Help A Bitch Out


From Caitlin comes this HaBO request of a book with a plot that clearly went to Dunkin’ Donuts and got a power shot of CrazySauce. Really. I read this twice and still didn’t believe it. Caitlin, are you makin’ this up?!

This was the first romance novel I ever read and it was lent to me by a
friend in middle school (so around 1997 or so). The book at an emerald green
cover, took place in the middle ages and was part of a series.
The heroine was ostracized from society and lived in a small hut in the
woods. One day while out scavenging (or something) she finds this knight who
was hanged, but the limb broke under his weight before he died, so she puts
him on the horse she found wounded several months earlier and takes him
home. As he heals they (of course) find they are attracted to each other,
although she is clueless about what she’s feeling. He realizes the horse is
actually one of his lord’s favorite stallions, stolen months before and
accuses her. He finally accepts that she didn’t steal the horse, but takes
it with him when he leaves her (pregnant) to return to the castle and his
He’s out riding one day a few weeks later (I think he was riding because he
missed her and needed to think) and sees her running toward the woods being
pelted by rocks and chased by mean village kids (a common occurrence, she
had a star shaped? scar on her face from a rock) and rides to the rescue,
marries her and they live happily ever after.

Memorable moments:

-Bathing with hero in the river and notices her nipples are hard, she isn’t
cold so why?

-He comes in her mouth during a racy scene and she wonders whether the baby
would come out of her mouth if she got pregnant that way. Told hero she
wants a kid when he says she can’t get pregnant that way.

-May have been ostracized because her mother/she was believed to be a witch

-I think the heroine had long curly hair, maybe red

There was also an excerpt to the next book in the series that showed the
heroine and a friend douse the hero with pig bladder water balloons dropped
of a balcony.

That’s all I can remember, would appreciate any help!

OK, those moments are so memorable, I haven’t even read this book, and I will remember them for ages to come. In fact, I think I’ve aged just reading it again. For REAL? This is a REAL BOOK? Who am I kidding, of course it is. And many of you already know which one it is, don’t you?


Help a Bitch Out

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  1. 1
    Brianna says:

    I don’t know this book, but I think I need to read it!

  2. 2
    R.J. says:

    I am definately going to have to read this book. Kudos to whoever knows the title.

  3. 3
    Virg says:

    Oh wow, I’ve no idea what this book is, but I actually scared my 6-year-old cousin because I was laughing so hard. Am looking forward to whoever guesses the title of this gem. >:)

  4. 4
    Leslee says:

    I think I read this back in the day but I have NO IDEA what the title and author are!!!! Can’t wait to hear what it is!!

  5. 5

    It doesn’t sound like the heroine has much except a house she apparently hides in – so her neighbors don’t stone her – and a horse.  So, in repayment for saving her life the hero has his way with her, takes her horse, and leaves her to be stoned.

    And this is a romance??

  6. 6
    The Duchess says:

    I have a feeling this is Wild by Jill Barnett. The heroine is considered a witch and is therefore ostracized by people. She practically raised herself out in the wild and is thus a bit… different, to say the least. I loved the next book, which is Wicked.

  7. 7

    Wait, what am I missing? How is this more WTF than any other moderately WTF historical? It sounds pretty standard issue. Did he know she was preggins when he left her? That’d be scummy. The pig bladder thing doesn’t startle me, because when I was a kid I read Little House in the Big Woods and totally fixated on how the children played with an inflated bladder. The baby-out-of-the-mouth thing is teh creepeh, but if you spent your entire life in a shack in the forest, you might wonder something like that. H-another-BO! Why is this Xtreme WTFery? Also, I’d like to read it! I love any book where the heroine nurses a wounded hero back to health in the middle of nowhere.

  8. 8
    Dena says:

    Oh, I think I might have read it –  it is set in Wales or the Welsh borderlands and the heroine’s mother had some connection to the noble family in the local castle.

    Ack, I wish I could remember more!

  9. 9
    The Duchess says:

    If it’s set in Wales, then it’s definitely Wild.

  10. 10
    Dena says:

    If it’s set in Wales, then it’s definitely Wild.

    I just checked the synopsis for Wild and it is definitely the book I remember reading. I think that’s the one Caitlin is looking for.

  11. 11
    Veronica says:

    For the first time ever, I knew what the book was, but you guys already beat me to the punch. :)

    Wicked (the next book, with the pig bladder water balloons) is one of my fave romances ever. So good.

  12. 12
    Patty H. says:

    I think I’ve read this.  I recall the heroine living alone in the woods after her mother died.  The mother taught her about healing and the heroine was also a vegetarian.  The hero brings her fish and she cries because she could never eat anything with a face. Or I could be doing a memory mash-up.

  13. 13

    Oh, i need to read this.  NEED TO.

  14. 14
    Caitlin says:

    I have no idea what this is, but I am definitely inspired to read it now! Off to buy it for my nook!

  15. 15
    kkw says:

    I remember this book, but could never have come up with the name. Nice work, ladies.  This must be it, right?  It’s certainly the one I remember.

  16. 16
    Courtney says:

    I never know these either but I do think that this is Wild by Jill Barnett. I’m pretty sure I read it back in the day.

