Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: It’s Not Good, But Ana Wants to Read It Again

Ana from Spain writes in with a request for help for a book she didn’t think was that fabulous, but wants to read again nonetheless.

So, this is what I remember: (Beware: spoilers!) Red-headed girl with green eyes ¿Morgana? lives in England, but her father dies, and she has no money, so her cousin ¿Ryan? whom she had never met takes her back to Ireland to their grandfather who is rich and had disinherited the girl’s father. But Grandpa is afraid she will die a spinster (even though she’s like 20 or something), so he says he’ll leave all his fortune to her and whomever she marries, as long as it’s a cousin (icky). So she’s going to marry this other cousin ¿Colin?, but grandpa doesn’t like him, so the day of the wedding he locks him in his room, and then “convinces” Ryan to marry Morgana.

He is pissed, blames her… and decides to leave with her, on his boat (he’s not exactly a pirate, but something like that), and they go to France, and to Spain, and to Africa, and he’s an ass to her most of the time, and she gets kidnapped by some locals in Africa, and she escapes, and she meets this other captain who wants to marry her, and she cooks monkey stew for him (without the monkeys’ hands and heads) and they travel to ¿India? where she becomes the lover of the local raja, and then she is kidnapped by his brother who rapes her, but then the Raja’s brother’s wife sets her free because she is jealous, and the raja doesn’t want her anymore because he thinks he betrayed him, so she leaves with the other captain, and they go to China, where she works as an english teacher for this merchant, who is a commercial partner for her husband, so he finds her, but he had been thinking she was dead, so he’s really pissed, and they leave together and go back to Ireland, where the other cousin, Colin, has become part of a rebellion, and he is captured and put on one of Her Majesty’s boats for 10 years. And I think that’s it.

He really is the worst hero ever, beats and rapes her regularly, but I did like the fact that when she is with the raja, she has sex with him because she wants to and she enjoys it, and not like in most of the books where the hero gets to sleep around even after he meets the girl, but she is patiently waiting for him to come back. But she is TSTL most of the book. In fact I don’t really recommend the book, but if anyone knows it, I would at least be able te see if it was that terrible.

I don’t know if cover details from Spain will be useful, but there was this girl with reaaally long red hair lying on a bed of furs, I think.

So, muchas gracias en todo caso!

Dios mio, Ana, that sentence is increíble! Does anyone recognize this book, pirates, rape and monkey stew and all?


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  1. 1
    Betty Fokker says:

    I don’t know who wrote it but I can promise you that if I ever come across it I will remember that plot!

  2. 2
    JaneyD says:

    So will I. But not in a good way.  :runs screaming into the woods where monkeys will probably—-um, no, not going there after all:

  3. 3
    Sandra says:

    I have read this, or something very similar, many, many years ago. I seem to remember her being pregnant early on, and the hero unconvinced the child was his. But she fell (or was pushed by the evil cousin?) down a flight of stairs and miscarried.

    The rajah (sheik?) teaches her all kinds of sexy stuff, and she ends up blowing the hero’s mind (among other things) once they’re back together. He had expected her to lie there like a good girl, not take charge.

    But I DON’T remember the monkey stew…

    almost29: Yep, that’s about how many years ago I read this book. I can’t believe I can remember so many details, but not title or author.

  4. 4
    KamC says:

    Sounds like any number of Bertrice Small’s books.  I read most of her “Skye O’Malley” series 20+ years ago and the plots were all pretty similar to what Ana’s described.  (I don’t remember monkey stew though.)  Sorry I can’t provide a specific title, but I hope this is helpful.

  5. 5
    bookstorecat says:

    I’m confused, does this book have a HEA-type ending? I must know if she ends up with the rapey guy or Colin!

  6. 6
    Sandra says:


    I’m confused, does this book have a HEA-type ending? I must know if she ends up with the rapey guy or Colin!

    Of course she ends up with a HEA with the rapey guy, if it’s the one I’m thinking of. This is Old Skool, after all. He’s an angry boner hero.


    BTW, do not google the names unless you have a strong stomach—one that can handle monkey stew. One of the first hits is a slash site for Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie. Don’t say you weren’t warned…

  7. 7
    Jessica says:

    Definitely sounds like an older Bertrice Small to me, and one that I might have read.  I do remember the one where she stays with a sultan and he teaches her sex tricks.  No idea what the title is….

    Could be Rosemary Rogers, but most of her books took place in North America.

  8. 8
    Julie says:

    @Jessica That was “The Love Slave”.  He was a ‘Passion Master’, she was a Scottish noblewoman (at 14) who was destined to be a nun, but ended up being stolen and sold to a slave trader.

  9. 9
    Sara Kanigget says:

    I think it might be No Gentle Love by Rebecca Brandewyne. It’s got the Morgana, a Rian, a scheming grandfather, and trips to Africa, India and China. Couldn’t find any mention of monkey stew though…not that I wanted to.

