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HaBO: Brother-in-Law is a Wealthy Grocer

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

This book has been eluding me for weeks… it’s set in England, Regency period or thereabouts.

The hero (I think he’s possibly titled) was impoverished as a child, and left in his teens to join the Navy. Now, after years, he is traveling with his betrothed/wife, to meet his mother and sister. His sister has married a tradesman – a grocer – and the hero is unhappy about that. He suspects that his sister may have been forced into such a marriage due to their poverty. But when he meets her, it is clearly not so – the grocer is wealthy and loving, his sister is very happy and it was a love match between them.

I recall that this journey also helps settle some kind of strain that was there between the hero and the heroine, though I cant remember what caused it.

I wonder if there’s a book in the series about the grocer and sister’s romance!


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  1. omphale says:

    The Navy element is making me think Carla Kelly, but the grocer one kind of pings Lisa Kleypas for me?

  2. sweetfa says:

    Is there any chance it could have been fanfic? There’s a similar subplot in Dragon Age: Origins- Awakening and there’s a heck of a lot of DA fanfic out there.

  3. spinsterrevival says:

    My pinging is leading me toward Mary Balogh and one of her series, but I have no idea which book. She has a lot of her characters coming back to family after years apart.

  4. Kayemae says:

    This is strongly reminding me of one of the subplots in The Christmas Bride by Anne Gracie.

  5. Glen says:

    Mary Balogh’s The Proposal, maybe? If I remember correctly, the hero’s sister married a shopkeeper, and the brother and sister reconnected at a party at his country home.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    The Christmas Bride by Anne Gracie has the sister / wealthy grocer plot, and the brother traveling plot.

  7. Karin says:

    I don’t remember the hero’s military background, but I totally remember reading an historical where the hero and his betrothed/wife have dinner with his sister and grocer husband. There is a casual and friendly atmosphere in their middle class household, with young kids at the dinner table. He is afraid she will be too snobby to fit in, but she gets along great with them. I don’t know if it was The Christmas Bride though, that’s more like a house party in the country, and the one I’m thinking of was just a dinner, with the grocer’s family living above the shop.

  8. LJO says:


  9. Dori says:

    Could it be one of the books in the Ravenel series by Lisa Kleypas? Marrying Winterbourne is the romance between debutante and wealthy grocer. I think one of the cousins might have been in the military and he has a book later in the series.

  10. Karin says:

    @Dori, you’re right! Winterbourne’s father is a grocer, maybe that’s the dinner party I am thinking of. But it’s the parents house, not the sister, so maybe not the HABO.

  11. Mango says:

    I feel like this could be a Lisa Kleypas novel…

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