Joelle wrote in with the following request, and I'm hoping you're as entertained as I was – and that you recognize the book:
I know you are probably swamped with requests to Help a Bitch Out but thought I'd try since this has been driving me crazy for months.
If you could only have seen the word combinations to which I've subjected the poor google search engine: “historical romance ranch mine half breed”, “historical romance dead father train station move west mine”, “romance kidnap indian cousin knife fight”…. So before Homeland Security flags my IP address for racist, homicidal fetishes I thought I'd see if y'all would take pity on me.
The book is a historical romance about a girl whose father left her out East after her mother died, so that she could be raised like a Lady while he went West and sought his fortune. The book begins with her, now grown and of course impossibly pretty, arriving or near arriving at the train station in a dusty ranch town to surprise Dear Old Dad, who wrote her to say that he finally hit it rich in the mine on his lavish ranch property.
Well, surprise is on her when it turns out that Dear Old Dad died earlier that week (literary confirmation that a true lady better RSVP before she gets in that stage coach). The rugged enforcer-type Male Lead (the half-breed in question- blame the author, if ever figure it out, for this bit of racism not I) is the one who has to reluctantly break the news to her that not only is Dear Old Dad deceased but he was also super broke, a drunkard, and his ranch mansion is a shack on lots of good-for-nothing land.
She's determined to make something of the ranch anywho including a metric shit ton of cornbread and a seamstress-type business. This in turn inspires a mix of awe, protective instinct, and lust in our outcast Hero. Shenanigans ensue including but not limited to a moonlit rape-as-love sex scene in the barn that shouldn't be as outrageously hot as it totally is, a catfight between a jealous Queen of the Brothel with poison-tipped (I think) red nails and our righteous heroine, and a psycho set of brothers who actually conspired with the Queen of the Brothel to kill Dear Old Dad, and a knife fight to the death between the Hero and his indian cousin to rescue the kidnapped Heroine. Good stuff, and I don't normally go for the corset-and-indian type romances being a JC and NR bitch, myself. Which is all the more reason I really, really want to get a hold of this book for my permanent collection.
Do you remember this book? Am I wrong for thinking that there aren't enough poison-tipped red nails in romance?