Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Nicholas of St. Ives?

This request comes from Kinsey Holley, who is begging for help. BEGGING I tell you. 

It's a Regency (maybe Georgian, but 19th cent. England) and the hero is a rakish Earl with a penchant for opera dancers and the heroine is a rather plain – not unattractive, just not pretty – young lass whose father is a dissolute gambler who basically wagers her with the hero and loses, and the hero finds himself with all the father's worldly goods AND his daughter to boot.

I specifically remember a phrase that pops up all through the book  – “diamond of the first water.” The heroine mentions several times that her mother was a diamond of the first water – i.e., gorgeous – but she knows that she's not.

I can even recall (I think) the hero's title – Earl of St. Ives. Given name, Nicholas. You'd think I could find that with Google, right? Nope. When I Google it I get two results – St. Ives, the skin products company, and…..a comment I left in a SBTB review back in 2009.


And if it turns out that this is an easy peasy one I'll be embarrassed, but I'll also be so happy!


Anyone remember this book? It'll make Kinsey's day! 


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  1. 1
    Hannah says:

    is it Daughter of Fortune by Dawn Lindsey?

    “England’s most celebrated rake is taunted, tempted, and tamed by a bold young beauty . . . Sylvie, the prize in a card game, and the Earl of Ives, who wins the game, wage a war of wills, each desperately hoping to capture the other!”

  2. 2
    kinseyholley says:

    hmm…there are several books with that title – Dawn Lindsey turns up on Amazon and B&N but they don’t include any plot description. Google turns up the title on several pages but no description.

    But you know what? It’s so cheap on Amazon I’ll just buy it and see what happens.

    For a romance author, I really don’t read a lot of romance. But there are some that stick in my mind forever and this is one that I’ve always longed to revisit. THANK YOU, Hannah!

    And thank you, Sarah.

  3. 3
    kinseyholley says:

    HANNAH! That’s it!!!!!!!

    I found this on Library Thing – as soon as I saw the cover I knew I’d found my book.

    I freaking LOVE this site…

  4. 4
    cleo says:

    Good job hannah.  I’ve read a few w earls who liked opera singers but i haven’t read this one.

  5. 5
    Hannah says:

    found the description at

    Glad I could help :D

  6. 6
    Rebecca says:

    Love the free associations that authors use to name characters.  Did anyone else see the heading on this one and think “Nicholas”=“St Nick” + “St Ives” = “The Holly and the Ivy”?  What a very Christmassy hero.

    Diamond of the first water is a Georgette Heyer phrase, I believe.

  7. 7
    Kelly says:

    Lol when I saw the title I thought of the old riddle that starts “when I was going to st Ives I met a man with seven wives…” We used to holiday in Cornwall as kids so went to st Ives a lot and every time my dad would insist on the riddle.

  8. 8
    Estara says:

    Would Hannah qualify for a bitchery title now?

  9. 9
    kinseyholley says:

    Ooooh. Very good suggestion because honestly this book isn’t just out there popping up to be found. Plus she introduced me to a cool site I didn’t know about.

  10. 10
    Deb Stover says:

    The story line immediately made me think of A ROSE IN WINTER by Kathleen Woodiwiss, but the St. Ives thing veers off in another reaction. I’m glad you found your book, Kinsey.

  11. 11
    SB Sarah says:

    Yup, first comment, confirmed by the asker? Totally qualifies! I’ll get on that asap – nice job Hannah!

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