This request comes from a gentleman whose wife is looking for the first romance she read. This one is a doozy:
“This would have been in the 1983-1987 timeframe. I think it had a purple
cover (but I don’t think Johanna Lindsey wrote it). I remember it being
quite racy for a girl my age…
It may or may not have started off with a rich heiress trying to escape a
bad betrothal in the Caribbean to a much older man to pay off her father’s
debts. There was a pirate (with very green eyes) between the Carribbean and
France who took her virtue. Later, she was all the rage in Paris, and
Napolean’s attentions drove Josephine mad with jealousy. She left France
on a ship; other passengers included a Puritan couple from New England who
did not approve of her.
The captain of the ship was the pirate. Or maybe the pirate captured her
ship? In either case, she wound up somewhere in Africa, traded as a white
slave into a harem. She was picked to be some sultan’s squeeze (he was
described as a Janissary), but our plucky heroine was with the pirate’s
child at this point. The fabulous Arab had his way (but only anally). She
gave birth, and was told the baby died during childbirth, but it was really
taken away & given to the Puritan couple. They were being held hostage by
Then, she wound up back in New Orleans, was called an octoroon and sold as a
slave. The green-eyed pirate rescued her and she was reunited with her son
(the missing baby). Then wound up in the Oregon territories. Or maybe not.
It’s all verrry fuzzy after all this time. “
Of course I Googled “octoroon” and am so pleased to make the acquaintance of one more piece of racist nomenclature. Good Lord. Anyone remember this book?