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Home » The Vine

The Vine: February 8, 2013

Submitted by on February 8, 2013 – 8:59 AM40 Comments


There’s a historical romance I’m looking for. I can only remember some parts of it. I read it in the early ’90s.

It starts out where this girl is with her father in this field (United States circa 1800s, early 1900s). Her father is some sort of researcher or scientist. They’re attacked by American Indians. The dad dies, the girl gets stabbed with a spear (but not before she does some damage to some guys with a machete).

She is taken to a ranch of some sort with cowboys and they take care of her — she learns to ride very well — they think she’s a boy for a good long while.

Later on, she winds up on a reservation and is a wife to the chief…there’s a time where she meets the Indian she cut with the machete and she shows him her scar..

Then she’s rescued by those ranchers that had her when she was younger…(I think it was those guys). Later on, she winds up in a large house as the wife of a lord (or something like that) and she has twins and she doesn’t know if they’re the Indian chief’s kids or her husband (the men do have similar features). 

This is one of those thick books with small print and a girl with a ripped gown and a sexy, swarthy guy on the cover… 

Thanks so much for your help.

Reader Gretchen


Hello, Sars and lovely Vine readers.

I have earphone woe. Earbuds slip right out of my (normal-looking but clearly not-earbud-shaped) ears. I don’t even have to be walking — just sitting on the train is enough to have them fall out.

I am thinking of taking up running and definitely need earphones to listen to music/podcasts/my Couch-to-5K app while running, so would love some suggestions!

I can’t (and don’t want to) pay super-huge noise-cancelling-DJ-headphone prices, and since I’ll be running in them, something light is preferred.

One other thing: I wear glasses (even while running) and so I can’t wear anything that will interfere with or press too hard on the arms of the glasses.






  • KC says:

    For headphones–these are the best around for oddly shaped ears and working out.

  • Ashley says:

    Re: the over-the-ear earphones, they won’t work with glasses. At least, they don’t for me.

    I had similar problems til I realized you could buy earbuds with different sized ear inserts. S doesn’t mentioned that she tried this, so it might be something to check on if not. Turns out my ears aren’t weird-shaped, they just need the smallest size of earbud. I think mine are just some random Sony ones that I got at Target.

  • Nora says:

    Regular earbuds (the kind that supposedly go in your ear and then…twist? or something? to fit?) are a no-go for everyone in my family. We use what are often called in-ear headphones like these. They come in a wide range of feature sets and price points, and most include a handful of different fittings to make sure they stay in your ear. They’re very comfortable.

    I have also modified in-ear headphones by replacing the rubbery in-ear fitting with a cut-up foam earplug for quick and dirty noise-isolating earphones. I don’t think they block out so much noise that you’ll be unsafe running, but you may want to try it first (warning: it’s kind of a PITA).

  • Megan says:

    S, check out Yurbuds. Don’t buy them in the store, get them on the website to be sure you’re getting the right size. I have trouble with regular earbuds, but I can wear these things while running with no problems.

  • Empress says:

    We use these in my house. They actually stay in my ears and are comfortable, and you really can’t beat the price. They seem to do a good job canceling noise, too, a function of actually sitting properly in the ear, I think.

    As for podcasts, I usually love lexicon valley from Slate, and it’s apparently downloadable.

  • Hellcat13 says:

    If you’re looking to lay down some cash, these are the absolute best, in my opinion. They fit SO comfortably, they’re wireless, and they’re secure in your ears. I got mine on amazon for a bit of a discount. Well worth it.

  • Leah says:


    Is the book possible something from Susan Johnson’s Braddock/Black series? Even if it’s not, I highly recommend them. Her historical romances are full of smut AND history. Lady has footnotes.

  • Leigh in CO says:

    S, I had the same quest right before Christmas, and found this article that had suggestions. I wanted wireless, so I picked the Jaybird Sportsband (in fancy red) after reading a slew of Amazon reviews. They are very comfortable, and I had no problems with the fit, Bluetooth, or sound. I did have problems with the battery, though, and sent them back. Amazon won’t exchange them, but they gave me a refund, and I plan to get another set just as soon as time to do so coincides with remembering to do so.

