Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Water Was Involved

From Bitchery reader Sunny, a really hard HaBO. Really. And there’s water involved. I KID YOU NOT.

I love Harlequin Historicals—and this book has
been sticking in my poor 76 yr old mind. The heroine and her father are
imprisoned for some reason. She has a suitor who does not do anything to
help her. While she and her father are in the prison yard, she is seen by a
gentleman—I believe he is a lord—who is imprisoned and sentenced to die.
Somehow she is contacted by the lord and he offers marriage so that she can
get out of the prison.

After pages of hemming and hawing, he marries him. He
escapes somehow—water is involved—and she goes to his estate believing she
is a widow. He reappears in the guise of a colonial—and after some
tribulation due to a very greedy cousin or cousin’s husband, he then claims
his wife. Please—can someone give me a title and author before I go insane.

Stop the insanity! If you can help Sunny identify this book, well, I don’t know if water would also be involved but it would be awesome. Anyone remember these?

 

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  1. 1
    Andrea2 says:

    Could this be Wedding Day vows by Laurie Paige?  Harlequin Historical #102.  I’ve never read it, but the back cover copy is: 
    “Condemned to die by the hangman’s noose, Beauregard St. Clair was loath to leave the world until he had secured tow things: a wife upon whom to bestow his wealth-and an heir.  When Roselynne Moreley, a lady of distinction, entered the dark walls of NewGate Prison, Beau vowed to win her love.
    The man was insane!  Or so Roselynne believed when her fellow prisoner proposed marriage.  How could she marry a stranger behind bars?  Yet how could she not, when he bartered freedon for her and her father?  Could keep her end of the agreement with this roguish colonist…and remain a lady?…”

  2. 2
    Jessica says:

    I’ve read this!  And I think it might be a Kathleen Woodiwiss as she was my favorite historical author for a while.  Is this the one where he is staying on a prison hulk and escapes after finding a knife underwater that he hides by clamping it in his butt cheeks?  I never forgot that scene, but I have no idea what the title is.

  3. 3
    Ashley says:

    Is this the one where he is staying on a prison hulk and escapes after finding a knife underwater that he hides by clamping it in his butt cheeks?  I never forgot that scene

    And now none of us ever will.

  4. 4
    Kiersten says:

    The Woodiweiss was SHANNA, a classic IMO, but this not the HABO request. In SHANNA, she went to the prison to find a man w/a noble name (if not noble himself) whom she could marry and not have to worry about after (b/c he’d be dead) and thus fulfill her merchant father’s need for her to marry a nobleman w/out actually obeying him. Of course, our hero, (Rourke Beauchamp) is actually a wealthy colonial with a royal English pedigree/family. He escapes the hangman and winds up on Shanna’s father’s island as a bondslave, and since they’re very much still married, he insists on conjugal rights. Begin the highjinks which include pirates and serial killers and rape fantasies, oh my! (Yes, way too much of my brain power is used up by this information but I love, love, loved this book – and still do.)

    Don’t know the HABO one here, but there are a lot of similarities w/SHANNA

  5. 5
    Kristin says:

    I remember Shanna but that doesn’t quite fit the bill.  I seem to remember one in Australia that sounds like what she is talking about…damn why can’t I remember the name?

  6. 6
    sandy l says:

    I’m thinking the author may be Connie Brockway or Madeline Hunter. Wasn’t there a trilogy about three men who were betrayed? I don’t think it is The Rose Hunters.

  7. 7
    MarieC says:

    Is this the one where he is staying on a prison hulk and escapes after finding a knife underwater that he hides by clamping it in his butt cheeks?  I never forgot that scene

    And now none of us ever will.

    ROTFLMAO!!!!  That is too funny!!! I love HABOs!

  8. 8
    Noelinya says:

    Is this the one where he is staying on a prison hulk and escapes after finding a knife underwater that he hides by clamping it in his butt cheeks?  I never forgot that scene, but I have no idea what the title is.

    Hence the need to thoroughly body search a prisoner !
    Definitively not a Woodiwiss.

  9. 9
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    Hence the need to thoroughly body search a prisoner !

    Especially if he looks like a romance novel hero.

  10. 10
    Donna says:

    OMG, I’ve read this too!! Remember the title or author, not so much…

  11. 11
    Sharon says:

    Oh, God..Shanna!!  The nuns confiscated this from me waaaay back in high school and called my parents.

