It Happened One Season by Stephanie Laurens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an interesting concept anthology. The concept, voted on by romance readers, is that each author writes a Regency novella that meets the following criteria:
The younger brother of a titled lord, the hero had a career in the army but has lived as a recluse since returning from the war with France.
Heroine is shy or unattractive and after many seasons has never had a suitor.
Hero's brother has only daughters and asks his brother to marry in order to try to ensure that succession stays within their family.
...and 4 stories that are not at all alike emerged. Mary Balogh's (about a widow's would-be affair) and Jacquie D'Alessandro's (about a nude-scuplting governess) novellas were probably my favorites, but Stephanie Laurens's contribution (in which the h/h bust a blackmailer) was surprisingly good as well (and, if I recall correctly, the sequel to her novella in It Happened One Night). I have to reiterate here my opinion that Balogh really excels in short format, and after reading this anthology I would add that Laurens does as well. I think sometimes the longer single-title books allow these authors to indulge in scenes/repetition that really don't play to their strengths as writers.
Overall this was a very enjoyable and entertaining collection that has got me back into reading historicals after my recent foray into contemporaries!
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