Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Hold Me Closer, First Mate Dancer

Ali writes in with a romance she’s lost and hopes to find again:

I have had a book in my possession that has moved
with me several times, and been there for me in my darkest moments. Now,
said book is nowhere to be found. For the love of Merlin’s beard, I can’t
find it, I can’t remember the title or author, and the names of the
heroine/hero escape me.

You may be asking yourself, “How in the holy hell can I help this bitch
out?”. Well, I’ll give you as much as I can about this book, and hope that
the Goddess of Romance is gazing in your direction.

A girl, raised on a pirate ship, takes over as said pirate when her father
(the head honcho pirate) is killed. We first meet her as she smuggles
herself aboard an English vessel, where she meets the hero, who has to take
over the Captaincy of said vessel during a raging storm when the “Captain”
is too drunk to do so. The next day, her father finds the correct ship, she
dives off the rigging and the pirates sail away. Flash forward, and the
father is killed, presumably by the Hero (not so). In her thirst for
revenge, she singles out all the ships of his line. Eventually she’s found
(her 1st mate, Dancer, searches frantically for her). Her nefarious uncle
locks her in his basement, beating her, until the Hero strikes a deal to
take her as his wife.

They marry, he lovingly cleans her wounds, and they
retire to the country. She becomes pregnant, helps local smugglers; he
leaves to find a traitor to the crown (his ex, wouldn’t you know?). Dancer
eventually finds her, she says she’s in love. Worried over the hubby’s
continued absence, she takes to a cottage somewhere on his land. He comes
home just in time to help deliver his two sons, twins. The traitor is
eventually caught (such a bitch, and not in a good way). Happily ever after.

So…..that’s it. One of my favorite books, and I can’t find it! I think
it might be a Zebra Heartfire, with a 3 word title, but I’m just not sure.
I swear, you have a hysterectomy and everything is shot to shit. :-/

Anyone remember this book? Usually the more crazeesauce the piratical historical, the more likely it is someone will remember it within seconds! Can you Help a Bitch Out?


Help a Bitch Out

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  1. 1
    Sally says:

    I can’t help, but I really, really hope someone can because I want to read this book.

    Spam filter says ‘force42’. May the bookfinding force be strong…

  2. 2
    Nikki Logan says:

    Sadly, I have no idea but Merlin’s Beard (LOL) I really want to know, now. What a cracking synopsis.

    I hope someone can reunite this Pirate/Ali/Pirate menage! I’ll be paying close attention.

    Good luck!


  3. 3
    Jackie says:

    I have actually read it and can’t remember name or auther AAARRRGGG!
    I think it must have been before 1988.  I thought it was a Johanna Lindsay, but alas not

  4. 4

    Dag, I’m no help, but I’d like to read it! I love when heroines get to be bad-ass pirates as well. So much more interesting than the swooning gentlewoman getting her lily-white timbers shivered.

  5. 5
    Pat A says:

    I have no idea but I want to read this one too!

  6. 6
    Carin says:

    I don’t think it’s the same book, but Kresley Cole’s Captain of All Pleasures (2003) has several of the same elements. 

    Here’s the blurb:

    Raised as a free spirit aboard her American sea captain father’s majestic clipper ship, willful Nicole Lassiter has never encountered an obstacle she couldn’t overcome—until she meets Captain Derek Sutherland. His sizzling kisses leave her longing, but after they share a night of passion, his subsequent disdain makes her blood boil. Nicole vows to take her revenge—by helping her father beat Sutherland in a high-stakes competition: the Great Circle Race from England to Australia.
    Nicole’s scheme is thrown overboard after her father is wrongly imprisoned, yet she remains undaunted—taking to the high seas with her father’s ship. But a storm wrecks her plans, and she finds herself a virtual prisoner aboard Sutherland’s vessel. And while her mind tells her she should escape, her body urges her to surrender…

  7. 7
    Tiblet says:

    Don’t know if this will help, but that is a list of “Pirate Romances.”

  8. 8
    Noelinya says:

    Don’t know the book, but it’s definitively not Captain of all pleasures, where the heroin isn’t a pirate (and it’s too recent)

  9. 9
    cate says:

    I think it’s Sea of Desire, the 2nd in Christine Dorsey’s Sea trilogy……. Heroine is daughter of a nobleman who’s been supplying American rebels with arms and is murdered …by our hero ?  Possibly not !  Great baddie in this one,  who is not necessarily who we think they are ( femme fatale type….Or is she ?)  Don’t want to give too much away because it’s a great read, as are the other two books Sea Fires(17th century piracy) & Sea of Temptation (19th century blockade runner)….the link in them being the Blackstone family

  10. 10
    Jen B. says:

    Not a clue about the book but awesome synopsis!  I am right with you about “have a hysterectomy and everything is shot to shit”.  Too true!

