Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: A Long Ago Romance With a Wicked Chandelier

Help a Bitch OutThis request comes from Sharon, who is searching for a romance she read awhile ago: 

I am looking for the first “grown up” historical romance I read. I have Googled the crap out of this multiple times, but, alas, I have come up empty. So I thought I would turn to my wonderful fellow romance readers and see if someone happens to recognize this.

I am a little fuzzy on the details, and some of the things I remember don't exactly make sense. But I'm just going to throw it all out there and cross my fingers! I read this book in one afternoon in a hospital waiting room back in 2005, but it was definitely outdated at the time. I would guess it was published sometime in the 1990s. Anyway, here are the things I remember:

– It was definitely set somewhere in Great Britain, probably England.

– The hero was named Jasper (or something similar that started with a J). He was all tall, dark, and smolderingly intimidating and taciturn.

– I think the heroine was a redhead.

– The h/hr were distantly related (perhaps second cousins?).

– The hero had inherited a house, but the heroine was impoverished because her father had died with gambling debts, and for some reason, she thought she was the one to rightfully inherit the house.

– Obviously, the h/hr hated each other for a while. I am pretty sure they had almost-sexy!times in a barn at one point, though.

– Most of the book was spent in the aforementioned house, but it was all dark and possibly haunted.

– In the end, it turned out the house wasn't ACTUALLY haunted, but one of the older relatives (or a servant?) who basically hated everyone had been faking it. He (she?) wound up killing himself…and this scene had something to do with a giant chandelier. Don't ask me why. I think perhaps he dropped the chandelier? Regardless, there was a chandelier involved.

– The book obviously had a happy ending, but overall, it was a pretty dark and Gothic-feeling read. Aaand that's all. Any help would be appreciated!

Do you recognize Jasper, his chandelier, and the red-headed heroine? 


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  1. 1
    Diane says:

    Sounds like Georgette Heyer’s Cousin Kate.  Anyone remember this book’s plot better than I do?

  2. 2
    Alexis says:

    Not Cousin Kate! That was Heyer’s Gothic-attempt but there are only a couple of slight similarities here.

  3. 3
    liz says:

    Barbara Michael’s?  She’s not much with the sexy times,though.

  4. 4
    Dee says:

    is it The Last Rogue by Deborah Simmons? Though i don’t really remember a chandelier

  5. 5
    cleo says:

    No man’s mistress by mary balough?

  6. 6
    Joane says:

    Could it be ‘A Bitter Legacy’ by Jean Davidson? I haven’t read it. but with those data, it’s the novel I found in which, is the data base I use for romances.

  7. 7
    Melanie says:

    I can’t find it in my books-read list, but I swear I’ve read it recently. Well, if it’s the same one – the other details I remember are:
    * the hate-filled older relative doesn’t die, but he does shoot down a rickety old chandelier from the ceiling when Evil Badguy is attacking h/h (or one of them) in the foyer. He’s known to carry around an old shotgun and has terrible vision so H is always trying to confiscate it.
    * the haunting is really an old enemy / frienemy of H, they were in the army together in India, both excellent trackers (H taught him everything he knew) until he was betrayed / left for dead by the frienemy
    * the crumbling dark old house has caves / tunnels (part of a smuggler’s network at one time?)
    * the H brought a houseful of Indian servants with him when he returned from his left for dead/captured/tortured life, including an old woman who somehow (despite no common language) whips the old man relative into shape, and a little girl who is really H’s daughter
    * little girl loves to play with a goat, h saves her from Bad Guy when she’s outside w/ goat, thus endearing her to H even though they still grump at each other

  8. 8
    Donna says:

    I don’t think it is but somehow reminds me either of one of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia books or one of Lynne connolly’s Richard & Rose ones……I’ll try searching out my copies

  9. 9
    Jess Haines says:

    This sounds kind of familiar to me. Do you remember the cover? Did it look like a peacock feather(s)?


  10. 10
    Liz H. says:

    Oh oh! I totally don’t know the answer to the HaBO, but I’m pretty sure the book Melanie is talking about is ‘The Seduction of Elliot MacBride’ by Jennifer Ashley. Does that count as half a HaBO? I never know any of these, the excitement is ridiculous, lol.

  11. 11
    Sharon says:

    It was A Bitter Legacy by Jean Davidson!  Thank you SO MUCH, Joane! I will definitely be utilizing that database in the future.  It could have saved me numerous hours of Googling!

    Many thanks to everyone who attempted to help me out, too. :)

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