Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Gay Regency Like Jane Eyre No Really

Help a Bitch OutY'all! It is HaBO time! Time to feature reader requests for help in locating books when you remember some really off the wall plot points or odd moments of WTFery, but can't recall the author and title. Help a Bitch Out, here we come! 

Our first HaBO today is from Ellen: 

Recently I ran across a vintage romance in a used bookstore. I only read the back cover and flipped through a few pages, but then I described it to a friend and she really wants to read it. Maybe one of your readers will be familiar with it and will be able to identify it from this sketchy description?

It had a cover that SCREAMED '80s. I don't think it was quite a clinch cover, but it came close. The thing that made me pick it up in the first place was that there were two dudes on the cover.

I couldn't believe there was a traditionally published gay romance from 30 years ago… but indeed it was. Set in England, I believe. One of the heroes was young, maybe a teenager, and had come to live on the other hero's giant estate. I think he was there as either some sort of worker or a ward — in any case, he was far socially inferior to the other hero, who was possibly nobility.

The older hero took the younger one under his wing, and the younger one was really unsure about the older one's feelings for a long time. The older one was pretty reticent. I referred to it, to the friend, as “gay Jane Eyre,” which was totally the vibe I was getting (except without the crazy wife).

That's all I've got, I'm afraid! Here's hoping someone knows exactly what I'm talking about. 

Do you recognize this book? I'm betting someone will be all, “DUDE THAT IS THIS BOOK AND IT IS RAD.” I hope so, anyway. 


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  1. 1
    tc says:

    gaywyck by vincent virga published by avon. reprinted again under a diff publisher nowaday , you can find that at amazon now.

    i may be wrong about the book but i think it it

    it concern a gorgous blond hair young man who goes to work for his very good looking cousin at some grand estate to work on the library there. it take place in new york city nyc just before the turn of the 1900s i think . it historical . it a very gothic gay type of romance.

    the orginal book had a nice cover too.

  2. 2
    Katherine says:

    OMG, I looked it up on Amazon and THE REVIEWS!
    This one is totally spoilery, but made me laugh snotty-tear-faced laughter, and I read the whole thing out to my husband who was like “Oh, so it’s an Edwardian gay sex novel, with a CAVE OF GAY PORN? Okay’ and went back to reading his Georgette Heyer.

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    OMG. I cannot believe I didn’t identify that one. This is so embarrassing. We totally snarked this cover long, long ago:

    His wick, it is indeed gay.

    Nice going TC!

  4. 4
    Heather S says:

    Darn, someone beat me to it. I was gonna say “Gaywyck”. LOL

    Yeah, they were publishing gay fic 30 years ago and more! If she wants to try more in that time period, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote one called “The Catch Trap”, about a pair of trapeze artists who fall in love. Gordon Merrick wrote several contemporary (at the time) romances, too.

  5. 5
    Ellen says:

    YES! You guys are the best!! After a Google image search, I think this was the cover I saw.

  6. 6
    CarrieS says:

    Here’s a tip:  If you are trying live in the closet, don’t call you estate “Gaywick”.  I’m just saying’.

  7. 7
    mochabean says:

    Okay, I don’ t have much interest in the now-revealed insanity that is Gaywick, but an actual Gay Jane Eyre but in Regency well-written romance—sign me up! Please, someone write this book.

  8. 8
    Vicki says:

    I keep misreading the author’s name as Vincent Viagra. Not sure why.

  9. 9
    Julie in AZ says:

    I read the description and recognized it immediately.  It was part of a large gay/lesbian collection donated to the ASU library about a decade ago.  I couldn’t figure out why the university would have an 80s historical romance in its collection until I took a closer look at the book while it was sitting on the shelves waiting to be processed.

  10. 10
    Cordy says:

    Even having seen the cover, I am having a hard time believing that it is literally called Gaywyck. Amazing/awesome.

  11. 11
    tc says:

    the orginal paperback had a really nice cover i wanted to say

    here a link to a pic of it

    darn thing took some searching too

  12. 12
    Lindsay says:

    @Katherine: Oh my goodness, that review. My husband came over to find out what had me laughing so hard.

    I’m pretty sure I need this book. It costs more than I pay for most ebooks, but this is clearly a CLASSIC.

  13. 13
    Ova says:

    Oh my goodness. Thank you for linking that awesome review. I read it after watching a vintage commercial for Nestle white chocolate from the 80’s, and now I can’t get the refrain of “dreamy white/creamy white” out of my head, except now it’s being sung by an innocent, beautiful young blonde boy and he’s actually singing “dreamy Whyte/creamy Whyte.”

    But seriously. If you want to read a well-written gay romance with a Regency-esque setting, try Swordspoint. It’s not really Regency because it’s technically a fantasy setting, even though there is no sign of magic or strange creatures, and the laws of physics operate normally. Fantasy of manners, I believe is what the genre is called.

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