  11. 11
    Kat says:

    My guess is Marsha Canham’s Across A Moonlit Sea

    From Booklist
    On his way to the Caribbean on a mission for the king,Varian St.Clare’s ship is attacked by a Spanish galleon. The pirate ship Iron Rose comes to their rescue. Caught up in the fighting, Varian saves the life of a young boy, who in turn saves his life shortly after. The Spanish galleon is won over, but Varian’s ship is lost. Varian soon realizes his status as a “guest” on the Iron Rose is fortuitous, for his mission is to locate the privateers, especially the feared Simon Dante. But Varian is in for more than he can imagine because the captain of the Iron Rose is not only the young “boy” who saved his life, but Juliet, Simon Dante’s daughter. No other woman in his staid existence has ever come close to Juliet: she’s incredibly athletic, skilled in swordplay, and has a fearless spirit. And so begins this swashbuckling tale in which the hero finds himself drawn deeply into another world and utterly intrigued by a lady pirate.

  12. 12
    Cakes says:

    subscribing to comments. Want to read this!

  13. 13
    Jackie says:

    I am trying to remember the author, but with no luck.  I did a bunch of searches today on writers that I used to read when I was reading a lot of historical fiction and a lot included pirates.  I have not read Canham or Dorsey, so I don’t think those are correct.  I seems to me that it might have been a part of a series as I seem to remember some recurring characters (unless of course I am getting it confused with Lindsey’s Mallory series. 

    I think it takes place in England and the Caribbean?

    I have been thinking about this all day and unable to get any work done, ‘cause I am too busy trying to remember it!

  14. 14

    All I know is it’s not one of my pirate novels.  Hope someone else has a clue.

  15. 15
    Holly says:

    This almost but not quite sounds like Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood – written in 1990.  Jade is “Pagan” who took over for either her father or uncle as the lead Pirate of the Emerald.

    The Emerald flew across the seas, carrying the pirate Pagan—despised by the ton, whose riches he plundered, and beloved by the poor, whose plight was eased by his gifts.

    The Marquess of Cainewood vows to hunt down the pirate wretch in revenge for his brother’s death. But when Jade, an enchanting vision of rippling red hair and eyes of jewel-green, appears at his door to beg desperately for his protection, the Marquess agrees to keep her safe from the villains who want her dead. Jade is infuriating, exasperating, and gorgeous; Caine is noble, strong-willed, and powerful. No woman has ever befuddled him so, nor so deeply aroused his desire. But as Jade answers his knowing caresses with an innocent, wild abandon, they are drawn into a web of treachery that will test the very heart of their love

    Good Luck with the hunt.

  16. 16
    Noelle says:

    I also thought of Marsha Canham when I first read this HaBO, but The Wind and the Sea is what came to mind for me. Haven’t read it in some time and I rarely guess these HaBOs correctly, so it’s probable that I’m wrong!  That being said, I remember enjoying The Wind and the Sea a lot and that the heroine’s father was murdered and she and the hero were enemies and she did have an uncle in there somewhere, though I don’t remember him being a villain.  Like I said, I rarely guess these correctly.  :-) 

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.  Good luck!

  17. 17
    chisai says:

    I want to read this book so badly.  It has freakin’ everything.  Except a title.  Yeah, the not knowing the name of a book is presenting a bit of a problem…

  18. 18
    cate says:

    You know this is driving me up the wall…..I KNOW I’ve read it
    (I’m a tart for pirate porn !)…..&  I’m fairly sure Amy Fetzer had a first mate character called Dancer who betrayed his captain in either Rebel Heart or Lion Heart ( Rebel Heart I think)….but the builders are in and I can’t find a flaming thing….. But it’s definately not a Lindsey/Mallory book

  19. 19
    Jamie says:

    Gah, I tried searching for it, but my Google-Fu sadly failed me. Add me to the list of people who want to know what it is, but it sounds seriously amazing. Also, much love to the other suggestions-they look quite good!

