Tag Archives: hero gambler

dreaming of you lisa kleypas

Historical Romance Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

historical romance review

VERY MILD SPOILERS šŸ˜‰

The Book

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas features one of her most beloved characters, Derek Craven. Derek was previously seen in Then Came You, whose reserved hero, Alex Raiford, was more to my liking. This is a beautiful romance by the talented Kleypas where two people from contrasting social classes come together in love.

The Characters and the Set-Up

Sara Fielding is a novelist in Regency-era England. She’s not ravishingly beautiful, wears spectacles, and is a rather curious woman. Her novels address the fallen people in society. Sara’s out at night in a rough London neighborhood to investigate material for her next book when she comes upon an altercation. She’s able to prevent the man from being killed, although not before his attackers cut him. The man she saves is the aforementioned hero, Derek Craven.

Craven is the owner of London’s most successful gambling house, which doubles as a house of pleasure. Far from being a traditional English lord, he’s as rough as a hero can get. Derek was born illegitimate and grew up on the streets, having to build himself up alone. He’s wealthy but certainly not part of polite society, even if some of his past mistresses are. Craven is snaggletoothed, handsome in an off-beat, rugged type of way, and speaks with a Cockney accent. I picture him as Christian Bale’s character from the film “The Prestige.”

Derek wants nothing to do with the over-inquisitive Sara. Nevertheless, she did save his life, so he owes her a favor. Derek allows Sara into his dark underworld for her research. Sara will meet Derek’s factotum, Worthy, numerous ladies-of-the-evening, and other interesting people at Craven’s.

The Plot

However, it’s the owner of the establishment she’s most keen about. And Derek can’t help but fight his growing tenderness for the innocent miss.

Sara walks around Craven’s with her pencil and notepad in hand, a naive, inquisitive creature. She asks questions about everything, from gambling to the lives of the women who work there to more personal questions about Derek.

Sara is involved with a simpering nabob, so it’s no shock she’s intrigued by the “bad-boy” Derek Craven.

Derek does not like Sara, or at least he wants her to know he feels that way. He pushes her away, despite his desperate attraction to her. Sara’s a hidden beauty with a huge heart, a heart Derek knows he can only break.

dreaming of you lisa kleypas

Because of his background, Derek thinks he’s not the man for any decent woman, especially not Sara. He wants her yet believes he’s not good enough for her.

Indeed, Sara falls for Derek and she does everything to convince him they should be together. Sara goes as far as dressing up for a masked ball at the casino/brothel, something no conventional miss would dare.

Derek has severe issues of inadequacy. He’s done much to better himself, taking language lessons and having a valet–as a proper gentleman should. But a proper gentleman is something he’ll never be. He doesn’t think he deserves Sara’s love and pushes her off to her “fiance.”

There’s also some mysterious peril afoot. Plus, a crazed, over-the-top villainess in the form of Derek’s ex-mistress, Joyce. Derek is done with Joyce, but like Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction,” she “will not be ignored!”

Will the threat of danger be what finally brings Derek and Sara together?

Separately they had different strengths. Together they were complete.

Final Analysis of Dreaming of You

Unlike many of Kleypas’ readers, although I enjoyed this captivating love story, I don’t consider Dreaming of You one of my favorites. That’s no insult since it’s akin to attempting to rank the best British rock band of all time. There are so many greats Kleypas has created over the last twenty-five years.

Kleypas excels at making swoon-worthy heroes. Derek’s protestations of affection for Sara are cruel, but the reader is always aware of how much he desires her. She consumes Derek as no other woman before (or after).

When he does declare his adoration for the lady, be prepared to melt!

I understand why Derek Craven has made so many appearances in Kleypas’ novels. He’s the kind of man you can’t forget. A self-made man who thinks himself unworthy of love and has a heart of gold. Sara is fine; she simply not as exciting to me as her co-star.

If you haven’t read this one, consider putting it on your to-be-read list. It’s a romance that will grab your heart.

4.22 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
4
Characters
4
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
4
Fun Factor
4.5
Cover
5
Overall: 4.3

Synopsis

She stood at danger’s thresholdā€”then love beckoned her in.

