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HaBO-Thon: Epic Saga of WTFery

Margot writes in looking for a saga romance that is so over the crazy top with WTFery sauce, I had to read the description twice:

I’ve seen several of your HaBO requests and finally decided to give it a
go. Many years ago, before the dawn of time (wait a minute I’m not even
thirty yet), I would read the verboten books hidden in the dusty corners of
my grandmother’s bookshelves. You know the ones I mean. Well, there was
this trilogy- a massive, epic trilogy (at least I think it was a trilogy),
spanning two generations of women (just a mother and daughter, really) in
colonial/french-indian/revolutionary America.

The mother was a raven haired
beauty who fell for the James Fenimore Cooper-type hero and they got it on.
Then she fell in love with a soldier- a proper gentlemanlike dude- and they
got it on. But only after the JFC hero she’d married and had kids was
thought long lost and given up for dead! And there was some mix-up about
which kid had been fathered by which dude. There was also a french canadian
trapper who had the hots for dear old raven-haired mum, but they never
really got it on unless you count the native americans who’d captured said
beauty and trapper forcing him to get off on watching them get off on her.
(I know, right?)

But then they’re rescued and somehow, during all these
adventures where the beauty isn’t with her husband for whatever reason, the
JFC hero comes back and there’s a big to-do because she’s committed bigamy
and which kid is whose, etc. And she really loves both men, supposedly. It
was convoluted and the last time I read them I was in high school and
definitely not paying attention to the plot. (Like you do.)

At any rate,
raven beauty has a daughter with golden hair, or strawberry blond, or
whatever. She takes after JFC dad’s looks, is the bottom line. So! She has
a plot when she’s older about wanting to be rich and marry into nobility
and money and her mom is all, no! Marry for love! You can’t fake it,
you’ll be miserable! I can’t remember if she actually ends up marrying the
douche noble lord or not, but he does treat her like crap and she ends up
trying to cheat on him with someone (a doctor, perhaps?) and then the other
dudes wife is pissed off…and they’d moved out to some island plantation
at that point, by the way.

At least I think that’s what happened. I can’t
remember how the saga ended, I don’t remember any names, but hopefully
that’s enough plot points that some genius out there will know immediately
what I’m talking about. These books really were epic, spanning the early
colonies, to the west, to Canada- they touched on just about everything,
from what I recall. Any clue as to which epic I’m talking about? The covers
of the books all had these sweeping scenes of the burly dude holding the
raven beauty in a field against a backdrop of mountains. So,
yeah…mother/daughter saga? Anyone?

This is crazy sauce epic romance at its finest: anyone remember these books?


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  1. 1
    Colleen says:

    I am not familiar with the actual book, but the plotting sounds a lot like a Bertrice Small book, although hers were usually set in England/Scotland and the Middle East (the heroine always gets kidnapped to a harem where she learns about kinky sex).  Has she ever written an America-based book?

  2. 2
    Jen B. says:

    No.  But when somebody does remember them, I am going to read them.  Holy cow, that sounds AWESOME!

    Love HaBO weekend.  Some of the descriptions are priceless.

  3. 3
    Monica Burns says:

    Well if it’s a series, the first thing I thought of was John Jakes early American saga starting with the Bastard (I enjoyed that book). I don’t recall his stuff being all that steamy, although if one read it when one was in their early teens they might think it was hot.

    The other choice would be Rosemary Rogers’s Legend of Morgan-Challenger Series
      1. Sweet Savage Love (1974) (This has the sweeping backdrop and the running all over the place, west, plantation, etc.)
      2. Dark Fires (1975)
      3. Wicked Loving Lies (1976)
      4. Lost Love, Last Love (1980)
      5. Bound by Desire (1988)
      6. Savage Desire (2000)

  4. 4
    JBHunt says:

    Could it be one of the books in Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness series?

  5. 5
    LadyRhian says:

    This sounds like one of those Rosemary Rogers-type books, what with the heroine having sex with men not her hubby and being forced to sex with Native Americans.

    Part of the Morgan/Challenger series, maybe? I know there was a book about the Daughter, Laura. Bound by Desire was Laura’‘s story, and the first book sounds like the original one in the series, Sweet, Savage Love. But there are 5 books in the series, not 3. The son, Dominic, is the “hero” (and I use that term loosely) of book 3. The second one is “Dark Fires” and takes the original two to Europe.

    And oh yeah, Rosemary Rogers writes more over the top WTF than anyone else I have ever read.

