Help A Bitch Out

S-HaBO-Day: Holy Crap, She Cut His Arm Off

Help a Bitch OutThis HaBO request for book identification comes from G, who remembers a lot of details. Gory ones! 

There's a historical romance I'm looking for. I can only remember some parts of it. I read it in the early '90s. This is the book I read each time I was visiting my now ex-husband's parent's house. I had to stay in the basement–of course we couldn't sleep together–scandalous! Fortunately, there were hundreds of paperback books everywhere. I just picked this one randomly off the shelf–could have just as easily picked one out of the boxes, bags or drawers that couldn't close because of all the books. God Bless Grandma Helga.

It starts out where this girl is with her father in this field (United States circa 1800s, early 1900s). Her father is some sort of researcher or scientist. They're attacked by American Indians. The dad dies, the girl gets stabbed with a spear in the chest (but not before she does some damage to some guys with a machete) She's a badass and cuts this guy's arm off.  

She's hurt but doesn't die. She is taken to a ranch of some sort with cowboys and they take care of her — she learns to ride very well — they think she's a boy for a good long while.

Later on, she winds up on a reservation and is one of the wives to the chief…there's a time where she meets the Indian she cut with the machete–he doesn't believe it's her so she shows him her scar for proof. There is another scene where she's on the reservation and it's wintertime–she's cold and has to play this gambling game to win some fur boots.

Then she's rescued by those ranchers that had her when she was younger…(I think it was those guys). Later on, she winds up in a large house as the wife of a lord? (the rancher may be the lord) and she has twins and she doesn't know if they're the Indian chief's kids or her husband's (the men do have similar features).

I think she had another child while she was on the reservation–I think they had a “birthing hole” to do such things. How quaint.

This is one of those thick books with small print and a girl with a ripped gown and a sexy, swarthy guy on the cover…

WHOA. Does anyone remember this book?


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  1. 1


  2. 2
    CarrieS says:

    So who does she end up with?  Lord Rancher of Indian Chief?

  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    A heroine who gets stabbed in the chest, cuts off an arm, and gives birth to babies in a hole?! Please someone tell me what this book is!

  4. 4
    Michelle C. says:

    This book sounds like a train wreck, the only thing missing was a train wreck. How could I resist reading this? Title someone, please?

  5. 5
    Elena says:

    Parts of it sound like some of Brenda Joyce’s earlier works.

  6. 6
    Rebecca says:

    Wait, why do the rancher lords think she’s a boy?  Is she wearing boy’s clothing for some reason?  And even so, how do they give her medical care for a spear wound in the chest without realizing she’s a girl?  (Don’t think I’d want medical attention from anyone whose knowledge of anatomy was that sketchy.)

  7. 7
    ge says:

    I know, right? They thought she was a boy because she was quite young when they were taking care of her—-not developed.  I don’t think they had much knowledge of medicine on the ranch—you’re right about it being sketchy. My disbelief was totally suspended.

  8. 8
    CarrieS says:

    I am begging redheadedgirl to read and review this book, whatever it is. 

  9. 9
    Diana Neal says:

    Elaine Coffman used to write historicals that sound similar to this description, the Mackinnions.  She has several books that span the (historical) American West and England.

  10. 10
    CC says:

    It’s plot stew! Every stray plot in the cupboard tossed into the pot and stirred to crazysauce goodness.  I second the plea for redheadedgirl to review this one!

  11. 11
    The Other Susan says:

    I “third” the request for an RHG review of this book when it’s identified.

  12. 12
    Laskiblue says:

    Oooh, this sounds like such awesome WTFery that I must read it when it’s identified!

  13. 13
    Lauren says:

    When he heroine gave birth to the twins, was the Indian dad supposed to kill one of them, but he couldn’t do it and let both live? I definitely read a book once where that happened. I don’t recall any dismemberment, but it could maybe be the same one. (Sorry this is so unhelpful, but I definitely want to know what this is!)

  14. 14
    ge says:

    Yes! I think so, Lauren.  Unless that is a common occurrence in books….

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