  10. 10
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Yeah, here’s a blurb for No Gentle Love, courtesy of Fiction Database:
    Morgana, gently bred, unaware of her burgeoning beauty, was not ready to be…
    the bride prize in a race between cousins to win her hand and her grandfather’s money.
    the toast of the London Ton and the object of desire of a madman she must murder to escape.
    a lone white woman in Africa fleeing for her life, battling through the jungle,
    But most of all she was unready to accept the love in her heart for the domineering demanding man whose desire for her was jealous, violent, engulfing, enduring..

    But once again, no mention of monkey stew….

  11. 11
    Rachel says:

    I want to read this SO BAD!

  12. 12
    Susan says:

    Dear Goddess…monkey stew???  How do authors come up with these plots?

    I want some of whatever the author was drinking/smoking/inhaling/popping.  No, not for personal use, for resale!

  13. 13
    Nurse Edna says:

    Anyone else having trouble figuring out who is supposed to be the hero here?

    I’m pretty tempted to seek this one out, I’ve got a weakness for Bertrice Small-ish craziness.

  14. 14
    Ana says:

    Thank you Sara and Barb, it’s No Gentle love!! I’m so glad someone knew, beause it’s been driving me crazy!
    Sorry about the long sentence, my mind is a bit chaotic :P
    For those who asked: Yes, Ryan is the “hero”, but I kept waiting for Morgana to grab a gun and shoot his sorry ass, it just never happened :(
    Maybe the monkey stew was not important for the plot, but it stuck for some reason, so I thought maybe someone may remember it as well
    So gracias again to everyone!

  15. 15
    Malin E says:

    I actually read this book as a teenager, translated into Norwegian (where the title is “Devil in the Body”), and the plot stayed with me as one of the most preposterous and ridiculous ever. First of all, there’s all that Old Schooley rape of the heroine (so much rape), who is so very dumb.

    I also seem to recall that both the “hero” and the heroine believe the other one to be dead at least once each over the course of the book, and I think the “hero” was a highwayman for a bit as well. The book has absolutely everything, not necessarily in a good way.

  16. 16
    Batty Tabby says:

    Ridiculous as “monkey stew” sounds, I’m afraid it’s captured my heart…. is that what she calls it? I really need to know how the author managed to work that one in.  Other ingredients, colors, scents, and stew-consumers’ reactions included?!

  17. 17
    thirstygirl says:

    So it wasn’t a Beatrice Small romance after all? I could have bet money that it was.

  18. 18
    Ana says:

    @Batty It was in spanish, so I’m not sure what the name would be in english. However the h explains how she can’t really put the heads and the hands in it, because they look too human. I think she learns how to prepare it from some local women

  19. 19


    And that’s from someone who likes some parts of “old school” romance.

    You know what bothers me most about the descriptions of this one? No, it’s not even the rape.  It’s that the hero – and I use that term loosely- apparently continued to sleep around after the couple met. I realize she apparently slept with someone who captured her, but that sounds forced.

    To me, a hero who still sleeps around after he meets the heroine seems guilty of emotional rape. I find that tough to forgive. An author would have to do some fancy writing to get me to give that guy a second chance, or to forgive a heroine who’d forgive him.

  20. 20
    Francesca says:

    I’ve read this one, but must have blocked it out. I would have bet it was Rosemary Rogers.

    What really stood out for me, reading the summary, was the number of miles our heroine covered in this book. Looking back. it seems to me, that every heroine of those old-skool, rapey books was raped not only multiple times, by multiple men, but in multiple countries.

  21. 21

    Don’t recognize it at all but personally love books where the heroine has red hair and green eyes and has sex with whoever she wants and the ultimate perfect hero always forgives her anything and HEA.

  22. 22

    And we are still on with the burgeoning I see. . .

  23. 23
    Jocelyn Modo says:

    Damn! That’s a crazy-ass book. I wanna read it.

  24. 24
    Katelynne says:

    Rebecca Brandewyne wrote the first romance I ever read, Rose of Rapture.  There was lots of rape in that one too.  I remember thinking it was one of the dirtiest things I’d ever come across and marked all the “sexy” parts.  Of course, now I shudder when I think of what I thought was sexy when I was 11.

  25. 25
    Emily says:

    A different synopsis from my favorite site Fantastic Fiction:

  26. 26
    Tandis says:

    Darn, one that I actually knew! Old Skool Brandiwyne used to be one of my favorites, and I think I still have this book tucked away in my parents basement (where I used to hide my romance, since my Mom was very against it). Don’t remember the monkey stew though.

    I seem to remember the book being better than this plot suggests, but then I was a teenager the last time I read it, so more than likely it hasn’t held up well.

    Spam word: RECENTLY93 – yep, it was probably as recently as 1993 when I last read this book.

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