Help A Bitch Out

S-HaBO-Day: A Good Grovel Fixes Everything

Help a Bitch OutThis request comes from Marja, who is descibing one heck of a 0_o plotline up in here.

I'm hoping the bitchery could help me relocate two books from my past. Both of these were in the first pile of Harlequins I stole from under my older sister's bed and helped to turn me into a romance novel addict. Both were propably published in the late 80's/ early 90's. Also sorry about the typos. I'm Finnish and it's quite late and I don't know how to use my Mac's spell check…

The first book I remember quite well and the name of the book in Finnish was something like “10/10″. I also remember that the heroine was a chef and the hero was some sort of a millionaire. In the beginning of the book they are seated together in an airplane and she happens to notice that the guy is making a list of qualities for a perfect woman, giving some poor gal a pretty low score. Hero notices the heroine's snooping and later tracks her down in order to take some incriminating pictures of her so he can get a leverage so she won't tell anyone about his embarrasing scorecard method.

I don't remember why, but he uses the pictures to blackmail her to cook for him and his perfect woman candidates (there were two or three) a meal and also give him an opinion of the women, because, why not? The hero is a real jerk, which I absolutely LOVE in the old romance novels, because I LOVE it even more when they have to grovel in the end. There really isn't that much jerk-groveling in today's contemporary romance novels. Shame.

Of course the sparks fly even tho' the jerk/hero parades the wife candidates in front of our heroine. I remember that one of the women was a real bitch, but another was a real sweetheart. Of course in the end the jerk/hero does some groveling, actually butt-naked in the lobby of his building after losing a towel… don't ask, I don't remember… and it was TOTALLY haaaawt! I need to find this book so I can check if it was as steamy as I remember, or was I just so young and naive.

GROVELING. It's awesome. Anyone recognize this book? 



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  1. 1
    Lynda S says:

    Sounds like a book by Susan Mallory.

  2. 2
    Arienette says:

    The plotline sounds very familiar… I’m sure I’ve read it, but cannot think what it is or who it’s by!

  3. 3
    Marja says:

    Thanks Lynda, but I checked Marroly’s bibliography and couldn’t find a match.

    I just had another recollection from the book. Near the end, our heroine was at the guy’s apartment while he was running an errand or something and two thughs broke into the place. They were just about to assault her when our hero came back, yelling her because he thought she had left the front doors open. When he realized the situation, he just about killed the attackers in his rage.

    Also on the book cover (here in Finland anyway) the hero had reddish-brownish hair and a full on beard and he was dipping the heroine for a passionate kiss. She had a black curly hair and I think she was wearing a red robe and they were stanging outside her house.

    It’s so annoying that I remember this book so well and still don’t remember the author or the title.

  4. 4
    Felle says:

    Glad I’m not the only one stumped by basic mac features!

  5. 5
    Sanbai says:

    …hey, come on ladies! I need to know the name of this one!!! Someone please respond!

  6. 6
    Jaclyn says:

    Hmm… I wanna read this, I do like me some groveling. :0)

  7. 7
    Lynn says:

    + 1 Need to know!!

  8. 8
    Emmbe says:

    The foodie stuff sounds like Shirley Jump.  I know she did a bunch of them with cooks/chef’s as the heroine and God of the Fortune 500s, that I loved (around the time I read Like Water for Chocolate (great foodie book by the way).  Now I have to go back and see if any match the basics.

  9. 9
    Emmbe says:

    nope, her sweet & savory are too new for this one…it sounds so familiar though.

  10. 10
    Marja says:

    Thank you Emmbe for the suggestion but you’re right. Her work is too recent. The good thing is that I have a new author I have to check out, so thanks :). 

  11. 11
    The Other Susan says:

    Why don’t hot millionaires grovel to me stark naked in the lobbies of buildings?  What have I done wrong?

    Er, that is, hot *male* millionaires.

