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HaBO: There’s a LOT of Detail, and a Shoeless Heroine

Kathleen is looking for this book, and she remembers a LOT about it – except the title. Good thing we're here! 

I am trying to find a book that I recall quite a lot of detail about except
of course that elusive title, author, and the name of the heroine.


It was published I believe sometime in the years between 2000 and 2010, and
it is a Western.

It begins back East where the hero (Jason may be his name) is visiting the
home of rich man for a business dinner. He is encouraged to go for a walk in
the garden. When he spots the daughter of his host, he thinks that it is a
setup for him to meet the girl. However, the girl is reading without her
shoes on and doesn’t at first notice the hero when he walks up. She is
quite embarrassed to be found shoeless, but she and the hero talk for a bit.

Cut to the West where the heroine’s way of life has significantly changed.
Her father lost his fortune and died (suicide?). The heroine has followed
her sister and her sister’s husband out West because he has gold fever.
Employment is scarce for women in the town, but the heroine finds a job in,
I believe, a restaurant.


At some point, the heroine is in a general store when a Madam comes in to
buy some medicine for one of “her” girls. The Madam is not allowed to
purchase the medicine because it not one of the days when prostitutes are
allowed to shop. After the Madam leaves, the heroine buys the medicine and
chases the Madam down to give it to her.

The sister’s husband dies and the sister comes down with the TB. The
heroine desperately needs money so that her sister can be treated at a
sanatorium and she tries to contact the hero (who also lives in the town).
The hero is out of town, and the witch of a housekeeper doesn’t pass on
the word to the hero that the heroine needs help because only slutty woman
would dare come to see a bachelor alone.


The heroine has no other choice so she learns to be a prostitute at the
Madam’s house. On her first night she comes down the stairs to look
straight into the eyes of the hero. He is furious that she is there, and
takes her upstairs where he takes her virginity. He then makes an
arrangement with the Madam to have the heroine come and live in his house
for a time as his mistress.

The hero has the asshat idea that all women are only interested in gold and
jewels. He is surprised when the only thing the heroine asks for are her
trunk of books to be sent over.


When the witch housekeeper insults the heroine within the hero's hearing, he
throws her out. The heroine requests that he give a struggling widow in the
town the job.

The heroine leaves the hero to live near her sister. (I think the agreement
was over or maybe she argued with the hero.) He goes to the Madam to track
her down, and is surprised to find out about the sister. He finds the
heroine and happiness eventually ensues.

I love when happiness ensues. It's the best part of the book, sometimes. Does anyone recall this book?


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  1. 1
    Blodeuedd says:

    I have no idea what book it is but it gave me a lol, cos he is furious she is there and then he has sex with her, sheesh

  2. 2
    Donna says:

    Wait, this was published in the last 10 years? I had a flashback to the 80’s reading the synopsis.

  3. 3
    Copa says:

    I snorted because he was there to engage a prostitute yet had the cojones to scold her for “sinking” to the level of BEING a prostitute…and then to top it off had sex with her virginal self thereby putting the final stamp of approval on her becoming said prostitute (to be scorned by men like him who engage prostitutes).

  4. 4
    Candy says:


    Too right.  I will never understand this whole double-standard where prostitutes are dirty sluts and johns are just doing what men do.  I guess it’s a whole class/power thingy. One party is in the powerful position (buyer) and the other has to sell the only thing they’ve got.  I like historical romances but I really dig a bit of anachronism in the form of enlightened heroes.

  5. 5
    Kathleen says:

    Yeah the hero was a real asshat about a lot of things. The author was very sympathetic to women who had to become prostitutes. In the afterward, she said that the Madam had been a real person and when she died the town had a big parade for her. Yes I remember that detail too. I wish I could remember the title.

  6. 6
    Bookie73 says:

    I know its out of the timeline given but could it be Golden Dreams by Anna Deforest?  It shows it was published in 1997.

  7. 7
    Nikki Hilton says:

    It does sound like Golden Dreams by Anna Deforest.

  8. 8
    Kathleen says:

    That’s it! Thank you!

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