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HaBO: Eggplant Emoji

This HaBO request is from Jillian, who is looking for this historical romance:

Here is what I know:

(I was a teen when I read this book so most of what I remember is about the sex)

– It is a historical romance that I read in the early 2000s, but based on the content and style my guess is it was published in the 80s or early 90s.

– The two main locations I remember are the Hero’s ship (I believe a merchant ship) and a sheikh’s palace where his harem is kept.

– The hero is a boat captain or pirate that gave me major Viking vibes but he could just be tall and have long blonde hair.

– The hero has a dick so large that sex workers refuse to sleep with him.

– The heroine is a virgin and someone of noble birth.

– I may be confusing this with another book, but I believe the hero kidnaps the heroine in retaliation for something her father did to the hero’s family.

– The heroine is either sold or given or kidnapped at some point after being with the hero on his ship and ends up part of a sheikh’s harem.

– She never has sex with the sheikh and I think we rarely if ever see him but she does learn a lot about sex and her body from the other women in the harem.

– Once the heroine is back with the hero on his ship (he may have rescued her or maybe she escaped the harem?) she decides she wants to sleep with the hero, but his dick is so large that he doesn’t want to hurt her. But now she has her new found sexual knowledge and a set of ornate dildos in increasing sizes. The hero and heroine have a lot of everything but penetration sex till she is ready to handle him.

– In the end I believe the hero has a change of heart and returns the heroine to her home and she chooses him, but I’m not sure if I’ve got the wrong book with this ending.

Wow wow wow wow.


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  1. 1
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    I’m not sure if you’re conflating two or more books, but the “heroine falls for sea captain then gets kidnapped and taken to a harem where she witnesses (but does not participate in) lots of sex stuff” plot is giving me strong Jennifer Blake THE STORM AND THE SPLENDOR vibes. I don’t remember anything about the size of the hero’s, um, eggplant, but lots of the other pieces fit, including the time-frame (it was initially published in the 1980s, which is when I read it). As I often say of Jennifer Blake, she’s a good writer, but the racial politics of her ante-bellum-set books can be cringe-inducing. However, on the plus side, iirc, the hero in TSATS is not rapey—and there’s a very interesting subplot about attempts by the French in Louisiana to free Napoleon from exile.

  2. 2
    Chrissy says:

    It reminds me of the Skye O’Malley books, but I’m not sure which one.

  3. 3
    Ellie says:

    It’s not the book you’re looking for, because there is no harem and the hero isn’t a sea captain, but Celeste Bradley’s Surrender to a Wicked Spy (part of the Royal Four series) has a Viking-esque hero with the same “problem” and the heroine somehow (I don’t remember the details but it wasn’t a harem) acquires a set of dildos to prepare herself for him.

  4. 4
    Lisa F says:

    This plot is so loaded with crazysauce I need to see it in action *parks in thread.*

  5. 5
    Betsydub says:

    I’m with Chrissy; don’t know if it’s part of The O’Malley Saga, but when I read about a harem, the hero being jumbo-sized, & the heroine acquiring a set of training dildos, only two words come to mind: Beatrice Small.

  6. 6
    Betsydub says:

    Stupid auto-correct! BERTRICE Small

  7. 7
    Jillian says:

    Bitch in need of help here: It is very possible I’m confusing two books, but the one thing I’m sure of is that all theses elements are in the same book: the hero with a too big dick, kidnapped heroine, dildos, harem, and ship. Some details of the action before and after I might be off on or the hero’s title or the reason she is kidnapped. I checked out Jennifer Blake The Storm and The Spendor and thats not it – definitely no American locales in the book. I’m looking into Celeste Bradley’s Surrender to a Wicked Spy because it is such the type of book I read at that age that maybe …? though again the harem not being there makes me say no.

  8. 8
    MGW says:

    Definitely giving me Bertrice Small or Susan Johnson vibes…although I do think with either of them there’s a strong possibility the heroine would have slept with the sheikh too!

  9. 9
    Kara says:

    Catherine Coulter had some crazysauce books- There was Devil’s Embrace and Devil’s Daughter. There’s kidnapping, boats and harems.

  10. 10
    Starling says:

    I have the weirdest feeling that I read this exact book as a “stripped” book from a grocery store. I can’t remember what it was, though, so I can’t be helpful aside from confirming that this crazysauce DOES exist in the world.

  11. 11
    trefoil says:

    Bertrice Small. I’m blanking on the name but the one about Skye O’Malley’s granddaughter (?) Valentina, maybe?

  12. 12
    Alexa says:

    Try Susan Johnson’s love storm the heroine Zena stays in a harem .

  13. 13
    Sara McG says:

    I am terrible at remembering titles/authors so there is no way I’ll know this, but I absolutely feel like I read this at some point.

  14. 14
    Susan says:

    Wanton Slave by Evelyn Rogers?

    “A Slave to His Passions
    When Sarah’s father shipped her off to Constantinople to marry a stranger, the lively beauty thought her life was over. But Sarah’s adventures were just beginning. First her ship was captured by pirates and Sarah was sold to the Sultan’s harem. Then she managed a daring escape — straight into the strong arms of American adventurer Jake Price, whose seaworthy boat was docked in the right place at the right time. But as they set sail for Jake’s secret, uncharted island, and Sarah felt her handsome rescuer’s eyes roaming over her scantily clad body, she wondered if she had escaped the life of a concubine only to become a captive of her own wanton desires…

    The Master of her Heart
    Jake took in the veil, the snug bodice, the bare midriff, the silken trousers — and the blond hair. The fact that she was obviously one of the Sultan’s cast-offs didn’t bother him. Jake lived on the fine edge of danger and adventure and had little patience for virgins. He’d taken time out to rescue this gorgeous damsel in distress, and he’d exact payment in his own fashion — tormenting her night after night with his skilled caresses, his exploring kisses, and his complete mastery over her every sensation…”
    I know I’ve read this!!! It makes me think of Brenda Joyce, Johanna Lyndsey and Jennifer Ashley or early Iris Johansen?

