Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: He’s a Gardening Unionizing Pooka Disguising Seduction Expert!

Help a Bitch Out!This HaBO request comes from Mendi, who is searching for a book that I'm betting at least 56% of you will immediately want to read: 

I read this book my senior year of high school, 1994. I borrowed it from a friend and loved it, then she made me give it back to her! I've been looking for this book for almost 20 years now, so, I hope you fine ladies can help a bitch out.

Plot Points:

1. I think it's set in the mid-1800's in the English countryside.

2. A young woman is returning to her family estate alone, sort of sneaking back after a disastrous London season where I think she was humiliated by some man.

3. The gardener, who is actually a coal mining unionist in disguise, sneaks into her bedroom at some point and seduces her under the guise of a pooka.

4. She has regular arguments with the garderner, not realizing that he is the pooka dude AND a unionist who threatens her family livelihood from the local coal mines

5. At some point, she gets caught up in some violent protests by local coal miners

6. There may have been a pancake race. Not kidding.

7. I seem to remember some scenes devoted to her having dresses made for her that are more daring and sexy than her spinster rags. I suppose it is her reawakening as a woman and stuff. Anyway…. FASHION.

8. She eventually makes the connection between gardener/unionist/pooka, struggles with it, and gives in. As did I.

Oh, yes, I liked this one a lot. 

Gardening coal mine unionist pooka hero! That's a new one. Anyone recognize this book? (I can hear all your catnip alarms going off. Wow.)


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  1. 1
    Linda says:

    Just commenting so I can subscribe to this post.  I’ve *got* to see the book that this is about. :)

  2. 2
    Olivia says:

    Pretty sure this isn’t it, but closest thing I could find, “Longing” by Mary Balogh

  3. 3
    TAlaxandra says:

    Me, too – this sounds amazing!

  4. 4
    CarrieS says:

    holy cow how is it that I have not read what is clearly crazy catnip!

  5. 5
    Angstriddengoddess says:

    Want now.
    Want now now NOW.

  6. 6
    MelanieM says:

    This reminds me of Lisa Kleypas’ “Mine Till Midnight”, but unfortunately, that one was published in 2007, so no cigar, sorry :/ If you do find it, let us know, ‘cause now I want to read it! Good luck!

  7. 7
    Cate says:

    Apart from the pancake race ( such fun !) … this one’s ringing a bell. I’m sure Jude Deveraux wrote about a union activist,but that’s set in the US, and not the UK …. back to the bookshelves for a longer look.

  8. 8
    Bethany says:

    I scoured the internet for both HABOs last night, and I came up with a big, fat, nothin’. I finally just looked at my guy and said “my Google search history is a bit disturbing at the moment, so don’t judge me”. Come on, Bitchery! I am hoping SOMEONE knows what these books are.

  9. 9
    KarenF says:

    This vaguely reminded me of some of Sandra Heath’s regencies, but when I finally found the one I had in mind (The Magic Jack-o-Lantern), the character was a brownie, not a pooka (and he wasn’t the hero, but a character who helped the hero and heroine get together).

  10. 10
    Erin Burns says:

    Count me in as one of the 56%.

  11. 11
    cleo says:

    I also thought of Jude Devereaux, but the details don’t add up.

  12. 12
    rudi_bee says:

    It sounds a little like a cross between Lisa Kleypas “Again the Magic” and “Mine til Midnight”, with some Courtney Milan “Duchess Wars” thrown in for good measure. What I’m trying to say is it sounds completely amazing and I want it now.

    I really hope someone figures this out soon.

  13. 13
    Lovecow2000 says:

    The only Pookha hero that I recall is from Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks, which is entirely different from the book described. However, it is awesome and worth the read.

  14. 14
    Rochelle Swails says:

    This sounds like Moon Shadow by Laura Parker. Part of the Kingsblood series.

  15. 15
    Cate says:

    Just popped to her website Rochelle, & even if that isn’t the right book ( but I think it is !)… I want to read Moon Shadow now..Off to track down a copy :)

  16. 16
    Rochelle says:

    Good luck. My library does not have a copy but thankfully I have it home. I now need to re-read to find out if the pancake scene is in it. I remember them going to the village and he’d having fun but the details are fuzzy.

  17. 17
    Mendi says:

    Oh my effin’ christ. I”m sure that Rochelle has it. You have no idea *tears up* how happy you have made me. OMG, I’m losing it, gotta go have some calm down time alone. Thank you.

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