Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Vikings on Ice with Ice Capades!

Help a Bitch OutMin has been seeking this book for a long time – her first email to me went awry, but this one landed and oh, this book sounds fun: 

I read this book back in the late 80s/early 90s (i think) but I've always been super bad about remembering titles and authors. I'm pretty sure the cover had a blonde heroine and the hero could have been Fabio. It's a little fuzzy. I want to say the cover had alot of blue in it, but I could be making that up entirely. I'm hoping someone remembers it cause I would love to read it again.

The hero is a Viking who comes for the usual raping and pillaging. The heroine actually picks up a weapon to fight the Vikings off and manages to cut someone's hand off (?) before getting captured. She ends up the hero's unwilling lover but it's ok cause he has a magic wang so she eventually falls in love with him despite the raping and the pillaging and the killing of her peoples (which might have included an almost-fiance?).

Her former servants turn against her because they've assimilated to their new circumstances while she refuses to learn the language and tries to fight against being a slave. Despite this, she's making friends with the guy whose hand she sliced off, making him see he's not a useless member of society just cause he's only got one hand.

The best crazy sauce bits involve the hero's mother, though. The woman is off her rocker. I think her husband brought back a blonde slave after one of his raiding trips and ends up in love with the slave and ignoring his wife? So she's got lots of resentment built up and that wound is totally re-opened with her son bringing home this blonde chick and bringing her into her home. So she plots to off her and I don't remember exactly how she does it but I think she somehow traps the heroine under some special ice death trap and the heroine's in danger of drowning if the hero can't find her in time? Or something? I'm pretty sure ice is involved only cause I remember something about her face being visible.

Thanks! *fingers crossed* 

Do you recognize this? Did I just hear RedHeadedGirl screech, “WE MUST FIND THIS BOOK!” Help a bitch out! 


Help a Bitch Out

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  1. 1
    L. says:

    I feel like this could be a Joanna Lindsey book. But that could be the rum talking. I’m a little buzzed right now.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:


  3. 3
    Mia says:

    This sounds so familiar… Maybe Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey? The cover kinda fits but I don’t remember anyone getting their hand cut off. ARGH! I hope someone gets this.

  4. 4
    Aly says:

    This reminds me of “Wolfskin” by Juliet Marillier. But that’s probably not it.

    PS: You’ve never published my HaBO about the twice-married air stewardess. *sad face*

  5. 5
    L. says:

    Honestly, I do remember a book where a secondary character gets his hand cut off but he comes to like the guy he works for who had the hand cut off. BTW, there’s still a little bit of rum left. I still think this is a Joanna Lindsey book.

  6. 6
    Jenica says:

    I’m thinking Fires of Winter by Johanna Lindsey.

  7. 7
    Sarita says:

    I usually can’t handle the Old Skool, but something about her cutting off a dude’s hand and then counseling him through having a disability appeals to me…

  8. 8
    min says:

    sadly, not Fires of Winter. I bought that one ages ago hoping it was the one.

    the hand/arm might only have been permanently crippled and not cut off. I only remember for sure she injured him permanently so he was now no good as a warrior (or a person, apparently) in the eyes of Viking society. he started off pretty bitter about the injury. can’t imagine why.

  9. 9
    min says:

    i believe Fires of Winter has a crazed former nanny bent on murder, btw, if you’re into that sort of thing.  which, why wouldn’t you be?

  10. 10

    When I think Vikings, I usually think of Sandra Hill’s slew of Viking novels. However, many of them are time-travel books, and have much more humor than this one seems to. Then again, I haven’t read all of her Viking books, so maybe it’s one of her more angsty titles?

  11. 11
    Claudia says:

    Could it be one of Catherine Coulter’s Viking Series?

  12. 12
    amanda says:

    Could this be lord of the wolved by heather graham?

  13. 13
    amanda says:


  14. 14
    Jenn says:

    This sounds so familiar… Maybe Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey? The cover kinda fits but I don’t remember anyone getting their hand cut off. ARGH! I hope someone gets this.

    Didn’t the female MC in this one have a problem with her leg? Or her little brother did?

  15. 15
    Joanna says:

    Reminds me of Lord of Hawkfell Isle by Catherine Coulter. It’s a long time since I read it and cannot recall someone having their hand cut off. I recall a brother(?)  of the heroine and a lot of blue in the cover, but sometimes we get diffenent book covers in the UK.

  16. 16
    Joanna says:

    Sorry for typo, had some wine.

  17. 17
    redheadedgirl says:

    Did I just hear RedHeadedGirl screech, “WE MUST FIND THIS BOOK!”

    yes you did.

    I don’t think it’s any of the Coulter books- the plots jsut not quite right for any of them.  And it’s not the right kind of crazy for Sandra Hill.  I did just buy the Lindsays, just to see.

  18. 18
    Vicki says:

    I feel sure I’ve read this book, too. Isn’t she kept in a hut with the other slaves for a while? I was wondering if it was Hush or Slave Girl by French or The Thrall’s Tale but I’m thinking not. I will keep digging through my pile of discards and my Nook archives.

