Title: Dreaming of You
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Published: 1994, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
I'm way behind on my reviews here. I'm feeling lazy and all I really want to do tonight is crawl into bed with a book, but I'm going to give it a shot. Sorry if it's a little bit lacking.
I've heard so much about this book. Mostly from Kristie, who pimps it like nobody's business. But it seems like pretty much everyone else loves it too. I've read two other Kleypas and they didn't do much for me. They were nice, fine, but I wasn't dying to read more. I enjoyed this one much more.
Sara Fielding is a novel writer whose books focus on the more unfortunate members of English society. As research for her next book, she starts visiting gambling houses, including
Craven's, which is the most successful in London and is owned by Derek Craven. One night, Sara comes across Derek being attacked by two thugs--seems he's had an affair with a rather horrible woman, who, when rejected, hired the thugs to mete out her vengeance. Sara shoots one of them and saves Derek. In return for this favor, she asks that she be allowed to visit the gambling house to finish her research. Though they seem to be complete opposites, Sara and Derek fall in love. And Sara must decide whether she wants to return home to marry her safe, reliable childhood sweetheart, or take on the troubled but sexy Derek Craven.
I was surprised by the amount of action in this book. The scene where Derek is attacked, when Sara goes off and gets caught up in the mob, etc., are all really well done. I wasn't expecting a page-turner, but it does have a bit of suspense.
And, like everyone else, I thought these were two great characters. Especially Derek. He's no fake rake. Born in the gutter and raised by prostitutes, he really has made his successful way in the world through hard work and ruthless bullying. I love diamond-in-the-rough stories, and this is a good one. He's not exactly amoral, but he does do some pretty appalling things. And Sara has a lot of qualms about loving him because of it, which is realistic.
I also really liked the secondary character of Lily Raiford in this one. Anyone have an opinion on her book, Then Came You?
I just voted in Kristie's poll of favorite Kleypas heroes and Derek Craven is in the lead with 56 votes. Woot! He's way better than that mamby-pamby Sebastian.