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HaBO: Joining the Seminoles

Meredith needs your help finding an Old Skool romance:

I’m trying to find the first romance novel I read—this would have been
back in 87-88 or so, when I was thirteen or fourteen. I remember very
vividly that the book was set in Florida, and the hero was a Seminole indian
(chief? Chief to be?) and the heroine was white. I believe she was captured
by the tribe. This may have been during the Florida Civil war or before.

One of the things that really stood out for me was that she had the
opportunity to go home and leave him at the end of the novel, but instead,
chose to stay with him and join the Seminole resistance. Even though it was
a HEA, I remember thinking that the novel expressed (and of course I knew)
that the end result would not be good for them, because, of course, Florida
is controlled by that scary cartoon mouse, and isn’t the territory of the
Seminoles any more.

I know there are a couple of novels about the Seminole out there (Heather
Graham comes to mind) but this was earlier than her books, I
think—definitely mid to late 80s, since I was reading a used copy of the
book found in a “give and take” pile at the library somewhere in 88-89. It
may even have been 87 or 86. The cover, of course, was like those old Zebra
bodice rippers.

Can any of the old-timers like me HABO?

Can I tell y’all something? I was obsessed with the curly-hair-puffy shirt guy on the spine of the old Zebras. I kept expecting him to be in the books and he NEVER was. But I bet he was on the spine of this novel. Anyone remember this book?



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  1. 1
    Kat says:

    I was also obsessed with the Zebra man when I was a teenager! I used to search through my mother’s romance stash for him, dashingly posing on the spine, knowing that those ones would be JUICY.

  2. 2
    elaine mueller says:

    “Zebra” man?  are you sure you don’t mean Steve Sandalis, the Topaz Man?


  3. 3

    I don’t know this novel, since most of my Seminole reading was non-fiction for research.  I’d be intrigued by the answer, if someone can HaBO.  It’s worth noting that the Seminole Nation will proudly tell you today that the Second Seminole War in 1843 was the longest war ever fought by the United States (seven years), until recent events in the Middle East.  In addition, there were Seminoles who never surrendered during the Third Seminole war in the 1850s.  They just drifted back into the Everglades and hunkered down.

  4. 4
    Mary Stella says:

    I don’t know the title, but if we’re thinking of the same book, then maybe I can add more clues that will trigger the title memory for someone else.

    I remember a book where siblings were captured by Seminole but where kept by separate tribes.  The sister’s name was, I think, Katie.  She became the wife of the chief and grew to love him and find acceptance within the tribe.  Her brother was adopted as the son of another chief. 

    Toward the end of the book, there was a treaty and the tribes agreed to return all of the captives.  The brother had grown to care about his Seminole family, but when returned to the ranch wanted to stay with his family of origin.  The sister loved her husband, resented the way that everyone was treating her as tainted and wanted her to just forget the whole experience.  Her brother understood when she snuck out of the house at book’s end and rode back to find her Seminole husband and family.

    Hope this helps.

  5. 5
    Karen H says:

    The publication date is totally off but I was immediately reminded of Heather Graham’s Florida series.  The second book, “Captive,” has the white heroine visiting Florida and meeting the hero in his non-native guise, then being captured as she’s trying to return to Charleston and is caught by a war party (it’s during the Seminole Wars).  Not only was it a Topaz book but Steve Sandalis, the Topax Man, posed for the gorgeous stepback cover (which is why I own a copy since I collected his covers back then).
    There’s another older book I can visualize the cover for that might be it (the hero’s in a turban and I think the Seminoles were one of the few, or only tribe, who wore turbans) but I cannot recall the title.  If I find it and it fits, I’ll post again.

  6. 6
    Robin Bayne says:

    The Heather Graham series was the first thing that came to my mind, too.  I think the hero’s name is James.

  7. 7
    Jennifer Armintrout says:

    Was it “Renegade Heart” by Peggy Hanchar? I’ve never read it, because she is my grandma and I do not want to read what my grandma may or may not have written about people having sex. But this is the random description I found on the internet:

    Her body was like a flower opening to him, needing him as the flower needs the sun and rain . . .

    Beautiful blonde Bree Rikker was a proud and spirited Southern belle who had scorned all suitors when she was captured by a savage Seminole Indian war party.

    Shocaw was the strongest and bravest of all Seminole warrior chiefs, obeyed by every Seminole brave, desired by every Seminole woman.

    In Shocaw’s arms, Bree learned what it was to truly be a woman. In Bree’s embrace, Shocaw learned what i was to truly love one. Together they had to face the anger of Shocaw’s people and the hatred of Bree’s. But they never relinquished their romantic dreams or the intensity of their forbidden desire. And against chilling odds, they plunged to the depths of danger that only their burning passion could hope to conquer . . .

    It came out in 1987. I remember this, because her research trip to Florida included taking me to Disneyworld for Christmas because MY BABA LOVES ME.

  8. 8
    Meredith says:

    Renegade Heart by Peggy Hanchar—ohmigod, I think that must be it. The names sound so familiar. I can’t find a copy of the cover online, but will order it right NOW!!

    You guys rock.

  9. 9
    Lisa says:

    Jennifer, your comment made me laugh out loud. Your grandma does sound awesome, and I couldn’t agree more about not wanting to know about either of my grandmothers’ take on sex.

  10. 10
    Jennifer H says:

    Could it be Say You Love Me by Patricia Hagan? It has a similar story line.

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