Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: More than Talking In Your Sleep

Maggie needs your help. I need to un-learn about the following plotline:

This is a tad embarrassing. I just posted in reply to RedHeadedGirl’s
review of the first romance she ever read and joked that I wanted her to do
a review of the first romance I ever read. I gave some details figuring
“how hard could this be to find?” But when I started googling the facts I
remembered, it turns out it is REALLY hard to find this old book.

Now, I can’t stop thinking about it and want help!

So, HaBO please!!!!!!

This would have been early 90s, probably 1993 or 1994 and it was a Zebra
romance with one of those hologram thingys in the top right corner. The
story takes place in the proverbial “Wild West.” I think the heroine’s
name is Emily and she is pregnant and wanted for the murder of her husband.
Her dead husband’s brother, Cade, I think, just happens to be a bounty
hunter is going after her for revenge (there’s a subplot with another
bounty hunter coming after her, but he’s the villainous sort.)

Anyway, Cade finds Emily, starts to like her which makes him angry because
he is the ultimate Alpha, and Wild West chasing ensues.

What particularly stood out in my 12-year old mind was a scene where they
are camping down for the night and Cade wakes up and Emily is curled into
him and giving him a handjob through his jeans while she’s fast asleep! (I
just told my boyfriend about this and he is very upset that I don’t love
him enough to grope him in REM sleep. Jeezers.)

I’ve read hundreds of romances since but will always remember this one, and
not because it was particularly good. I probably would never have had the
guts to buy a romance novel otherwise, but I was taking the train to
Montreal to visit my cousin and was alone at the Toronto train station. When
I got to Montreal, my cousin and I stayed up all night reading it together.

The next summer when I made the same trip, I discovered my cousin was
seriously hooked! She had two bankers boxes full of romance novels hidden in
her closet! That second summer, I believe she and I found every single used
bookstore in the whole of Montreal looking for more of the crack. 15 years
later, she is getting her doctorate in history at a very prestigious Ivy
League and I’m trying to talk her into writing a historically accurate
romance…she’s considering it :)

Now who in the Say What Now can give a handjob in their sleep!? I mean, the wrist bending, the awkward angle… this is a nocturnal activity?! Really? Anyone remember this book?



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  1. 1
    Daisy says:

    I don’t know the book, but yep, I’ve woken up to discover my subconscious taking matters, and my boyfriend, into its own hands—or rather, my hands!

  2. 2

    I’d be more impressed if she was giving blow jobs in her sleep.  Or if he was going down on her while sleepwalking.  Hey, now there’s a plot device!

    ‘Scuse me while I head back to the WIP.

  3. 3
    Tamiris says:

    Sounds like Forbidden Desires by Rebecca Sinclair.

  4. 4
    heathero says:

    Is it Forbidden Desires by Rebecca Sinclair? I haven’t read it (so I can’t confirm the nocturnal handjob scene) but it sounds like it.

  5. 5
    Arethusa says:

    I needed this laugh so much this morning. Thank you kindly, Maggie.

  6. 6
    P. Awful says:

    Yup, Forbidden Desires…  GJ Tamiris!  The scene I remember most vividly from it is cauterizing a snake bite.

  7. 7
    SuperiorJane says:

    OK, I am adding this to my online hold list at the library. I MUSt read this and see for myself just how FABULOUS it must

  8. 8

    Wow.  Um, okay, pro tip:  when checking on Amazon for Forbidden Desires, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT forget to change to searching Books instead of Movies and TV.

    I need more coffee.

  9. 9
    Joy says:

    NOT the western in question, but _Seducing Eden_ by Allison Lane has the heroine giving the hero a handjob while asleep in a moving carriage.  I think that was the first time I encountered this particular…trope?  I’ve forgotten the rest of the book.

  10. 10
    Cathy says:

    Hmmm, in those days jeans had buttons, not zippers. I am not a guy, but I gotta say, that really doesn’t sound comfortable.

  11. 11
    Jennifer Armintrout says:

    I don’t know the book, but there is a disorder that can cause people to do all sorts of sexual stuff without waking up.  Like, full on intercourse, but they have no recollection of it when they truly wake.  It’s like night terrors, I guess, but you act out sexually.

    Makes me wonder what would happen if you lived alone and didn’t realize you had this disorder, then got a roommate…

  12. 12

    Whyever would you cauterize a snake bite?

  13. 13
    Alley says:

    I have this new sub-hobby of reading other peoples’ first romances, and this is totally going on that to-read list!

    And, yeah… I apparently do that in my sleep, too.  My poor, poor husband.

  14. 14
    Madd says:

    I think there was an episode of House where a woman was sneaking over to her ex’s apartment for sex without consciously knowing it.

    I’ve had full on conversations with people that I later don’t remember even though they claim I seemed awake and coherent. This has occasionally gotten me in trouble as I’ve agreed to do something that I later don’t remember or I was a complete jerkface about something. Apparently I can be a real ass when in that state.

    My husband and I have both been known to fondle in our sleep and have even initiated sex while asleep.

