Lisa Kleypas’ It Happened One Autumn is the second of her Wallflowers series, but the last one I’ve read. In this installment, it’s Lillian Bowman’s turn to find a husband. Lillian is American and as such, not quite accepted into the British aristocrat crowd. Especially by Lord Westcliff, a stiff-upper-lip stodgy uptight type, who last saw Lillian playing rounders in her knickers. How inappropriate! The stage is set when Westcliff hosts a month-long party at his estate and feels it necessary to invite the Bowmans so he can work out a business deal with Lillian’s soap magnate father.
Westcliff hates Lillian. Lillian hates Westcliff. Both are really strong-willed individuals, but it’s obvious to everyone but the two of them that they secretly want to do bad things together. There’s not too much to say on this one that can’t be said of most romance novels, really. This isn’t to say I didn’t like the book. I quite enjoyed it actually, it’s just that it’s 2am and I read this a week ago, so I’m having problems coming up with eloquent thoughts at the moment.
I like Westcliff as a hero more than I enjoy Lillian. Really, Lillian seems pretty shrewish, and though that is a bit of a sexist term, it kind of applies. She is contrary just for contrary’s sake most of the time. I can appreciate stubbornness, but really, there is a limit. The idea I think Kleypas is going for is that two such strong wills can only work with each other, as anyone else would be too much of a pushover. It works. Their chemistry is good from the start; they don’t say ‘there’s a thin line between love and hate’ for no reason. Westcliff manages to find Lillian’s insane stubborn streak really charming and finds himself inexorably attracted to her. In fact, each time he’s near, he finds it nearly impossible not to want to rip her clothes off. I wish I had that effect on a man, though I suppose it’d have its drawbacks.
The stakes are raised when everyone’s favorite rake, SEBASTIAN, decides to do something particularly naughty and threatens the new found happiness between Lillian and Westcliff. I probably have issues, because I wasn’t that mad at him for what he did. Sebastian is the best. In fact I might reread Devil in Winter just because I need a better ending for him than the one Autumn provides.
PS – I made it to 52! Yay me. I’ve got one more in the bank that I’m too tired to write up right now, and I’m halfway to finishing another. I might hit my Goodreads goal of 55, or even more. First Cannonball Read complete, check!