    I think The Wolf And The Dove was the first seriously hot romance I ever read, and, coming from a VERY conservative Catholic family, it was my first exposure to explicit sexual detail…thank God for Woodiwiss and Rogers, otherwise I’d never have known that sex wasn’t just “a cross to bear”, ha!

  12. 12
    Ashley says:

    ok, I now feel like I must read about whatever hero has such butt cheek strength and endurance

  13. 13
    Betsy says:

    Sounds like “Moonraker’s Bride” by Madeline Brent.  It’s set mostly in China during the Boxer Rebellion.  However, the prison break was by bribery, not water.

  14. 14
    Maria says:

    It’s like a two for one HABO! I think I’m going to have to read Shanna on the flight home, if it’s an ebook somewhere…ahhh instant gratification (hopefully). Newgate, Pirates, serial killers, and possibly some crazy butt abilities, sounds like a romping good time.

  15. 15
    brooksse says:

    This sounds a lot like Ondine by Shannon Drake (Heather Graham) but there are some plot differences.  Here’s the scope from fictiondb.com:

    When handsome Lord Chatham rescued the golden-haired Ondine from England’s gallows, he demanded only one thing in return . .. her hand in marriage. In gratitude, Ondine consented to his plans—yet refused his touch.

    Though his smoldering desire aroused her own secret temptations, Ondine defied her mysterious husband. Until suddenly, in the notorious court of Charles II, the sapphire-eyed beauty was plunged into a web of danger and desire, jealousy and romance. As secrets exploded, and swords clashed in vengeance, the strangers in marriage became partners in passion, and lovers on fire…

    IIRC, the hero (Warrick?) and heroine (Ondine) were both involved in separate bits of intrigue while at court (taking place simultaneously during the prologue).  Warrick’s first wife died under mysterious circumstances (set up to look like suicide?).  Meanwhile, Ondine’s father died in a plot involving Ondine’s cousin, the king, and treason. The father tries to stop the cousin, the plot is foiled, and the cousin kills the father and sets him up as the fall guy. 

    The first part of the story takes place at Warrick’s estate and is focused on solving his first wife’s murder. Warrick had married Ondine to save her from the gallows (per law or something, a prisoner could be spared if someone comes forward to marry her).  Warrick thinks Ondine is a common thief (she was caught poaching while on the run and he didn’t know who she was). He hopes marrying her will help trap his first wife’s killer.  When the killer tries to kill Ondine, Warrick has a change of heart and decides to send Ondine away to America for her own safety (of course, he doesn’t state his true purpose for sending her away.)  This causes the killer to go off the deep-end and leads to them solving the mystery of his wife’s death.

    Ondine, thinking Warrick still intends to send her away, flees to her estate to take on her cousin. The second part of the story focuses on solving her father’s murder.  The cousin, obsessed with Ondine, tries to blackmail her into marrying him.  Warrick figures out who Ondine is, confronts the king to find out is going on, and realizes Ondine is in grave danger from her cousin.  He shows up at her estate masquerading as a blacksmith.  They eventually solve her father’s murder, declare their love for each other, etc., etc.

    And water is involved….. Ondine, a witness to her father’s murder, escapes by running into the forest and diving into the river. Warrick, near the river at the time, witnesses Ondine’s escape.  He thinks of Ondine as a mermaid escaping into the water.  I think he was content in his marriage but not in love with his wife, and something about Ondine’s escape into the water fascinated him.  IIRC, Warrick, was unaware of the plot involving Ondine’s father and the King.  Of course, they eventually realize their paths crossed by the river on that fateful day….

  16. 16
    brooksse says:

    scope from fictiondb.com =  scoop from fictiondb.com.

    Anyway, I don’t think Ondine is the HABO book, but the plots sounded similar. e.g., Ondine never thought she was a widow, but she pretended to need help escaping a brute of a husband, to put off her cousin’s marriage by blackmail scheme.

  17. 17
    infogenium says:

    I only just found out that Madeline Brent was in fact Peter O´Donnel – the Modest Blaise writer. I loved all the MB books.

  18. 18
    Courtney says:

    I don’t know what this is but it is not Madeline Hunter.  Plus I can’t wait for it to be identified because I totally want to read it.

