Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Virgin Widows? Aw, Yeah.

Help a Bitch OutHaBO Time! When you can remember bits and pieces of a scene, but not the author or title, we're here to help. Because, well, the Bitchery pretty much knows everything. Today's request is from M, who writes: 

Firstly,I'd like to say I love your site and I apologize for any mistakes I make. Bear with me, English is not my first language.

This is the first time I contact you and I really hope you can help me!

I read a book a while ago but I can't remember the title or the author and it's driving me crazy! I remember that the heroes were adversaries. She is an English widow who was married to a much older man that was her mentor in the business world, but never was intimate with him so she was still a virgin.

He was Greek and,of course, very rich. Physically she is blonde(at some point she was described as a golden statue,if i remember correctly) and he was dark haired. I don't remember how or why but they decide to marry. She tries to buy a white wedding dress in Paris but he goes behind her back and changes her order because he thinks that a widow should not wear white at her wedding.

They marry on a Greek island that was either his or the place where he was born. She goes along with the wedding dress change because she has no other option,but is very dissapointed. After the reception he gets drunk and consumates the marriage.

After so many dissapointments,she goes to the beach in the morning to think but to reach it she has to take a dangerous trail. She falls and is trapped uder some rocks but gets rescued and is later recovered to a hospital. He regrets his treatment of her but she wants nothing to do with him. His mother comes to see her and convinces her to forgive him. That's it! Thank you for any help you might give me! 

I hope this book is called “The Hero Groveled LIKE DAMN FOR HOURS.” But I bet it's not. Do you recognize this book? 


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  1. 1
    JaneL says:

    All That Glitters by Linda Howard – hours of groveling would not be nearly enough for this jerk!

  2. 2

    I think @JaneL is correct, and she’s also correct in that hours of groveling aren’t nearly enough.

  3. 3
    JaneL says:

    If I had read this book first instead of Sarah’s Child, I would never have read another one by her!

  4. 4
    Bona says:

    There’s a review of the 1998 reissue of the 1982 release. The grade is ‘F’. And the beginning of the review says: “In all fairness to Linda Howard, this book was written in 1982. In all fairness to the reader, this book stinks.” Reading hat review, yes, it looks it’s this oldie and no goldie Linda Howard’s Silhouette.

  5. 5
    Bona says:

    I forgot to write where did I saw that review. It was in the web page All About Romance.

  6. 6
    Barb in Maryland says:

    OMG—I knew this one and I’m too late.  Oh lordy, y’all are right, he doesn’t grovel nearly enough.  The book was her first for Silhouette and reads like a classic Harlequin Presents.  Greek Tycoon-check.  Believes she slept with her mentor and is therefore a slut-check.  To this day I do not know why she fell for him, as he treated her like sh*t for almost the whole book.
    This book is one of those I wish I could ‘un-read’.

  7. 7
    Faellie says:

    All That Glitters by Linda Howard indeed.  It is in my Hall of Infamy for possibly the best ever geographical cock-up in a romance novel.  As M alludes, the heroine falls and traps her leg in the rocks on the beach of the hero’s Greek Island.  On its own, this is an insufficiently perilous circumstance for the necessary true Romance-Novel heroic rescue, so the heroine is simultaneously being menaced by the incoming tide. 

    On a Greek island.  In the notoriously tideless inland sea that is the Mediterranean.

    Best laugh in a romance-novel ever.

  8. 8
    jane says:

    Linda Howard wrote some really horrible heroes in her earlier works. An Independent Wife, Tears of the Renegade, Loving Evangeline, even Joe Mackenzie was a massive tool in his book.

    Linda Howard is one of my all time favorite authors, but some of those guys.

    Also, Linda does not have a website which really bothers me. And her writing has dropped off somewhat. I guess she’s enjoying semi-retirement but I really miss her books!

  9. 9

    @jane—I agree with you, but she also wrote some fabulous heroes. I loved James Diaz in Cry No More and Sam Donovan in Mr. Perfect.

    I too wish there was more of that coming from her, but maybe she’s taking a break from writing for a while.

  10. 10
    JaneL says:

    You’re right – she used to write some awesome books with great heros!  The Kell Sabine series, the MacKenzies (even Joe), Duncan’s Bride were wonderful, heartbreaking stories, but I stopped reading her books when she moved into lighter beach bunny stories and vampires.  I do follow her on FB, though and enjoy keeping up with her there.

  11. 11
    Vicki says:

    Virgin widows used to be a trope a while back. I remember reading one 30 or 40 years ago where the first husband had been a footballer who’d lost all his teeth in a scrim and was killed in a car accident between the wedding reception and the wedding night. The hero was so grateful to find she was a virgin – weird stuff.

