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HaBO: Three novels, one book, many searches

Bookstorecat and some other folk are looking for this book, which contained three stories in one paperback:

I’ve spent many hours trying to find the first contemporary romance book I
ever read. I was about 13, so it was around 1993. The sad thing about this
is that I remember A LOT of unhelpful details about this book (which I’ve
condensed and abridged here), but I still can’t track it down—and believe
me, I have googled the hell out it.

The book contained three novels or novellas, all by the same author. It was
a primarily dark green paperback.

 

The first novel involved the hero
returning to his hometown to find the woman he loved about to marry a boring
lawyer. The hero might have been a successful actor named Brad. Hero:
brunette, boring lawyer: blonde. Heroine: takes some convincing that she
doesn’t need super-reliable-but-dull fiancé, and should drop him for
hero.

In the second novel, the boring lawyer fiancé from book 1 is the hero.
Dependable but set in his ways, he somehow has to come to the aid of a
brunette with curly hair whose name might have been Brandy, although if I
have all these details right, you’d think I would have found the book by
now. I believe they are holed up in a remote cabin.

At some point, the hero has a near-death experience, where he meets a sort of personal committee of
people on the Other Side, who are responsible for his fate. (Even as a kid,
this Life Council thing creeped me out.) They tell him he is sabotaging
their efforts to change his life, fitting the heroine into his old patterns,
instead of radically altering his ways as they intended. They send him back,
and he devotes his life to helping people and marries what’s-her-name.
The third story is about a hero who I believe had RED HAIR—and seriously,
how often does that happen? He is a spy or ex-special forces type who wakes
up next to an exquisitely beautiful blond woman one night, with no memory of
who she is. He’s been hurt and has just a Touch of Amnesia.

She may be reluctant to reveal to him the extent of their relationship for some reason.
The setting was quite possibly a mansion, but most of the book took place in
the bedroom—at least the way I remember it. Some intrigue and danger are
involved, but I have almost total amnesia on the plot, though not the sex
scenes, strangely. Those made an indelible impression on my 13-year-old
brain. In one they are both tired, and, as they are making out, each is
continually surprised the other hasn’t fallen asleep. As if!

I might have tried to find this book eventually anyway, but the thing that
actually started me looking was a post on the Barnes & Noble Lost Books
board called “3 stories in one book, can’t remember title.” I thought,
“Oh, I know that book. I can figure out what that was. And then I’ll get
to read my first contemporary romance again.”

Ha.

The original poster on the board remembered quite a bit about it, too
(including more about the um…plot)

Seriously, does anybody know what the hell this book is?

Ok, does anyone remember this menagerie of hair color?

 

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  1. 1
    Ken Houghton says:

    The hair colors sound like Michelle Pfeiffer in Up Close and Personal.  Which doesn’t help much.

  2. 2
    SonomaLass says:

    I clicked over to the longer description link. He STEALS HER GLASSES and takes the groom’s place? I hope someone finds this!

  3. 3
    Jessica E says:

    I have no earthly idea what book this is but after reading your description I want to read it!

  4. 4
    Nancy Ewart says:

    Boy, do I come from another generation. I think the first romance novel I read was by Nora Lofts and involved a women being sent to the Dutch Indies for an arranged marriage. Oh, and there were nutmegs.

  5. 5
    Carolyn says:

    I adore Nora Lofts and I’m definitely aging myself, lol.

    As I recall, she wrote at least two books involving the Dutch East Indies: Scent of Cloves and Silver Nutmeg. I still have them both, somewhere …

    In one of those books (Scent of Cloves, I think), the heroine comes across an emaciated woman , trapped in a cage suspended from a tree. She’s naked and covered in filth and has lost all language capability. My younger self was so horrified that image has stuck in my mind to this day!

    This was the way her FIL punished people who offended him. He blamed the nursemaid for his son’s condition.

    It’s a damn good writer who can create images that stick in your mind for decades.

  6. 6

    It doesn’t sound like something you need to spend a lot of time looking for.  If you just keep reading other books I think it will lose significance.

  7. 7
    cleo says:

    I have almost total amnesia on the plot, though not the sex
    scenes, strangely. Those made an indelible impression on my 13-year-old
    brain.

    Funny how that works.  That’s exactly the case for me and my first (category) romance – you remember way more details than I do.  Sometimes I entertain myself by mentally writing the HaBo for it (ok, so I’m a SBTB geek) – “I’m looking for a category romance, circa 1984.  I borrowed it from a friend – I was 14, on an overnight bus with my church youth group, and here’s EVERYTHING I remember about the book; the main characters had SEX.  More detailed sex than I’d ever read about before.  Sex that involved thrusting hips.  No idea what else happened in the book – I was too busy feeling embarrassed and guilty to remember anything else.”

