It Happened One Season

It Happened One Season is a collection of four novellas with a similar theme chosen through a readers’ contest. Three points link all four stories that tell of a younger brother who is a war hero but has chosen to live a reclusive life until his titled older brother prevails upon him to marry (and hopefully sire a male child) to protect the family succession which is endangered because the lord has only had female offspring. The heroine is “on the shelf” after having been unable to attract a proposal over several Seasons. Each author utilizes her inimitable talents to concoct a beautiful love story in another wonderful collection that recaptures the combination of talents presented in the volume It Happened One Night.

The Seduction of Sebastian Trantor by Stephanie Laurens details the search for a bride that is facilitated by Tabitha Makepeace’s chase after a blackmailer and features the author’s penchant for creating sensual characters that form equal partners in their relationships. Mary Balogh’s Only Love follows Cleo Pritchard, widow as she rediscovers Jack Gilchrist who is the only man to have ever kissed her other than her immediate family. He must convince her that he wants her not just for her broodmare capability and their journey together reflects Balogh’s penchant for unflinching honesty in her intriguingly determined characters. Hope Springs Eternal by Jacquie D’Alessandro features Penelope Markham who has fallen on hard times and Captain Alec Trentwell who feels guilt at the role he has played in her brother’s death. Not the most auspicious beginnings for a relationship but each must learn to be truthful in order to forge a genuine bond with each other. Last but not least, Candice Hern presents Fate Strikes a Bargain in which a crippled spinster named Philippa Reynolds must deal with the wounded psyche she senses in Captain Nathaniel Beckwith as they find solace in each other’s company.

These stories are a lovely addition to the Regency Romance genre portrayed by authors who are extremely adept at creating the flavor of the period while weaving a nicely compact romance. You get a fascinating peek at the individuality that can be displayed when the same basic framework is presented to such diverse individuals. Both Laurens and Balogh are already favorites due to their ability to create engaging believable characters in beautifully described settings but I was pleasantly surprised by the facility displayed by D’Alessandro and Hern in creating interesting twists in the basic framework that could have become monotonous in its restrictions. Kudos to all four because all of the storylines are nicely resolved yet tantalizing enough that a reader would like to find further adventures featuring characters that would normally be relegated to secondary background status.


Book Blurb for It Happened One Season

We asked our readers what story they would most like to see from four bestselling authors. They responded...

A handsome hero returns from war, battle-scarred and world-weary. But family duty calls and he must find a bride.

A young lady facing yet another season without a suitor never expects to find herself the object of his affections.

Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Jacquie D'Allesandro and Candice Hern have come together to create one of the most unforgettable events of the year. The results are spectacular -- each story is as unique as a lover's first kiss.

STEPHANIE LAURENS

New York Times bestselling author STEPHANIE LAURENS began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science, a hobby that quickly became a career. Her novels set in Regency England have captivated readers around the globe, making her one of the romance world’s most beloved and popular authors. Readers can contact Stephanie via e-mail at slaurens@vicnet.net.au. For information on all Stephanie’s books, including updates on novels yet to come, visit Stephanie's website at www.stephanielaurens.com

MARY BALOGH

The New York Times bestselling, multi-award winning author grew up in Wales, land of sea and mountains, song and legend. She brought music and a vivid imagination with her when she came to Canada to teach. There she began a second career as a writer of books that always end happily and always celebrate the power of love. There are over four million copies of her Regency romances and historical romances in print.

JACQUIE D’ALESSANDRO

Growing up on Long Island, New York, JACQUIE D’ALESSANDRO fell in love with romance at an early age. She dreamed of being swept away by a dashing rogue riding a spirited stallion. When her hero finally showed up, he was dressed in jeans and drove a Volkswagen, but she recognized him anyway. They married after both graduating from Hofstra University and are now living their happily-ever-afters in Atlanta, Georgia. They have one grown son, who is a dashing rogue in the making. The author of more than thirty historical and contemporary romances, Jacquie loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website at www.JacquieD.com

CANDICE HERN

Candice Hern is the award-winning author of historical romances set during the English Regency, a period she knows well through years of collecting antiques and fashion prints of the era. She travels to England regularly, always in search of more historical and local color to help bring her books to life. To learn more about the period, visit The Regency World at her website, www.candicehern.com.


Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2011 4.75