Back in 2009, Katherine was looking for a book, but alas, it wasn't identified. She's remembered more details of this book she's still hunting, and wanted to ask again. HaBO, Take Deux!
So I sent this in a few years ago, but nobody was able to ID the book for me. I've searched everything I can think of (off and on) since then, but still haven't figured it out on my own. I've remembered a bit more about the plot (but no helpful details like character names, author, etc.) so I'm hoping to appeal to the bitchery again, this time hopefully with better results:
I've tried everything to find this book that i read in the early/mid 90s. Hopefully with your help I'll finally be successful. I don't remember the title, author, or character names, but I do remember a good deal of the plot:
The story is set in Scotland. The hero has been sent to bust up a smuggling ring with the dangling carrot that if he is successful, his father won't hang for various cons he's pulled off. He discovers fairly quickly, or at least comes to suspect but can't really prove, that the leader of the smugglers is the heroine after chasing her up the cliffs one night and finding a few strands of her long, silvery blond hair snagged in a branch.
There's an early scene at a local ball/social event where they exchange some banter and she ducks out early to head to her night job, which has been a family business for a couple generations if I remember correctly.
A good portion of the book takes place on one of her ships where the hero has managed to get on board and the heroine and her crew work to make a successful smuggling run right under his nose anyway. During that journey, of course, the two give in to their attraction and fall in love. There's a chapter where there's a bad storm during which it's revealed she's terrified of storms. I think that's when she finally confesses she's the head smuggler.
The heroine and hero have a big argument over how to handle the whole “I need to catch the smugglers to save my father, but I can't turn in the woman I love” dilemma. I don't recall his plan, but hers involves a dramatic scene where the hero is supposed to arrive with soldiers in tow, spy the smuggler in the distance and shoot her, at which point she fakes falling over the cliff to her death. He objects vehemently to this plan and she pretends to agree, but then does it anyway. He rushes to her home to apologize to her mother, tortured because he thinks he's actually killed her and storms off in a fury when he gets there and discovers she's alive.
That night the local officer, who has been pursuing the heroine as a romantic interest, shows up to bully her into accepting his suit. There's a chase down the cliffs to the beach that ends with him strangling her when the hero shows up at the last minute to save her. They decide to deport the villain to either Australia or America, I don't recall which. Hero and heroine are reunited and she reveals she thinks she's expecting hero jr., the end.
There's also a sub-plot involving the heroine's widowed mother and the hero's father, who were romantically involved way back when. There's one memorable scene where they recall the time he, a supporter of Bonny Prince Charlie, is running from a troop of soldiers and hid from them under her skirts.
Please, please tell me someone knows what book this is.
In our first attempt to identify this book, the following books were suggested, but alas, are not the ones Katherine is looking for: Endure My Heart by Joan Smith, Smuggler's Lady by Jane Feather, and Wagered Widow by Patricia Veryan.
Barring those, do you remember this book? Anyone able help a bitch out?