  8. 8
    bookstorecat says:

    @cleo
    I believe the book you are looking for was called The Virgin Bibliophile’s Youthful Awakening.

    I went back to the original post at bn.com that got me trying to find this damned book months ago, and I realized I really had again forgotten the first book even HAD a plot (involving the groom chickening out at the last minute, to be replaced by the Hero, cleverly disguised by the Heroine’s extremely bad eyesight—‘cause no one wears their glasses or contacts during their wedding ceremony). All I really remembered was that the heroine ends up with the actor Hero, and there’s a scene early on where he is wearing quite sexy cut-off jean shorts.

    Yes, funny how that works.

  9. 9
    cleo says:

    @ bookstorecat – that’s IT!  LMAO

  10. 10
    JamiSings says:

    You know, I don’t know how those switch-a-roos would work legally. I can see them working in historical novels and even then only certain eras. But with marriage licenses and such I would think a switch at the alter would not be legal. Therefore the bride or groom, to me at least, would be a real moron to believe they’re really legally married to their switched bride or groom.

    Those with legal knowledge feel free to correct me.

  11. 11

    Such a switcheroo in a Catholic ceremony would be grounds for an anullment, hands down.  Horse’s mouth.
    (Well, maybe the horse part is not an appropriate reference.)

  12. 12
    Erin says:

    Is it just me, or is ‘The Virgin Bibliophile’s Youthful Awakening’ the best title EVER?

  13. 13
    boogenhagen says:

    The book the poster is looking for is called Summer Dreams and it is by Annette Broadrick it includes:
    That’s What Friends Are For where Brad steals Penny’s glasses so she doesn’t know who she is marrying when Gregory runs off. 
    Come Be My Love:  Where Gregory goes to his cabin and meets Brandi on the run.
    A Love Remembered where Tim wakes up next to Elizabeth and has no memory of the past two weeks.

  14. 14
    JamiSings says:

    Okay, so that’s the Catholic church, but how about other religions? For that matter how about the non-religious issues? Would the government say such a marriage was legal and binding and they’d have to go through divorce/annulment proceedings? Or since the switched one wasn’t the one to go for the blood tests, signed the marriage license, etc, would it still be legally recognized?

    Actually, I can kind of see it working in Vegas where you don’t have to get a blood test and you can get a license and married in the same place and the stereotype is people will get married while incredibly drunk. But not in an actual religious ceremony.

  15. 15
    SB Sarah says:

    Ahoy! An email from the person who may have edited this series points us to this issue:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0373151888/trashybooks-20

    A three-in-one from Annette Broadrick from 1991 including: “That’s What Friends Are For, Come Be My Love, and A Love Remembered. Summer Dreams presents three classic tales by this cherished author – three stories of love that blooms during all seasons, yet continues to remain as warm and wonderful as a summer dream!”

  16. 16

    @JamiSings.  Gosh, Jami.  i just don’t know.

  17. 17
    CarrieS says:

    @Cleo – Holy crap!  I TOTALLY READ THE SAME BOOK!  See, I was in seventh grade, see, and my friend loaned them to me, and there were these people in it, and they totally had SEX.  I’ve actually tried several times to write a HaBo for these but all I got is one was a historical with this crazy sister and a tragic ending, and something about OCD and china shephardesses, and one had this white woman kidnapped by Native Americans and she falls in love with this guy, and they have SEX.  Now that I know they were titled “The Virgin Bibliophile’s Youthful Awakening, I and II”, I can rest easier.

  18. 18
    Nancy Ewart says:

    I see that we all remember the important parts of the book. It’s nice to know that plot (what plot), character development or other such areas are completely unimportant.

    It’s All About Le Sexy.

    Works for me.

  19. 19
    cleo says:

    @ Bookstorecat – wow, not only did you get your HaBo answered, you solved a lot of others with The Virgin Bibliophile’s Youthful Awakening.  You’re my new favorite person.

    @ CarrieS – OCD and china shepherdesses?  LMAO

  20. 20
    bookstorecat says:

    @boogenhagen

    You are my hero! Many, many thanks to you. Thanks also to the emailer SBSarah mentions and for SBTB for posting my desperate plea in the first place. I followed the link above and my first thought was Ah, The cover was BLUE, not green. I really didn’t give you much to go on, so thanks again to my favorite web heroes!

    Watch out Summer Dreams, I’m comin’ to get ya!

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