  12. 12
    Lostshadows says:

    Oh jeez, the virgin widows. I first ran into that when I picked up one thinking “Okay, she’s a widow, that means this heroine won’t be another virgin.”

  13. 13
    Tiffany says:

    I like Sarah’s title… also I was curious about this book but if the hero isn’t going to grovel more and have his MOTHER kinda sorta do it for him I’m happy to not read this one.

  14. 14
    mirandapanda says:

    I had to come out of lurkdom for this bullshit ass book!

    30 years later, and I’m STILL PISSED ABOUT THAT DRESS!

  15. 15
    Sarita says:

    Now I really want there to be a book titled ‘The Hero Groveled for Hours’.

  16. 16
    Diane says:

    Absolutely the supremest act of slut-shaming – going behind her back and changing the color of her wedding dress.  Forget hours, “The Hero Groveled for the Rest of His Life. And Then Some.”

  17. 17
    Cate says:

    This was the first book I aimed at the wall… thank goodness I’d read other Linda Howard books,because I’d never have read another one otherwise.
    If the heroine had had any semblance of backbone, I’d’ve loved to seen the book retitled
    The Hero Came Out of His Coma 6 Months After the Freak Honeymoon Accident Invoving the Le Creuset Pan Set & His Head, With a Complete Personality Change.!
      Or, the heroine could’ve channelled her inner Ivana, & didn’t get mad, but got everything .

  18. 18
    Erin Burns says:

    Oh gosh, this book was just so out there. I agree there was no amount of groveling he could do. But, she fell in love with him because of the puppies, I am almost sure of it.

  19. 19
    jane says:

    I think that Sam from Mr. Perfect is one of my favorite heroes over. I love that book—both characters are so strong-willed. Jaine knows exactly who she is and doesn’t back down for anybody.

    I also love Open Season, Now You See Her, and All the Queen’s Men. I thought that Running Wild was kind of a return to form for her but she hasn’t had anything since (I don’t read the vampire books).

  20. 20
    Vanyel Kane says:

    This book, oh dear god, THIS book! I remember this book so well as well as the ‘Independant wife’ (I think) that came with it (2 for 1 deal).

    This has finally made me comment in a thread on this page because of the pure terribleness of this book.

    It wasn’t the dress that did it for me, oh no. For me it was the moment in the end (spoilers warning but do we care?) when their ‘issues’ was resolved. She had gone the whole book with believing he didn’t love her and still went through this shit. Complete doormat in fact would be the kindest way of putting it. Then the mother in law points out that the men of her family never SAY they love you but they REALLY do. So after many stupidities, she finally asks him and he says ‘of course I love you, do you think I would do all of this if I wasn’t?’



  21. 21
    SB Sarah says:


    I had to come out of lurkdom for this bullshit ass book!

    30 years later, and I’m STILL PISSED ABOUT THAT DRESS!

    I laughed so hard at this comment. Thank you.

    In related news, I would also like to request a sequel titled That Bullshit Ass Dress.

  22. 22
    Kilian Metcalf says:

    I must know: what color did he choose for her in place of the white? I’ll be damned if I read the book to find out. Black? Lavender? A lovely pastel? What?

  23. 23
    JaneL says:

    Pink or peach, I think.  Other-than-what-she-chose deserves a push off that cliff!

  24. 24
    Kate Pearce says:

    Oh that is definitely Linda Howard and one of the very few of her heroes that I absolutely hated along with Sarah’s Child. I kind of got a cheap thrill out of Loving Evangeline (shamefaced) but Duncan’s Bride and Cry No More are in my top ten best ever reads. I also loved the Kell Sabin books, all the Mackenzies (even Joe who does have to grovel hard) and everything else everyone has mentioned upthread

  25. 25
    Susan/DC says:

    No one has mentioned Son of the Morning, my favorite Linda Howard book.  It’s hard to believe the same woman wrote this and An Independent Wife.

  26. 26
    JaneL says:

    Oh, I’d forgotten An Independent Wife.  That one was awful, too.  But still not as awful as All That Glitters.  I wonder how the same person who wrote Duncan’s Bride and the Kell Sabine series wrote that rubbish?

  27. 27
    Sam C says:

    I can’t believe I missed this a month ago – this was the. worst. book. I. have. ever. read.
    I spent the whole book wondering “how in the world is this ‘hero’ going to redeem himself? He’s flat out a terrible person.” And then – spoiler alert – he never does. No attempt at all.

    And the heroine keeps crying every time they start to have sex. Seriously, it’s so clearly non-consensual. But, you know, he’s rich & says he loves her, so it’s all OK. This scared me away from Linda Howard for a long time – how could I trust an author who thinks that this guy isn’t a villain?

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