Help A Bitch Out

S-HaBO-Day: He Ran Her Over, Then Married Her

Help a Bitch OutCatherine is looking for a book she read years ago – and I want to know where this cart full of books is, because I have a few dozen to donate! 

 I got the first romance novel I ever read from the hospital library cart when I was 8 or 9 and hospitalized for asthma for a couple of days. It was some 70s type book, probably a Harlequin or a Silhouette, with a dark-haired woman in a filmy white nightgown standing on the cover with the hero.

The plot involved the rich hero nearly running her down with his car, deciding to “apologize” by marrying her on his deathbed so she can inherit his money, and then inexplicably recovering.

Why he didn't just tell his lawyers to cut her a nice check for her inconvenience I have no idea. Maybe he didn't have a lawyer.

The hero's glamorous ex girlfriend was lurking around a bit and I don't think there was much sex, if there was any at all.

Evil ex! Rich man without good legal advice! A PERFECT STORM! Do you recall this book? 

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  1. 1
    Anne says:

    Apart from the 1970 description, it sounds slightly like The Italian’s Wife by Lynne Graham.

  2. 2
    Sanna says:

    I hope someone identifies it—sounds great! This type of “meet cute” never gets old for me. I have a Harlequin from 1966 (Magic Symphony by Eleanor Farnes) where the conductor runs over his fan and future wife after a concert. And then there’s the immortal advice given in Mary Stewart’s Nine Coaches Waiting: “If you ever get run over, be sure and pick a Rolls- Royce.”

  3. 3
    susan d says:

    Dark hair and a filmy white nightgown, eh?  Okay, that narrows it down a bit. :^)

  4. 4
    Karin says:

    The hero did almost run the heroine down, in The Italian’s Wife, but he was not ever on his deathbed, so I don’t think that’s it.

  5. 5
    Susan says:

    Somebody identify this book, my apartment is full of chores I don’t want to do!

  6. 6
    Vasha says:

    When I saw the header, I thought of a 1930s movie (can’t recall the name)—not a happy romance, but a woesome melodrama, in which a guy drives drunk, hits a woman and paralyzes her, and marries her out of guilt—understandably it doesn’t go well! In Romancelandia, marriages that start for unromantic reasons always turn out excellent, but I don’t think there’s any author who could rescue that particular scenario, or who I’d take seriously if they tried. Change it a little, though… are there any believable romances where one party seriously injures the other by negligence, and then they fall for each other? Difficult but not impossible romance scenario?

  7. 7
    liz o says:

    Did she have amnesia from the accident?  I remember one where he runs her over, but they have to figure out who she is before he can marry her.

  8. 8
    Aziza says:

    I don’t know the book, but I believe Vasha is talking about The Divorcee.

    Maybe this is why you shouldn’t ride in (or stand near) cars with boys. Or girls, for that matter, unless you want to end up in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

    Driving alone isn’t safe either. Joe Gillis can tell you that his car put him on the path to surveying the bottom of Norma Desmond’s pool.

  9. 9
    Vasha says:

    Yes it was The Divorcee, though it seems my memory was somewhat wrong.

  10. 10
    LoriK says:

    I swear I read this one. Of course I have no memory of the title or author, because that would be helpful. I hope someone else gets it because not knowing is now going to bug me.

    FWIW, if I’m thinking of the same book (and could there really be two with this plot?) it was almost certainly a Harlequin. I first started reading romances when I was mumblemumble age and the local public library was my only source. They had a lot of Harlequins so for my first couple of years as a romance reader that was pretty much all I read. (Seriously, their Harlequin collection was huge. It was a small town library, but I’ve never been to another library with anywhere near as many, even when I lived in big cities. That collection was a thing of beauty.)

  11. 11
    Catherine says:

    There seem to be a lot of books out there with some variation of the hero hitting/nearly hitting the heroine with his car.

  12. 12
    Catherine says:

    I THINK the title of this book just surfaced out of my subconscious like Nessie. I think it was called “An Offer of Marriage” but I don’t see that anywhere on Amazon so apparently it is LONG out of print.

  13. 13
    SusannaG says:

    I’ve read one where the hero’s mother’s truck ran over the heroine, but can’t say I’ve read this one.

    It may well be An Offer of Marriage; the one by Lynne Cooper (can’t find a description) was a Harlequin of the mid-70s (1975, I think).

  14. 14
    cleo says:

    @Catherine – I think you got it!  I used my google-fu and I found An Offer of Marriage by Lynna Cooper (Signet 1976) – http://www.amazon.com/AN-Offer-Marriage-Lynna-Cooper/dp/0451084578

    The blurb doesn’t mention getting run over, but the rest of it fits – marriage of convenience to rich man on his deathbed who doesn’t actually die.  And the cover has a dark haired woman in a white gown / robe thing (the image is too small for me to tell if it’s filmy or not)

  15. 15
    cleo says:

    @SusannaG – looks like I cross-posted with you. I agree, I think it could be the Lynna Cooper.

    captcha: maybe72 – there may be 72 romances with this same plot, but I doubt it.

  16. 16
    Catherine says:

    That is totally it, thank you! I’m not sure why I couldn’t find it listed on amazon when I got the title. I’m going to order it and just see how bad it is.

  17. 17
    Sasha says:

    I can’t remember the title of a book I read two days ago, you can remember a title from the 70’s? 

    I’m going to go lay down now…if I can remember the way to my bed……..

    captcha: Woman94

    Woman, I am impressed, and my memory will be long gone before I reach 94.

  18. 18
    cleo says:

    @Catherine – when I searched Amazon with the title, nothing came up (so you’re not crazy).  Then I think I searched Goodreads, and 2 or 3 different books came up, with the authors’ names.  Only one was from the 70s, so I searched Amazon with the title and that author and voila!

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