  • Krissa says:

    S, I also cannot abide normal ear buds, but I’ll get the soft-tipped in-ear ones and use the smallest available tip. You can also wind the wire UP over your ear (but under your glasses) so they are somewhat anchored while running. That tiny little wire shouldn’t interfere with your glasses like the earphones that are built to go that way.

  • Jaleh says:

    The first headphones I found that fit in my ears were Yurbuds They don’t tend ot fall out and are pretty comfortable to wear.

  • Lulu says:

    I wear clip-on headphones – not the clippy buds, which can interfere with glasses, but more like the round part of headphones with a little ear clip. I wear glasses, too, and these are strangely not a problem. The clips sit farther forward on your ear than the arm of the glasses. They’re so cheap it doesn’t matter if you lose them and they don’t cancel noise one little bit, which I definitely prefer!

  • Christine says:

    Hey S, I second the Yurbuds. They’re awesome. They fit so nicely into your ears and do not fall out, even when you’re running all over and yanking the cord of your earbuds. (Instead, if you’re clumsy like me, you end up unplugging your Yurbuds.)

  • attica says:

    I’m another fan of the sony ‘phones KC recommended upthread. They are no problem under my eyeglass stems, and don’t fall out — even when I chew! They were unavailable for a couple of years, during which time I tried a bunch of other types, but I gladly, gleefully returned to them when they re-emerged on the market.

  • Karen says:

    RE: earbuds, etc., I’ve had luck using Lobies, even while wearing glasses, but it appears they are no longer available. Their website is down and they’re not available on Amazon anymore, which is too bad, but here they are in case you’re interested and could track them down elsewhere:
    I use mine while running and wearing glasses or sunglasses and they work great. I find the earbuds that go into my ears fall out immediately and are really uncomfortable.

  • Carolyn says:

    The earbuds that come with devices never work for me, but the JVC Marshmallow ones stay in my ears, even while running. They sort of squoosh in and stay there. They are usually about $20. I will say that I’ve had to buy a new pair every year of 18 months or so, because one side stops working. I think this is because the wire tends to get tangled up in my bag, so if you’re more careful, you might not even have this problem. But $20/year or so for earbuds that stay in is reasonable for me.

  • Maggie says:

    I have the same earbud problem, and I also have glasses. I buy these in bulk from Amazon and use them for everything: walking around, working out, under hats, etc. They are light and sound good and so inexpensive!

  • Elissa says:

    Hey Gretchen! If I had to guess, you’re looking for a Cassie Edwards book, she wrote a lot of Native American/white girl romances in the ’80s and ’90s. Check out in particular her Savage series. (Ole Cassie had a bit of a plagiarism scandal a few years back, which might mess up your googling, but you can still find a full list of her books on Good luck!

  • Amanda says:

    I have those same Sony earbuds @KC linked to. Two pairs, actually! I also wear glasses and have no problem with the combination.

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    Hey, another ear bud hating glasses wearer! I can’t handle any sort of in-ear headphones, either. On the super-cheap side (and pretty easy to find) I’ve had fabulous luck with Maxell USA Stereo Neckbands (NB-201). I buy them at the drug store for around $8. I’m a little rough on them so I usually get a new pair every couple of years but they really do work well.;66;522;0&a=info&pid=190. I believe they also have folding ones if you are looking for something packable.

  • Cat (from Canada) says:

    I have to second Lulu’s recommendation of the clip-on earphone. They can be hard to find, but they are the best for people who can’t wear earbuds.

    I’ve tried all of the versions everyone here recommended for people who can’t wear earbuds and NONE of them work. My ears just don’t conform to the earbud culture. :)

    I wear glasses and I run with my clip-on earphones without any trouble. I like them because you can remove one without taking the other one off, just like earbuds. I have found them at Future Shop/Best Buy and The Source, but I usually have to do some searching.