  12. 12
    boogenhagen says:

    This is Jennifer Taylor’s Final Score

  13. 13
    Marja says:

    OH YES, IT IS!!!! Thank you so much boogenhagen! You are BRILLIANT! For years I’ve tried to google-search this book and now you just matter-of-factly tell me what the book was. Thank you so much!…

  14. 14
    boogenhagen says:

    I am so glad I was able to help,  what was the other one you were looking for?  I have almost all the HP’s and HR’s from the 1960’s-2002 and I keep a fairly good list of their tropes etc. 

  15. 15
    Marja says:

    Ooh, you are all kinds of wonderful :)! My request got cut in half for very understandable reasons, but I’d love to find the other one. The clues aren’t as good as I had for the other book, but here’s hoping!

    The other book has fewer clues, but I want to find it so badly. The heroine
    is, I think, a botique owner or a fashion designer of some sort. She travels to south (or central) America to buy some fabric… or tunics or ponchos or pashminas…  that are only locally produced. She wants to buy a bulk of them at a really low price but bumps into our “hero” who kidnaps her and
    locks her into a room telling her that she is insulting the people who make the
    fabric by offering such a low price for it. He forces her to learn how to
    make the fabric, how to dye it and how to weave it. He takes her to the
    mountains to a cabin where she has to produce the fabric in order to
    appreciate the hard work that goes in to it.

    At one point they visited a local village where a woman had just given birth to a
    girl and the new father was like “why did my wife give me a girl? I’m such a
    macho-man I should only produce sons” and the hero tells the father that the
    man’s “swimmers” have a part in the gender-lottery and that any guy can have
    sons but it takes a real man to give his wife a daughter. I was totally sold
    at that point.

    I’ll be ever so grateful If you’ll be able to locate this book. Thank you!!!!!

  16. 16
    boogenhagen says:

    Roberta Leigh’s The Savage Aristrocrat…

  17. 17
    Marja says:

    You are super-fantastic-awesome person! That’s it! You know, you really should start your own site, like Harlequin hunt or something like that.

    Thank-you, thank-you, THANK-YOU!

  18. 18
    CarrieS says:

    Good lord, boogenhagen, you are amazing.  But now I sort of want to start making up random shit and see if you can find a book to match.  Ummm…I’m looking for a book in which there’s this woman, with red, or maybe back, hair, and she studies a rare kind of sea slug, and she is rescued, or maybe kidnapped, by an ex-navy seal biologist millionare.  I’m not sure, but I think at one point she has to hide in a tidepool and breathe through a reed to avoid pirates.  Can you find that for me?

  19. 19
    SB Sarah says:

    Have mercy, is it possible to stump you?! WOW!

  20. 20
    boogenhagen says:

    Well lets see …

    there is Debbie Mcomber’s Yesterday’s Hero…

    or Victoria Gordon’s Arafura Pirate…

    or Mary Ann Wilson’s Home for a Hero…

  21. 21
    boogenhagen says:

    Actually I just read a lot and my husband graciously keeps building bookcases so life is pretty good and I have a knack for remembering details.  LOL :P

  22. 22
    CarrieS says:

    I am in awe.  However, I must point out, boogenhagen, that none of the books you list mention sea slugs.  You would have gotten extra points for sea slugs. 

  23. 23
    boogenhagen says:

    I looked really hard and taxed my brain but sadly sea slugs are a very neglected romance trope.  Maybe the slug idear should be forwarded to some editors,  I am all for the fascinating mating rituals of sea slug romance and the pirates could be trying to steal the manly vigor enhancing mucus the sea slugs extrude just prior to mating.  The SEAL billionaire could fight off the pirates then buy the sea slug homeland and the marine biologist, with hair the colour of the sunset, who got kicked off the slug study by the witchy other woman stopping her grant,  could be the habitat administrator and get the Nobel prize for her paper on the manly hormone and male hair growing properties of the sea slug extrusion.  :P

  24. 24
    Marja says:

    I’d definitely read that :).

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