  19. 19
    sandy l says:

    Best, damn Viking (old skool) book I read was Tara’s Song by Barbara Ferry Johnson. But I don’t recall anyone getting their hand cut off. I found a pristine but brown version and had to buy it. I haven’t re-read it yet….

  20. 20
    azteclady says:

    I sincerely doubt is a Lindsey book. Of her three Vikings books, the closest in plot is the third one, Surrender my Love, but even that’s not close enough: the male protagonist, Selig’s mother is Brenna, the female protagonist of the first book in the trilogy. Ergo, no mistress for Selig’s father.

  21. 21
    Allison F. says:

    OMG, Sandy L!  I thought I was the only one on the planet who had read Tara’s
    Song!  I started reading that when I was 12 or 13 and my mother took it away from me when she realized it had smut in it.  I was only about halfway through, the heroine was pregnant and in peril and SHE TOOK IT AWAY FROM ME!  I spent about twenty years searching used book stores in multiple states for it so I could finish it.  And I found it.

  22. 22
    kari says:

    Edin’s Embrace by Nadine Crenshaw

    The crash of a wooden club and the howl of a Norse cur forever shattered innocent Edin’s dreams of marrying her childhood sweetheart. And when the svelte young beauty found herself in the grip of her betrothed’s killer, Edin vowed one day she’d give the devilish invader his due. But as she hardened her heart against him, the gorgeous captive’s body couldn’t shut out his nearness. His broad chest heated her, his strong hands molded her…and Edin was soon longing for the ruthless raider from the North to show her his uncivilized kind of love!

    Ever since his father had been murdered by a British bedthrall, fierce Thoryn Kirkynson had sworn vengeance on all the English dogs. The accursed land was for pillaging, its men meant for hard labor, and its women for illicit pleasures. Yet even as the bearded Nordic chieftain swung his axe in slaughter, he could not staunch the rush of tender feelings that flooded him when he saw the enemy princess. Loathing himself for his father’s weakness, Thoryn sought not only to dominate his captive…he yearned for her whispers of love and endless hours of ecstasy in Edin’s Embrace.

  23. 23
    redheadedgirl says:



    I AM ON IT

  24. 24


    But as she hardened her heart against him, the gorgeous captive’s body couldn’t shut out his nearness. His broad chest heated her, his strong hands molded her…and Edin was soon longing for the ruthless raider from the North to show her his uncivilized kind of love!

    Wow, I kind of miss those Old Skool blurbs sometimes! It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed so hard reading a book description.

  25. 25
    min says:

    crud monkeys! i can’t tell if Edin’s Embrace is the one or not.  i’m going to go find a copy to buy.

    considering going thru this list, spending some money, and making it an all-Viking summer.  who’s with me?

  26. 26
    Susan says:

    Wow.  Edin’s Embrace has 7 reviews on Amazon and ALL of them are 5 stars.  O_o I hope someone reports back after reading this book.

  27. 27
    kari says:

    It pretty good, to tell the truth.  It’s not as over-the-top as the book cover would lead you to believe.  It’s a little more emotionally honest -the author doesn’t rely on the ‘oh, turns out he didn’t kill my loved one after all so it’s okay to bone him’ nonsense.

    I would recommend Crenshaw’s The Highwayman too.

  28. 28
    Wendy says:

    The part about this description that’s cracking me up is that the Viking hero’s mom is jealous of a blonde slave. Because no Vikings were blonde? (More were ginger, probably, but surely some were blonde!)

  29. 29
    Amy says:


    Can’t wait to read your review (oh please pleeeeeeease do one) of the Johanna Lindsay books – they are the best kind of crazy sauce. I read them just a while ago, in dire need of a pick-me-up and they were just the thing.

    There’s an excellent line in one of them:
    (I’ll paraphrase, I can’t remember which book it is, just that its one of her Viking ones – but it goes a bit like this)

    “she slid her arms around his waist, her naked breasts pressed against his back, as her hands found his own breasts”

    There are no words.

    Oh yes.

  30. 30
    min says:

    @kari – thank you for recognizing this book despite my inaccuracies!

    @wendy – pretty much everyone was blond except for mebbe 3 redheads and a dark-haired Dane.  the nutty mom was blonde.

    i stayed up until 2:30am reading this book and now i’m hoping there’s enough caffeine in the world to keep me going on 4 hours of sleep.  but cereally, how could i be expected to put down a book that described the heroine in such complimentary terms as having “hair like amber seaweed” and “yellow parsley-curls” (he wasn’t talking about the curls on her head, btw).  i think the heroine must have secretly been a selkie.

    also, the town blacksmith’s name was Eric No-breeches.  sadly, no further reference to his lack of bottoms was made anywhere in the book.  not even during the foot race.

    also, also – “I can almost see the smoke of your chimney curling out from under your tunic, brother.  What have you been up to?”
    he’s trying to say the hero needs to put a pillow on his lap, right?  that’s how i’m interpreting it in my world, anyway.

    the cover is quite wonderful, too.  it’s like they’ve propped themselves on the figurehead of a sinking ship and decided now was a good time to canoodle.

    thank you, again.  now i’m wondering what the polite amount of time is to wait before submitting another HABO.  i thought of another book i don’t know the name of and remember even less about.  you guys are so good, you don’t need piddly details like plot or descriptions of things.

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