Author Kate Noble wrote in with this HaBO request, hoping the Bitchery can identify a book she's been searching for:
So – On occasion over the years I have toyed with trying to find that very first romance novel I ever read, which subsequently warped me into the mangled voracious romance reader/writer you see before you today. Alas, I have never succeeded, and thus I turn to you, my fellow voracious-types, to see if this is crowd-sourceable.
Warning: This is a while ago. Over 20 years ago, in fact. God, I’m old. The summer I was 12 or 13, (so, 1991-ish) my cousin Megan came to visit us, and she brought with her a romance novel – her worldiness a product of her 9 months advantage in age. I took it from her, and didn’t give it back. It was Regency era and shorter – category length, and the couple did nothing more than kiss (hey, I was 12, after all).
The cover had a dark haired young woman in a light blue dress sitting on a bench looking up at a gentleman, who wore boots.
The plot: Girl in Blue is the genteel but impoverished neighbor of the local rich family. She and the heir of the property are friends and play together as kids. Unfortunately, the heir ends up getting washed away in a river when he’s about 8-10, the body never found (of course not).
Girl in Blue grows up pining for the lost heir, because they were soul mates. At 8, but soul mates, nonetheless. Now, she’s a young lady, making ends meet by teaching piano lessons to the local children. One day, she’s walking by the local rich family’s estate, and she sees a man in a tree. In the infinite wisdom of a romance novel heroine, she goes to stand under the tree to get a better look, and the guy falls out and practically lands on top of her.
It turns out he is Spanish, and he has busted up his leg. The Spaniard (as I remember him being called) is taken into the local rich family’s house to recuperate. There, he is really confused by how nice everyone is being to him, especially the lord of the house. It turns out this is because he has been told by his family that the lord of the house is a terrible guy. Of course, this is because the Spaniard is actually the lost heir (*gasp*), who was kidnapped by Spanish relatives on his deceased mother’s side of the family who had always hated his father.
Oh yeah, and somewhere along the way, he starts making out with the Girl in Blue. And when his true identity is revealed, they of course get together. (Also, she might have had another guy courting her, but she held him off because her soul mate relationship with a kid she thought had died. Although I could be making that part up.) I sincerely hope I haven’t stumped you all with this one.
Do you recognize this book?