Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I suck, but you don't have to...

...but the question is do I swallow?

Someone finally asks me a professional question, and I can't give them an answer, hence my general suckiness. Anonymous wrote in on my earlier entry, "SBD: How Harlequins saved my soul and other confessions..." and said:

Bookseller chick, I loved your article! In college we would pass around romance novels too, which were a rare sight, and for some reason, I always loved the ones where the guy thinks the heroine is a complete slut.

Since you've read lots of Harlequin Presents, would you maybe have any recollections of a book I'm trying to find? --A girl gets together with a guy in a van during a snowstorm. They are complete strangers. To keep warm, they may or may not have sex. Through most of the book, he thinks she is all too promiscuous. This tortures him. Of course she is actually a bookworm and introvert. He just happens to see her a second time after she has just had a makeover and is wearing a form-fitting sweater.

The cover features a brunette wearing a yellow sweater and maybe a plaid skirt. It's a plain white background. Published before 1996 I believe but newer than the early 80s ones where nothing happens before marriage. Can you help? Thanks for reading.

Although I've never read this book (or at least I don't remember it), the plot intrigued me. Man and woman get some hot snugglin' going on in a van? Niiiiice. Normal Harlequin Presents manliness and miscommunication ensues, of course, but that's okay because it's Harlequin and we expect it. Besides I wanted to help this person, and prove that I'm the all powerful bookseller.

All powerful...right. All sucky, perhaps.

I hit all the main search sites: B&N, Borders, Powell's, Google, and Romantic Times (which only goes back to 1995 for Harlequin Presents, by the way). I tried different search words, refined my searches, everything, only to continually strike out. With my complete suckiness confirmed, I was ready to give up when I remembered that this is the internet and there are all kinds of smart cookies (who may or may not read this blog) who might be able to produce an answer.

Somewhere out there someone knows the title, I just have to find them, so here's my proposal:

You fantastic people take this comment (if you so desire) and broadcast it on your blog with a link back here (or you can email me if someone comes up with the answer), maybe even ask your readers (if they'd be willing) to do the same. All that needs to be included is some way for the answer to get back to me. The more people who see this question/description, the higher probability we'll get an answer, and because this reader provided me with something a lot more solid than "it's blue," I would like to give this reader one. * There's nothing worse than not knowing the title to a book you remember. It eats at you.

So what do you say? Help a girl out of her suckfest and give someone a little Harlequin Presents love?


I might shed a few tears if it doesn't.**

*Provided, of course, that one of you doesn't actually know the answer. If you do this whole challenge is completely unnecessary.
**Okay, probably not, but there's the possibility that I could get pouty. Not attractive, let me tell you. So save a girl from an unattractive state.


Douglas Hoffman said...

I'll be linking to you -- and I've put up a few questions of my own, just to add to the misery.

Anonymous said...

Did you try asking on rt's book sleuth board:

Bookseller Chick said...

I just did, thanks!

Stacey said...

I have a book that might be the one you're looking for: "Out of the Night" by Penny Jordan. It's Harlequin Presents, 1992. The introverted heroine takes shelter in a stranger's vehicle during a snowstorm, and they do have sex. On the cover she's wearing a yellowish? maybe orange or brown? blouse. The hero is wearing a plaid jacket.

However, on leafing through it, I don't see anything about the heroine having a makeoever. Still, this is probably the book you want? It's a good one.