Help A Bitch Out

HaBO-Thon: It Was in the High School Library?

This request comes from Keisha, who has been hunting for this book for a long time:

I'm waxing nostalgic about a romance novel published before 2007 that I read
in high school and I hope you can help me. I haven't been able to find this
particular novel on Amazon. I found one that I thought was the right book
but it turned out to be a dud, a poorly written dud. I can remember some key
plot points of the book but cannot remember the hero's name, the author's
name, or the title of the book itself. Oddly enough, I do know that the
cover involves a misty forest scene in shades of purple or blue.

The heroine is named Angela (or some variation of “angel”) and the story
plays up the whole Devil & Angel, Beauty and the Beast, Phantom of the Opera

The heroine is visiting family in the country and their estate borders that
of a reclusive disfigured nobleman. The first scene between the hero and
heroine occurs in her uncle's drawing room. She enters and the curtains are
drawn, the room is in shadows. They have a tenuous first meeting where she's
all drawn to his mysteriousness and he's captivated/repulsed by her angelic
beauty (she's a blonde). I can't remember if they are forced into some kind
of arranged marriage or if they remain neighbours throughout the story. It's
been so long since I last read this! But I digress…
The hero was in some kind of accident that caused scars around one eye and
extreme photo-sensitivity. He is basically nocturnal, travelling around at
night etc. Somehow, one night the heroine is walking and discovers an
abandoned tower, which later turns out to be the hero's “secret lair” (for
lack of a better word) where he looks at the stars, broods over his
disfigured face, and how he'll never be happy or loved etc. I believe he
wears a half mask, much like Erik does in Phantom of the Opera. They
basically start meeting at this tower because the heroine is just so damn
curious and the hero secretly yearns to be loved.

The main plotline of the story involves the heroine convincing the hero that
he's not unattractive and that he shouldn't hide from the world just because
he has a few scars and photo-sensitive eyes. Resistance occurs on the hero's
part, etc etc, some objections on the part of her family (uncle and a mean
aunt?) and the hero finally decides that he loves the heroine enough to deal
with the horrified looks of the world and ventures out, with tinted
spectacles to help him see during the day. HEA. The End.

If you lovely ladies, or anyone else in your sphere of contacts, has any
idea what book I'm talking about, I would really appreciate it. If not, I'll
have to go back to my old high school and snoop through their library, which
is both creepy and embarrassing!

Does anyone recall this book?


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  1. 1
    Noelle says:

    Tapestry by Karen Ranney?  Not sure…

    It IS a Beauty and the Beast themed romance, but in it the heroine has been in love with the hero her whole life and when he comes back from war with a heavily scarred face, he refuses to leave his home or accept visitors, so the heroine becomes a servant in his house to be near him.  I believe they’re neighbors.

  2. 2
    JG says:

    If no one comes up with the title, you might want to try to go through this list…

  3. 3
    leeleerc says:

    It sounds like Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros, but some things don’t match (she was his nurse, not his neighbor, etc), so maybe it is just similar.  Here is the synopsis from Teresa’s website.

    Gabriel Fairchild’s valor during the Battle of Trafalgar earns him the title of hero, but costs him both his sight and his hope for the future. Abandoned by the fiancee he adored, the man who once walked like a prince among London’s elite secludes himself in his family’s mansion, cursing his way through dark days and darker nights.

    Prim nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park to find her new charge behaving more like a beast than a man. After their first fiery confrontation, she engages the arrogant earl in a hilarious battle of both wit and wills. Although he pronounces her a “tart, vinegary creature without an ounce of womanly softness about her”, he is secretly intrigued by her dry sense of humor, her lack of pity, and the bold way she brooks no nonsense from him. Whenever she is near, he feels the stirrings of a desire he never thought he would feel again.

    As Samantha begins to let the light back into Gabriel’s life and his heart, they both discover that some pleasures are best explored in the dark.

  4. 4
    April says:

    Maybe Beauty and the Baron?

    Abandoning her childhood dreams of marriage, Angela Lacewood is resigned to life as a poor spinster when she receives an unusual proposal from Lord Lucius Daventry. To please his dying grandfather, Lucius wants Angela to pretend to be his fiancee, and in return he will help Angela’s brother purchase a commission in the military. Angela would do anything for Lucius’ grandfather, who happens to be one of her dear friends, but she has her qualms about becoming involved with Lucius, whose wicked reputation as “Lord Lucifer” is the subject of much local gossip. Giving into Lucius’ request, Angela soon finds that the disfigured war veteran has his reasons for haunting the night, but even more disturbing is the fact that she is falling in love with the reclusive nobleman.

    And it looks like the book was published in 2003.

    I have to admit I haven’t read this one, but I figured if I didn’t try to help with at least one of these HaBOs? I’d feel like a failure as a librarian. XD

  5. 5
    Sandra says:

    Yeah, but Tapestry has that whole missing wife (with REALLY CREEPY dead bodies) trope that I’m sure Keisha would have remembered….

  6. 6
    The Other Susan says:

    I have no idea what the title is.  However, I want a secret lair to brood in.  I’ll check eBay.

  7. 7
    Keisha says:

    April! You’re a genius! The second I saw that title my neurons fired up and went “Yes!” and everything else clicked into place. I’ve been wanting to re-read this book for ages but the thought of going back to my high school in order to find it was…not appealing. Thank you so much! Now I can buy it on Amazon like a normal person! Thank you Smart Bitches!

  8. 8

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