This HaBO is from Melissa, who wants to track down this Harlequin historical romance:
This was a Harlequin Historical Romance (America in the 1700s / 1800s) published in the mid- to late-nineties. I got it with my Harlequin Historicals subscription.
The main female character starts the story as a waitress in a bar or inn where a letter had been sent looking for a wife/mother for a family with a lot of kids. She quit her job, went to the location in the letter (which was a ranch in the middle of nowhere), and found out that the kids sent the letter, not the father. He was very unhappy that she was there, but couldn’t turn her away. She stays with them and cleans the house and makes the kids and dad wash up before they come inside. There are at least two boys and one girl among the children, but I think there are 3 boys.
Other details I remember:
She had one leg shorter than the other, and had purchased special shoes so the father wouldn’t notice, but they hurt to wear, and when he noticed he had her take them off and he got mad that she wore them, then he washed her feet and did something to help her feel better.
She’s recognized by one of the patrons of the bar, when he shows up at the ranch, and he turns out to be a really bad guy. I think he kidnaps her, but I may be confusing my stories.
The ranch is a horse ranch where they train wild horses.
I think the writer’s name starts with a C.
Can we track this one down?
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Well, I know it can’t be Mary Poppins. But still …
I think it might be Fearless Hearts by Linda Castle
“A recluse since her accident, sheltered easterner Bellami James thought she was prepared for the challenge that awaited her in the New Mexico Territory. But when her “charge” turned out to be an embittered ex-deputy, Bellami had to wonder just what kind of mess she’d gotten herself into!
Trace O’Bannion was mad enough to spit nails. He’d show his interfering family what they could do with the sharp-tongued teacher they’d saddled him with. He didn’t need — or want — Miss Bellami James, especially not when she smelled of lavender and made him remember what it meant to be a man.”
@Melissa, a word of fellow feeling. So often I remember lots of details about a book and then can’t remember the name or the author.
I think this might be The Courtship of Izzy McCree by Ruth Langan.
Not the book, but if you like the trope and want a Victorian Era set in London, Governess Gone Rogue by Laura Lee Guhrke.