Kate Jones, she dislocated her shoulder saving her dirt bag brother (IIRC) from going over a cliff.

    And now I’m going to have to go grab Heart of Fire off the shelf for a re-read. But I don’t think it’s the HaBO.

  26. 26
    RfP says:

    I agree that it sounds like Linda Howard’s “Heart of Fire”.  Heroine first meets hero in a bar where he has “his favorite waitress on his knee”.  IIRC, the rest goes:

    Trek, trek, trek, ruins, sex under waterfall, happily ever after.

  27. 27
    DS says:

    Blast it, have not read this particular book, but now I have the George of the Jungle themesong stuck in my head:

    George, George
    George of the Jungle,
    Strong as he can be.
    Watch out for that tree.

  28. 28
    Aimee says:

    Shadow Play by Katherine Sutcliffe was the idea I had.

    (It’s a good book anyway, heh).

  29. 29
    KathyB says:

    I wonder if it could be “Shadow Play” by Katherine Sutcliffe (1992).  Here’s a blurb from Fantastic Fiction:

    Sarah St. James’s father, governor of British Guiana, committed suicide when he lost his own—and investors’—money in a failed attempt to steal rubber-tree seeds from Rodolfo King, a plantation owner who tortures his workers and holds them as virtual prisoners. To carry out the seed scheme, Sarah engages Morgan Kane, a crude American adventurer, and Henry Sebastian Longfellow, a Putumayan pygmy raised as an English gentleman. Each man bears a personal grudge against Rodolfo King. The odd threesome begin what seems an interminable trek through the Amazon jungle, where they battle snakes, fire ants, alligators and other hostile wildlife. They are swept over a waterfall and find members of their entourage decapitated.

    Sorry, I don’t remember Sarah running into a tree, but she does get hugged by an anaconda. (?!)

  30. 30
    meoskop says:

    I’m also going with the Howard or Kinsale, but this was totally an 80’s genre (as someone else also said) I read this book from several different authors – one had this scene where she’s clutching the sides of the boat concerned about piranha in the river – they were all totally over the top.

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