  • Molly says:

    S – I can’t wear regular disc-shaped earbuds–my ears are too small or something, I guess, but they’re really painful and don’t stay in–but I’m pleased with Apple’s in-ear earphones. They come with three different sizes of soft tips that are quite comfortable, and they’ve got the built-in microphone/volume/pause control that works with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

    Gretchen – No idea what book you’re thinking of, but I hope someone IDs it, because I kind of want to read it!

  • Lauren says:

    Gretchen, I don’t know about the book, but the story is reminiscent of Cynthia Ann Parker’s actual life. (The Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast did an episode about her a few months ago; I recommend it.) Maybe that’ll be a clue? Good luck in your search!

  • Rachel S says:

    S — If you think it’s possible that the problem is that you have small ears and/or need small earbuds, I recommend Skullycandy 50/50 earbuds: They come with three sizes of ear inserts, and the smallest size works really well for me and fits much better than other brands I’ve tried.

  • Donna says:

    Another vote here for yurbuds! They make a smaller size for womens’ ears (I was able to get that size at Target), and I wear them while running (7 miles the other day), and have never had them fall out. I also wear glasses and have small ears. They are about $30 if I remember correctly.

  • KLM says:

    I use these Philips earphones –
    I used to be able to find them at most Walgreens, but now I buy several at a time from Amazon. Even with all my nasty run-sweat, they’re pretty durable, and when they wear out, well, they were only $8.

    The hook part is rubbery, not hard plastic, so I think it’s a bit friendlier for glasses-wearers than some of the other over-the-ear headphones I’ve tried. I don’t wear glasses when I run, but my husband does, and he made it through a marathon with these.

  • indoorkitty says:

    S, I have the same issues as you. I bought these two years ago, on the recommendation of my marathon runner buddies:

    They are a little spendy, but they are amazing. You don’t feel them in your ear, there’s no weight to them, and you can wind the cord they come with + clip it on / around your clothing easily. They have a volume adjuster that is at hand level from the top of the phones, and no batteries, just hook up to your ipod or what-have-you.

    I have worn them 4-5 days a week consistently for two years, while running and/or throwing around weights in the gym. The only thing I’ve had to replace is the ear-bud-covers (black “condom” for earbuds), as I wore right through the last one. I got the bud-covers from amazon and now have a lifetime supply of those two.

    I found mine at a music mega store ages ago in Canada. Good luck with whatever you decide to go with.

  • Beth says:

    If you don’t actually want to spend any money, I simply put my old iPod earbuds in sideways (see example here: The buds actually stay in my ears, they are more noise canceling, and I didn’t spend any extra money. It looks a little goofy but I don’t really care!

  • Bubbles says:

    Same earbud problem, and I love my Skullcandy in ear ones. They’re not the same that Rachel S. linked above. I think they’re a step down from those (no inline volume control or anything fancy about them). The important bit is that they came with the multiple sizes of squooshy bits. I’m pretty careful with mine, when they’re in my bag they live in an altoids tin, and they’ve lasted three years now. My husband isn’t so careful and his from about the same time just died. So I would consider them sturdy little buggers.

  • Erin says:

    I’ll third skullycandys. They have an excellent warranty. I’m hard on mine and twice now skullcandy has replaced them (this is over years – I don’t think they’re faulty – I’m just rough on them.)

  • Nikki says:

    I will 17th in-ear earbuds and 4th skullcandy. I like them because they’re virtually noise-cancelling, stay in place, and cost less than $20.

    The downsides: I lose earbud covers from time to time, which usually result in replacing the set. I’ve never exercised warranty options, but it sounds like most people have had success with that. I find they start to become uncomfortable after a few hours of use. I have tried other brands – comfort level varies dramatically with price.

    Find a nice $50 set and take good care of them – you’ll be pleased.

