Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Draco, Maybe?

Joanna writes in with this HaBO request for the first romance she ever read: 

I'm looking for my first romance novel, the one that got me hooked on the genre.  I was a good girl in a parochial school when I discovered at a library book sale a mesmerizing Harlequin with a green cover.  Inside, salacious descriptions of bedroom shenanigans had me hooked.  Obviously, this was passed along from girl to girl in my 7th grade class, until one of the nuns confiscated it and we all got into boatloads of trouble.


I read this book in 1986 or so, and it seemed well worn when came into my possession.  The story is of a girl who lives with her father on an isolated island (maybe in Greece?).  He had her read the encyclopedia as her education, and she wore plimsoles.  One day, a huge yacht appears and the owner of the boat asks the father for permission to use the island's private beach for a picnic.  The man whistled as he came up the path to ask for the afore-mentioned permission, and the dad approved that he announced himself by whistling classical music. 

Fast forward a few years, and the girl is living a humble life in London when somehow she and Mr Yacht, whose name is Draco, perhaps?  Or Drago? reconnect.  He takes her to the theatre, and he is pleased that she eats well (read: not like a female, argh!), including things like cake and stinky cheese.  They end up married, but on their wedding night he disappears.  Turns out that he was with his ex-girlfriend.  The now-wife is not impressed, and what had been a tentative romance becomes a marriage of convenience.


Turns out it was a misunderstanding because the ex's son is a drug addict and she needed Draco/Drago's help getting him out of her house discreetly.  All is forgiven, and it's HEA.  L'amour!

I'm sure the Bitchery will know this one!

I'm betting the Bitchery will know that one, too. Plimsoles are easy to spot! Anyone recognize this book?


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  1. 1
    Nerdylutheranchick says:

    I’m dreadful with titles, but I’m pretty sure I remember reading this book. . .
    I remember wondering what a plimsole was and deciding it must be some kind of clog! Also the “not eating like a female” part rings a bell!

  2. 2
    ShellBell says:

    I know I have read this book. Stormspell by Anne Mather and Bed of Roses by Anne Weale come to mind, but I don’t think that it is either of them. Will definitely need to think a bit more about this one!

  3. 3
    SarinaArahovas says:

    I hope we get a positive identification here – this book sounds lovely!!!!

  4. 4
    Karin says:

    I don’t know if Lynne Graham was writing that long ago, but it sure sounds like one of her plots.

  5. 5
    ClaraCWhitsett says:

    Great book!!

  6. 6
    Beggar1015 says:

    We’ve got an ad-troll

  7. 7

    That bit about reading the encyclopedia sounds really familiar, but the rest doesn’t. :(

  8. 8
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Well, here’s the back blurb for Bed of Roses by Anne Weale (and it does have a green cover):

    She was caught up in a dazzling world.

    Annis decided she had to sell her childhood home, an island jewel in the Caribbean. She needed the cash and resolutely called Drogo Wolfe. An attractive if eccentric millionaire, he’d once shown an interest in the property.

    Drogo’s response, however, staggered her. He wasn’t sure he wanted the island—but he definitely wanted Annis as his wife!

    Annis soon found he’d give her anything—anything, she realized painfully, except his love…

    I know I’ve read this, but the details have faded over time.

  9. 9
    Chloemonster says:

    Here’s a review from Amazon.  Looks like Bed of Roses is indeed the book you were looking for:

    Annis Rossister was nineteen when she’d first seen him. She’d been sunbathing without any clothes, as was her custom, on the small Caribbean island that she and her aging father lived on. Her scholarly father owned the island and they were the only residents. He, Drago Wolfe, put into the bay with his yacht and was watching her with his binoculars when she’d seen him.

    Later on he went up to the house and after a brief conversation with her father, he offered to buy the island. Her father refused.

    Six months later her father died and Annis went to live with her aunt in England. However it doesn’t work out and she needs to sell the island. So she calls Drago. He hasn’t forgotten her and after a few dinner dates together, he offers to buy the island if she’ll marry him. He wants children. However, on their wedding day, she hears of him spending time with another woman before the ceremony. But she’s promised to marry him, not to love him. After all, he’s so rich and has had so many women and besides, he’s made it perfectly clear, it’s children he wants, not love.

    Then a strange thing happens. He decides that if it’s the last thing he ever does, he’s going to make her love him. Annis decides that that will never happen, for she knows if he finds out she loves him, he’ll move on to another conquest.

    So, there you have the foundation of a sweet romance written way back in Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-One, just a year after I was born. I really liked this one. Ms. Weale paints wonderful seascapes in her work and her characters are as real as life. You can’t go wrong with BED OF ROSES.

  10. 10
    Taylor Reynolds says:

    Holy carp fish, that Squidoo website is awesome! This HaBO made me think of one of the first romances I ever read and all I could remember was that the heroine was young, her name was Francesca, there was a yacht, and she ended up in London. Four pages into Google I got a link to the Squidoo site and Anne Weale’s “Rain of Diamonds” was sitting there waiting for me to find it. This book sounds horrid and I absolutely want to read it again!!!

  11. 11
    Helen424 says:

    Plimsol is a type of shoe, known as tennis shoes. Flat with rubber soles and usually laced. We wore them for PE back in the 70’s

  12. 12
    Joanna says:

    The Bitchery is awesome!  Bed of Roses rings a bell, so I’ve ordered from Amazon (price – 1 cent, plus 3.99 in shipping).  Thanks so much! 

    Oh, and I imagined plimsoles as embroidered flip flops. Crazy, huh?

  13. 13
    Sashonie Sochs says:

    It is Bed of Roses! I recently re-read my falling apart copy.
    And his name is Drago *shivers*

  14. 14
    Sarah Frantz says:

    I read most of Anne Weale’s books in the 1980s. First romance ever was her The River Room. She always had heroines who dressed “classically,” saving lots of money because they didn’t have to update their wardrobes every year.

  15. 15
    Rebecca says:

    Does anyone else think the whole island/private beach/being educated by reading the encyclopedia with her aged/eccentric father was a rip-off from Ursula Andress’ character in Dr. No?

  16. 16
    Katie says:

    And Miranda/The Tempest.

  17. 17
    Heather says:

    Awesome!  That’s what I remember about the book I read years ago: yacht, and she read the encyclopedia and so was considered educated. I’ve been wondering about this for years – thanks!

  18. 18
    Vixenbib says:

    “This book sounds horrid and I absolutely want to read it again!!!”

    This statement is a prime example of why I continually re-visit this website.

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