  19. 19
    AJane says:

    Is this the one where he is staying on a prison hulk and escapes after finding a knife underwater that he hides by clamping it in his butt cheeks?  I never forgot that scene, but I have no idea what the title is.

    Actually, I think this one is a Virginia Henley and the heroine’s name was Emerald or something like that. I know I own that one, but it’s packed away because of recent moving. ARG!

  20. 20
    Rina says:

    Darn. I loved Modesty Blaise and the ending slayed me.
    The mysterious book?  No clue.

  21. 21
    Jane Holland says:

    Has everyone else suddenly recalled that scene from Pulp Fiction where Captain Koons (Christopher Walken) delivers the man’s gold watch that he’d hidden up his butt for years in the Vietnamese POW camp? 

    Thanks for this. What a way to start my day. The book described here? Not a clue … but I wanna read it.

  22. 22
    Literary Slut Kilian says:

    Is this the one where he is staying on a prison hulk and escapes after finding a knife underwater that he hides by clamping it in his butt cheeks?  I never forgot that scene

    And now none of us ever will.

    Major spew!

    When am I going to learn not to read this blog with food in my mouth?  Now my keyboard is all icky.  Just like this mental image.

  23. 23
    minna says:

    Definately Wedding Day Vows (Lauire Paige).  He escapes by going off a bridge on the way to his hanging and was shot in the attempt.  He arrives at the estate pretending to be a cousin from America (hero is also American, inherited title from another cousin or uncle) Lots of the funny because she doesn’t recognise he is her husband and he gets jelous of himself.  The villian is his famale cousin’s husband, everyone thought his female cousin was dead, but she went mad after a miscarriage and was hidden away at a convent (as you do).  I think I’ve read this one about 4 times, just something about it.

  24. 24
    minna says:

    Just read that over and noticed my many spelling errors.  Sorry, however in my defense it has been a bloody long day.

  25. 25
    Andrea2 says:

    Based on Minna’s summary, I have to find and read this story.  Sounds good, especially if Minna’s read it so many times.

    Sunny, is this your book?  If not, it sounds like your question has just boosted used book sales and all for different books!

  26. 26
    Vixenbib says:

    Minna says,

    she doesn’t recognise he is her husband and he gets jealous of himself.  The villian is his female cousin’s husband, everyone thought his female cousin was dead, but she went mad after a miscarriage and was hidden away at a convent (as you do)

    I have no idea about Sunny’s book – but Minna’s book sounds as if it were written by someone who really needs to get out more and I really want to read it. It would be mega-fab if they turned out to be one and the same. (I don’t think Sunny is on her own with the Creeping Insanity.)

    I LOVE HaBOs.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, Sarah, can/can’t we have them more often? 

    (that last bit has absolutely zilch/nothing to do with the fact that I have my own HaBO request waiting in the wings…it’s a genuine yearning for even more laughs in my life)

    passed39 Yep.That’s definitely me.

  27. 27
    Andrea2 says:

    Ok, Minna and Vixenbib and Sunny and all,

    I’ve now ordered the Wedding Day Vows book from Amazon, I’ll get it in about a week.  When I’ve finished reading it, would you like me to pass it along to you?  We could all read it and then send it to the next person that wants to try it. 

    Once we’ve identified the book with the secreted knife, I’ll order that one too, and we can circulate that as well.

    I second the call for more HaBOs, this has been fun.

  28. 28
    Maria D. says:

    I love HaBo – have no idea what book this is and please don’t kill me when I admit that I have never read a book by Kathleen Woodiwiss :)…..but I am going to rectify that today by ordering my own copy of Shanna and a copy of Wedding Day Vows by Laurie Paige…both sound very amusing to say the least

  29. 29
    Kristin says:

    I absolutely LOVE HaBOs…but, just once, I would like to have the answer.  Sadly, I frequently remember entire plots without having a freaking clue as to the title.

  30. 30
    Tif says:

    Is this the one where he is staying on a prison hulk and escapes after finding a knife underwater that he hides by clamping it in his butt cheeks?  I never forgot that scene, but I have no idea what the title is.

    I’m pretty sure that scene is in Virginia Henley’s “Dream Lover”.  Poor, poor Sean O’Toole. 

    I know this because Virginia Henley’s books are not good but my guilty reads.

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