Dreaming of You written by Lisa Kleypas
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Series: The Gamblers #2
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She stood at danger's threshold—then love beckoned her in.
In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Feilding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven—and into Derek Craven's dangerous world.
A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from poverty to become lord of London's most exclusive gambling house—a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world—with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper "mouse" can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress—and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion...and the promise of love.
This is the first book of the series that I read and I loved it. It has to be one of the best Lisa Kleypas novels that I have read to date.
The premise is that Gothic author Sara Fielding, looking for more material for her next serial accidentally finds a man being attacked and saves him from certain death. This man is Derek Craven, a gambler turned businessman/owner of an exclusive London club. And so starts their road to finding love.
I fell in love with Derek Craven the moment I met him. Course and gruff, he is the perfect tortured hero, in my opinion. Kleypas really made him up to be a “gentleman” despite his background and his attitude towards everyone. I thought the way he was resisting Sara saying that he was not good enough for the likes of her was romantic and this part made me like him more. Growing up on the streets was not easy for him but he showed that he was a person worthy of Sara’s love by his actions.
The heroine Sara is also a likable character. Although headstrong, stubborn and naive, I thought she was the perfect pair for the tortured hero. Derek proved himself worthy of Sara’s love by not running after her right away and seducing her. Their one sexual encounter was not even his own doing! I liked the fact that he thought the person was someone else other than Sara, who was masquerading so she could attend a ball held at Craven’s.
Their love story was simple yet believable, especially since both of them are not from the aristocracy. The twist in the end was perfect, with Sara leaving and trying to marry her fiance and realizing that she had changed and didn’t want to be in a marriage where she was under her fiance’s mother.