Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Malpractice? What Malpractice?

Help a Bitch OutSometimes I wonder what the bar association of RomanceLandia would look like. Is there a wills department staffed by hundreds helping to craft all these directives that people get married to inherit whatever it is? What about the somewhat sketchy lawyers who pretend to be their client's fiancee. OF COURSE THAT'S FINE. Sheesh. 

Esther-Anne is looking for a book she and her sister lost a long time ago: 

It is a book from the 90s, and I remember the main plot but not any of the names though.

The story is about a rancher that is trying to win custody of a baby girl that I think is related to him in some way, but there is another couple trying for custody too. He ends up getting a female lawyer to help win his case.

This lady lawyer is very shy/uncomfortable around him and is kind of a prude (always wears her hair in a tight bun, crisp suits). And has no experience with babies. And another thing that keeps popping into my head is that she was in the Navy at one point. 

So to win custody they pretend to be engaged, but then they start falling for each other. In the end they make their false engagement real and want to raise the little girl together.

Other than that, the cover of the book was blue with a picture of a ranch in the distance with rolling hill out in the prairie. It was a book that my sister and I had and then lost, and we've been looking for it forever. 

Malpractice? What are you talking about? That's nothing. We can do so much worse! Anyone recognize that book?


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  1. 1
    Ova says:

    This one reminded me of Robin Wells’s Baby, Oh Baby, except it can’t be because in that one the heroine is the rancher and the hero is trying to head off a lawsuit from the grandfather by pretending to be engaged to the heroine. I’m curious about this one now, though.

  2. 2

    It would be fun to gather some of the most over-the-top storylines involving legal practices and run them past attorneys with the question “Malpractice or not?” to see what they’d say.

    On the other hand, I don’t want to kill the creative process for other writers. That’s why I like 19th C. pirates. There aren’t many of them lurking around, waiting to tell authors their plots are ridiculous.

  3. 3
    redheadedgirl says:

    Wow, that’s like four ethics violations in three minutes.

  4. 4
    AnnaM says:

    I would totally read a regular feature on MALPRACTICE OR NOT?!

  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:

    It would be fun to gather some of the most over-the-top storylines involving legal practices and run them past attorneys with the question “Malpractice or not?” to see what they’d say.

    Oh my gosh. I think 99.9% of the time, it would be malpractice and grounds for disbarment. And also, all those poor lawyers’ heads exploding with the nonsense would be so unfortunate.

    But that would be a very fun feature…. I need to go to my Evil Plotting Couch.

  6. 6
    anngeewhiz says:

    I’d totally read that too! 

    Didn’t Courtney Milan say that one of her recent book ideas came up because she and another lawyer friend were discussing an inheritance issue?

  7. 7
    Jewel says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do the Malpractice or Not series!!! There’s Jane Litte from DA, and Courtney Milan and Julie James and Lauren Willig… I’m sure there are others so you could have a rotating panel. Oh PLEEEEAAAAASSSEEE!!

  8. 8
    Bona says:

    But in the end which book is this one?
    The only one I’ve found one reference with a rancher, custody and a female lawyer is ‘What’s a Man Got to Do’, by Lynnette Kent. I haven’t read it but it could be. I have my doubts, anyway, because the baby girl is his daughter, and in the summary I read nothing about a false engagement.

  9. 9
    M— says:

    Maybe check out Margot Dalton’s Juniper (1992)?

    It’s been ages since I read it so my memories are fuzzy, but I believe it has a prudish lawyer who needs to let her hair down and a cowboy with a custody dispute— I think with his sister, for his sister’s children.

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