Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: A Librarian Needs Your Help!

Eyebrows! Cartoon! Help a Bitch Out! This HaBO is from Sarah (not me) on behalf of a library patron: 

I love the HABO feature as a librarian, but I hardly ever get asked to identify specific romance novels, in fact people hardly ever ask me anything besides where they are, which is sad. Anyway, today I had a patron call with epic HABO need, and I thought you might be able to help where I came up blank—though I am now scratching my head as well as it sounds super familiar. Here’s the details:

The book was published in the last 2-3 years, and is set in generic 17th -18th century (probably regency) and the heroine is married to a man who has never consummated their marriage because he is not attracted to women, but the heroine thinks it is her fault (of course), and the mother-in-law is desperate for a heir (also of course) so MIL comes up with a scheme to obtain an heir since her son, who is a dandy, is not going to ever step up to the plate as it were. The MIL invites a cousin, who is similar in age and height, to impregnate the wife. (who is supposed to not be aware of the difference because it is dark, right?) The cousin, naturally, falls in love (and I got the impression that the secretly pretending to be the husband isn’t a big misunderstanding, just the plan).

Of course the husband is involved in shady import/export deals which end in him conveniently dying, and only being able to be identified through a particularly fancy shoe buckle. The patron stated she thinks the cousin/heroine meet early in the book when he saves her from a run away cart, possibly by taking her up on his horse or pushing her out of the way. The patron emphasized that the husband preferring men isn’t a major plot point and that it wasn’t in the description.

I swear I read a review of this book, but I can’t remember where, and I naturally can’t remember anything more.

If you could HABO and help a librarian out too, it would be awesome, I figure if you don’t know this one, one of your many readers might know. Though to me it sounds like a lot of typical romance conventions, so hard to identify!

CSI: SHOE BUCKLE! That's excellent.

Do you recognize this book? 

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  1. 1
    laj says:

    I read this! But I can’t remember the author/title and now it’s going to drive me batshit crazy!

  2. 2
    DelDryden says:

    Oh, laj beat me to that comment…I know I’ve read that, and not that long ago, and I can even remember a few of the scenes really clearly, but can’t recall the author/title. I’ll be watching the thread with bated breath to find out who it is…

  3. 3
    Melissa says:

    I’ve never read a book like that but I would be pleased as punch to read it!

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:

    If you remember more details, please do share here? It might help someone remember.

  5. 5
    Raine says:

    This isn’t the book that is being described, but The Countess by Lyndsay Sands involves a wife in a marriage that has never been consumated because the “husband” can’t. And the twin brother shows up and she ends up sleeeping with him thinking he’s her husband. There is some other WTFtery going on in the first few chapters that are worth the read.

  6. 6
    Tina Dee says:

    Damn, I want to read this, someone have an answer!  :-)

  7. 7
    MissB2U says:

    I can’t help identify the book but I want to say that I think librarians are the best thing ever.  Along with libraries. 

  8. 8
    meg says:

    I read this years ago, so I’m thinking that there are several variations of this book going around (typical).
    I can’t remember the title of the book, nor the author, but mine was set in Louisiana or Georgia or somewhere else in the south and there was a hurricane at the beginning of the book.

  9. 9
    Chris J. says:

    Ooh, I’ve got one! This sounds very much like _Midnight Waltz_ by Jennifer Blake, which is not a new book, but maybe it was reissued in the last few years?

  10. 10

    Sounds exactly like Midnight Waltz by Jennifer Blake!

  11. 11
    Todd says:

    The first part sounds like a telenovela I watched – “Alborada”. Only in that case, the husband didn’t consummate the marriage because he wasn’t attracted to “good” women. Historical, set in Mexico. It even has pirates. And – you weren’t expecting this – The Inquisition (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition).

  12. 12
    Another Sarah says:

    I looked in our catalog, and sure enought Midnight Waltz was republished in 2011 in a new edition that doesn’t mention prominently that it is a reissue—I also found the detail about the shoe buckle in it as well! I’ve called the patron and left a message for her, so I hope it is the right book!
    Thanks so much! The bitchery know all!
    Another Sarah

  13. 13
    Keatesnelson says:

    What a freakin’ crazy great premise! Thanks for ID, b-ladies.

  14. 14
    Karin says:

    Midnight Waltz, what a great euphemism! 

  15. 15
    meg says:

    Ha! That’s the book I read years ago! I remember it being quite good too.

  16. 16
    Bnbsrose says:

    I used to watch this, too!! I don’t understand a word of Spanish, but, well, PIRATES!!!

  17. 17

    Woot!  Both sound great and I was happy to find that the Blake book is available for free reading if you have Amazon Prime.  So, I get to read it on the 1st of Sep when I can borrow another title.  As for the Lynsay Sands book, my library has it as a Kindle download.  I placed a hold and will get that one too when it’s available.

  18. 18
    Karen Wapinski says:

    OMG!! I loved that novela!

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