    Spamword: Major78 During the course of these books, the main characters will have 78 major lovers between them… and reunite in love in the last pages of the book, after having spent the rest of it (save for the first 2 or 3 pages) apart, taking lovers and boozing it up.

  6. 6
    Megan says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but they sound awful lot like the June Lund Shiplett books I read as a teenager! Right down to the bigamy and Indian captures! Only difference being she had multiple children not just one daughter BUT her daughter did marry a guy and move to an island in the Caribbean. The series was epic in scope too. At least 8 books I know of which spanned many generations. I had to stop after book 4 or 5 because I couldn’t handle anymore :)

  7. 7
    Tee says:

    That particular plot is not ringing a bell but it sounds like maybe a book by Valerie Sherwood.  She wrote about that time period and did a lot of trilogies.  I read a few of heres that had those trashy fake heroes that lead the heroine astray until she ends up with a different flawed hero in the end.

  8. 8
    Wren Truesong says:

    That progression sounds awfully familiar.  Did she ever do an Elizabethan one where the high-spirited Irish heroine (who, miraculously, had small breasts! ‘anything more than a handful is a waist’ is a phrase I think I got from there) has her liege lord, whom she actually does love for reasons I was never really clear on, take her droit du signeur on her wedding night so that she doesn’t have to be deflowered by her kinky douche of a new husband, who later turns out to be having random incestuous sex with his crazy, predatory sister?  Complete with a rape attempt by sister on Heroine which ends up getting the brother killed, something about falling down the stairs?

    I don’t remember how she got onto the ship, but I definitely remember it being wrecked and her—complete with Laser Guided Amnesia!—falling into the hands of a gentlemanly Muslim pimp, having a rivalry with his head lady of negotiable virtue, and eventually marrying him, but then he dies and she gets her memory back and goes back to the UK.

    Somehow she ends up with this rich little girl as her ward, only of course there’s this NEW douchebag who’s been assigned as the REAL guardian by Queen Elizabeth I, mostly to keep him happy and in the Royal bed.  But of course douchebag is intent on robbing heroine of her anal virginity, and then there’s the problem of the original Irish lord, and…

    …wow, this is a HaBO entry all by itself, isn’t it? But you can see why it stuck in my 13 year old brain.

    Anyway, sound familiar? The England-to-harem-for-kinky-sex formula definitely rang a bell.

    Recognition: total88. Yeah, my summary could easily have stretched out to 88 lines…

  9. 9
    Wren Truesong says:

    anything more than a handful is a waist

    Waste. WASTE.  Oh, the humiliation.

  10. 10
    Lina says:

    Well, anything more than a handful will end up at your waist, that’s for sure.

  11. 11
    Ellen Brand says:

    Er… Wren? I think that’s the Skye O’Malley series. My best friend in high school told me about it once, as the biggest train wreck ever committed to paper…

  12. 12
    Wren Truesong says:

    ….you mean there was more than ONE? 


  13. 13
    Polly says:

    The part about the girl wanting to marry a douchey noble and then getting together with a doctor also occurs in Anya Seton’s Dragonwyck (not the rest of the plot, but just that bit). It’s set in Old New York, with Dutch patroons etc.

  14. 14
    Barb says:

    Hi—definitely not Sara Donati! No bigamy there.  But I think Megan may be on to something with the June Lund Shiplett—Reap the Bitter Winds, possibly, which is followed by Wild Storms of heaven.

    From Fiction db:
    Reap the Bitter Winds:
    This is the story of beautiful, destiny-driven Loedicia Locke, married to one strong man, yet unable to forget another who had possessed her body and heart and fathered one of her three children. It is a story that moves from the savage struggles and naked lusts of frontier America to the evil intrigues and corrupt sensuality of aristocratic England. It is a story of a family split apart by guilt and shame, and of a woman trying to walk a tightrope of honor only to fall into the abyss of her own flaming needs….

    Wild Storms of Heaven:
    Loedicia. Ravishingly beautiful, dangerously hot-blooded, torn from the husband she loved, thrust into the arms of an irresistible adventurer, then into the hands of a rapacious, insatiable Indian warrior-chief…
    Rebel. Her lovely and lost daughter, trapped in unholy wedlock to a sensually perverse English lord, seeking escape first in a rapturous, ruinous affair, finally in a wild flight from civilization with the only man ever to master her…
    Sweeping from the torrid Caribbean to the untamed Western frontier, from the bloodsoaked streets of revolutionary Paris to the lush corruption of a vast Southern plantation, here is the enthralling, fiery climax to the magnificent romantic saga of our American past….

