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It Happened One Autumn

by Lisa Kleypas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wallflowers (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,919718,162 (3.98)1 / 95
Fiction. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Headstrong American heiress Lillian Bowman has come to England to find an aristocratic husband. Unfortunately, no man is strong enough to tame the stubborn beauty's fierce will. Except, perhaps, the powerful and arrogant Earl of Westcliff??a man Lillian despises more than anyone she's ever met.

Marcus, Lord Westcliff, is famous for his icy English reserve and his supreme self-control. But something about the audacious Lillian drives him mad. Whenever they're in the same room, they can't stop themselves from battling furiously to gain the upper hand.

Then one afternoon, a stunningly sensuous encounter changes everything . . . and Lillian discovers that beneath the earl's reserved façade, he is the passionate and tender lover of her dreams. What neither Westcliff nor Lillian suspect, however, is that a sinister conspiracy threatens to destroy any chance of happiness. After a shocking betrayal endangers Lillian's safety??and possibly her life??will Marcus be able to save her before it's too… (more)

Recently added byprivate library, Scheherazade1001, mrThisledr, stmagda, eliza_murph, Vee180, Trew14, Rini55
  1. 00
    Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Different subgenres of romance - Practice Makes Perfect is a contemporary romantic comedy about two lawyers vying for the same promotion, while It Happened One Autumn is a historical romance set at a house party, but both stories have a bickering, bantering couple whose fencing with words masks a deep-seated attraction. I found both stories hilarious and emotionally satisfying.… (more)
  2. 00
    At the Bride Hunt Ball by Olivia Parker (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories are set during house parties and feature an aloof hero struggling against his feelings for an utterly unsuitable bride. Sparks and witty banter fly! At the Bride Hunt Ball features a Regency-style version of The Bachelor and a heroine too clumsy to have a chance at landing a handsome husband (or so everyone thinks). It Happened One Autumn has a spirited free-wheeling American heroine paired with (a rather stodgy) English aristocrat who can't seem to resist her. Both stories had me grinning like the Cheshire Cat throughout!… (more)
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» See also 95 mentions

English (70)  Spanish (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
this book is so problematic to me now. ( )
  aeryn0 | Jul 23, 2023 |
It Happened One Autumn has some elements I found problematic, but it still makes addictive reading and I finished it in two days!

A fuller review is on my blog.

Plot Summary
The second in the series focuses on Lillian Bowman, the most obnoxious of the two American heiresses, as she takes her turn to ‘catch’ a husband. As heavily signposted in Secrets of a Summer Night, Earl Westcliff is to be her love interest. We’re well in the trashy romance novel genre here, specifically the Regency-Victorian era niche, and some of the things I struggle with in this one are unfortunate, depressing, tropes of the genre. I am, of course, talking about all the forced kisses and dubious consent.

I do not find this romantic, I find this scary and it is actually assault?

The first book, Secrets of a Summer Night, had its fair share of questionable consent but this one went beyond my comfort level. Every sexual encounter they have is initiated by him and, at least at first, unwelcome.

Worse still, the first time they have sex Lillian is drunk, and he knows she is drunk and it would be taking advantage of her…

His beleaguered sense of honour protested that he was not the kind of man who would take an inebriated woman to bed. She was helpless. She was a virgin. He would never forgive himself if he took advantage of her in this condition -

And yet a few paragraphs later that is exactly what he does – no matter how much she asks for it, or how romantically it is written – it had been firmly established how drunk she is and I was so uncomfortable reading all of this. It doesn’t matter how cool she was about it the next day, that was not romantic and she was not in her right mind to consent. It made me feel very icky.

Characters
Lillian Bowman
Lillian is not a character type I enjoy, and she is easily my least favourite Wallflower. She’s loud, inconsiderate and often rude… and is always making a scene. Most of the time I found her hard-headedness annoying and unrealistic. Particularly when she decided to risk her life horse jumping for no good reason.

The decision to – as a guest – essentially steal and drink a whole bottle of her host’s fancy pear brandy in their library was baffling, especially in this era (even “for an American)”. So rude and inappropriate. I think we are supposed to believe she does it because a forthcoming proposal from someone other than Lord Westcliffe unsettled her so much. This seemed like a weakness that I felt was out of character as well, as didn’t feel fitting for the time period. I have to say Kleypas lost me a bit in those scenes.

As much as I don’t enjoy Lillian, I didn’t hate her (except for when she bullied some servant boys into risking their jobs because she wanted to play rounders!) and I was still invested in her relationship with Westcliff (when she was a willing participant). She does have some satisfying growth towards the end as she gains some empathy for him and learns to compromise.

Earl Marcus Westcliff
As much as I have complained about his tendency towards sexual assault, I did like Westcliff. I blame Kleypas more for the way she chose to write those scenes rather than the character himself. I think it was supposed to demonstrate how such a measured and controlled man was losing himself to his passion for ‘Not Like Other Girls’ Lillian, but written with the most clumsy tropes of the genre.

