It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
Published October 1st 2005 by Avon
More at: Goodreads
"Don't be saucy, or I won't tell you the lurid details later."
"I don't need to hear them from you," Daisy said airily. "I've been reading the novels that Lady Olivia recommended...and now I daresay I know more than you and Annabelle put together."
Lillian couldn't help laughing. "Dear, I'm not certain that those novels are entirely accurate in their depiction of men, or of...of that."
Daisy frowned. "In what way are they not accurate?"
"Well, there's not really any sort of...you know, lavender mist and the swooning, and all the flowery speeches."
Daisy regarded her with sincere disgruntlement. "Not even a little swooning?"
"For heaven's sake, you wouldn't want to swoon, or you might miss something."
Lillian Bowman has many disagreeable qualities. First, she's American, something that the staunch English peerage find amusing but not to be considered for matrimony. She's crass, verbally abrasive, fiercely independent and unyieldingly stubborn- yet more traits that tend to discourage the suit of eligible English lords. But even with her penchant for enjoying a rousing game of rounders in her knickers, a lady of sizable fortune, regardless of breeding and disposition, never goes unconsidered. However, Lillian will be damned if she's going to marry some arrogant, self-important, domineering English bastard, no matter what his title may be.
Lord Marcus, Earl of Westcliff wouldn't describe himself as an arrogant, self-important, domineering English bastard. With one of the oldest, purest bloodlines in England, his breeding is unquestionable, and his affections and title largely sought after by many husband hunting young ladies. He has a vast array of businesses, properties, estates and fortunes to oversee, meaning he simply is important and people naturally do what he says because he'd never entertain the notion that they'd do otherwise. So no, he wouldn't say he was any of the offensive things that Miss Bowman just happened to accuse him of. He is, however, firm in his opinion that Lillian Bowman is a crass, verbally abrasive, unyieldingly stubborn, incorrigible, American upstart and Lord help the man who is finally shackled with that insufferable girl.
In short- they're perfect for each other.
Here's where I gush endlessly about the absolute joy and delight that is this series. I've gushed for two books now and here's number 3. Rather this is book 2 in The Wallflowers series and each one is just as good as the last. I've read them out of order and can assure you that it doesn't matter.
The Wallflowers are a group of friends who band together to support and help each other during what can be the very trying and cutthroat ordeal of husband hunting in a London Season. Each book tells a different wallflower's story and this one gives us Lillian Bowman, daughter of a rich, American businessman. Having failed miserably at finding a husband amongst the high society in New York, her parents have carted her and her younger sister Daisy off to England in hopes of catching a lord. Lillian is unapologetically outspoken and can't stomach the idea of having a husband to rule over her. Her smart mouth continuously lands her in trouble throughout the book and that trouble somehow always involves the Earl of Westcliff, who can't help himself when it comes to finding ways to provoke her. Of course their misdeeds land them in love, but not until after a thoroughly tumultuous and unconventional courtship.
We are gifted with the inclusion of Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Devil in Winter, quite possibly the best villain/hero in a romance novel ever. If you haven't read this series, you want to just to meet St. Vincent. I adore him, even with the purely dastardly thing he does in this book. I love him all the more for doing it. He's so wonderfully evil.
Kleypas writes leading ladies that are very easy to relate to, and heros that any girl would find it impossible to resist, complete with all the saucy bits. If you're a romance lover, you have to read this series, and if you're not, this will sway you.
For more proclamations of my love for Miz Kleypas, read my book thoughts on:
Devil in Winter
Scandal in Spring