  17. 17
    John says:

    I know this isn’t it, because a lot of plot points don’t match up with the WTFery, but a read-alike would be Where Magic Dwells by Roxanne Becnel.  Involves hermit heroine (with five orphaned children) falling in love with a night from England.  Since she’s Welsh, it’s BIG TABOO ZOMG and was pretty good.  I enjoy when the heroine has the balls to poison the hero prior to lurve if he’s a douchenugget. 

    Obviously not the HaBo, but apparently the witchy Welsh hermit was some romantic subset in the late 90’s.  (On the upside – I can finally contribute something to a HaBo conversation, albeit a read-alike as opposed to the real book.  Still.)

  18. 18
    AgTigress says:

    From the Amazon synopsis, Wild appears to be the middle book of a trilogy, so some of those wishing to read it might want to bear that in mind.  I see it is set in late 13thC Wales, so I wouldn’t touch it with a barge-pole:  I don’t trust even English writers, let alone American ones, with Welsh settings and characters! 

  19. 19
    Jamie says:

    I think I might have to read that one : )

  20. 20

    I’ve found Wild, Wonderful, and Wicked all available on B&N for the nook, yeah—and MAN, I gotta say their current covers are GORGEOUS. Enough that I’d consider buying those in paperback.

    For now though I’m grabbing samples to see if I’ll enjoy the writing. :)

  21. 21
    Freda says:

    omg- stuff like this gets published!!!!

  22. 22
    OdetteLovegood says:

    I think the main WTFery that is getting people is the baby-out-the-mouth thing, and while out of context that sounds crazy as shit, there are two things to consider.

    1. As Cara McKenna pointed out, if you spend your entire life in a shack in the woods and were never taught how sex works, this might actually be something that occurs to you. Semen makes babies when it goes into women, therefore wouldn’t it make her pregnant if she swallowed it?

    2. This book is set in the Middle Ages, where the average person actually used that kind of logic even when they weren’t raised on their own in a shack in the woods.

  23. 23
    Meoskop says:

    Cosigning Wild.

    This was absolutely a fad plot tho. Not sure if it’s awesome or horrible that I could think of several books that fit this description until we got to oral birthing!

  24. 24
    Mama Nice says:

    .  I see it is set in late 13thC Wales, so I wouldn’t touch it with a barge-pole:  I don’t trust even English writers, let alone American ones, with Welsh settings and characters!

    A bit OT – but AgTigress, the hero of my current WIP is from Wales (but the book takes place in America) and I wonder what makes you say this? I have a close friend whose mother is from Wales and has friends who speak the language and am getting help from them as I go…his native background is not essential to the story, but an element nonetheless, and I am curious what mistakes have led you to feel this way.

  25. 25
    Sandra says:

    It sounds as if someone had been watching “Nell”, so what I want to know—does the hero look like Liam Neeson? And, granted, the HABO just touched on the highlights, but inquiring minds also want to know: why was the knight being hanged? As opposed to being hung

    ? And what was with the stolen horse? I don’t necessarily want to read this, but throw-away plot points like that intrigue me.

  26. 26
    Sandra says:

    As opposed to being hung


    Sorry, the program entered a line break instead of the smiley I intended. That should be why was the knight being hanged? As opposed to being hung (insert smirk)?   A perfectly good snark wasted.

    SIMPLE92: Software so simple a 92 YO can operate it, but apparently not me.

  27. 27
    Karen H says:

    I read this, too, way back when but the only part I remembered was the star-shaped scar and living in the woods and being stoned.

  28. 28
    bookstorecat says:

    Who wants to read a story about a knight who was not well-hung?

  29. 29
    Tanya says:

    I just spit wine on my dog.
    I didnt want to spit on my keyboard so I turned my head.

    hacking up a baby like a hairball…(cough cough..HOLY S%&T!)

  30. 30
    AgTigress says:

    I am curious what mistakes have led you to feel this way.

    Mama Nice:  it’s quite difficult to define.  Too often there are factual errors, especially with the geography of the country and with language, based on research that is simply too superficial.  Even using the tiniest snippet of Welsh, such as the occasional endearment, can be fraught with danger, because the differences between formal, written Welsh and colloquial spoken Welsh are considerable, and spoken Welsh, in turn, differs very markedly between north and south.  If you have Welsh-speakers available, that’s obviously a good start, but if they happen to be from Caernarfon, and your hero is from Swansea, bear in mind that their Welsh will be as different as the American English of people from Boston and New Orleans.  Or more.  Not just different accents:  lots of different vocabulary.

    But the main thing that sets my teeth on edge all too often is a kind of woolly romanticisation of Wales and the Welsh (and Celts generally), an attitude that has been endemic in some circles even in England since the early 19th century.  This can come over as incredibly patronising, even when that is not the actual intention, and it is based on a fantasy version of ‘Celticity’ rather than the (much more interesting) reality. 

    I also avoid reading novels that are based in the particular period/culture that is my area of professional expertise, because I usually find it hard to concentrate on the story:  I tend to focus too much on the errors that inevitably occur, and they distract me.  I suppose I react in the same way to Welsh characters/settings because I am tensely waiting for the stereotypes and the slightly off-key elements to appear.  I feel sure that this kind of wariness is felt by members of many other small, minority cultures, when they are described by outsiders.

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