Saturday, January 26, 2008
Dreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas
Derek Craven is one of the most beloved heroes of Lisa Kleypas, I read his story a long time ago and this month I decided it was time for a reread.
In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Fielding 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.
The thing with Derek Craven is that he totally steals every scene he is in. He is almost larger than life. Having a very shadowy past behind him and having amassed a fortune that never seems enough he doesn't apologize for what he is.
Sara Fielding would at first seem very unsuited to be his life partner. She is a genteel young lady born and bred in the country and naive in the ways of the world even if she writes about it's worst aspects.
We they meet we can see the differences but also believe the attraction. They complement each other and each of them has something the other wants and needs. They both fight it at first, Derek because he is unused to have feelings for a woman and finds his attraction to the "mouse", as he calls Sara, something he has to fight against. And Sara because she is engaged to someone else. It's interesting that when that mutual attraction is acknowledged by them it's Sara, the shy mouse, that wants to live up to them, and not Derek, who despite being much more forward doesn't believe he deserves or will be able to make her happy. I think one of Kleypas strong points is the chemistry between her heroes and heroines. She always makes us believe the love story no matter how unlikely it may seem at first.
I remember that when I first read the book one of the things that kept it from being totally perfect was the presence of the evil villain. I had read my share of evil villains by then and it's something I don't enjoy. I must say I wasn't bothered this time especially because she allowed shy mouse Sara to reveal helself a tigress in the end. In a way Sara becomes more real than Derek as she seems to have, to me, more familiar emotions and she grows through the book to become totally confident in her own skin!