Also in this series: Scandal in Spring, A Wallflower Christmas, Again the Magic, Devil in Winter
Series: Wallflowers #2
Published by Avon on September 27th 2005
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Source: Self Purchased
Reading Challenges: Oldie But A Goodie Reading Challenge 2017
Four young ladies enter London society with one necessary goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So they band together, and a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
It happened at the ball...
Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat.
It happened in the garden...
When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed... thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act!
It happened one autumn...
Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable... as his bride?
Librarian's Note: Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here.
It Happened One Autumn is a story that I have loved and adored ever since it was published. This book is the second book in the Wallflower series and one of the best historical series that has ever been written. Now I will say that there is much to love about this book, and even though I don’t love it quite as much as Devil in Winter or Scandal in Spring, there is so much to adore about this book.
The Key Players of It Happened One Autumn are:
- Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London’s most eligible Aristocrat, full of responsibilities, domineering at times and in control.
- Lillian, An American miss who is looking to marry a title….feisty, rebellious, and unconventional.
The story begins when Lillian and her sister come to a house party being hosted by the Westcliff’s in their country manor home. She and her sister Daisy, are both spirited and always tend to get into trouble. Lillian has no plans on even trying to pursue Westcliff because she has no desire to marry someone so stuffy and pompous and its obvious that Marcus has no interest in Lillian but they do like to argue with each other. 🙂 Marcus protests very strongly upon the arrival of Lillian and her sister coming and its apparent that there is some strong attraction between Marcus and Lillian but they don’t want to admit it to themselves. So we seem them just play around with each other at first, not admitting the attraction they have toward each other and then they share a kiss and all reservations go out the window because its way more explosive than they at first want to admit even to themselves. The phrase “she/he doth protest too much” definitely comes into play. They definitely start acting on their physical attraction to each other, but there are other factors involved that seem to cause a conflict on whether they will act on how they are feeling. Marcus especially knows that he wants a biddable wife and Lillian is way too contrary for his liking. But when his friend St.Vincent starts trying his hand at courting Lillian….all of Marcus’ reserve go out the window.
What is most fun about this book is the interaction between Marcus and Lillian. They definitely have sparks going on and its so entertaining to see them banter and try to battle with their words. Even though they are very different from each other, they are also both very stubborn, strong personalities and domineering. They are way more alike than they are different as far as their personalities are concerned and its probably why they fight their attraction so much at first. But soon emotion starts to enter into their relationship and adds a bit more unique dynamic. But what is the most important element is those tender sweet moments that develop between the two that is at odds with their spirited moments together. I love how poignant this story felt so many times and it comes upon the reader unexpectedly.
“Rest. You’ll need to regain your strength…because once we’re married, I won’t be able to leave you alone. I’ll want to love you every hour, every minute of the day.” He nestled her more closely against him. “There is nothing on earth more beautiful to me than your smile…no sound sweeter than your laughter…no pleasure greater than holding you in my arms. I realized today that I could never live without you, stubborn little hellion that you are. In this life and the next, you’re my only hope of happiness. Tell me, Lillian, dearest love…how can you have reached so far inside my heart?” He paused to kiss her damp silken skin…and smiled as the wisp of a feminine snore broke the peaceful silence.
Another fun aspect to the story that is prevalent through the whole series is the friendship between the four women or the “wallflowers” and I love seeing how they help each other find husbands even if it doesn’t happen the way they plan on. There is so much warmth and affection these women have for each other and will do anything for each other and I adore that. Here below is two of my favorite scenes that I just had to share.
“Annabelle, what happened to you?” Lillian asked the next morning. “You look dreadful. Why aren’t you wearing your riding habit? I thought you were going to try out the jumping course this morning. And why did you disappear
so suddenly last night? It’s not like you to simply vanish without saying—”
“I didn’t have a choice in the matter,” Annabelle said testily, folding her fingers around the delicate bowl of a porcelain teacup. Looking pale and exhausted, her blue eyes ringed with dark shadows, she swallowed a mouthful of heavily sweetened tea before continuing. “It was that blasted perfume of yours—as soon as he caught one whiff of it, he went berserk.”
Shocked, Lillian tried to take in the information, her stomach plummeting. “It… it had an effect on Westcliff, then?” she managed to ask.
“Good Lord, not Lord Westcliff.” Annabelle rubbed her weary eyes. “He couldn’t have cared less what I smelled like. It was my husband who went completely mad. After he caught the scent of that stuff, he dragged me up to our room and…well, suffice it to say, Mr. Hunt kept me awake all night. All night ,” she repeated in sullen emphasis, and drank deeply of the tea.
“Doing what?” Daisy asked blankly.
Lillian, who was feeling a rush of relief that Lord Westcliff had not been attracted to Annabelle while she
was wearing the perfume, gave her younger sister a derisive glance. “What do you think they were doing? Playing a few hands of Find-the-Lady?”
“Wait a minute,” Daisy said suspiciously, coming to Lillian’s side.
“We’ve met Evie’s cousin Eustace before. Lillian, do you remember the ball at Winterbourne House?” Her eyes narrowed accusingly. “He was the one who broke the chair, wasn’t he, Evie?”
Evie confirmed Daisy’s question with an inarticulate murmur.
“Good God!” Lillian exclaimed, “you are not considering marrying him, Evie!”
Annabelle wore a puzzled expression. “How did he break the chair? Does he have a foul temper? Did he throw it?”
“He broke it by sitting on it,” Lillian said with a scowl.
“Cousin Eustace is rather l-large boned,” Evie admitted.
“Cousin Eustace has more chins than I’ve got fingers,” Lillian said impatiently. “And he was so busy filling his face during the ball that he couldn’t be bothered to make conversation.”
“When I went to shake his hand,” Daisy added, “I came away with a half-eaten wing of roast chicken.”
“He forgot that he was holding it,” Evie said apologetically. “He did say he was sorry for ruining your glove, as I recall.”
Daisy frowned. “That didn’t bother me nearly as much as the question of where he was hiding the rest of the chicken.”
It Happened One Autumn is a laugh out loud romance that will give you tingles and happy feels, it’s a story that is packed with lively banter, boisterous characters, tender romantic moments and characters that you will fall head over heels in love with!!