I enjoyed Westcliff for how sensible he is, and he’s generally thoughtful and capable. I saw him as an Anthony Bridgerton type but with a significantly worse set of parents and more childhood trauma.

Lord Sebastian St Vincent
A new character introduced was Sebastian St Vincent, who initially I really enjoyed for his easygoing fun. He was a nice breath of fresh air after the rather stuffy Westcliff and Simon Hunt. That was until he turned out of nowhere into a full-blown villain. I thought this was a spectacularly bizarre choice, to push him as far as kidnapping and the threat of forced marriage and rape (and some real arch-villain dialogue), and then set him up for the love interest of the next book?!

You did not have to go as far as you did with that Kleypas, you’re asking your readers – and the characters in your books – to forgive too much!

Writing
Look, I have had some negatives to say but also, again, I read this in 24 hours. The woman can write a brilliant romance, I just wish she had used her powers for good and dialled back the atmosphere of sexual assault. Why couldn’t Lillian be into it? Why were his advances always unwelcome at first?

This passage really stuck with me, I thought this was a great piece of writing.

As always, when a conversation turned to the subject of Westcliff, Lillian felt thoroughly provoked, not unlike the way she had felt in childhood when her brothers had tossed her favourite doll over her head, back and forth between them, while she cried for them to give it back to her. Why any mention of the earl should affect her this way was a question for which there was no answer. She dismissed Daisy’s remark with an irritable shrug of her shoulders.

I know exactly the feeling she means.

This book was also significantly racier than the first book, with a lot more action from much earlier in the book. I have to say that the sex scenes – if those are your jam – don’t do a lot for me as once you have read one the rest are all the same performance.

Themes
I discuss theme in more details in my blog post.
- The recurring theme that Good Men are Working Men
- Family Legacy versus Happiness
- Abusive Parents
- Wasted Potential of Women

Recommendation: 3/5 Hearts
While there were a number of elements I did not like, and I really do not know what to make of the events in the final act, I still did overall enjoy this book and I read it in two days! If you enjoyed the first book I think you’ll like this one too. I am very excited to read book three and find out how Kleypas is going to spin St Vincent into a romantic lead… ( )
  ImagineAlice | May 8, 2023 |
Enjoyable second book in the Wallflowers series. ( )
  LisaBergin | Apr 12, 2023 |
Secondo libro della serie "Le Audaci Zitelle".
Molto bello e intrigante anche questo dove la seconda zitella del gruppo alla fine prende il volo.
Lillian Bowan è una ricchissima americana venuta in Inghilterra per trovare un marito di nobili origini.
Lord Marcus Westcliff è quello che si definisce "uno scapolo d'oro" e sarebbe proprio perfetto se non fosse che i due non riescono proprio ad andare d'accordo, troppo insolente e sfrontata lei, troppo rigido lui.
Ma, anche questa volta, sarà un bacio appassionato dato una notte in giardino a far cambiare le cose tra loro.
Eppure, a volte, la volontà e l'amore non bastano se, di mezzo, ci si mettono altre persone …
( )
  Raffaella10 | Jan 28, 2023 |
This had a slow start but spun into the usual clever dance of a Kleypas historical romance.

"Headstrong American heiress Lillian Bowman has come to England to find an aristocratic husband. Unfortunately, no man is strong enough to tame the stubborn beauty's fierce will. Except, perhaps, the powerful and arrogant Marcus, Earl of Westcliff--a man Lillian despises more than anyone she's ever met."

It's fun and games as Lillian and Marcus realise that they are in fact the most interesting persons each other has met! ( )
  Okies | Dec 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lisa Kleypasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Landor, RosalynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Christina Dodd,
my sister, friend and inspiration.

Love, L.K.
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Two young women stood at the threshold of the perfumery, one tugging impatiently at the arm of the other.
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Fiction. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Headstrong American heiress Lillian Bowman has come to England to find an aristocratic husband. Unfortunately, no man is strong enough to tame the stubborn beauty's fierce will. Except, perhaps, the powerful and arrogant Earl of Westcliff??a man Lillian despises more than anyone she's ever met.

Marcus, Lord Westcliff, is famous for his icy English reserve and his supreme self-control. But something about the audacious Lillian drives him mad. Whenever they're in the same room, they can't stop themselves from battling furiously to gain the upper hand.

Then one afternoon, a stunningly sensuous encounter changes everything . . . and Lillian discovers that beneath the earl's reserved façade, he is the passionate and tender lover of her dreams. What neither Westcliff nor Lillian suspect, however, is that a sinister conspiracy threatens to destroy any chance of happiness. After a shocking betrayal endangers Lillian's safety??and possibly her life??will Marcus be able to save her before it's too

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Book description
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?
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