From This Moment On

Short Story in It Happened One Night Anthology

By Candice Hern

Avon - September 2008

Historical Romance

Mary Balogh had an idea. What if four authors each wrote a short story with the same basic premise - a man and woman are reunited after ten years, and spend a twenty-four hour period together at an inn. This anthology is the result of that idea.

Captain Samuel Pellow knew it was unlikely that the duchess who had just arrived at the inn was "his" duchess, but it was she. His Willie. The girl he had grown up with, but had transformed from a village girl Wilma Jepp, to courtesan Wilhelmina Grant, and finally to the widow Wilhelmina, Duchess of Hertford.

Wilhelmina was happy to have this time with Sam. He had been her first love, but believing him lost at sea, and thrown out of her home, Willie had needed to transform herself. She had been exclusive, but there was no denying that she had allowed men to pay for her favors. Still, she had managed to find respectability with the love of the Duke of Hertford, and had been happy, and honored him, in her marriage.

From This Moment On was a story of two people reminiscing and learning of their time apart. I had a hard time with this story, probably because I could not identify with the characters. So many years had passed, and they had met a few times since they had been children. Also, Wilhelmina was just too accepting of her past. There was no contrition to the life she had chosen.

What a unique concept that Mary Balogh had which resulted in It Happened One Night. I enjoyed reading this anthology, and would be interested to see such an endeavor again.

Included in It Happened One Night are: The Fall of Rogue Gerrard by Stephanie Laurens , Spellbound by Mary Balogh, Only You by Jacquie D'Alessandro, and From This Moment On by Candice Hern.

Kathy Andrico -