By Lisa Kleypas
Original Publication Date: September 27, 2005
Series or Standalone: The Wallflowers #2
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
Before even starting this book, I knew I was going to love it and I was so glad to be proven right. Lillian Bowman was my favorite Wallflower from the group we were first introduced to in Secrets of a Summer Night and I was so excited to dive into her story and watch her butt heads with Lord Westcliff. It Happened One Autumn was everything I wanted and more – truly a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance!
Lillian Bowman, an outspoken wealthy American heiress, has struggled to find a husband in the stoic, stuffy British aristocracy, which is what lead her to band together with the other Wallflowers, Annabelle, Evie and her sister Daisy, in Secrets of a Summer Night. Marcus, Lord Westcliff, is exactly the stuck-up, entitled aristocrat that Lillian cannot abide. Of course, this is the perfect setup for the two of them to fall in love. I adored both these characters so much – I loved how Lillian wasn’t afraid to speak her mind or be herself and I loved that Marcus had depth and when he cares for someone he goes all in for them.
This book picks up almost immediately after the action in Secrets of A Summer Night, where we were first introduced to both Lillian and Marcus. During the course of the previous book, you could see the mutual dislike between the two of them as they view the other as the exact opposite of what they wanted in a partner. Those feelings carry over into the beginning of this book, even though they are fighting an undeniable attraction to each other under that disdain.
In this book, Lillian and Marcus are once again thrown together at a house party. Beyond that, I really can’t tell you what the plot was as it seemed to be purely sustained by their romance – and I am totally okay with that as I was invested in their relationship. I think there was some subplot involving perfume, but honestly who knows – this book was all about Marcus and Lillian in my eyes.
Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes in romance and this book is an example of that trope at its finest. I loved watching Marcus and Lillian go toe-to-toe, as they’re both incredibly strong-willed individuals and felt evenly matched. The attraction between the two of them was practically jumping off the page and every time they argued I just wanted them to kiss already. I loved how their relationship progressed throughout the book – the pacing was perfect and I felt the feelings progressed naturally. The sexual tension was amazing in this book as they were both in denial for different reasons about their feelings, so when they finally act on it and admit their feelings it was incredibly rewarding. I also loved peeling back the stoic exterior that Marcus presents to the world and seeing him realize that pedigree and title isn’t what he wants in his life.
The end of this book was also freaking wild! Lisa Kleypas keeps surprising me with her endings as they truly go places I do not expect. I don’t want to say what happens as I really enjoyed living in the overly dramatic moments of it, but suffice to say it feels like something that would happen in a soap opera. I’ll be interested to see how Kleypas redeems St. Vincent, one of Marcus’ friends and an intolerable rogue who we meet in this book and plays a pretty massive part in the ending, as he’s the hero of the next book and I think I’m going to need a lot of convincing to like him.
This book was literally everything I hoped it would be and more! I feel like I could keep gushing about it but I think I’m going to leave it here. I’ll definitely be rereading this when I’m in the mood for an enemies-to-lovers story as the chemistry, banter and plot kept me so engaged. I love Lisa Kleypas’ writing style as well as she does such a great job with her characters and dialogue that it keeps me hooked and invested from page one.
If you’re looking for a prime example of the enemies-to-lovers trope, pick up this one!