  15. 15
    Melissandre says:

    Loedicia?  Really?!

  16. 16
    Megan says:

    Yes really! :)  And as you can see the daughter’s name was Rebel and one of the sons was named Teak…like the wood. The biggest hint for me that it was this series was the fact that she meets the handsome soldier first but ends up falling for the frontiers man or JFC, only to go BACK to the soldier who’s been pining for her when she thinks JFC died. BUT HE DIDN’T dun dun duuuuuun!

    It was quite the tangled web. :) Now I want to go dig them out and re-read them!

  17. 17
    Phyllis says:

    Loedicia: pronunciation is “Ludicrous”

  18. 18
    Maria says:

    Well I guess with a name like Loedicia its no surprised she named her daughter Rebel. Although, that just seems like she was asking for trouble. She would have to liver up to her name, right?

  19. 19
    Susan says:

    Wren – That is definitely Skye O’Malley, the first book of Bertrice Small’s O’Malley saga.  None take place in America.  And you left out a couple of marriages…

  20. 20
    slimlove says:

    OH GOD this is totally June Lund Shiplett. I knew it right off. When I first started expressing interest in my mom’s book collection (sixth grade), these were the novels she deemed suitable for me to read (as opposed to the Bertrice Small titles, which were strictly verboten and which I used to sneakily read whenever I was sick and home alone for the day). I read them many times over, although I skipped some parts after a while as being too ridiculous. And, really, if your romance novel is too ridiculous and implausible for a naive 13-year-old, that might be a warning sign.

    Years later I tracked down the final two books in the series on Ebay for my mom, and read them before I handed them off to her. I’m pretty sure JLS ran out of ideas there at the end, because she basically wrapped up the series by having all the cousins marry each other.

  21. 21
    Kathleen says:

    Could it be one of the books in Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness series?

    This is what I thought at first as well but other than the setting/length not that much is similar.

    Those are really good books though and I would definitely recommend them!

  22. 22
    Ros says:

    I can’t believe I’m so late to the HaBO-thon – I’ve only just escaped from the abyss of my own flaming needs, which took some doing, let me tell you.

  23. 23
    LauraGr says:

    There are certain similarities to Merline Lovelace’s books.

    Horse Soldier: “Determined to locate her missing husband, New Orleans belle Julia Bonneaux and her young daughter have made a long and dangerous journey to the Wyoming territory. But at Fort Laramie Julia finds, instead, a piece of her past as she comes face-to-face with Major Andrew Garrett: the dashing rogue she had secretly married six years before, the Union spy who had betrayed her…and the man she thought was dead all these years.

    Time has eased the pain of Andrew’s months in a Confederate prison—but not the memory of Julia: the temptress who had enticed him, the woman who had nearly destroyed him…and the wife who now wears another man’s ring. When she walks back into his life, asking for his help, Andrew is torn between duty and desire. Now, with his career—and his heart—in jeopardy, he must choose between the misunderstandings of the past and the promise of a new beginning.”

    The daughter’s story follows. It is titled: Colonel’s Daughter

    Spamword : england68- just lie there and think of England, honey.

  24. 24
    Margot says:

    OMG, Barb, Loedicia and Rebel!!!! It’s gotta be them.  The minute I read those names I was all, YES.  So, thank you.  I guess it will take acquiring and rereading them to know for certain, but I’m positive those are the ones.  Thank you so much.  Thankyouthankyouthankyou.  You know, when my gran was ill and moving to a home, my mum went out to go through things and she asked my sis and I if there was something we’d really like from the house.  I couldn’t exactly ask for the hot-to-trot romnovs, could I?  I didn’t think I’d ever find them again.  Thank you.  :)

  25. 25

    I know y’all already figured it out but it reminds me a little bit of the Quilt Trilogy by Ann Rinaldi.  There was a mom who committed adultery (I think was a French officer).  So one of her kids is not by her husband so he sends that son away.  She has a daughter who has one blue eye/one green eye like the husband that gets kidnapped by Native Americans.  The older sister (Hannah?) love a military man and a fur trapper or something.  Then the 3rd book is about a girl disguising herself as a servant who meets the family (she’s related to them somehow) and I think her sister was raped and she’s impersonating her sister.  Anyway, it was pretty twisted and kinda random much like this description.  lol.

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