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HaBO: Heroine is Prone to Seizures

This HaBO request is from Elizabeth, who wants to find this historical romance:

I’m looking for a historical romance where the heroine has seizures. The hero’s brother had seizures and died. She is a poor relation living with a cousin who abuses her. She meets the hero in a park before he has to go to Paris. They write to each other while he’s gone. He calls her ‘little wren’. When he comes back he saves her by marrying her but as just friends.

Hopefully I’m not confusing two different books. I have searched for every combination of these plots and themes and can find nothing.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?


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  1. 1
    Beth P says:

    Some of this sounds like the secondary romance in one of Courtney Milan’s books (The Heiress Effect?), but it’s not a perfect match.

  2. 2
    harthad says:

    Yeah, I was about to say that the only romance I know of involving seizures is the heroine’s sister from The Heiress Effect. Protecting her from medical torture at the hands of their guardian is a big motivator for the heroine. But, definitely not a match on the details; there’s no dead brother, for one.

  3. 3
    FashionablyEvil says:

    Man, I feel like I have read this and I can’t put my finger on it—so frustrating! Maybe I’m also confusing multiple books…

  4. 4
    Quinn Wilde says:

    The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue has a romantic protagonist who has seizures (the lover of the main character). But it’s between two men and a YA, so I’m curious about this intriguing-sounding one.

  5. 5
    Sandra says:

    JUST read this book this summer! The hero was kept locked away by his father and declared dead so the brother stepped up to the role of Earl, I believe? He stayed a recluse, but built up the family fortune & met the heroine … who accepted him and his seizures…. I have no clue the title but it was an older novel. I cleaned off my shelf of paperbacks for my summer beach reads.

  6. 6

    I agree that part of it really sounds like Courtney Milan’s The Heiress Effect (which is excellent) but that is the sister of the heroine.

    The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas also has a heroine looking to marry well so she can care for her younger epileptic sister.

    Cat Sebastian’s A Duke in Disguise has a hero with epilepsy.

    And A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is fantastic but aside from Percy having epilepsy, it doesn’t really match any plot points.

    Those are all the books I can think of right now that you might have mashed together to get your plot?

  7. 7
    Zana says:

    @Sandra, I think the book you mention may be Grace Burrowes ‘The Truth about Dukes’?

  8. 8
    different Sandra says:

    Not epilepsy, but the hero of Loretta Chase’s “The Mad Earl’s Bride” has debilitating migraines.

  9. 9
    Sylvie says:

    Is it “The Devil May Care” by Emma V. Leech? Link to goodreads summary

  10. 10
    Ellie M says:

    Maybe “Dark Season” by Joanna Lowell? The heroine has seizures, but I’m not sure that the rest of this matches up.

  11. 11
    Noelle says:

    I agree that this sounds a lot like Courtney Milan’s The Heiress Effect. The seizures and “little wren” are both definitely from this book. The pet name is given to the main heroine of the book by the main hero, while the seizures are suffered by the main heroine’s sister, who has her own romance subplot in the book.

  12. 12
    Karen Lauterwasser says:

    I have this idea that this was one of the books read in the book club I belong to, though apparently I didn’t add it to my Goodreads list. Darn.

  13. 13
    Karin says:

    I totally remember this book but I don’t know the name of it! It’s not any of the ones suggested above. The heroine writes entertaining, upbeat letters to the hero while he’s abroad, not letting on how bad her situation is. He may have had a falling out with his family, because she is the only one in England who is writing to him, and keeping him abreast of what’s going on.

  14. 14
    Karin says:

    OK, I stand corrected, @Sylvie is correct! The title didn’t ring a bell but after reading the blurb for “The Devil May Care” by Emma Leech, I’m sure that’s it.

    “Dishonoured and ashamed, the ton’s scandalous darling, ‘Beau’ the Marquis of Beaumont, is forced to flee England to escape debtor’s prison.
    After a chance encounter, it appears Miss Millicent Sparrow is his only remaining friend, however unlikely.
    Miss Sparrow lives up to her name. Damaged and terrified by her cousin’s violent abuse, Milly is used to being overlooked and prefers it that way, until the desperation of her bleak world is gilded by rakishly handsome Beau’s extraordinary friendship.
    Miss Sparrow’s lively letters help Beau through his banishment and when his father dies suddenly and Beau inherits the Dukedom, he seeks out his little bird. To his shock he finds a woman in despair and, moved by pity, he offers her the protection of his name by marriage.”

  15. 15
    Layla says:

    The Devil May Care is on KU so I borrowed it and searched a few key phrases and skimmed a bit.

    The hero and heroine meet in Hyde Park, he mentions having to go to France, and asks if he can write to her.

    He never calls her “little wren” but he DOES call her “little bird.”

    The hero does save her by offering her marriage and she says they will be friends/partners but not lovers.

    I think @Sylvie got it in one!

  16. 16
    Elizabeth James says:

    Yes! It was Devil May Care… Thank you

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