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Posted October 27, 2009
What if becomes what is!
We spend so much of our lives rethinking the decisions and choices we make and find ourselves saying "I should have done this" or "I could have done that". But how many times do we ask ourselves "What If"? Not a complicated or detailed thought just a simple "what if"..
What if the past is something you have to be able to shake off and you are struggling to deal with the emotional baggage brought on by an emotionally stagnant father who suddenly appears back in your life. What if you fear relationships and always leave before your partner does for fear of being deserted. What if you are searching for love and it turns out it could be the man you have always regarded as your best friend. What if nothing is turning out as planned? That is allot of what ifs for Lana Biel to handle and they all coming at her - crashing to the fore front of her life when instead of her sister Karin having a baby it turns out Lana is pregnant by a man she doesn't even know the last name of.
Lana was supposed to be a world traveler and experience life to the fullest not stuck in Vermont with her sister as a salesperson in the wildflower business. But now she finds herself with all this responsibility hanging over her head and all the past issues she never faced challenging her and now she has to decide where to take her life from here. Can she parent or does she even want to parent. Her sister Karin does and has tried everything possible to get pregnant and now Lana is carrying the baby she so desperately wants and unexpected conflicts arise in their relationship at a time when Lana needs her the most.
She has spent so many years running from one unstable relationship to another all the while avoiding the one person that has been her rock and best friend - Eli. They have danced around a relationship forever and now Eli wants to confront it but as usual Lana is afraid that the best thing in her life will change if she and Eli become more to one another but what if it does change and that change is not bad but beautiful. Is Lana strong enough to take that step and let Eli into her heart as well as her life? Eli has always loved Lana and spent too many years pining for her and trying to get her attention and take the relationship from friendship to lovers. But in the end what if Lana let's things come together as they should despite all the rocky roads she has traveled and that one huge what if becomes a what is!
This book has a wonderful WOW factor to it. It speaks to you with a whisper as opposed to a roar and takes you on an emotional ride where you find yourself hopelessly in love with all these characters and relating to all the questions they are facing. There is intimacy between the main characters that is written without much detail yet you feel the warmth and love pour over the pages and tear at your heart. The grief and angst with the father that returns is heart breaking and when Ms. Dale describes the misery this man caused his daughters you are weeping the statement is that powerful.
Mary Gramlich ("The Reading Reviewer") www.marygramlich.com
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2010
Very real and endearing characters in a heart-warming love story
Lana and Eli have been best friends forever. And even though they slept together once in college, Lana has made sure that mistake never happened again. She's determined that Eli will be the one constant in her life, no matter what.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When Lana suddenly finds herself pregnant, she turns to Eli for support, but finds he's no longer the man she knew. Eli finally wants more, but Lana isn't sure how to handle his new demands. When her sister Karin has a little too much to say about her ability to raise a child, and the father who neglected them both as kids shows up out of nowhere, Lana is more confused than ever. Could she raise this child she's coming to love more and more, or is adoption her only choice?
It Happened One Night is one of those rare books that I found impossible to put down. I felt drawn into the very real situations these people found themselves in. Lana and Karin both had to deal with an unnatural upbringing, and their behavior as adults is still dysfunctional. I could easily see how Lana needed her freedom and Karin needed family stability after what they both went through. Eli also showed courage in facing his own part in maintaining his relationship with Lana, and determining to change things for the better.
I don't normally gravitate towards romance novels, because I find the plots a little shallow, but the depth of this story was surprising and refreshing. I highly recommend It Happened One Night and I look forward to reading more of Lisa Dale's novels.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
A Touching Love Story!
If you're looking for an unpredictable romance, this is the book for you. I was captivated from page one. This is one of those 'can't put down' books, so make sure you have time to read it when you start.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This was my first book of Lisa Dale's, and I can tell you that it won't be my last! Lisa Dale's writing style is beautiful and the characters in this book are very believable - they seem so real. You get to know each of them on a personal level and you feel as if you've known them forever. I felt like I was right there with Lana, experiencing everything that she experienced throughout the book. My heart hurt for Eli but was filled with so much hope too. I honestly didn't like Karin (Lana's sister) at first, but throughout the book, I began to understand her pain and suffering, and by the end, I came to like her.
This is a very real, moving, and compelling story. I recommend this book to anyone who is a romance fan.
Posted December 12, 2009
A Wonderful and Heartwarming read
I really did love this book. From the characters to the plot line, this book had it all! I loved all the characters and adding Karin's (the sister) point of view, made it all that much more interesting. The bonds between Eli and Lana were so touching and romantic. I love how he was there for her for no matter what she needed and that he put her happiness first.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2009
Wonderful Story By Lisa Dale
This my first book of Lisa Dale's and it WON'T be my last. Her other book Simple Wishes is next on my to be read pile.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This is truly a story of love and relationships and their impact on families. The main character is Lana Biel. She is a young single woman who has to make the hardest decision of her life early on in the book-should she have her baby from a one night fling or give it up for adoption. Her one big dream in life was to be a world traveler but now those dreams are dashed away. Lana's second dilemma is whether to tell her married sister Karin, whom has been obsessed with getting pregnant with no success.Their childhood was difficult due to their mother's death and they were left with their non attentive father. Karin wants to adopt Lana's baby but somehow it doesn't feel right to Lana. By this time there was no way to put down the book-I was hooked.
