Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Don’t Mess with the Heroine When she has a Wineglass

Help a Bitch Out!Brandy is looking for this book, and first I thought it might be The Lion's Lady, which is far and away my favorite Julie Garwood novel, and then I thought it might be a novelization of The Phantom of the Opera, but I don't think I'm right on either count. Do you recognize this book?

I have done every Google, Biblio, Amazon, and other on-line search known to man. I even bought this software program that is supposed to help you track down mystery books. No luck! So I'm throwing myself at your feet and begging for mercy and an end to this obsession I have to identify this book! Why am I so fixated on this book? It was one of the first romances I ever read as an impressionable and innocent-but-wishing-I-wasn't teenaged girl, and it just resonated with me somehow.

Anyway, in the hopes that you will consent to throw this inquiry out to the Bitches Who Know Stuff I'll tell you everything I remember about the story…First it would have been published somewhere between 1978 and 1985. It took place in the 1800's. It starts out in an island setting, like maybe the Carribean, where the heroine dives from a cliff unaware that the hero, a visitor to the island, is watching. I can't remember his name, but I'm almost positive that hers was Christina. There is chemistry and passion between them, but he has a mistress named Carlotta who does not want to give him up so easily.

I vaguely remember a pretty awesome “He's-my-man-bitch-Oh-hell-no-he's-not” scene involving a broken wineglass and a threat to cut Carlotta up like last week's sushi if she messed with Christina's man ever again! At some point Christina goes to Paris where she is wooed by another handsome rake and our hero follows her there where he is jealous and tries to win her back. That's all I can remember :-(

Do you remember this book? Am I insane for thinking this is a cross between Phantom and Lion? Phantom Lion! That'd be a pretty fun paranormal. 

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  1. 1
    Lil says:

    Er, I believe Phantom of the Opera was a novel long before it was a musical.

  2. 2
    Liz says:

    I’m interested in hearing a bit more about the software, although it doesn’t sound all that effective. SBTB could run a HaBO vs. software trial as part of a review, and see who wins. My money is on the bitchery all the way ;)

  3. 3
    CarrieS says:

    Hell yes, it was a novel first – one of my faves.  Pure crack.  This HaBo isn’t it, but now I have to go re-read the original.

  4. 4
    Lostshadows says:

    I own the novelization of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, so I wouldn’t bet money it would stop a publisher. :)

    It doesn’t sound like any film version of PotO I’ve seen though. (I’ve seen about six of them.) Christine never gets a chance to a badass in any of them.

  5. 5
    ikkin says:

    By Gaston Leroux. It’s awesome.

  6. 6
    Big K says:

    It sounds vaguely like Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss.  Total classic.  Shanna marries a man in London set to be hung b/c she needs a hubbie in a hurry.  Then, of course, unbeknownst to her, he gets deported and ends up at her Dad’s Carribean plantation.  In the inevitable tangle with pirates, she fights for Roarke? with a broken wine bottle so that the pirate ho backs off (I think that she and Roarke are pretending to be pirates and this is part of their cover.  Also, I don’t think the pirate ho was actually his mistress ever).  I don’t remember her diving, and it was set around 1750-1770, but it might be the same book.

  7. 7
    Guest says:

    I think it could be A Pirate’s Love by Johanna Lindsey.

  8. 8
    Jules says:

    My first thought was Shanna too. I don’t remember her cliff diving but I do remember her being all one with nature and him watching from a distance. And there was a fight with another woman on the pirate island i think. It’s been a long time

  9. 9
    Lostshadows says:

    I don’t remember any cliff diving or wine bottle fights in that one. (Pretty sure the “hero” just kidnaps her off a ship.)

  10. 10
    Phaenarete says:

    HaBO vs. Mystery Book Software in the Thunderdome!! Totally! I would be like Kasparov vs. Deep Blue—but the Bichery would prevail!

  11. 11
    Tania says:

    All I can think is “Pirate” by Fabio. Tropics, heroine named Christine, probably-named-Carlotta mistress (because it’s an Italian name or something – I can’t remember her name for sure). http://www.goodreads.com/book/

    But I can’t believe it has 3.5 stars on Goodreads.

  12. 12
    Jaimiw says:

    Of course I’ve read this book, and of course I can’t remember the title. I very distinctly remember that the heroine was going to cut Carlotta’s face so she wouldn’t be attractive anymore, and Carlotta was the hero’s mistress / village trollop.

  13. 13
    Catherine says:

    Oh, I’ve definitely read this one!  There were definitely pirates involved but I don’t think it was Johanna Lindsey…

  14. 14
    Snew says:

    My google-fu leads me to believe this is “The Devil’s Love” by Lane Harris.

    Description: A marriage of convenience to a condemned man leaves Cristina free to enjoy her inheritance and without an actual husband. But when the man escapes, she never counted on his wanting to claim his conjugal rights!

    …and it includes this passage: “her champagne glass against the marble statue and held the jagged remnant inches away from Carlotta’s face. Her voice sent chills up Carlotta’s spine as she said, “If you don’t leave, I’ll cut your treacherous face to ribbons.”

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