Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Mini: It Happened One Season by Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Candice Hern

It Happened One Season was an interesting historical romance anthology, and as with many an anthology a mixed bag for me. All the authors stuck to the one plot line they planned to follow: the second son of an earl who is back from the war and needs to marry to provide an heir for the family because his older brother has daughters and no sons. The female protagonist is considered a spinster, plain looking and has never had a beau or in some cases experienced real love.

However, even though all the authors had to follow the above mentioned plot line, each story is very different and tailored to each author's writing style. I specially liked Stephanie Laurens' novella, The Seduction of Sebastian and Mary Balogh's Only Love. Both novellas had well-plotted stories and romances that grew slowly but surely. The characterization was also excellent for novellas and they both felt like much longer reads. Hope Springs Eternal by Jacquie D'Alessandro was the weakest story in my opinion, with a rushed romance and very little conflict; and Fate Strikes a Bargain by Candice Hern was a good read, but not one that stayed with me.

Congratulations to Phyl from Phyl's quilts and books! Your idea for the book was wonderful and I enjoyed reading how the different authors went about interpreting it.

Category: Historical Romance
Series: Anthology
Publisher/Released: Harper Collins March 29, 2011 - Kindle Edition
Grade: C+


  1. I always find anthologies hard to review, like you said, it's always a mixed bag.

    I've never read Laurens though, and it has been a long time since I've read any Balogh, so I might pick up this one :D

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I do like the sound of the premise...and since the vast majority of Stephanie Laurens' heroines are gorgeous I'd love to see what she can do with a plain looking spinster :) Devil's Bride is still one of my favourite historical romances...and IIRC was the first one I read when I came back from the UK and discovered romance proper :)

    I'll have to see if my library has this. Thank you Hils!

  3. Hmmm, I didn't realize all authors had the same storyline ^_^; Probably not for me then.

  4. Alex, I think might enjoy the Laurens. I know you're iffy about Balogh, right? But, she did surprise me a bit with this heroine in some ways. Anthologies! They're like a crap shoot... I love them though. :D

    Orannia, I remember loving Devil's Bride too! Honoria? Wasn't that the heroine's name? It's been such a long time since I read the book, and I don't own the book any longer, but I still remember her and most of that story. I think you might enjoy the heroine's in this anthology, Orannia. :)

    Nath. Yes, they all follow one basic theme, but the stories are quite different. I read them in between other books just to cleanse my palate. I loved their first anthology, It Happened One Night, so I knew this one would be enjoyable for me too. :D

  5. I was debating reading this one and now I think I will!

    I like Candice Hern's writing. And love love love Mary Balogh. The set up for each story sounds like my cup of tea too. Good quick review!

  6. It was Honoria. I think of all of Stephanie Laurens' heroines, Honoria clicked with me because she isn't drop dead gorgeous like all the others. And she isn't fiesty and pushing boundaries on the outside. But she has a core of strength, and that's why I love her :)

  7. Ames, I think you'll enjoy this one. The Balogh in particular. *g* It reminded me a bit of "Irresistible"... at least the heroine did, although there's a bit of a surprise there for a Balogh heroine, lol! Let me know if you think I'm right. :D

    Orannia. I remembered her name! Yay! Honoria was a bit of an unforgettable heroine, both for her name and her personality. If you liked her, you'll like the heroine in this novella too, although this one pushes more boundaries and more of an intellectual. :D

  8. YAY! It's Phyl's book. LOL!

    I am hoping to buy this in paper (as opposed to ebook) so Phyl can sign it for me someday. ^_^

    I have only read one short book by Balogh, and nothing by the others. I'm curious to see how I like their writing.

  9. I might pick this up just for the Balogh. I haven't read Laurens in years but remember enjoying her Cynster series. D'Alesandro and Hern I haven't read - so this might actually be a good way to try them. :)

  10. Christine, I also ordered this book in both ebook a print! I collect Balogh, but couldn't wait to read the the anthology, lol! Enjoy.

    Leslie, I had not read Laurens in years either, except for the last novella in It Happened One Season. I used to read her Cynster series and the Bastion Club series, but stopped a few years back too. Hern I've only read in the anthologies, I think. But I have read D'Alessandro before, I have to check my old list of books read.


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