  15. 15
    Gill says:

    Until we got to the dildos, so to speak, I was getting Johanna Lindsey vibes

  16. 16
    KarenF says:

    I agree with the folks who say it seems very Susan Johnson-ish, but it’s not Love Storm – besides the harem setting, much of the action took place in Russia, and I think it was a later time period than Regency, because I remember some scenes occurring on a train.

    (But otherwise, Love Storm was definitely crazysauce… I don’t remember any dildo’s but at one point, the Sheikh shoved a peach up the heroine’s vagina).

  17. 17
    Genevieve says:

    They all sound wonderfully crazy

  18. 18
    Gloriamarie Amalfitano says:

    I was really expecting to find n eggplant as part of the plot. I am a tad disappointed. I too thought of THE STORM AND THE SPLENDOUR, same reaction to cringe-worthy aspects.

    The extra-large dick reminds me of Jondalar.

    Another crazy sauce book with a kidnapped heroine in a harem is Laura Kinsale’s Seize the Fire but I know that is not it. How I wish she would publish new books.

    I am kinda curious what the answer turns out to be.

    Hmm, a suggestion: How about Daily HABO instead if just twice a week? It’s so much fun to tease us 6his wy.

  19. 19
    Chris Alexander says:

    It has whiffs of A TOUCH OF SIN by Susan Johnson. I’m not sure it’s completely correct, though. I read this one a good 15 years ago and haven’t read it since. There is tons of crazysauce and questionable things in it though.

  20. 20
    Jenica says:

    Maybe Bedazzled by Bertrice Small??

  21. 21
    Mary says:

    I would have thought of Bertrice Small except for the dildoes. The kidnappee I once read about was rescued from a harem by being wrapped in a rug and tossed in the sea and then scooped up by hero. Just your every day rescue.

  22. 22
    Leah says:

    Rosemary Rogers book Wicked Loving Lies?

    I read this ages ago, but I do remember there is a ship and a harem in this one, not sure about all the other stuff..

  23. 23
    Laura says:

    Really makes me think of Johanna Lindsey’s Malory family series. She def had a big dicked sea captain. Old school for sure.

  24. 24
    Jenny W. says:

    Virginia Henley, maybe?

  25. 25
    BevQB says:

    While it might initially sound like a Bertrice Small book, I’m almost positive it’s not. First, because if it was Small’s story, the heroine totally would have opened her Portal of Sodom to the Sheik’s mighty love rod and become his favorite in the Harem. And second, even with my Swiss cheese memory, I would totally remember this book if it was from Small because she has always been my catnip and I miss her greatly.

  26. 26
    Ellie says:

    @Ellie (other Ellie) – I have read the Celeste Bradley in question and I think that the dildos may have been acquired via a Fairy Godhooker.

  27. 27
    Margie says:

    It reminds me a little of Beatrice Small’s The Kadin, which I need to go back to because I don’t think I finished it. :-/

  28. 28
    Jacki says:

    This actually sounds a lot like My Fair Viking by Sandra Hill, but the kidnapping genders are reversed so I’m guessing that isn’t it. Similar elements, though!

  29. 29
    Alexa says:

    There were dildos in love storm . the sheik who captures the heroine has a penis that’s so enormous that she needs to use dildos to train herself to accept his hugeness . The reason I know this despite having read it a long time ago I l did a search on my Kindle version of the book under dildos and enormous manhood !! perhaps, jillian having read this a long time ago, you confused the sheik with the hero ? anyway I suggest you take a look at it to see if this is it.. Karen , I agree with you the peach scene was quite memorable! LOL

  30. 30
    Jillian says:

    Bitch in need of help here again:
    I HATE HATE HATE to say this because I so want my memory to be correct and this to all be one book… BUT it might be a combo of two. I started reading Celeste Bradley’s Surrender to a Wicked Spy and it’s feels so familiar that I know I must have read it, I skipped forward to the “rod” (her word for dildo) scenes and they include a lot of what I remember. Though she describes the dildos as looking like carved fruit, while I remember them being painted… so it could still be the wrong book I just think it’s unlikely…
    I’m going through everyones suggestions on authors and books. Here is what I’ve got so far:
    It’s not:
    Wanton Slave by Evelyn Rogers – no American characters in my book
    Love Storm by Susan Johnson – @KarenF is right, no Russia in my book
    A Touch of Sin by Susan Johnson – the heroine doesn’t have kids (is a virgin) in my book
    My Fair Viking by Sandra Hill – I know I’ve read it before and liked it, but it’s not it

    Based on back cover copy it might be:
    Wicked Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers
    The Kalin, The Love Slave, Bedazzled, or Love Wild and Fair by Bertice Small

    I’m still going through all the authors and titles, so keep ’em coming. I’ve been obsessed with finding this book and this search is making my quarantine life 10x better, so thank you all so much!

  31. 31
    Caroline says:

    Second the rec of Wicked Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers. I found the book in our basement as a teen. If memory serves, there are what we would portray today as consent issues, but Dominic is the sea captain, heroine ends up going from Europe to the Southern US colonies, to the harem with the sheik, and on and on. It is quite the memorable saga.

  32. 32
    LGD says:

    I definitely read this. I think the sea captain and the sheikh are secretly brothers, possibly twins. Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsey maybe?

  33. 33
    Ellie says:

    I don’t think any of the Johanna Lindsey books involve dildos.

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