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It Happened One Season Kindle Edition
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|Length: 437 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens began writing as an escape from the dry world of professional science, a hobby that quickly became a career. Her novels set in Regency England have captivated readers around the globe, making her one of the romance world's most beloved and popular authors.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
We asked our readers what story they would most like to see from four bestselling authors. They responded . . .
A handsome hero returns from war, battle-scarred and world-weary. But family duty calls and he must find a bride.
A young lady facing yet another season without a suitor never expects to find herself the object of his affections.
It Happened One Season
Four amazing talents
have come together to create one of the most unforgettable events of the year. The results are spectacular—each story is as unique as a lover's first kiss.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File size : 815 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B004CFA93C
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books (March 29, 2011)
- Publication date : March 29, 2011
- Print length : 437 pages
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #258,580 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I’ll review the two good ones first and then the two terrible ones. I love finding anthologies so that I get a preview of authors I haven’t read before. After reading this anthology, I found two authors I will avoid at all cost, one author I already enjoy, and one that I’m eager to check out in full-length novel version.
(1) Hern: The story by Candice Hern has me eager to read one of her novels. I’ve never read her before, but I enjoyed her short story the most. She has a delightful writing style, very Georgette Heyer-esque. She dealt well and realistically with the sensitive topics of disabilities and ptsd. From the first chapter, the characters came to life with their own personalities. The description, inner thoughts, and action were all well balanced. The author got into the heart of the characters so that I felt their anxieties, desires, and fears, especially the hero. The only two complaints were that I wish there had been more conflict from the heroine’s family and that I wish the final conflict had happened a tad earlier and been more long-lasting. It had such potential as a conflict, but it fell a little flat when it happened so late in the story and was resolved so quickly and easily. Overall, this was everything a historical romance should be: historically accurate, historically and culturally drenched, interesting plot, realistic characters, detailed with details in all the right places for the right reasons, well structured, romantic. Finally, a real romance with real history!
(2) Balogh: This was my second favorite of the mix. I found it wonderfully written, historically and culturally accurate, and thoughtfully plotted. My only confusion was why the heroine insisted there was no chance he could ever love her when he was quite verbal about his feelings towards her. If he had been a cold fish despite his affection, then I could better understand her hesitations, but since he was as open and honest as he could get about his attraction and fondness of her, I'm just not convinced by her hesitation. She was, on the whole, a likable and relatable heroine, but she made so little rational sense that it became frustrating.
And at this point, we move from true historical romances to E.L. James with ball gowns and carriages. The other two stories in the anthology were neither romantic nor historical. They were modern erotica with a carriage thrown in.
(3) Laurens: Nancy Drew meets naughty Ned is what this story was. BADLY written Nancy Drew at that. This author needs not to write historical romance and stick with the pseudo detective erotica that this attempted to be. I’ll focus on ch. 1 because there’s no point in reading beyond that. (a) The pov, which had already been established as omniscient limited, suddenly started switching between characters mid-scene so many times that I gave up knowing whose head I was in. (b) The heroine was sitting in a room talking out loud to herself the play-by-play of her actions. It was akin to me walking into the kitchen and saying aloud, “Now I take the cup out of the cupboard. I can’t wait to drink some tea. Now I’m getting the tea out of the tin.” This was ridiculous. There wasn't narration or description of what she was doing, just her verbal play-by-play. (c) Absurd obsession with picking locks. A huge deal was made about the hero wanting to pick the lock of a library at someone's house during a ball, and then the heroine picks the same lock moments later. I kept hoping a butler or footman would ferret them out and have them arrested. Ridiculous. (d) The introductions of the characters to each other was very much modern and not at all historical. They shook hands like male commoners and introduced themselves using their first names. No. Just no. Learn something about the time period and culture in which you’re writing or don’t bother writing historical fiction. (e) The entire opening scene made no sense historically. A man and a woman picking locks and sitting in a dark library together chatting it up as if they met in a coffeehouse in the 21st century. Never mind that they've never been introduced, that if they're caught they'll be forced to marry because she'll be compromised, that there would most certainly have been footmen to keep them from wandering about the house in the first place, etc (f) Writing style--the overuse--and misuse--of the dash was atrociously irritating. Nearly every time a sentence needed to be a comma in the sentence--there would be a dash instead. There were times when a single sentence would have upwards of 5 dashes. (g) Even more abhorrent were the subject-less sentence fragments. So many pointless sentence fragments. "He closed the notebook. Waved it." This isn't stylistic. This isn't smooth. This isn't emphasizing some action. This is an epic fail of grammar 101. Even worse, the writer shoved most adverbs and descriptive words in a sentence by themselves: "His voice was deep. Hypnotic." "She frowned. Direfully." I assume this was an attempt to be stylistically artistic, but the attempt failed miserably and was instead indicative of a writer who needs to brush up on grammar. Desperately. Every other sentence was a fragment. The writing was, in all honestly, PAINFUL TO READ. With all the skilled writers out there, I question how writing like this gets published. I assume by editors who don't bother reading the submissions (and judging from the books I've seen come out of Avon, I'd agree with that assessment).
