Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: It’s All About the Beads, Yo

Help a Bitch OutThis email comes from a reader who is searching for…some memorable reading. 

When I was in high school, I read a bunch of insane romances from one author (I think), all acquired from the library. I wasn't a romance reader at the time and actually didn't know that was what I was reading, since they were all hardcover and I assumed romances were all mass market size. Dumb! Anyway, I'd love to reread some of these so I can see if they're all as crazy as I remember them. This is my memory of the one I remember most vividly:

It was medieval-set and the heroine was the daughter of a soldier, maybe some higher up in the chain of command. She's still a teen but ends up sleeping with one of her dad's fellow soldiers, and she then runs away in horror/shame/stupidity for some reason. (The dad might have also died in a huge battle around the same time, amplifying the emotion of the moment.)

It turns out she's pregnant and she ends up having a son with a name that sounded really weird to the early '00s American teen reading the book. Maybe something like Florian. Anyway, over the next few years she becomes the mistress of dastardly King John. The hero, of course, has been looking for her all this time and naturally ends up with her. I have no idea how. The kid's weird name was clearly more important to me than the plot.

But! The BEST part (read: most disgusting)! At some point after having her kid, the heroine decided that one bastard was enough for her and used a string of beads inserted into her hoo-ha to prevent further conceptions while doing some king boning. At the very end, the kid is playing marbles and his newly reunited parents are like, “Hey, where'd you get those?” And he's like, “Oh, I cut up a string of beads I found in your drawer, Mama!”

Just typing that made me gag. But I OBVIOUSLY need to read it again. Please help!

Do you recall this book? Or, barring the book, the scene with the beads?! 

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  1. 1
    Anna says:

    It sounds like The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick, although I think in that book she used the beads to count days (and thereby her menstrual cycle) rather than using them for any less salubrious purposes.

  2. 2
    cleo says:

    I *love* HaBos with pearls inserted in various bodily openings.  I have no idea about this book – just felt the need to share.

    captcha: persons14: yes, there are at least 14 persons sitting by me in the coffee shop right now

  3. 3
    Crystal F. says:

    To quote Penny from The Big Bang Theory… Holy crap on a cracker.

    I know it’s not helpful, but that’s the first thing that popped into my mind. ;)

  4. 4
    elianara says:

    I second Anna’s suggestion. I too think it’s The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick, but you remember the thing with the beads wrong. She used them to count her menstrual cycle, so she could avoid relations with the King during the time of the month she was most likely to get pregnant.

  5. 5
    Dawnell says:

    Just FYI:  It is possible that the um, details, about the use of the beads were changed from one edition / printing to another.  I know that Roberta Gellis (my all time fave author) muted some of Alinor’s more violent actions / details from the early editions / printings of her Roslynde series. 

    I like Elizabeth Chadwick’s work, so I will read (or re-read) this one!

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