This book is being sought by Kelly. I think this sounds like one of the most bizarre old skool plots I’ve heard of in a long time.
I read this way back in the late 80s/early 90s, probably the first romance I
read. Set in Scotland, the book starts with an arranged marriage that is not
consummated because, to the surprise of the wife, our heroine, her new hubby
only gets it on with his sister. I think there’s even a creepy line
implying his mom is ok with this. It is at her wedding where she meets her
eventual true love, our hero.
Heroine and hero are infatuated with each other, but there is then an attack
(possibly the evening of the wedding) by some enemy (probably an evil
Englishman) who kidnaps heroine. I believe she spends at least a chapter
being tied up in a barn and assaulted/raped by evil Englishman.
She eventually gets away and I’m not sure if I remember this correctly, but I
think meets a nice man who she loves but not as much a hero and they go
away, possibly to France first and eventually to America. I think he then
conveniently dies near the end. Maybe on the ship? He might be an older
gentleman. Heroine might be pregnant either from him or evil English rapist?
If so, I think she has a miscarriage on the voyage to America.
Hero meanwhile escapes the battle and heads off, somehow with some other
lady, I think the little sister of a friend who is in love with him, and who
he kind-of loves but not as much as heroine. She gets pregnant I think, they
travel on ship to America, she eventually dies probably in childbirth.
So they’re both in the US. By this time, heroine is a nanny or similar to
some children. Their father is becoming distant and I think dies with
something involving likely opium and a prostitute in a red room. I’m really
vague on the book ending details! So then I think heroine has custody of his
neglected kids, and she and hero meet again and it’s all hearts and roses
and expanded blended family of the kids of the dead employer (no idea where
their mom is in all of this!) and his child by dead girl who loved him and
who he loved but not as much as heroine.
This was possibly part of a series but if so, I only ever read this book.
Phew! Hopefully some of this is accurate and someone will recognize it! I
don’t think I’m confusing multiple books but it’s been over 20 years, so
it’s quite possible.
WOW. I don’t even know what to say about this one. I can only hope this was part of a series. I wish you could see the expression on my face right now. I would attempt to picture it here but it would require too many asterisks.
So. Anyone remember this book?