(4) D'Alessandro: This was the embodiment of E.L. James with ballgowns. The writing is atrocious, the plot non-existent, the characters modernized and flat, and the history as modern as it gets with a carriage thrown in. (a) It seemed every time the writer wanted to write a compound sentence or a list, the sentence would be fragmented to read something like: “He walked down the street. And looked. But didn't see anyone.” This isn't artistic. This is horrible grammar. (b) The historical inaccuracies were irritating throughout. In the opening scene, the hero picks up Miss Markham and takes her for a ride in a carriage, a carriage emblazoned with an earl's emblem no less. Does he bring a chaperone with him? Nope. He picks her up like it’s the 21st century and takes her for a ride all around London. Propriety would not have allowed this. There’s another unrealistic scene when he accosts her in the art gallery of his brother's home during a ball. There's fondling and slight undressing right there in the hallway, feet away from the ballroom. And we won’t even go into the carriage ride after the wedding with the carriage windows wide open. (c) Some of the descriptions seemed forced, like "an embarrassed flush crept" as if the flush itself were embarrassed. Some of the narration felt long winded as well. For instance, if in the middle of the scene, instead of building in the person's thoughts or descriptions, the scene would just halt for 1-2 pages of detail. (d) The dialogue between characters was a bit too modern. There would be words and phrases that felt awkwardly archaic mixed in with modern phrases and words, not to mention behaviors. (e) The hero is nothing but a pervert from start to finish with no redeeming qualities, and the story is obscenely dirty. All he can think of when he first meets her is what he wants her lips to do to his nether region. Throughout the story, he is a cardboard cutout. He does little more than grunt when they talk, and all she can do is comment to herself about what a hunk he is. (f) The plot is flat. The conflict was made clear from the beginning but never became a conflict. There was never a point where we wonder if the characters will make it past insurmountable odds. (g) The entire attraction between them was only physical. Even throughout the conversation with his brother about marrying the heroine, all the hero can say or think about is his lust for her. This doesn't spell romance. He isn't attracted to her in any way except what he wants her to do with her mouth--his thoughts, not my reader interpretation. He is desperate to rush the wedding so he can get her into bed. He marries her the day after he meets her because he can’t wait another day to bed her. This is so unromantic I feel as though I'm reading about a randy schoolboy visiting his first brothel rather than a hero falling in love. Even his marriage proposal uses consummation as a persuasive technique, as he practically undresses her in the library during the proposal. (h) We never get to know the characters, completely flat, cardboard characters. Even the heroine's unattractiveness isn’t made clear to historical standards of beauty. All descriptions fit the modern "nerdy" standards--she draws and paints, wears spectacles, and is a brunette. She is constantly compared to the blonde party girls who have more fun. The writer needs to do a wee bit more research, for what is considered “nerdy” now versus what is considered “nerdy” then--two very different things. (i) More historical issues than I can count. The heroine has pearly straight teeth and a floral scent. There is constant mention of her floral scent and him sniffing the scent. It’s overdone and out of place. I'm stumped as to why she would smell like flowers, even in her hair. Does she have a daily shower and use her favorite Bath and Body Works scented body mist? And how about those straight, white teeth--I suppose she had braces, teeth bleaching, and avoids teas? (j) The love scenes are grossly graphic in description, far more erotic than romantic. I wish editors would put the erotic fiction in another category from romance, and far from historical romance. Not all of us want to read about the pearly droplets on the tip. Just saying.
The theme, by the way, was assigned to the authors after a contest in which readers submitted possible plot lines and all the authors had agreed to write a story based on that plot line. Fortunately, there was enough wiggle room within the plot line (second son must marry soon and provide a male heir) that the stories weren't too similar.
Stephanie Laurens' story is the weakest. I don't know why all her heroines have to be involved in subterfuge of some kind, either solving mysteries or investigating criminal activity. They're all Nancy Drews with a strong libido. For me, it got old a long time ago and I've stopped reading her books. In a short story, such as this one, it wasn't as annoying , at least the female character didn't form part of a clique of popular women this time.
Mary Balogh's is the strongest entry and was downright wonderful. Exquisitely well-written, totally believable and, as in all Mary Balogh books, it touches your heart and leaves you wishing for more. Unfortunately, it was the shortest of the stories. Since she isn't writing much lately (just issuing reprints), her fans have to settle for a short story so, luckily, it was a great one.
Jacquie D'Alessandro's entry is a bit of a stretch, a little forced and awkward, but pleasant nevertheless. It was fine for novella-length. Her book is the only one where the couple got married towards the beginning of the story instead of at the end. This had the mixed effect of giving a completely different perspective at the price of a total lack of subtlety in the pacing.
Candace Hern's is my second favorite. It is very well-developed, the characters are more human (and less sex-obsessed) than those in her full-length books. She demonstrates more understanding and sensitivity than I had ever noticed in her books. I had stopped buying them, but I think I will give her books a try once again.