It Happened One Autumn
by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: September 27, 2005
Book #2 of the Wallflowers series
Number of Pages: 400
Ages 15 and up
CW: sexual harassment, dub-con,
kidnapping, threats of rape
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 late?
I am not one for spoilers so I try not to even read the blurbs of future books in a series. I wait until it’s the next one in line for me to find out which characters from the series are being featured next. So, there were some things in this story that surprised and even upset me. My mind was going one way and the story went another with a particular character.
Lillian and Westcliff weren’t a surprise for me. I love how they challenge each other. The first few times they give into their chemistry, there are some iffy consent lines. Those are the times I had to remind myself this was published almost 20 years ago. And, to be frank, Westcliff can be brutal when he’s trying to deny his feelings for Lillian. To her credit, Lillian does not allow Westcliff to keep toying with her emotions and puts up her walls after too many of his slights.
It quickly becomes apparent Westcliff is a romantic at heart. The Westcliff that makes an appearance at the end of Again the Magic starts emerging and is added to. When he cares, he cares deeply. He can’t help but be intrigued by the woman who will stand up to him and dare to defy him.
Of course, Lillian only wants to be loved for who she is. She doesn’t admit that to even herself, but constantly being reprimanded for her true personality doesn’t help with her self-esteem. She refused to change for anyone, yet wants someone to be okay with that.
There is a character in this story that will be featured in another story and, I’m sorry, but I don’t see how they will ever be redeemed. Even when I wanted to believe the betrayal wasn’t happening, that there was some other explanation, the things they said negated that hope. I’ll have to go into that book with the trust that the author can change my mind.
Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the love story in this book. The connection and camaraderie the wallflowers have are kept up in this story and it was great to see them all still supporting each other.
It’s good to know you enjoyed this one. I listened to the first book last year but haven’t gotten back to the series yet. You’re making me want to do that sooner than later.
There are some who find parts of this story problematic. I didn’t. But to be honest, the thing I most see people referencing as a problem was something I don’t believe happened. The way they took a particular scene I viewed a whole different way. It’s actually quite confusing to me.
I guess people interpret things differently sometimes.
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