This pair of requests is from Jo, who remembers a good bit, except the title (and that's why it's a HaBO, of course):
I have two HaBO request which have been driving me insane for slightly separate reasons.
1- This one was some sort of Harlequin Romance. I would have read it in 1986 so it may have been published then or earlier. Main things that stick in my memory- the heroine runs a (cafe? restaurant?) called the Salt Cellar. She has a hobby of collecting salt cellars and displays them in her business, but I didn't actually know what a salt cellar was when I was 12 so maybe there was some greater significance there that I am missing. Her father keeps trying to hook her up with dudes because NO WAY could a woman be happy running a business so when she hears off the latest Hey There Marry My Daughter attempt she boldly strides into her proposed suitor's office announcing that she is his fiancee to try get his agreement to run off her dad.
Memorable bits include some pre-marital sex on a BEARSKIN in front of a fire, the morning after where he mysteriously disappears to take care of business after putting some heavy bracelets on her wrists that remind her explicitly of slave bracelets and telling her sternly to not remove them, oh and the ending where he declares that he'd known she was “passionate” at their first meeting because despite her grey business suit, she was wearing a red blouse under it (saucy!). I mostly want to know the title because 1- it was one of my earliest intros to Romance- bearskins! sex! secret passions! and 2- we shared it around at a school camp and couldn't sleep for giggling at it.
2- My second HaBO request was a really lovely book set in the English Civil War. In fact I liked it so much I nicked it and kept it to re-read multiple times before returning it to the library so other people could read it. This would have been in 1987. Premise is some town where the Civil War is raging. Heroine comes from a Puritan family, her older brother is a draper and his wife generally disapproves of the heroine on the basis that she's not married and is living with them and providing unpaid labour at both shop and home but still sucking up resources and also maybe likes the pretty cloth Too Much to be Godly. Hero is a captain with the Royalists, stationed at the nearby castle.
There is no initial romance whatsoever, he comes to the shop to buy ribbons for a flirt. At any rate at some point she gets booted out of home for being a filthy Royalist-sympathising HARLOT (nothing had actually happened yet) and she ends up at the Royalist castle. There is a pivotal dinner party scene where she is finally dressed up pretty and the hero is all OMG she's bee-you-tee-ful! at the sight of her in a violet silk dress and ringletted hair. Again, there may have been a kissing in front of a fire scene but I'm pretty sure there wasn't any pre-marital sex. The end result is there is a siege of the castle which ends up falling and they get to leave and go back to his family manor which has somehow escaped being caught up in the Civil War confiscations. I think her name was Abigail? He had fancy hats, with feathers, and maybe also dashing facial hair.
I just really want to re-read this because it was so darn sweet.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Bearskin rugs! Restaurant names! Liking the ungodly cloth! You'd think Google-fu would nail this one, but alas, my Google-fu is weak at this time. Anyone recognize these books?