Help A Bitch Out

S-HaBO-Day: He Keeps Her Hidden in the Country

Help a Bitch OutErin is looking for this book – and has been hunting for a long time. Someone told her it was “Whitney, My Love” by Julia Quinn – HA! – but she says that's not it. 

I cannot remember much about the book accept that the hero & heroine marry when she is quite young (possibly below 18yo but I'm not 100% sure). Hero leaves and then comes back years later. Hero might be a spy or working for the Crown…?

Later on someone tells the heroine that there are/were rumors running rampant about why the hero had left her and never introduced her to society, instead he keeps/kept her “hidden” away in the country; some rumors were about her being severely deformed, etc. The person who tells her this is another “child bride” and not vindictive but somewhat naive. Anyway, heroine confronts the hero about it and he claims not to have known about the rumors. I cannot remember why but I think he may have been out of the country all those years…? I think he also had shown up again to claim the heroine months after he had claimed he was originally going to…

Right after the confrontation, the heroine is attacked by a man out for revenge against the hero; the man attempts to rape her but the hero steps in in time to stop him.

Anyone recognize this book? Sounds rather old skool to me. 


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  1. 1
    theitgirl says:

    Parts of it sound like Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught.

  2. 2
    Nan says:

    This sounds like Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught. 

    I remember hero marrying heroine because she saved him. His plan was to leave her at one of his estate while he goes on with his life. He disappears, I believe he was a spy and captured by the French, and comes back years later.  During his disappearance the heroine was introduced to the Ton and was laughed at because she let it be known that she loved the hero.  She gets smart, learned hero did not love her and (if I recall correctly) was lead to believe that the reason she was left on the estate was because he had a mistress and was going to keep her, or something like that.

  3. 3
    That_Canadian_Girl says:

    Parts of it sound like “Trial by Desire” by Courtney Milan, but the hero doesn’t keep the heroine hidden in the country. She goes there to keep her friend safe (as the friend has left her abusive husband).

  4. 4
    Maite says:

    I’d swear it was a Judith McNaught, but I am not sure if I’d say it was “Something Wonderful”. People had been hired to kill the hero, but they decided it was better to sell him off to a boat as some type of slave, and claim they’d killed him. Aside from that detail, Nan’s correct about everything.

  5. 5
    Kelly says:

    While the rest feels like it could fit i don’t remember a rape in Something Wonderful; the heroine in that one gets shot by a man looking to take the hero’s title.

    Lorraine Heath’s passions of a wicked earl has the hero leave his bride in the country for years, but again there’s no rape AFAIK. The hero does discover her with another man – his half brother, whom the hero thinks she loves – but because they’ve been tricked into it.

  6. 6
    Jackcharlie says:

    It DOES kinda sound like Something Wonderful…so I second Nan.
    I just started rereading all of the old classics. Although the Alpha male bit is a little douche-y, I love me some old school!

  7. 7
    Jackcharlie says:

    Just a question: AFAIK?

  8. 8
    Lisa says:

    Internet/texting shorthand: initials for “As Far As I Know”

  9. 9
    HJ says:

    Is this An Arranged Marriage by Jo Beverley?

  10. 10
    chantalhab says:

    I thought Trial by Desire too but I don’t think that’s quite right. Good book though.

  11. 11
    marlie says:

    It sounds like The Deception by Joan Wolf.

  12. 12
    Vinessa says:

    The Marriage Bargain by Diane Perkins has all of that, except for the rapey bit at the end.

  13. 13
    azteclady says:

    My first guess was also Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught—isn’t there a threat to rape Alexandra (the heroine) just before the shooting at the end?

    Otherwise, drawing a blank.

  14. 14
    Faellie says:

    A lot of this HABO is similar to Dearly Beloved by Mary Jo Putney

  15. 15
    The Other Susan says:

    Pretty sure this isn’t DB, though.  I have a copy.

  16. 16
    The Other Susan says:

    Some of Judith McNaught’s heroes *should* be…well, not sold as slaves, but punished in *some* way.  Let’s try “work in accounts payable dept. at corporate office of prominent retail company for three centuries…er, that is, years… and get laid off when company outsources the function.” 

  17. 17
    Ashley Morris says:

    Parts of this sounds like it might be The Gift by Julie Garwood.

  18. 18
    Gee says:

    Maybe ‘Beyond Scandal’ by Brenda Joyce? I read it years ago, but I do remember the hero married the heroine and then was out of the country for several years before returning.

  19. 19
    Txnnyc says:

    Duchess in Love by Eloisa James?

  20. 20
    Emmbe says:

    I thought it was Belated Bride by Karen Hawkins, but I haven’t read it in quite awhile, so I don’t remember an attack at the end or why the hero was away.

  21. 21
    Willaful says:

    Beyond Scandal fits pretty well, IIRC. It’s definitely not An Arranged Marriage and it doesn’t sound like Dearly Beloved to me.

  22. 22
    kayjewel says:

    This almost sounds like a Georgette Heyer, although I can’t think of which one.

  23. 23
    Susan says:

    Not The Marriage Bargain. Too many differences despite the abandoned bride trope. This is the one that starts off with the hero’s dead body being returned to the wife for burial.

  24. 24
    Susan says:

    Agree. Not DB. That’s the one where the abandoned child bride decides she wants a man and heads off to London to become a mistress. Even if you haven’t read it,you can guess what happens next.

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