It Happened One Season by Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D'Alessandro and Candice Hern
It Happened One Season
An Anthology

It Happened One Season is an anthology of four novellas by Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Candice Hern, and Mary Balogh. It will be published by Avon in March, 2011.

Some of you may remember the anthology It Happened One Night in 2008. In it, the same four authors tried an experiment. We each wrote a story with the same basic plot line, the idea being that the resulting stories would be very different from one another. The agreed upon plot elements were that the story had to happen all within a 24-hour period, during which the hero and heroine, who last saw each other ten years ago, meet at an inn.

We had so much fun with that book that we decided to do it again—but with a twist. This time we allowed readers to suggest three-part plotlines in a competition on the Avon web site. From more than 1000 entries we chose three favorites each—twelve altogether—and then voted on one another's three to whittle the short-list down to four finalists. Then readers voted for their favorite and the plotline of the stories we would write.

The winner was Phyllis Post, and this is her winning three-part plotline:

--The younger brother of a titled lord, the hero had a career in the army but has lived as a recluse since returning from the war with France.

--The heroine is shy or unattractive and after many seasons has never had a suitor.

--The hero's brother has only daughters and asks his brother to marry in order to try to ensure that succession stays within their family.

In my novella, "Only Love", shy, unattractive Cleo Pritchard has decided that her dream of marrying a worthy man and living a life of quiet contentment with him is never going to come true. After the current Season in London, she is never again going to be a habitual wallflower at ton balls. She is going to settle down alone and make the best of her life. But at the very next ball she sees the handsome and famous hero who once, during the Napoleonic Wars, saved the life of the Duke of Wellington by taking a bullet intended for him. And Cleo has met Major Jack Gilchrist before. Indeed, he is the only man ever to have kissed her, though it happened only once and really ought not to have happened at all. Incredibly, when Jack sees her, he looks genuinely pleased.

ISBN 978-0061993374