Help A Bitch Out

S-HaBO-Day: Home Alone Face!

Help a Bitch OutJL is looking for this book, and she remembers the cover most of all:

I actually have a HABO that I've been holding onto for a little while now. I can't remember a ton about the book and have been hoping more would come to me, but I think this might be it! I'm looking for one of the earlier romances I read, which I got from a truly amazing used romance book store my mom used to take me to when I was a tween. I remember shelves that were as tall as I am just filled to bursting with romance paperbacks–if only such a magical place existed today!

Anyway, the book was a Harlequin Regency I'm certain, and I read it in probably the mid 1990s (so the book might have been early to mid 90s?) . I remember the cover illustration was of a woman with black or dark brown hair, and she's making this ridiculous surprised look at the hero (picture the Home Alone kid in the aftershave scene). As for the plot, I don't remember much. The heroine had jilted the hero previously to run off and marry someone else, who turned out to be a seriously evil dickwad.

I want to say he either kidnapped or raped her or something equally bad and that's why she married him? I think maybe he also raped other women while they were married. He's dead now and she meets her one true love again, but for some reason she can't or won't explain what happened, so the hero does a lot of “I want to hate her but I just can't”. I remember feeling so incredibly bad for the heroine that she had such a shitty husband and then was sorta-hated by the guy she really loved.

I thought of one more detail after I had emailed you! I remember that the heroine's devoted servants play a big role in helping her get back with the hero. I think maybe they spill her secrets so he understands why she did what she did.

Can anyone HABO?

It would be nice if people came with merit badges that said, “NO, really, I'm a romance hero!” so we can avoid the evil dickwads. Do you recognize this book?


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  1. 1
    Jean says:

    I know this one! I just read it not to long ago.

    Widow for Hire by Margaret Westhaven (Harlequin Regency) October 1990

  2. 2
    Kelly says:

    Oh my goodness, I just looked this up on goodreads, and that has to be the most ridiculous romance cover ever. Maybe a new caption that cover? He has every reason to despise her….so what did she do? And why is SHE surprised about it?

  3. 3
    Amanda Martin says:

    So I know that this isn’t the book you are looking for but it has similar themes and is one of my favorites…..Impluse by Candace Camp.


    Torn from the arms of the woman he loved and cast into the night by her highborn family, Cam Monroe vowed revenge on those who had wronged him.
    Fifteen years later, after amassing a small fortune of his own, Cam returns to England with but one ambition. Now the power is his, power to ruin the Stanhope family if they refuse his demands. And what he demands is simple: that Angela Stanhope be his wife.

    Then the mysterious “accidents” begin. Are the Stanhopes trying once again to remove him from their lives? Or is it someone from Cam’s past, someone desperate enough to kill to prevent him from uncovering a shocking lie?


    The h ended up marrying another man and he is absolutely EVIL. He and his friends rape her and she eventually escapes the marriage and gets a divorce.  The H comes back looking for revenge and has no idea what happen to her in her marriage. Once her ladies maid clues him in he loses the will for revenge and is all things sweet. Although he wasn’t really all that bad before that because he never stopped loving her.

  4. 4
    Susan says:

    That cover is a riot! Can’t stop laughing.

    (men58—my best captcha ever!)

  5. 5
    SusannaG says:

    She really *does* look like the kid in Home Alone in that cover shot!  What were they thinking?

  6. 6
    Jenn says:

    …if only such a magical place existed today!

    We have a such a place in Indy… My Book World on East Washington Street! It’s wonderful! :)

  7. 7
    Jen says:

    I’m the bitch that needed help with this one—I was on vacation so I couldn’t check in on the responses. BUT YES! It’s Widow for Hire. Yay! I’ve already ordered a new copy. Thanks everyone! :)

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