Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Nothing is Better than a Makeover

Stacy is looking for this book, and I am betting she’ll be able to find it. This sounds pretty memorable.

I have thought about sending you this HABO a million times (and may have
actually done so already a couple of years ago, so forgiveness if I did).
This book sounds stupid as hell but I just loved it:

It’s a contemporary romance about a woman who owns an art gallery (in
Chicago, maybe?) and is secretly sad because she’s the only person in her
family who doesn’t actually create great art and she has low self-esteem
because of that. She does, however, have a good eye for art and spends time
funding and propping up the egos of various eccentric artistes.

The hero is a super sexy guy who comes back into her life to whisk her away
for some reason after a long absence. He used to be either engaged or
married to her sister, but he took our heroine’s virginity back in the day
and has come back to embroil her in some dangerous intrigue or other.

Memorable scenes: at one point they are staying in a crappy hotel and our
heroine, lonely and drunk, spends the afternoon getting a makeover from a
prostitute who lives in the hotel. A super hot and slutty makeover! When our
hero returns from his errands to find her drunk and skanked out to there, he
naturally takes her out to a bar and gets violently jealous at all the male
attention coming her way.

At the very end there is a fight involving a lot of machine gunning inside a

Most of the story takes place in a tropical island setting. Maybe Hawaii,
but maybe not! Man, I wish I could remember more, especially the names of
the characters. Hell, while I’m at it, I wish I could remember the title
and author. Who else read this awesome thing? I have googled the hell out of
it and never come close to finding it again.

I love a good makeover scene. It’s awesome. Anyone remember this book?


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  1. 1
    Jamie says:

    This sounds like Jayne Ann Krentz’s Silver Linings.  I re-read her books now and then and that one sounds like its what your looking for.

  2. 2
    Giovanna says:

    Hi, this is: Silver Linings by Jayne Ann Krentz :)

  3. 3
    henofthewoods says:

    I finally know one.
    The most recent time I read this, I found the hero (and the family and friends) really annoying. He pretends that he is willing to give up his business and home to be with the heroine, but he has no intention of doing so. Of course she will back down and leave her home and business and friends. (To live on an underpopulated tropical island, not a complete hardship.)
    When I read this in the 90’s (when it was written), I did not mind this assumption. (His dreams are more important than hers, she can get new dreams and adapt, but it would be wrong to expect him to find new dreams and adapt.) Now it seriously irks me. How dare he? She has a functioning business that has existed for years; he has the money put together to finally get his business going. There is a main theme about her learning to value herself even though she is different from the others in her family. But that is totally undercut if she has to drop everything to go follow him.
    Has the world changed or is it just me?
    10 years ago, books from the 80’s seemed hopelessly out of date. Am I now going to get pissed off at the sexism of the 90’s?
    I guess it is a good thing, evolution continuing, but it was startling in a book I remembered liking quite a bit.

  4. 4
    Ros says:

    Huh.  Wonder where I can find a local prostitute to give me a makeover.

  5. 5
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Yep, Jayne Ann Krentz’s Silver Linings.  I love this book, hero attitude and all.  IMO, it has held up fairly well, because I am a sucker for her tropical island stories and because I love the heroine.  I think my favorite scene in the book is where she lets lose on her artist sister about being an art snob.  So for all that I really like I am willing to put up with the hero.
    @henofthewoods—I’ve found that the best books of the 80’s and 90’s still are enjoyable to read, if you loved the book the first time around. Yeah, some of the hero’s manly man-ness does get a bit wearing. But if there’s a good story in there and the emotions ring true, then they can still be enjoyed.  As for who changed, you or the world? Why both, of course! As have we all.

  6. 6
    Robin says:

    I just started reading Silver Linings by Jayne Ann Krentz a couple of days ago, and it is definitely sounding like what you’re describing. Lots of fun so far! :)

  7. 7
    cbackson says:

    True story:  I was housemates with a prostitute for a while.  She never gave me a makeover, though she did make me breakfast sometimes (when I was getting up, and she was getting ready to turn in for the night).

