Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: Botanist Specializes in Carnivorous Plants

This HaBO comes from Pam, who wants to find this romance:

One of the first historical romances I read with a STEM-inclined heroine totally eludes me. I know I read it post-2007, and I believe that the author was fairly well known. It may even have been reviewed by the SBs. I’m pretty sure I read other work by the same author, but I’ve no clue who it was. All I remember was that the heroine was a botanist who studied sundews –which are rather pretty carnivorous plants–and may have lived by the fens or moors or some other moody British landscape. IIRC she was uninterested in marrying. I think the story took place in the 19th century. Sadly, all I really retain is the sundews and a faint positive vibe.

I hope y’all can help with this, as I’d like to reread it!

I’m definitely interested in this botanist heroine.


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  1. Sandra says:

    Sally Mackenzie’s The Naked Gentleman? It’s been a while since I’ve read it but both MC’s are botanists. I’d classify Mackenzie as a historical rom-com or romp author.

  2. mishukitty says:

    Could it be The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan? This is the third book in The Brothers Sinister series. The heroine is a botanist who definitely does not want to be married. My favorite of the series!

  3. Gill says:

    Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick has this sort of vibe

  4. Jennifer L. says:

    This sounds very much like Falling for a Rake by Eve Pendle. The only part that doesn’t fit is that the heroine in this book studies ferns, not sundews. Good luck in your search!

  5. Gloriamarie Amalfitano says:

    I have no idea yet I am curious. I hope someone will identify it.

  6. Betsydub says:

    In Cara Elliott’s “To Tempt a Rake” (2011, “Circle of Sin” series), ‘Kate Woodbridge has spent most of her life sailing to exotic ports around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills’ (thank you, Goodreads). Of course, she ends up in England, near the water. I dove into the first 10 or so reviews but found very little about the specifics of her expertise, so I’m not entirely convinced…

    Doesn’t Loretta Chase have a botanist heroine somewhere?

  7. PamG says:

    Original requestor here.

    I don’t think I’ve read anything by Mackenzie or Pendle. Nor do I think it was a romp. I have read The Countess Conspiracy and Crystal Gardens. It’s neither of those.

    The heroine is specifically interested in sundews and that is what stuck in my memory, probably because it squicked me out. I know she lived in or near the fens, and just wanted to be left alone to pursue her botanical passion. However, something was threatening her relationship with the bug eating blossoms–possibly a prospective marriage or a London season. It may have been an encounter with the guy who owned the land where the sundews grew. She may have written articles about sundews. I have a slight sense that the author may have had an Amanda Quick vibe, but I’ve read most of Quick’s regency/Victorian historicals, and they don’t include sundews.

    Help me, Bitchi wan. You’re my only hope.

  8. Amanda says:

    @PamG: There’s a Goodreads list of 30+ of botanists in romance. I wonder if it’s lurking in here:

  9. Jenny says:

    Could it be The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham? I don’t recall the exact type of plant the botanist heroine cultivated, but a quick visit to the author’s website confirms that she has an “exotic nursery business.” I enjoyed the book a lot.

  10. museclio says:

    Could this be Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things”? It’s been a while since I read it but from memory the main character is a bryologist, and it’s definitely a historical.

  11. Clio says:

    I wondered whether this could be “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Not technically a romance but definitely a historical, and the main character studies bryology.

  12. PamG says:

    It’s neither the Peckham nor the Gilbert. I checked out the Goodreads list too, and nothing there rang a bell. I do appreciate the suggestions, ladies.

  13. Seana says:

    Could it be one of the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries by Deanna Raybourn (A Dangerous Collaboration)? I remember there was a character (not the heroine) that raised carnivorous and poisonous plants on a Cornish island off the coast Britan?

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