Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Is That Your Tallywhacker?

 Inez Kelley sent me this inquiry, and it's hilarious. 

Through out school, my best friend and I swapped books like lovers swap spit and this one made us howl with laughter. I'd love to be able to track down a copy (ebay anyone?) and gift it to her after so many years. Strangely I remember a lot of details but no names, title or author. It was either a Harlequin or a Silhouette from the 1980's. It was the first we'd read that didn't feature a super wealthy hero and a gorgeous heroine. The heroine was bit ditzy and was looking for work. She was caring for two young children(her siblings maybe??)- a blossoming teen girl who had bigger boobs than the heroine and wanted mascara desperately and a cute little boy that is less memorable. The Hero owned a junkyard, was a widower/divorcee and had a little girl. His wife had cheated on him before she died/left.

There was an assortment of secondary characters like the heroine's mentally challenged sister, her lazy parents who expected her to find a place for them all to live and of course the three kids. When the little boy gets a sunburn or something, the heroine milks it, making the hero think the boy is deathly ill in an attempt to make herself invaluable to him. Hero's daughter also has her mother's old make-up hidden under her bed and the teen girl gets all hussied-up in like blue eyeshadow or some crap. That part is hazy. What makes this thing stick out was how redneckish the characters were and yet, we knew people just like this. At one point, the heroine asks the hero if he is constipated because he is grouchy but of course, he is just sexually frustrated. Then while kissing, she feels the 'throbbing of his desire' and screeches “Is that your tallywhacker?”

I confess my friend and I used to wait until the middle of school lectures, church services and family dinners to whisper “Is that your tallywhacker?” just to make the other laugh.

Ultimately, the two rednecks get together, heroine's dad sits on his butt and runs the entrance to the junkyard, Her mom is a built in babysitter, the hero sets the inlaws up in a motor home across the junkyard from his house and the mentally challenge sister is the best crab shucker around. (or something like that). It is happily ever after in the junkyard! It reminded me a lot of the Clampets meet Cupid.

Can the readerdom of bitchery help me find the title of this book?


This sounds absolutely insane. Can anyone help Inez find the tallywhacker?


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  1. 1
    Sarah Frantz says:

    OMG, I read that one and remember it because of the tallywhacker thing, too. It’s a Harlequin Temptation from when they were yellow, probably after 1988, because that’s when I moved to the US and my mother and I started reading Temptations, but I’m not sure about that. I can picture the cover. And it surprised me at the time, too, because of the class of the characters. God, I can’t wait till someone remembers this one.

  2. 2
    Noelle says:

    Jackie Weger’s “Eye of the Beholder”?

  3. 3
    Sarah Frantz says:

    OMG, YES!!!! That’s it! Noelle got it. Love that cover. :)

  4. 4
    Cheryl says:

    I need to buy this book. Seriously.

  5. 5
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    Oh, my god. The hero’s name is Gage. This makes me so glad that I’ve decided not to have children, because my husband always said that if we had a boy, he wanted to name him Gage. I don’t think I could, in good conscience, name my son after a romance novel hero from the ‘80s, because it’s the sort of name that people would Google.

  6. 6
    MissB2U says:

    I just love this website. Seriously.  Nothing else make me laugh this hard.  Thanks again to the bitchery for a happy start to the day!

  7. 7
    Stoirin says:

    From The Tyranny of Reading blog:  “Eye of the Beholder is still just absolutely wonderful. It’s basically the story of how stick thin, itinerant Phoebe gets her man, Gage Morgan. This novel is just so much full of love and family. If only real-life were this happy and straightforward. Phoebe and her folks have absolutely nothing. They have all lost their jobs at the cotton mill. So what does Phoebe do. No, she does not let her mom pimp her into an arranged marriage. Phoebe packs her younger brother and sister into a pickup and goes to look for work. Bless her. And bumps into miserable Gage Morgan, the hero. Although basically, the story is 80% per cent about Phoebe.

    Jackie Weger wrote an even better romance. On a Wing and a Prayer. Also on my list. The hero of that story actually lived in a trailer. And he was still wonderful. One of the few romances where both the hero and the heroine had minimal material possessions. But the characters in both stories were pretty similar. Crochety hero. Optimistic heroine with a heart full of love for children. And of course the sassy granny.”

    These sound great!  Definitely on my list now! Thanks!

  8. 8
    Jill Sorenson says:

    I love the name Gage.

  9. 9
    Inez Kelley says:

    I bow to the powers of Bitchery and make offerings of chocolate shoes and semi-nekkid beefcake to the altar of Romance Wisdom. Thanks ladies!

  10. 10
    Inez Kelley says:

    Uhm, add some commas in the above sentences.

  11. 11
    Lily says:

    I want the book and I want to be friends with Inez!

  12. 12
    Lisa J says:

    I kind of hope it is reissued as a Harlequin Treasury.

  13. 13
    Renda says:

    Three more left on Paperback swap.  They have lots of Weger books available, though.

  14. 14
    Liz Talley says:

    Loved this, Inez, and I think I’ll have to look for both of the books mentioned. No surprise that everyone called my husband “Talleywhacker” in college, and it’s likely a nickname my boys will both bear. I’ve often thought I would make a good erotic author with that nice little connotation on the end. Of course, my critique partner’s last name is Cox. We could likely make a fortune writing m/m romance. Just think – Talley and Cox. LOL.

  15. 15
    Jenny Lyn says:

    God, this made me howl. Don’t you just love romance novels? The diversity, the happy endings, the absolute WTF-ery? I confess, I am a redneck and I’ve heard the male member called many, many things, but never “tallywhacker” in print.

    Thanks, Miz Kelley!

  16. 16
    Michelle R. says:

    Man, totally knew that one just from the subject line, and I can remember it vividly. She liked to sway her hips like Vanna White in order to seduce him, but he knew exactly what she was doing. He also told her she had to gain 2 lbs to be a toothpick. Oh, and during a sex scene she hurt him with her bony elbows.

  17. 17
    Teshara says:

    When we were in 7th grade we had to look up the meanings of last names for a project and my friend had a kid with the last name Talley in her class. He asked what a Tallywhacker was, and of course someone replied with ‘it’s what you whack your talley with!’
    This is why I remember so vividly reading that line in one of my friends’ moms’ old books. I think we laughed until our Sophmore year in high school.

  18. 18
    cleo says:

    I may have to read this just for the bony elbows! Sadly I’ve hurt my poor husband w my misc bony parts. Everyone in my family is bony. At a renunion once our spouses started comparing notes re the dangers of sleeping with bony people. LOL

  19. 19
    JoAnn Ridley says:

    According to the back cover, one of Gage’s selling points is that he has electrical appliances.
    As my grandma would have said, “Law have mercy!”

  20. 20
    Connie333 says:

    You really wouldn’t want to share a romantic bath with him would you…

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