It Happened One Autumn (Wallflower Series #2)

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflower Series #2)

by Lisa Kleypas

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It Happened One Autumn (Wallflower Series #2) by Lisa Kleypas

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061793196
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers Series , #2
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 8,427
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

Read an Excerpt

It Happened One Autumn

By Lisa Kleypas

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Lisa Kleypas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061259330

Chapter One

Stony Cross Park, Hampshire

"The Bowmans have arrived," Lady Olivia Shaw announced from the doorway of the study, where her older brother sat at his desk amid stacks of account books. The late afternoon sun streamed through the long, rectangular stained-glass windows, which were the only ornamentation in the austere, rosewood-paneled room.

Marcus, Lord Westcliff, glanced up from his work with a scowl that drew his dark brows together over his coffee-black eyes. "Let the mayhem begin," he muttered.

Livia laughed. "I assume you're referring to the daughters? They're not as bad as all that, are they?"

"Worse," Marcus said succinctly, his scowl deepening as he saw that the temporarily forgotten pen in his fingers had left a large blot of ink on the otherwise immaculate row of figures. "Two more ill-mannered young women I have yet to meet. The older one, particularly."

"Well, they are Americans," Livia pointed out. "It's only fair that one should give them a certain latitude, isn't it? One can hardly expect them to know every elaborate detail of our endless list of social rules--"

"I can allow them latitude on details," Marcus interrupted curtly. "As you know, I am not the kind to fault the angle of Miss Bowman's pinkie finger as she holds her teacup. What I do take exception to are certain behaviors that would befound objectionable in every corner of the civilized world."

Behaviors? thought Livia. Now, this was getting interesting. Livia advanced farther into the study, a room that she usually disliked, because it reminded her so strongly of their deceased father.

Any recollection of the eighth Earl of Westcliff was not a happy one. Their father had been an unloving and cruel man, who had seemed to suck all the oxygen from the room when he entered it. Everything and everyone in his life had disappointed the earl. Of his three offspring, only Marcus had come close to meeting his exacting standards, for no matter what punishments the earl had meted out, no matter how impossible his requirements or unfair his judgments, Marcus had never complained.

Livia and her sister, Aline, had been in awe of their older brother, whose constant striving for excellence led him to get the highest marks in school, to break all records in his chosen sports, and to judge himself far more harshly than anyone else ever could. Marcus was a man who could break a horse, dance a quadrille, give a lecture on mathematical theory, bandage a wound, and fix a carriage wheel. None of his vast array of accomplishments, however, had ever earned a word of praise from their father.

In retrospect, Livia realized that it must have been the old earl's intent to drive every lingering touch of softness or compassion out of his only son. And it had seemed for a while that he had succeeded. However, upon the old earl's death five years ago, Marcus had proved himself to be a very different man from the one he had been reared to be. Livia and Aline had discovered that their older brother was never too busy to listen to them, and that no matter how insignificant their problems seemed, he was always ready to help. He was sympathetic, affectionate, and understanding--miraculous, really, when once realized that for most of his life, none of those qualities had ever been shown to him.

That being said, Marcus was also a bit domineering. Well . . . very domineering. When it came to those he loved, Marcus showed no compunction about manipulating them into doing what he thought was best. This was not one of his more charming attributes. And if Livia were to dwell on his faults, she would also have to admit that Marcus had an annoying belief in his own infallibility.

Smiling fondly at her charismatic brother, Livia wondered how it was that she could adore him so when he bore the physical stamp of their father so strongly. Marcus had the same harsh-hewn features, broad forehead, and wide, thin-lipped mouth. He had the same thick, raven-black hair; the same bold, broad nose; and the same stubbornly jutting chin. The combination was striking rather than handsome . . . but it was a face that attracted female gazes easily. Unlike their father's, Marcus's alert dark eyes were often filled with glinting laughter, and he possessed a rare smile that flashed startling white in his swarthy face.

Leaning back in his chair at Livia's approach, Marcus laced his fingers together and rested them on the hard surface of his stomach. In deference to the unseasonable warmth of the early September afternoon, Marcus had removed his coat and rolled up his sleeves, revealing muscular brown forearms lightly dusted with black hair. He was of medium height and extraordinarily fit, with the powerful physique of an avid sportsman.

Eager to hear more about the aforementioned behaviors of the ill-bred Miss Bowman, Livia leaned back against the edge of the desk, facing Marcus. "I wonder what Miss Bowman did to offend you so?" she mused aloud. "Do tell, Marcus. If not, my imagination will surely conjure up something far more scandalous than poor Miss Bowman is capable of."

"Poor Miss Bowman?" Marcus snorted. "Don't ask, Livia. I'm not at liberty to discuss it."

Like most men, Marcus didn't seem to understand that nothing torched the flames of a woman's curiosity more violently than a subject that one was not at liberty to discuss. "Out with it, Marcus," she commanded. "Or I shall make you suffer in unspeakable ways."

One of his brows lifted in a sardonic arch. "Since the Bowmans have already arrived, that threat is redundant."