Lana's best friend Eli Ward has been in love with Lana for a long time. They had one night together in college which turned out terribly. Ever since then Eli's only been Lana's best friend. Lana tells Eli she's pregnant with another man's child which could end all hope of Eli being anymore than Lana's friend. Eli becomes very attentive and possessive to Lana not wanting to lose his love for her.
You'll feel compelled to finish the story to find out if indeed there is a happy ending. Lisa Dale has a wonderful way of pulling all the characters together.
Posted December 10, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Great story about different kinds of love
It's a really great book about relationships and different kinds of love. I wasn't sure what I thought about the main character Lana at the beginning, I couldn't understand her way of thinking and her behaviour. But after few pages, things started to make sense to me and I could connect with her and understand her. I loved her best friend Eli from the beginning, I could empathize with him. He was so in love and didn't know what to do with his relationship with Lana. Lana's sister Karin was everything you expect from the person that cannot have a child. Although her husband suffered as well I don't think he could understand her hurt. She tried to be supportive to her sister but just couldn't overcome her wish for her own baby. I didn't like Lana and Karin's father and I just couldn't fathom his change of attitude towards his daughters. Relationship between Lana and Karin is a real sister love but since Karin was the older and had to take care of Lana during their childhood she did have an attitude of a mother. I think she was too nosy for my taste and didn't understand Lana's way of life. The story is moving, real and compelling - once you start reading it you won't be able to put it down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
As I said, it really is a story about family, friendship and love. I recommend it to anyone who wants an emotional read with obligatory (but reasonable) happy ending.
Posted December 2, 2009
It Happened One Night By Lisa Dale
Lana Biel and Eli Ward have been best friends for a long time but things change between them, the feelings they have for each other become stronger.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Eli has been in love for a long time but when Lana gets pregnant by another guy he doesn't know if this is the right time to tell her. He doesn't know how she'll react. Lana has fears, deep seeded fears of abandonment because of her rough childhood.
Eli is the perfect alpha male for this story; his character is sweet, charming as well as seductive and possessive.
Lana has a sister named Karin who was with her through a troubled childhood after their mother died and they were both forced to live with their father who was not much of a father. I disliked their father right from the start and when he comes back towards the end of the book, I still disliked his character.
Karin seriously wants a baby and it seems she is jealous when her sister gets pregnant, even to the point of wanting to adopt the baby for herself.
I found myself unable to put the book down half way through it because I really wanted to know what was going to happen to these very likable characters. I was hoping for the happy ending and Lisa Dale didn't disappoint me.
From the beginning of the novel when you are just getting to know the players through the middle of the book when you really feel sorry for the troubles these people have had to go through to get to this point in their lives, to the end of the book when you just can't put it down because you want to make sure they all get their happy ending, Lisa Dale takes you along for a ride you don't want to put down.
Posted December 2, 2009
It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale
It Happened One Night is an awesome read. Lisa's writing is very unique and she has a way of making you feel like the story you're reading is about you. It sort of feels like Deja VuWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Lana and Eli are two beautiful people to read about and once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. I finished it in two days.
It would make a great Christnas gift because it's a very relaxing read that would be perfect to read after the non stop holiday season.
Posted December 2, 2009
It happened one Night Is Wonderful !
The story is wonderful about today's daliy living,choices that everyone from time to time has to make.Be it to forgive, or Learn to live as a family no matter what different problems each family member may have . hope to look forward to being happy with one's self and to live with what choices you stand by.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Learning not to live in the past but learning to go forward.
This story is about so much more ,you read with an open mind and see yourself or someone you know or known in it, you hope that the story will go on and you find yourself hoping to read more.
Lisa Dale has done a wonderful job with this one. It is a book that everyone should read. it is perfect for the holidays that are coming up soon.
Posted December 2, 2009
A truly captivating book!
A truly captivating book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
What I liked most about this book was the simple to follow storyline, how the characters had a very interesting background, and that they interacted very well together.
The story moved along at a nice pace, very descriptive, yet not overdone. The story was predictable in the sense that you hoped that the two main characters, Lana and Eli, would end up together, yet there was enough confusion on both of their parts to keep them apart for a good part of the book.
Love has never come easy for Lana. She grew up in a household where she felt and was treated like a piece of furniture, rather than a living, breathing, and loving young girl. The only two people Lana has ever trusted are her sister Karin and her best bud Eli. So Lana treated any other relationship that she was in as a throw away. She didn't get attached and she moved on before it could become anything more.