  20. 20
    Julia says:

    i want to know what this is too!  see what you’ve started? ;)

  21. 21
    Kate Vinée says:

    Parts of this sound eerily familiar (particularly Dancer) but other parts don’t, so whatever bell it is that it’s ringing, I don’t think it’s the right one.  I hope somebody figures it out, though, because I’d like to know what it is.

  22. 22
    Ali Bass says:

    Oh, so so close on everyone’s description of various pirate books! Yet, none are the right one. I’ve loved this book for a long time. It’s driving me crazy that I can find it (lost somewhere in our various moves, I guess).

    Some other hints from the book:
    1) I believe the heroine is blond.
    2) The hero has a shipping line, is not an (active) Captain himself.
    3) The bitch traitor eventually falls her to death, as a cliff crumbles beneath her, after having lured our heroine out of her home (after having given birth).
    4) When her ship takes another, she has a place in the hold where she hides.
    5) She is eventually caught when the hero is on board one of his ships. Her crew is captured, but she manages to free them before being struck in the head by a beam.

    I swear, I know everything about this goddamned book except the title and author! Thank you one and all for your attempts to find it for me. :-D

  23. 23
    Ali Bass says:

    Oh, also:

    1) It’s a stand-alone, not in a series.
    2) I believe the name of her ship is the Sea Witch.


  24. 24
    Ali Bass says:

    Gah! I keep remembering more stuff!

    1) The uncle and her father were twins.
    2) As a child, she watched her uncle strangle her mother to death, because she chose his brother over him (who even then was a pirate, being born the 2nd child).

  25. 25
    Tiblet says:

    Just a guess,probably wrong, but it fits the Heartfire possibility…
    Passion’s Golden Bounty by Rainy Kirkland.
    Here’s the back blurb…
    Wild Pirate Princess

    Alluring tomboy Samantha Chesterfield was ever tryingmore outrageous stunts to win her pirate father’s favor, but when she sneaked aboard a ship of the crown, the independent spitfire got more than she’d bargained for. First she was drenched by a wicked atlantic storm…then she was warmed by the fiery kisses of a british duke. The uninhibited innocent found the promise of a lifetime of loving in the handsome stranger’s embrace, so it almost broke her heart to have to return home before sunrise. She vowedby all her newly awakened passions that somehow she’d find her lovemate again and share a life of rapture in the shelter of his strong arms.

    Lusty English Lord

    Tall, powerfull Alex Cortland had sampled the charms of countless women, but none had enflamed him so much as the water-logged urchin who’d stowed away on the Windspur. The adventurous sparkle in her beckoned him to touch, her pouting pink lips invited him to taste, and her supple, lithe limbs and sensuous curves begged him to conquer! After a night of claiming her as his own, Alex was shocked to discover his cabin empty at dawn. But even as he continued his mission to rid England of her scourge of pirates, all he truly sought was the one woman who’d truly set his blood on fire and his heart to pounding.
    Only 46 more heartfire lists to search (not really).

  26. 26
    Tiblet says:

    There is also Pirate’s Wild Embrace by Linda Windsor…

    Here is the blurb the site I found the heartfires on lists:
    Betrothed to a man she detested, fiery Shannon Brennan vowed to escape the tempestuous pirate stronghold where she’d been raised since infancy by her fierce buccaneer father. In order to putt off her daring scheme, she had to convince devilishly handsome ex-nobleman Morgan Hawke to spirit her away with him to England. But the treacherous rogue offered his gallant service one minute—only to compromise her virtue the next! Trapped in his virile embrace, the voluptuous vixen tried to resist—but his honey kisses left her breathless, and soon she was begging him not to stop!

  27. 27
    cate says:

    @ Tiblet ….. I’ve got that one !  Can’t get in the study to check it tho’….Bloody builders

  28. 28
    Tiblet says:

    And here is the list of heartfire’s I’ve found to search thru…looking for some old one’s myself.

    Hope one of those helps.

  29. 29
    cate says:

    The Rainy Kirkland one ….. She wrote a really sweet novel about the Salem witches as well…..which had some sort of nautical background too
    spamword…spirit 83….It’s going to take more than 83 shots to settle my nerves, if I don’t find out what Ali’s ruddy book is!

  30. 30
    Ali Bass says:

    Christ on a cracker! That’s it! That’s the one!

    Passion’s Golden Bounty. Thank you so much!! Now, to find a used copy somewhere…..*plots and schemes*

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