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If It’s Wednesday, It Must be HaBOs: Holes In the Memory

Time for Habo-licious Wednesday! Today’s request comes from Barbara:

I read this book about 20 years ago, but it might have been older. It was a
historical, and not part of a series. I remember lots of details, but no
names, title and the like. What I still remember is that it was very
different from any other romance from that time, and I think it still is,
and that is why I would like some help to find it, so I could read it again.

The hero (British, lord James Something, bright red hair), who is traveling
in Asia – some remote part of china, I think – stays at an old man’s house
– a refuge maybe? This old man has a pretty granddaughter, who is half
Chinese(?) and half British – I think she was actually some other minor
Asian ethnicity, crushed by the Chinese, because I vaguely remember that her
mixed heritage was the reason she spent her life hidden and protected by her
grandfather. During his stay, another traveler tries to rape the heroine,
but the hero gets there in the nick of time, saves her and kills the guy.
Her grandfather asks him to take her to England with him, because he is
dying and there is no one to protect her, but he refuses and leaves. Some
time later the grandfather dies and she is taken and sold to a brothel. On
her first night of “work” she is drugged and is “encouraged” to be part
of a orgy. The hero, who is watching it, recognizes her and saves her again.
This time he takes her to England with him. There, lots of stuff happens-
she is a foreigner and looks like it, there is a lot of prejudice – but the
actual facts I really don’t remember.

They marry and live happily ever, no
for a long time. I vividly remember the epilogue – SPOILER ALERT – where
they fast forward some 30 years, the hero is already dead and the heroine
passes away when she sees her grandson, who is the spitting image of her
dead hubby.

I would love to read this book again and fill in the blanks. Can you help me
find it?

Whoa, epilogues after they pass away? That’s a device I haven’t encountered much. Anyone remember this book?



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  1. 1
    Tee says:

    I think I read this book too, had a pretty embossed cover, aqua blue-ish maybe.  The title is escaping me though I may recognize it if someone else mentions it.  I think it was something like “Springmoon”.

  2. 2
    Chrissy says:

    Is it Pearl Moon by Katherine Stone?  Hero was a Scot.

  3. 3
    Chrissy says:

    Nope, n/m I had that wrong.

  4. 4
    Ken Houghton says:

    I think I saw this as a Doctor Who episode, “The Girl in the Fireplace.”

  5. 5
    KKJ says:

    “House of a Thousand Lanterns” by Victoria Holt? The exotic setting sounds familiar, but orgies weren’t usually part of Holt’s repetoire.

  6. 6
    DS says:

    Sounds like a mashup of several Madelaine Brent novels—except for the epilogue.

  7. 7
    wendy says:

    Flora by Anne Weale from 1982/3?

  8. 8
    Barb in Maryland says:

    I’d have to go with DS above—my first thought was “oh, Madeleine Brent”. until you got to the epilogue part.  I don’t remember any Brent having that kind of epilogue.

  9. 9
    ros clarke says:

    No idea, but the moral of the story seems to be that the hero should always rescue the heroine right first time, otherwise something Much Worse will happen to her.

  10. 10
    Tarja says:

    I’ve read this in Finnish translation, but can’t remember the author or the original title. I think it was released mid to late 80s by a category romance publisher. Thicker than normal, a Special or something. I’m sorry I can’t be or more help.

  11. 11
    Karla says:

    Wendy is right. It’s Flora by Anne Weale

  12. 12
    Barbara says:

    I just looked up “Flora”, and it is the one! Thanks. And it seems to be the first book in a “Longwarden Saga”… anyone read the sequels?

  13. 13
    Chris says:

    No idea, but the moral of the story sounds good…!!!

  14. 14
    wendy says:

    Yay, I got one. In the olden days I would have been awarded a title. Sob.

  15. 15
    MariDonne says:

    It’s not the Brent book partially set in China. That one is Moonraker’s Bride, and the heroine is European, the orphaned child of missionaries raised by an elderly woman, no grandfather in the picture. The one with the brothel was set in France, I believe. There’s another with a woman who is mixed race, but she grew up in Nepal or Tibet and her mother was Indian.

    If it’s Brent, it’s one I’ve never read.

    ETA: Oops, should have read more carefully. I see the true HaBO was already identified. Sorry!

  16. 16
    Ros says:

    Wendy, I think you only ever got a title if you got it right in the first comment.

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