It Happened one Season
Mary Balogh, Candice Hern, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D'Alessandro
Avon, Mar 22 2011, $7.99
“The Seduction of Sebastian Tranter” by Stephanie Laurens. Military code breaker Sebastian sneaks into a library to escape the gala. Tabitha enters the library mumbling about a blackmailer’s letters. Sebastian says it is a code and offers to help her catch a rat, but must pretend an engagement that he plans to make real.
“Only Love” by Mary Balogh. Cleo the Widow and Jack the Major met before the war and meet again after. His brother orders Jack to marry in order to sire the male heir he cannot. Jack wants Cleo, but she agrees to be his mistress until she proves whether she can carry a child.
“Hope Springs Eternal” by Jacquie D'Alessandro. Alex has vowed to care for Penelope, whose brother died under his command. He locates her after a scandalous work she created leaves her with her reputation tattered. He offers marriage, but needs to tell her the truth about her brother.
“Fate Strikes a Bargain” by Candice Hern. Having just returned from the war, Nathanial is told by his brother to marry and sire children so the title remains in the family. He meets Phillippa who has a severe limp and is overly protected by her loving caring family. Nathanial has his own issues from the war that haunts him, but proposes marriage.
Using the same historical theme of second son bachelors returning from the war needing to sire heirs as the title older brother has no male offspring; It Happened One Season is a wonderful collection with four engaging diverse renditions to the premise. Ironically the females make each tale as they are not diamonds to the Ton but are to the men who love them.