Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: I misread the word dirk and it was hilarious

This HaBO comes from NerdyLutheranChick who writes:

HABO! I’m looking for a Historical Romance that I read when I was in middle
school (so somewhere between 1993-1996), I originally found it in a box of
books someone gave my mom. I was secretly reading them and paranoid that my
mom would take them away, and so I would read one and put it back in the
box. I wish I hadn’t put this one back in the box! Here’s what I remember
from the plot:

A lowland noble girl (she might have been the daughter of a border lord -
not sure) is betrothed to a Highlander (son of The Laird) when he is a
pre-adolescent (or something) and she is a toddler or small child. He gives
her a gift every year – one year is a jeweled dirk that has some
significance later in the plot (I don’t remember what though.) I think she
doesn’t like him very much and he sees her as a whiny brat and is surprised
when his father says it is time for them to marry. I don’t remember how the
marriage actually happens (in my head I thought it was one way but then I
reread The Secret by Julie Garwood and realized that I had the two
intertwined in my head – I think they were both in that box – also a Flora
Spears Time Travel one) sorry, I got sidetracked.


Anyway, I remember that
she was (of course) super worried about the wedding night (ooh! I think that
may be where the dirk came into play…?) but he teaches her how magnificent
“making love” is and she gets all wanton and passionate at night, but
refuses to like him as a person in the light of day and refuses to wear his
plaid (I think there is an “I belong to no one theme going on..”.

The old Laird is on his deathbed and charms her (reminding her of her father…I
think) and then he dies and she finally wears his plaid for the funeral over
her heart. The next day the New Laird has to go meet his people, and orders
his wife to come with him and she wears his plaid on her bottom and MY
FAVORITE PART happens: The Laird says “Alas, my lass thinks me crass, she
denies me her heart yet offers her…”!!!! I was like 12 or 13 and I
TOTALLY remember that part – I think she was getting on a horse at that
point and that’s when he saw his plaid!

There might have been a part where she helped a crofter deliver a baby but maybe I’m confusing it with another book again… Can you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help me out?

I misread “dirk” and thought he gave her a jeweled… oh never mind. Plaid underpants beat all. Anyone remember this book?



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  1. 1
    Sofia Harper says:

    I want to say this is a Catherine Coulter book. One of her Bride series. Could even be Sherbrooke Bride. But definitely a Coulter. I think. lol

  2. 2
    willaful says:

    I don’t think there are any highlanders in the Bride series. Not even in The Scottish Bride.

  3. 3
    Sofia Harper says:

    @willfull You,re right. There’s The Heiress Bride and even the hero is just a Scottish Earl. This is going to bug me, because I know I read this book. lol

  4. 4
    LizW65 says:

    No idea but this sounds hilarious!

  5. 5
    Mireya says:

    Um… reminds me of stories by Hannah Howell or Teresa Medeiros… I will research a bit.  Either way reading the above made me want to go re-read “A Whisper of Roses” by Medeiros.

  6. 6
    beggar1015 says:

    I know I’m not helping here but this still sounds like a mashup of some of Julie Garwood’s stuff. The Gift had the couple betrothed when they were children, and The Bride had the heroine refusing to wear her husband’s plaid, although I don’t believe he ever says anything about being crass with his lass’s ass.

  7. 7
    shawnyjean says:

    It’s not The Bride, I read that sometime in the last year. No childhood betrothal in that and no dying father either.

  8. 8
    willaful says:

    Ooo, the mention of A Whisper of Roses tugged at my memory… I think it may well be Meideros.

  9. 9
    lunarocket says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Garwood’s The Bride. It has so many similarities it’s uncanny. I went to a website about it and it was mentioned that it was published in 1989 and then republished a few years later. Maybe some changes were made between editions?

  10. 10
    Theresa says:

    I originally thought it was a Julie Garwood as well; the plaid and baby reminded me of The Bride but there are definitely too many differences.

    I’m thinking that a few books may be mashed together? or the book has a lot of similarities to Julie Garwood’s writings…

  11. 11
    Jill says:

    It’s definitely not “The Bride,” my favoritiest of Ms. Garwood’s books. While there is the issue of her not wearing the Kincaid’s plaid, the rest of the HaBO doesn’t fit at all.

    Not much help, I know, other than to eliminate “The Bride” as a possibility. It could, however, be another Garwood tale.

  12. 12
    Sharon says:

    Maybe an Arnette Lamb? IIRC, one of hers features a child betrothal.

  13. 13
    cleo says:

    I vaguely remember reading one (at least) where the hero puts a dagger or dirk between him and his bride on their wedding night to show that he won’t make a move before she is ready. None of the other details ring a bell

  14. 14
    Rebecca says:

    Re: sharp, pointy objects placed between couples in bed; that worried me ever since I first read Hamilton’s Mythology as a kid.  What if one partner was an active sleeper?  What if you tend to fall asleep on your side and then roll onto your back as you sleep?  A careless move could be fatal.  I wouldn’t think bringing a weapon to bed would make a shy heroine LESS nervous.  (And as I recall the Scandinavian mythology where it shows up the hero brings the dagger to prevent the girl from putting a move on HIM, not the other way around.  This makes more sense practically if not symbolically, though it does suggest the hero is a violent psychopath.)

  15. 15
    Kylie says:

    it sounds a lot like The Gift -by Julie Garwood….

  16. 16
    NerdyLutheranChick says:

    Its not The Bride or The Gift by Garwood – I thought the same thing and reread (and own) them both. Some parts might be mash-ups of other books (I said that myself!) but not the dying father or the refusing to wear the plaid – plus I didn’t make up that awesome poem!

  17. 17
    NerdyLutheranChick says:

    It might be Whisper of Roses, the cover looks vaguely familiar…

  18. 18
    NerdyLutheranChick says:

    I just put Whisper of Roses on Hold at the Library – I will let you know if it is the right one!

  19. 19
    Liz says:

    I’m 99% sure it’s NOT Whisper of Roses, because I read that in the past 3 months and don’t remember the part about a tartan covered bum.  If I’m wrong, please tell me the page number because that sounds AMAZING!  Also, the death of his father is what prompts them to get married to prevent a war between the two families—and he definitely didn’t charm the heroine.  However, the whole semi-bethrothed from childhood, hating each other, refusing to wear his family’s tartan, and a sword being important is present in Whisper of Roses. 

    In fact, in EVERY Scottish romance I’ve read thus far (which until recently was the only kind of romance I read) there has been an issue of warring families and refusals to wear the other’s tartan, until at last the noble lady gives into the brute, impossibly muscular and brooding highlander.  Damn those highlanders and spirited ginger lasses! 

    On that note, has there ever been a book chat on the scottish romance (I’m fairly new to this site)?  Because the tropes in there are a plenty, but I enjoy them, and even though I don’t think Whisper of Roses is this HABO, I highly recommend it.

  20. 20
    NerdyLutheranChick says:

    It is DEFINITELY NOT “A Whisper of Roses” by Teresa Medeiros, I’ve never read it before! (Although it is very good so far…)

    It is also DEFINITELY NOT “The Gift” by Julie Garwood because it didn’t involve ships at all.

  21. 21
    NerdyLutheranChick says:

    It is also DEFINITELY NOT Annette Lamb’s “Maiden of Inverness”

  22. 22
    NerdyLutheranChick says:

    I think a good portion of my memories are the combination of other books, the really important part is the

    Alas, my lass finds me crass, denies me her heart, yet offers her—-

    That is what I truly want to re-find! I tried emailing a few publishers once upon a time, the only one who replied was Zebra.

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