by Lisa Kleypas

October 2005
ISBN: 0-06-056249-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

It Happened One Autumn is not a winner. Frankly I was disappointed. Itís not a satisfying read. For any other author it might have been a good book, but I expect more from Lisa Kleypas. Iíve very much enjoyed the first in Lisa Kleypasí Wallflower series, and was intrigued by Marcus, Lord Westcliff, and Lillian Bowmanís relationship in it. However, with their story in It Happened One Autumn I felt cheated.

Now that the first of the Wallflowers, Annabelle (Secrets of a Summer Night), has found her husband, Lillian is next in line. The American heiress forced by her mother to find herself a titled husband, doesnít have it easy. She is unconventional, preferring to play with the stable lads than following society's rules. She is opinionated and unpolished, and one to take special care in pointing out her many faults, is Marcus. So when he suddenly loses control and sweeps her into his arms for passionate kisses, there can be only one reason for it. Her new perfume.

Marcus is confused, even though he needs a wife, it could never be this American, but why canít he stay away from her? A question I asked myself. I had no liking for the heroine in this book. I found her spoiled with bad manners and her behaviour irresponsible. And Marcus? Iíve always thought he deserved a special kind of woman, one over whom losing control would make sense. Iím still not sure why he lost his cool with Lillian, if it wasnít for the perfume. And itís not the perfume as proven by the Wallflowers (very funny!) experiments.

Iím disappointed with the characters and the plotting. It takes an accident for Marcus to realize what he feels for Lillian. She feels sick and heís allowed to play the hero. She gets drunk, loses all her inhibitions and he acts very unheroic. Where is the love? She has a chance to marry the man she loves and declines his offer. Where is the logic?

The heroine acts too modern, the hero too much out of character, the support cast intrudes too much, some plot devises are just too easy and the ending reminds me of old Barbara Cartland novels. Am I looking forward to the next book in the series? Not really, as I have no desire to see another story of a villain turning into a hero. Lisa Kleypas used to be original and her older books still are keepers, but It Happened One Autumn might just be the book showing that it is time for Lisa Kleypas to move on. I expected more of one of my all time favorite authors.

Reviewed in October 2005 by Kris Alice.

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