"I'll make a guess, then. Did you catch Miss Bowman with someone? Was she allowing some gentleman to kiss her . . . or worse?"

Marcus responded with a derisive half smile. "Hardly. One look at her, and any man in his right mind would run screaming in the opposite direction."


Excerpted from It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas Copyright © 2006 by Lisa Kleypas. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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It Happened One Autumn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 284 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1843, American heiress Lillian Bowman, a card carrying member of the Wallflowers, sets her sights on marrying the ¿Ice Prince¿ Marcus. He rejects her advances as he sees her and her three Wallflower compatriots as uncouth barbarians, who think nothing about parading in front of him in their undergarments though he admits only to himself the colonist looked quite alluring.............. With his aloof put downs, Lillian concludes that her beloved is a snob who needs to be yanked down a peg or two and she, the Yank, will do so. Marcus, in turn thinks her insolence is a case of poor breeding. With all that going on it is no wonder that Lillian and Marcus are falling in love with one another, but first must put aside the boxing gloves for a moment an act neither wants to do first for fear of a low blow retaliation................ As she did with the first Wallflowers¿ historical romance (see SECRETS OF A SUMMER NIGHT), Lisa Kleypas provides her audience with a delightful Victorian tale starring two individuals in this case who detest one another at first sight. The theme is opposites might attract, but also expel as neither wants to desire the other in a classic case of reaction formation because deep inside their hearts they know they have met their soulmate, who is not the image of what they thought they wanted. The lead couple keeps the fun story line brisk as enemy combatants in love.......... Harriet Klausner
LisaKleypasFan More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a steamy, funny, and in-depth romance novel, then this is the one for you! It does lag a little at the beginning, but soon picks up, and does not slow down. The dialogue was funny, especially Lillian's colorful language. This is a perfect book for rainy days because you will not be able to put it down, or get much done. Truly enjoyed it. Since I am reading the series, I cannot say this is my favorite of the four, but so far I prefer it to the first one - Secrets of a Summer Night.
Kiko1021 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved seeing this other side of Marcus, Lord Westcliff, especially since he seemed really stuffy in Secrets of a Summer Night until the end of the story. What I liked most is just how astonished Marcus felt about his whole relationship with Lillian. She's the worst match for him possible - American, loud, and troublesome, yet he falls completely in love with her. He becomes utterly confused as to why he loves her and despite that, keeps finding himself in situations that end up working out quite well for him. I love how the story shows that once you fall in love, you can't fight it. Highly recommended for any romance novel fan.
Carly73 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I was hooked after the very first page. This book was great. It had just the right amount of romance. I wasn't expecting how funny Lillian was. There were parts that I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I was totally entertained. I couldn't put this book down. I must have read it in 2 days. A must read! You will not regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yeah, I've been waiting for this book for a year and a half. Great book. Marcus was a perfect alpha hero. He has this macho air about himself, yet he knows when he's been bitten by the 'Love Bug'. He's really mature and that's what I like about Lisa Kleypas' novels. Lillian is an American - hardheaded, outspoken, and unpolished. But she completely relieves this burden of Marcus and makes him act younger. It's wonderful to read a love story like this.
Anonymous 4 hours ago
Lillian, the heroine is annoying. I like the characters to have spunk but she is obnoxious.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Really am enjoying this series. Marcus and Lillian are featured in this book-love strong women!
Darlene491 8 months ago
You always hope & cross your fingers that the second book in a new series will live up to the successful first. With It Happened One Autumn Lisa Kleypas has happily given us a wonderful sequel & stand alone story. Lillian Bowman is a typical New Yorker, brassy, blunt, untitled and rich. The Ton would rather eat dirt than befriend our poor heroine. Marcus Westcliff has a long revered title, property, wealth, looks & is stiff as a board. Lillian's social scheming Mother has, through her rich Father, secured a place at the upcoming Westcliff house party. Marcus & Lillian spark off each other each time they speak or yell. It's a wonder Stoney Cross hasn't caught fire & burned to the ground. With one successful match taken care of it's now time for Lillian's happily ever after. With Marcus? What? Ugh, no. Well maybe, ok yes. Their game of come here I want you, go away I can't stand you will keep you amused. Lillian's parents will make you cringe more than once. One of the funniest scenes I've ever read involves Lillian, Marcus and a bottle of Pear Brandy. Don't miss a chance to continue with the wonderful Wallflower series. There's two more ladies to go & Lisa Kleypas is sure to deliver.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did it again with a another great romance!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters. Love the series
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew I was going to love this book, especially since Lillian was my favorite of the wallflowers. I was not disappointed.
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sallymel More than 1 year ago
If you are going to read this series about four women who want to find love and marriage in England, it is best to start with the first book. Unfortunately, I started with No.3 and I had to reread it to catch up with no. 1 and 2. Lisa Kleypas does well with descriptions of the early 1800's when the British aristocracy was losing their properties due to debts, the railroads were being built, young men in business and merchant enterprises were being sought after as husbands and women were being given more rights. The dialogue is very witty between the young men and women.
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Loved it
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