by Lisa Dale

November 2009
ISBN: 978-0-446-40690-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Grand Central Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

As a reader when we sit down with a new book we want nothing more than to be transported away from life and at the end of the book to think WOW! That was exactly what I was hoping for when I sat down to read It Happened One Night. I had not previously read Lisa Dale, and knew nothing about this book, other than that I found the cover to be romantic, and leading me to believe I was going to get some sort of holiday themed story. After all, the book was released in November, which would have been in time to be a Christmas story.

It Happened One Night is the story of a very dysfunctional family, sisters Karin, Lana, and their estranged father Calvert. Calvert had to raise the girls alone after the death of their mother, and he was ill equipped to do so, and therefore Karin and Lana pretty much raised themselves from that point on, and I believe truly affected their ability to have good strong stable relationships as adults.

Karin not having had the family of her dreams wants nothing more than to have a child of her own with her husband, and is so focused on their inability to have a child that she forgets to focus on the workings of their relationships. So focused is she on a child that when Lana has an unplanned pregnancy she devises a plan to adopt the child herself.

As an adult Lana is rebelling against her childhood by not wanting a family of her own. Therefore when she gets pregnant she sees it as the end of her ability to dream big, and perhaps achieve at least one of those dreams. She believes that the best thing is to put the baby up for adoption, and that the best parent would be Karin.

Neither sister realizes how the pregnancy will affect not only their lives but the lives of those closest to them. I wish I could say that there was a real emotional story about the struggles of the infertility and adoption, but I just never could find myself caring at all for any of the characters.

When Calvert shows up and wants to repent for his ways the sisters are naturally angry and against forgiving and forgetting, which as a child who didnít get along with her father I can fully understand, but suddenly both sisters are working toward a relationship with him, and that I didnít quite get.

There is potential in It Happened One Night, but the story needs to be tighter in my opinion, and the characters need better flushing out to seem more real to me. Unfortunately It Happened One Night just fell totally flat for me, and left me wondering whether or not I really wanted to tackle any other work from the author.

Reviewed in February 2010 by Sandi.

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