Eli met Lana while in college where they instantly formed an everlasting friendship. Over the last 10 years, Eli has been fighting his feelings for Lana. He has finally admitted to loving her, to himself, anyway, but deciding to tell Lana has been causing its own internal issues with him. When the time is right, he will put it all out there and hope that she feels the same way.
Both Lana and Eli have busy lives. Sometimes, Eli would be out of town for weeks and months on end. Upon his return, he always contacted Lana so that they could get together and catch up.
Karin, Lana's older sister, has issues of her own. She's been married for three years to a man she loves and has finally opened, and is managing, a very successful business. It's at this point that Karin decides it is time to start the family she has always wanted. Problem number one, her body does not seem to think that this is the right time. So time after time, month after month, her period arrives and she is confronted with the realization that she is not going to become a mother anytime soon. She is so consumed by becoming a mother that she doesn't look at the signs that her marriage is suffering.
Life in this little Vermont town is about to change, at least for Lana, when she discovers that she is pregnant. How is she going to handle this inconvenience and what is she going to say to her sister Karin? You will enjoy the story that Lisa Dale tells in this wonderful book. Enjoy!
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Posted December 2, 2009
Lisa Dale is a wonderful new author. I recommend both of her books and look forward to her next. Real story and characters. The author has a smooth and fresh writing style.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
As Summer Turns to Winter
It Happened One Night reminds me of Dorothy's continued refrain "There's No Place Like Home". To paraphrase, if one goes seeking one's heart's desire they might find it was there all along. As a romance, I think this book succeeds. The dynamics of unrequited love on Eli's part. The damsal in distress on Lara's part. Both in her unfulfilled dreams and in her pregnancy. And the third part of the triangle Lara's sister. Each character seems to be pining for something that they have not attained in their lives. Yet, it seems that life may have other plans while each of them is intent on other goals. Many stories are able to create a likability for the characters but I think this story succeeds in not doing that. I found myself growing inpatient with each of them. Primarily because they seemed to not appreciate the situation life had given them and live in it. It's a good book to put on one's winter reading list.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 4, 2009
Beyond Friendship and Family and Straight into Human Nature
Author Lisa Dale grew up in rural Northwestern New Jersey before attending McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. She worked briefly in publishing before going back to school to get an MFA in fiction at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Other titles include: Simple Wishes. Lisa resides in New Jersey with her fiancé, Matt.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Lana Biel has always had dreams of traveling the world and leaving Vermont behind. After a rocky and lonely childhood, because it was her sister that got her through, Lana has stayed at home until she feels her sister will have all her dreams too. But when a brief romantic fling ends in pregnancy, she finds it not only changing her life plans, but her relationship with her best friend Eli too. Eli Ward has always been there for Lana, but what started out as friendship years ago is turning into something more, something neither of them is prepared for. Eli and Lana must find a way to move past their insecurities and doubts before true love passes them by, because sometimes, love finds you when you least expect it.
Typically I don't comment on cover design, but I must say that I was impressed with this one. At the beginning of every chapter there is a little blurb fact about a flower, since the main character owns her own nursery, which I found clever. The only flaw I have for the book was Lana's sister, Karin. I found her utterly grating, which I believe was intentional, even despite her past and partly understand her reasoning.
I had the great pleasure of reviewing Lisa's other book, Simple Wishes, and was very much looking forward to this one. Lisa has an astute and perceptive way with characterization that makes her books not only stand out from the rest, but leave you feeling as if you've been put through an emotional ringer. Going beyond friendship and family, this insightful story beautifully illustrates why people are the way they are. Very attuned to human nature and her surrounds, this book reads like bittersweet poetry. From the setting, to dialog, to the characters- readers will wish that the story never ends. I love the way that Vermont is depicted here, not only in spring and summer, but winter as well. An engaging and bittersweet story- not to be missed!
Author and Reviewer
Posted October 29, 2009
This is a fascinating Vermont contemporary extended family drama
Lana Biel dreams of seeing the world, but is devoted to helping her married sister Karin run their wildflower farm. Karin dreams of having a family but so far has not conceived. Lana ponders over living in Burlington and realizes she is not living her dream, but that of Karins'; she wants out without hurting her sibling but has no way to do so.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Lana becomes pregnant, but has doubts about raising a child especially as a single mom; besides she fears an infant will nuke her plans to leave Vermont. She turns to her best Eli Ward for advice as she has already ruled out an abortion. However, Eli has his own issue as he wants to tell Lana he loves her, but fears his revelation could result in the end of their friendship.
This is a fascinating Vermont contemporary extended family drama that is wildflower refreshed by the two sisters, who are realistic especially with their self indulgent whines (somewhat overdone with no cheese) making both of them not particularly likable. They make the tale as ironically Eli is a likeable player, but seems underdeveloped. Not an easy read, It happened One Night is a deep look at what happens to people when dreams are not fulfilled and even when they are.
Posted February 13, 2010
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Posted April 9, 2011
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