Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Unobservant Revolutionary Soldiers

Help a Bitch OutThis HaBO – or Help a Bitch Out – request comes from Judy, who is seeking an American Revolutionary cross dressing romance: 

I am looking for a book I read back sometime in the 1980's. It would have to be published before 1990 at least.

The story took place during the American Revolution and centered around a group of friends. Two of the characters were brother/sister twins. I DO remember that the brother twin (Phillip?) was killed and the sister took his place in his regiment because obviously the revolutionaries weren't very observant.

The H was some kind of officer and occasionally ran into her/him and became suspicious. There was some kind of poem that STILL bothers me to remember about the fate of all the friends.

I specifically remember the line “One got his head bashed in” being in there. Several died obviously. The poem/song was how the H uncovered her “disguise” because he heard her singing it one night around a campfire.

Even though I remember weeping copiously over this book I still want to find it!! No luck on fiction database or I just can't figure out how to work it properly. I thought it was Robyn Carr but nothing matches.

I throw myself on the mercy of the bitchery and apologize for my ghoulish taste but Please Help Me! 

First off, there are never any apologies expected or required. Sometimes, ghoulish cross dressing romances must be found. Heck, not sometimes. ALL of the times. Do you recognize this book? 


Help a Bitch Out

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  1. 1
    Vicki says:

    The only one that comes to mind right off is Elswyth Thane’s Dawn’s Early Light but the brother was not killed and I don’t remember the singing. OTOH, I did love this book. Hope you find the right one.

  2. 2
    Judy says:

    Nope, Not the Elswyth Thane book.  I thought it was Robyn Carr, but nothing of hers fits.  I also remembered the Hero officer’s first name started with a B.  Maybe Braden, Brandon or Bartholomew.

  3. 3
    cayenne says:

    This pings my memory a bit, and I’m wondering if it’s possibly Swamp Fire by Patricia Potter. The timing is right and some of the description matches, but I haven’t read it in a decade or more, so I can’t swear to it. No ebook for it, though.

  4. 4
    Judy says:

    Hey Cayenne,
    I don’t think that’s it, although the description is quite vague and doesn’t even pinpoint the American Revolution. I DO know that was the backdrop. She was raped by a small group of British soldiers (this probably dates the book rather well) which served as the catalyst for her fleeing home to impersonate her twin brother. I keep remembering bits and pieces.  I even think there was a character called ‘Dumb Tom” in there. Not the most PC of books but I can’t help it, I’m haunted by that poem/song and want to find it!  I might order your suggestion just to make sure.  Thanks for the info

  5. 5
    cayenne says:

    @Judy- I just dug out my copy, and skimming through it, I don’t think it’s the one. It’s definitely the American Revolution, though- she joins up with Francis Marion’s group- and she does pretend to be a man, but there doesn’t appear to be a twin or rape (it was an older Harlequin Historical, and some things just didn’t fly with them). Good luck finding it!

  6. 6
    Jill B says:

    I finally know one of these! It’s Bryarly by Jacqueline Marten. I had several of her novels, my favorite was Forevermore, and she used this time-travel/reincarnation theme pretty frequently. The main character goes through some crazy-bad experiences in both lifetimes. This is not a book for the faint-hearted as there is more than one rape scene. Her name is Philadelphia, I believe and she impersonates her brother which causes massive confusion for her true love who is mourning her while drinking with her “brother.” Take a look here – I am sure you will recognize it!

  7. 7
    SB Sarah says:

    @Jill – WOW!  Nice job!

  8. 8
    kkw says:

    So if we (and by we I mean Jill B) have found the book, can we get someone to do a dramatic reading of the poem in question? Karaoke rendition of the song?

  9. 9
    Judy says:

      I am SOOOO grateful you remembered this book!!  Yes Yes this is it.  feel free to send in that haunting poem to the bitchery. I knew HABO would come through!  I’m off to find a copy.

  10. 10
    Judy says:

    I totally missed that it was time travel….and got the Hero name mixed up with the Heroine but even with this mistake you still came through.

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