  8. 8
    becca says:

    I’m on a JAK re-read anyway, so this has just jumped higher on my list.  She’s not *great* writing, but those 1990s era books just satisfy.farm12

  9. 9
    Stacy Perry says:

    Thank you so much! I cannot believe how long this book has haunted me and how quickly you guys were able to come up with the title. So awesome.

  10. 10
    Vicki says:

    When I was in medical school, I had a friend who was a call girl, only did doctors because she thought they’d be disease free. She did give out a few fashion tips and a few more “relationship” tips. Now she’s married and lives three doors down from my mom who thinks she’s a great and staid wife and mother.  BTW, the book sounds interesting.

  11. 11
    Theresa says:

    becca, I’m rereading my Krentz books as well.  Something must be in the air!  I’m just about to start my favorite Absolutely, Positively.  I think I enjoy her books because she has book smart but tough heroes.  Sigh.

  12. 12
    Sybylla says:

    I had to laugh because while I have never read Silver Linings, I went on a big JAK kick a few years back, and the key points in the HABO (art gallery, Disneyesque heroine who rescues metaphorical wounded birds, island locale, random shootout at the climax) made me dead certain that it was a JAK book.

    Tell me, is the heroine a redhead?  And does the hero practice a rare form of martial arts?  Preferably one that requires an ascetic lifestyle that he has begun to shy away from?

  13. 13
    AgTigress says:

    Heavens, old age is certainly getting to me.  I know most of Jayne’s books practically by heart, yet I didn’t recognise this from the description!  To be fair, it was never one of my favourites, but still…  I was probably thrown by the suggestion that the art gallery was in Chicago:  it was in Seattle, of course! :-)
    Publication date was 1991, so it is really more a 1980s book than a 1990s one.

  14. 14

    Forget the book I’m sort of into the idea of the slutty makeover though. That could be a new reality TV show. Hooker makeovers.

  15. 15
    LMG says:

    I would totally watch a hooker makeovers show. Or maybe a makeover swap, where hookers make over uptight women to be more sexy, and then get made over right back to be less slutty.

  16. 16
    BadgerChaser says:

    I don’t know this book, but if the hookers on my corner gave me a makeover, it appears that I would end up wearing sweatpants and houseslippers.


  17. 17
    Kay Webb Harrison says:

    The heroine found a new artist on the hero’s home base island-his business was a Pacific islands airlines—mainly cargo. He had been a mercenary in the past; the main conflict involves an enemy from his past. IMO, the hero fully intended to stay in Seattle, but the heroine decided that she could be happy starting new businesses on the island. The prostitute also relocated; the heroine planned to help her set up her dress-making business.

    I liked Silver Linings, but my favorite JAK book from that time is the one she wrote just before-The Golden Chance. I think that it’s one of her best.



  18. 18
    cleo says:

    Blast.  Finally an HaBO that I should have known and I totally missed it.  I also thought JAK right away but Chicago and the shoot out through me off.

    @Sybylla – lmao

    @Theresa – I *love* Absolutely Positively.  I hope you enjoy re-reading it.  Thinking about the scenes where she strong arms his feuding families into giving him a joint bachelor party still makes me laugh. 

    I have several JAKs that I re-read regularly – I don’t like her current books as much, but there’s something so comforting about her earlier books, especially from the 90s.

  19. 19
    JamiSings says:

    You know, if I was to be made over by a hooker I think I’d prefer to be made over by one who’s a man that dresses like a woman. They tend to have better hair, clothing, and makeup then the genetically female ones.

  20. 20
    Karin says:

    Finally I HABO I know, Silver Linings is one of my keeper books. Another similar early JAK tropical island book is “A Coral Kiss” but Silver Linings is a lot funnier.

  21. 21
    NerdyLutheranChick says:

    True story:  I was housemates with a prostitute for a while.  She never gave me a makeover, though she did make me breakfast sometimes (when I was getting up, and she was getting ready to turn in for the night).

    LMAO! I love anecdotes like this!

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