  • Ellen says:

    Gretchen, you should take your question over to the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website. They have a regular feature helping readers find old half-remembered romance novels.

  • Caitlin M says:

    S, I’m another one who can’t wear standard-issue earbuds (they’re not painful, they just don’t stay in my ears for even a moment). While they’re spendier than most recommended here, Shure earphones have excellent sound quality, and Shure models come with three different sizes each of squishable foam buds and soft rubber buds, so you can choose the fit and style most comfortable for you (I use the smallest rubber ones, and they stay in my ears very securely).

    The ones I have (on the cheaper end of the Shure line) are similar to these:

  • Ricki says:

    Gretchen – second the rec that you take this over to; they have their HaBo (Help a Bitch out) feature that covers this exact thing and I promise you eight people will know this book within a half hour of you posting.

    I know it’s not a Susan Johnson Braddock/Black book. I . . . have a passing familiarity with those. It does sound strongly like Cassie Edwards and in fact may be one of the Cassie Edwards books the Bitches reviewed, since your desc sounds familiar to me and I’ve never read a Cassie Edwards book, but I have read SMTB reviews of Cassie Edwards books. So you could start by checking their reviews page and seeing if any of the Cassie Edwards ones is a match. Did the heroine have red hair that she, like, covered with black of some kind while she was married to an Indian chief? If so, they definitely reviewed it.

  • Barbara says:

    I have one vote for plain ol’ basic over-the-head Walkman earphones.
    I have had these ones for YEARS

    They’re basically indestructible and so light that you barely feel them on.
    I have run in them and have had no problems with them popping out.
    This particular style is Sony MDR-W14 L, but I bet anything similar would work.

  • Kemmi says:

    You can get earbud caps that are made of memory foam– they’re definitely worth checking out. I like them because they block out a lot of noise, but they can really help the buds stay in– comply are the brand I use. YMMV, but they work well for me in staying in when I run for the bus and they’re really good at preventing noise leakage. Those may be helpful for you generally.

    But for jogging itself, I have a go-to set of ones that clip over the ear, but with a band at the back of the head. Those work for me with glasses and my hair in a plait, but not a ponytail. I actually like those for jogging because they don’t block out as much ambient sound, which is useful for me. I go jogging early morning, so I don’t have to worry about irritating people with the tiny sound of somebody else’s music, but I can still hear if there are cars or anything. They’re not actually comfortable for me to wear for longer than an hour (the clip starts to dig in), but they’re good until then and they don’t move the way over the head ones do.

  • MaryAnne says:

    I second, third, & fourth the recommendation for Yurbuds … I must have ridiculously small ear canals, because NOTHING stays in my ears except these. When I first started Couch to 5K a couple of years ago, I honestly don’t think I would have kept it up if I hadn’t found these – just a strong WIND would knock any others out!

  • Reader Gretchen says:

    Thank you everyone! I KNOW I’m getting close….From what Cassie Edwards has written, it sounds like it may be one of hers–and also thank you for the “smartbitches” link!

  • CircleGirl says:

    @Gretchen, you may have found your answer, but also check out books by Rebecca Brandewyne – she had a lot of those type books as well.

    And @Lauren – loved the Cynthia Ann Parker reference! One of the first books I vividly remember (reading at age 11, I believe) was a semi-biography of her titled “Ride the Wind” that started with her kidnapping to her death. Here’s the only link I could find to the book:

    God, I loved that book. It inspired many a daydream of being Commanche.

  • Cat (from Canada) says:

    I had never been able to find an earbud that would stay in my ears. Seeing all the recommendations for Yurbuds, I decided to check them out. I found an on-line seller in Canada–though they didn’t have the purple that I wanted. They arrived this week, and I have to say, they are the first earbuds I’ve *ever* had that I could eat with them in, walk around without them falling out, and didn’t hurt my ears if they were in for more than 30 minutes.

    Heartily recommend the Yurbuds for small eared folks!

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