  15. 15

    @Jennifer—“The Sleepwalking Greek Billionaire’s Really, Truly, Secret Baby”

  16. 16
    Gemma says:

    But would someone with no sexual experience be likely to start giving a hand-job to someone else in their sleep? (I’m wildly assuming about the heroine’s virginal status here.) I could imagine them snuggling in with hands in arousing places, though, certainly.

    I confess to being quite fond of the trope of travelling companions/random strangers dozing off in a public coach, and waking up very nicely snuggled together (with a dash of groping). All the other passengers then assume them to be married, of course.

  17. 17
    Maggie says:

    It is Forbidden Desires by Rebecca Sinclair!  Thank you so much!

    I really want to know how you ladies do this so quickly and efficiently, I wasted nearly 4 hours at work googling “pregnant, emily, cade, bounty hunter” and my results had less to do with romance novels and more to do with that gross and hairy Dog the Bounty Hunter dude.

    On a side note, anyone else notice that the very pregnant heroine does not look even remotely pregnant on the cover?

  18. 18
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    Hahaha! I checked out the link, and I had to post this:

    Editorial Reviews
    Product Description
    Wanted for a murder she did not commit, Emilee Hogan flees to a remote prairie town, but falls into the arms of former bounty hunter Cade Macallister, the brother of the man Emilee is accused of killing. Original.

    I know that “Original” is describing the condition or something, but the placement makes it seem like a snarky commentary on the plot. It made me spew even more coffee on the monitor than I had already done when I read the HABO.

  19. 19
    SheaLuna says:

    I’m fairly certain I read this once-upon-a-time, though I don’t remember the handjob.

    PLEASE Redheadedgirl, PLEASE write a review!

  20. 20
    SylviaSybil says:

    @Madd I remember that episode.  She had some sleeping disorder, too, but it was also pointed out that if she rented an apartment in the same building as her ex she probably had unresolved psychological issues, too.

    Sleepwalking runs in my family so I’ve had plenty of chances to observe.  Everyone does their habitual activities.  Like turning on the TV and sitting down in the armchair, putting on shoes and coat and going out into the snow, or making and eating a sandwich (she was pissed when she learned why her diet wasn’t working).  This is only from my personal experience, of course, but I wouldn’t buy that scenario unless handjobs were a habitual activity for her.

  21. 21
    JamiSings says:

    @Maggie – considering the character is pregnant and wrongfully accused of killing her husband, I doubt she’s a virgin.

    First time I’ve heard of sex-while-asleep was on L&O:SVU. Guy is sleepwalking and tries to have sex with his girlfriend’s sister, she calls rape but he can’t be prosecuted because he was asleep at the time. Then it turns out the girlfriend is missing, she was kidnapped by a pedophile who lusted after her avatar in some Second Life knock off – it was one real WTF episode.

  22. 22
    ocelott says:

    It’s not the most common form of sleepwalking, but it’s common enough to be considered its own variant and to be given its own name: NREM Arousal Parasomnia or sexsomnia.  (No, really, that’s what it’s called.)  A friend of mine has it, and has on occasion woken herself up by bringing herself to orgasm.

  23. 23
    HeatherK says:

    The sex while sleeping is called sexsomnia and is a true disorder (I know, I didn’t believe it at first either). Hubby and I watched a show on it and cracked lots of jokes later. I’d never heard of such a thing before that show.

    There are also certain medications that can make you do things that you have no recollection of doing later. For all the person taking it knows, they were asleep, yet there have been reports of them driving to the store and running errands as well as having full conversations that they never recall doing or having. Been there, done that and refuse to go into detail. Let’s just say, I’m never taking THAT particular sleep aid again. My husband, on the other hand, wanted to invest in stock and buy me a lifetime supply. :^O

    I get plenty of entertainment out of my husband, who’s a chronic sleep talker. He keeps me laughing all night long. Between his snoring, talking and sometimes yelling is it any wonder I can’t sleep at night and wait until he leaves for work and the kiddo is off to school to catch some Zzz?

  24. 24
    JamiSings says:

    I’m told I slept walked as a child. So did my brother Todd. Mom caught him trying to pee in the vegetable drawer during one of his sleep walking episodes.

    Barry Manilow keeps a tape recorder by his bed because he sometimes composes songs in his dreams. The song One Voice is one of them. He rolled over, sang it into the machine, went back to sleep without really recalling what he did until he played the tape the next morning.

  25. 25
    Susan says:

    If we’re going to discuss sleep talking, you have to check out Sleep Talkin’ Man .  So awesome – and includes actual recordings!

  26. 26
    Randi says:

    @Susan: Sleep Talkin Man is awesome. Thank you so so much for sharing that link. I’m in total hysterics!

  27. 27
    lizt says:

    OMG…I loved Sleep Talkin’ Man. It made me laugh out loud for real. I’m forwarding that link to my friends and putting it on facebook. Thanks.

  28. 28
    Tiffany sale says:

    Thank you so so much for sharing that link. I’m in total hysterics!

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