Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Now Those are some Awesome Google Searches

Help a Bitch Out!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? 

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  1. 1
    Nicawesomeole says:

    I don’t know, but now I want to read it. And, Homeland Security now has my IP on a list…

  2. 2
    Belle says:

    Lawless – Nora Roberts. It’s got to be because…
    -the heroine (Sarah) left back east by her dad, who when she arrives is told her dad is dead by the hero who is “half apache and all man Jake Redman”, as stated on the back cover of my copy
    -she sews dresses to make a living once she finds out
    -knife fight to the death with indian (not cousin but who hangs out with cousin)
    -a catfight with Carlotta the brothel madam (sadly no poision tipped nails that I remember) and evil neighbours who killed dad for gold mine

  3. 3
    Lostshadows says:

    Lawless by Nora Roberts perhaps? It’s on my tbr pile, so I can’t say how much beyond the beginning of the story fits.

  4. 4
    Jmothyette says:

    Sounds kind of badass.  I really want to know what it is now!  Old school wtfery is the best.

  5. 5
    Joelle says:

    YES!!! It is Lawless which totally explains how I even got roped into its glorious hijinks to begin with. That Nora Roberts… I’d probably be a millionaire if only she’s written some finance textbooks…
    Thanks, you guys are awesome!

  6. 6
    willaful says:

    I actually own this thing… should I toss it directly?

  7. 7
    SueB says:

    Yep, Lawless.  Was re-released by Silhouette Books in 2009 as a two-fer entitled The Law of Love.  Book contains both Lawless and The Law is a Lady.  How do I know this?  Currently holding it in my hot little hand. 

  8. 8
    romsfuulynn says:

    Am I remembering correctly that this novel was written because a writer character in one of Nora’s books was writing a novel? 

  9. 9
    FairyKat says:

    I loved Lawless, it was a fantastic send up of every 1980s bonk buster cliché, with La Nora clearly going—‘now THIS is how to write a brothel scene’…

  10. 10
    MissB2U says:

    You guys are just an endless buffett of WTF.  And I love you for it!

  11. 11
    Becca says:

    Yes, although I can’t recall which book it was: The Adventurer, the Cowboy… I think The Cowboy is it. There are scenes from Lawless in the other book

  12. 12
    Carmen says:

    …. and now I know what I’m doing this weekend.  This sounds like all kinds of crazy good!  I don’t know what a “JC and NR bitch is,” but this is also something I wouldn’t have tried.  I normally like contemporary or paranormal romance.  Sadly, when I read “Half-breed,”  I thought: “Oh, half-shifter?”

  13. 13

    “jealous Queen of the Brothel with poison-tipped red nails”

    I just love this so damn much. :)

  14. 14
    Frauke says:

    Ditto on the “JC and NR”. Dying out of curiosity …

  15. 15
    Carolyn says:

    Yes, the book was called Loving Jack.  :-)

  16. 16
    Shawny Jean says:

    Totally thought the same thing. Couldn’t figure out how reading werewolf novels made one a racist. I get it now. Must. Diversify. Reading. Material.

  17. 17
    cg says:

    Pretty sure the NR is for Nora Roberts. I’m stuck on the JC, tho. Somehow I don’t think it’s Jackie Collins. Jayne Castle maybe?

  18. 18
    Sandra says:

    Well, the ““NR” is obviously Nora Roberts. I’m guessing the “JC” is Jennie Crusie? Love ‘em both myself, though I haven’t even begun to make a dent in La Nora’s backlist. Downloaded both “Lawless” and “Loving Jack” to read while standing in line tomorrow, waiting to vote.

  19. 19
    Joelle says:

    I have no idea why, after a gazillion paragraphs of exposition I got lazy and abbreviated Nora Roberts as NR and Jennifer Crusie as JC.
    Oh man, I downloaded Lawless almost instantly… glorious.
    Anyone on the fence should do the same (or get a second hand copy for cheaper somewhere) because it is as WTF as I remember but also equally suspenseful and romantic. Chick gets kidnapped not once but twice and there are enough dramatic shootouts in Lawless to give Bedstuy a run for its money.
    Sadly, Queen of the Brothel’s nails were red but not poison-tipped. I know, I was disappointed too. I dreamt that up it seems, probably because she spends an inordinate amount of her days scratching people. There is, however, a fantastic catfight. @FairyKat, Exactly!

  20. 20
    Jimthered says:

    So what if a character with poison nails suddenly feels an itch?  Not exactly a way to stick around long…

  21. 21

    You gotta wrap your hands in toilet paper first.  Or grab your coworker’s pen off his/her desk.

  22. 22
    Lanty11 says:

    Just read your comment and immediately my mind went to the fact that brothel owner’s co-workers probably don’t have desks (or pens,) lol.

  23. 23

    Evil brothel owner probably owns the only pen!!  :O

  24. 24

    There’s another book connected to Loving Jack—Best Laid Plans.  Lawless is mentioned in BLP too.

    Laura

  25. 25
    LauraN says:

    Now I’m wondering if there are paranormal westerns.  I suppose there have to be, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one.  I bet a werething would probably make a good lawman . . . or perhaps a better outlaw?  On that note, are there paranormal regencies?  It would be so awkward to suddenly turn into a wolf in the middle of Almack’s.  And imagine the horror if your suddenly shifting hero accidentally tore his coat tailored by Weston.  Claws can’t be good for one’s hessian boots, either.  The only example I can think of is the Parasol Protectorate books, which I haven’t yet read.  I think the hero is a werewolf, though.

  26. 26
    April Vrugtman says:

    I’ve seen vampire historicals – regency and others and the closest to western paranormal I think would be the current crop of western steampunk like Devon Monk’s Age of Steam series, it has werewolves of a sort.  I think Zoe Archer has a couple of western fantasy type books out now too.  Hm.  I want to say there are tons of others but the brain is clearly shut down for the night.

  27. 27
    cleo says:

    Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevemeyer is a paranormal regency and one of my all time favorite comfort reads – it’s kind of Georgette Heyer with magic.  No werewolves, but someone is turned into a tree (and that’s socially awkward).  The romances are understated but sweet.

    There was a SBTB book club pick awhile ago that was a western steampunk paranormal – Wilder’s Mate by Moira Rogers – but I haven’t read it.

    Zoe Archer’s Rebel (#3 in the Blades of the Rose series) takes place mostly in the Canadian Old West – it’s steampunk with magic and shapeshifters. 

     

  28. 28
    Abbey says:

    Kathryn Kennedy’s Relics of Merlin series is set in Victorian England. I have only read the first one, but remember being pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it (it was a free read, so I was a bit nervous).

  29. 29

    Moira Rogers has a paranormal western erotica series “The Bloodhounds”

  30. 30
    SonomaLass says:

    Zoe Archer and Nicco Rosso have a series, the Ether Chronicles, of steampunk romance. Nico’s books have a Western setting. Quite good.

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