Click here to read reviewer Megan Duncan's take on It Happened One Night.
It Happened One Night contains four romantic stories based on a similar theme - that of two people meeting randomly at an inn ten years after they last saw each other. Each story approaches the subject differently and with variable success.
Stephanie Laurens' story, 'The Fall of Rogue Gerrard,' has a reformed rake meeting up with an important woman from his youth. Lydia Makepeace is known as a sensible woman, rather on the shelf, and so it's a real surprise to Ro Gerarrd to discover she's planning to break into a country house to steal back some indiscrete letters that her sister wrote. Of course, Ro considers it his duty to help Lydia, but
he finds that spending time with her might bring him more than he bargained for. This
is a good story if at times improbable, with the relationship between the central characters
being fairly convincing.
Mary Balogh's 'Spellbound' isn't quite up to her usual standard, for this reader at least. The story feels familiar: an estranged husband-and-wife couple meet randomly at an inn and rekindle their relationship, discovering the web of lies and misunderstandings that has kept them apart. The story contains Balogh's usual excellent writing style but
is missing that certain extra quality of emotional depth that she usually offers.
Jacquie D'Allesandro's 'Only You' is very enjoyable, a story of youthful friends whose completely different stations
separate them. Cassandra Heywood married an Earl, and her life was a misery. Her childhood playmate Ethan Baxter, a stable hand, has made a life for himself as an inn owner. When Cassandra stops at Ethan's inn, they rekindle their friendship and discuss the ten years that have passed since they last saw each other - but can the countess and the innkeeper have a future together? The emotion and personalities of the hero and heroine in this story
are well described, and it's an enjoyable read.
Candice Hern's 'From This Moment On' is a bit of an odd read. We seem to be
eavesdropping on a lot of reminiscing as former lovers Captain Sam Pellow and Wilhelmina, Duchess of Hertford, find themselves together at an inn. Conveniently for the reader, they rehash their entire history, explaining why they were separated as youngsters and what has kept them apart in the intervening time. Although reasonably written, and despite being the shortest story in this collection, I actually found it a bit boring in places, and there
wasn't enough plot to hold my interest.
As usual with a book such as this that contains stories by different authors,
the quality varies. It is nonetheless interesting to see the different take that each author brings to the same overall theme
- an enjoyable read.