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

Title:  It Happened One Season
Authors: Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Candice Hern & Mary Balogh
Pages:  432
Genre:  Historical Romance
Source: Netgalley

A reclusive former soldier, the younger brother of a titled lord, must marry in order to ensure the succession of his family line. The heroine is shy and/or unattractive and has never had a suitor.  These are the underlying threads in the four stories you'll find that It Happened One Season revolve around.  The fun part - each author uses this thread and the stories they weave are all so very unique and different from one another. 
The Seduction of Sebastian Trantor by Stephanie Laurens - Sebastian Trantor has no choice but to find himself a wife.   His older brother has just had his fifth daughter and he knows that gh is the only one that can ensure the succession of the family line.  When he meets Tabitha Makepeace she is trying to break into a desk at a ball that they are both attending.  He immediately knows that the feisty and clever young lady is "wife material".  He just has to convince her of that.

Only Love by Mary Balogh - Cleo Pritchard is making the best out of her widowhood.  Her belated husband was not a very nice man and she has found that, although she is alone, she can live with that.  Plus, there is always the thought of a memorable kiss she shared years ago with Major Jack Gilchrist to keep her warm at night.  When by chance Cleo bumps into Jack at a ball, she fibs, giving him the impression that she is content with her life.  Jack, on the other hand, can't stop thinking about Cleo and that kiss they shared.  Knowing that he must find a wife, he tries to woo Cleo into that role, but Cleo knows that Jack only wants an heir and she is not sure that she can have children.  It will be up to Jack to convince Cleo that his feelings for her are true and an heir is the least of his worries.

Hope Springs Eternal by Jacquie D’Alessandro - Alec Trentwell is still plagued by guilt over the death of Edward Markham.  In fact, he feels that to make up for it, he must take care of Edward's sister, Penelope.  But Penelope is nothing like what Alec imagined.  She is a beautiful woman, an artist surrounded by scandal and in dire need of funds.  Since she refuses his charity, Alec commissions her to paint his portrait, but when she is threatened by more scandal and ruin he does the only thing a gentleman would.. he proposes.  But how will she feel about him once she learns the part that Alec played in her brother's death?

Fate Strikes a Bargain by Candice Hern - Nathaniel Beckwith is in no mood to court the young ladies and their mama's in order to find himself a bride... thus he finds himself hiding behind a strategically-placed orange tree.  But to his surprise, he meets Philippa Reynolds... also hiding behind said orange tree.  Phillippa is there for different reasons... she has a disability that renders her unable to walk or dance without a severe limp.  Nat can't help but find himself enchanted by her friendly and kind demeanor... so he finds himself striking a bargain... an engagement.
I thought the premise of these stories was so fun.  I was interested in seeing if these authors would be able to use the same plot points and come up with different stories and I was not disappointed.  These stories could not be any more different.   I think out of the four, Fate Strikes a Bargain, was my favorite.  I loved the sweet tale of a handicapped heroine and her brave hero.  I also enjoyed the introduction to mostly all new authors  - since I had only read Mary Balogh in the past. 
These four stories will leave you feeling satisfied with their enchanting heroes, delightful heroines and requisite happy ever afters.  Fans of historical romance will rejoice over this wonderful anthology.  


Tales of Whimsy said...

You make it sound so delightful! :)

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Adding this to my TBR list - sounds like such a good book!

Ann Summerville said...

This sounds like the Doorknobs and Bodypaint e-zine. You are given a phrase or word to use and perhaps a time frame. The idea is to come up with a flash fiction story. It's amazing how different all the stories are.

Anonymous said...

I love anthologies. This one has several of my favorite authors. Will have to look for it.
Thank you for the comments.

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