A prim, well-bred gentlewoman, Sara Fielding is a writer who puts pen to paper to create dreams. But now curiosity is luring her from the shelter of her country cottage into the dangerous world of Derek Cravenā€”handsome, tough, and tenaciousā€”and the most exciting man Sara has ever met.

Derek rose from poverty to become the wealthy lord of Londonā€™s most exclusive gambling house. And now duty demands that he allow Sara Fielding to enter his perilous realm of ever-shifting fortunesā€”with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But there is a hidden strength and sensuality to the lady that captivates him beyond his better judgment.

And in this world, where danger lurks behind every shadow, even a proper ā€œmouseā€ can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantressā€”and a cynical gambler can be shaken to his core by the power of passion and the promise of love.

DREAMING OF YOU BY LISA KLEYPAS
love cherish me brandewyne

Historical Romance Review: Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne

historical romance review
Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1983
Illustrator: Elaine Duillo
Book Series: Aguilar's Fate #1
Published by: Warner Books
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Western Romance
Pages: 574
Format: Paperback
Buy on: Amazon,Ā AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Historical Romance Review: Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne

TOTAL SPOILER ALERT āš 

The Book

I first read Love, Cherish Me many years ago as a teenager, so it’s a long-time favorite.

You have to read this book as a lover of the genre because Rebecca Brandewyne is at her bodice-rippiest.

Rebecca Brandewyne, Author

What I loved about many of Rebecca Brandewyne’s past romances was their baroque style. For example, every so often, she’d pose on the back of the book wearing a dress similar to what the heroine wore on the front cover.

At the beginning of the novel, a poem detailed the love story. Then there was a great list of the cast of characters. The book was broken into several parts. Then to start, there was a prologue, often with the couple together. Finally, the epic novels ended with an epilogue.

And don’t forget the Elaine Duillo cover art. In the 1980s, that was practically de rigeur for a romance diva.

What can I say? I’ve always preferred intricate, elaborate heavy metal or progressive rock rather than streamlined, gritty punk. So it’s no surprise my taste in romances is no different.

The Plot

Part One

Love Cherish Me book is a great western saga. For that reason, you can expect it to be full of murder, sex, death, and trauma. Get your hankies out, because his one is a tearjerker!

The heroine is a Southern belle named Storm Aimee Lesconflair. The hero is a dark stranger people call “Lobo,” or Wolf. On her way out West to marry a stranger, her carriage is held up, and Storm is kidnapped. But her kidnappers make a fatal mistake.

Storm’s life is decided in a fatal card game played by Lobo and her abductors.

Before she knows it, she is violently pulled into the lone gambler/gunslinger’s life.

The tale is epic, set in the epic state of Texas. Storm finds herself in one harrowing situation after another. Villains almost rape her on multiple occasions, but Wolf is there to save her.

Wolf is a dark, sexy hombre of mysterious heritage. Not only does he speak fluent Spanish, but he knows the ways of the Comanche. He also dresses in nothing but black clothes, smokes cheroots, and calls Storm “baby.”

Part Two

For a while, Storm and Lobo have an idyllic life together before circumstances separate them.

Afterward, Storm is forced to make difficult choices to survive. She becomes the unwilling bride of a man she hates.

Then tragedy strikes. Storm is accused of and put on trial for murder.

And most tragically of all, she undergoes the worst pain a mother can feel.

Will she ever find her beloved again?

Final Analysis on Love Cherish, Me

Before finally being reunited with her soul mate, Storm must face the worst a woman can encounter.

Love Cherish, Me is a companion piece to And Gold Was Ours. The latter book was swashbucklingly fun but not as great as this.

The only Brandewyne book I like more than this is her Gothic romance reminiscent of Bronte’s Wuthering HeightsUpon a Moon-Dark Moor.

The conclusion to Love Cherish Me is bittersweet. The book ends with an epilogue of Storm, Lobo, and their family who skirt the fringes of acceptable society. Brandewyne created a masterpiece of a romance here.

Love, Cherish Me wrenches all sorts of emotions from the reader. As hard as it is to describe the complicated feelings it evoked, I am forever glad to have experienced them.

5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
4.5
Writing
5
Chemistry
4.5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4.5
Overall: 4.8

SYNOPSIS:

Storm was her name and her destiny… Born on a night when lightning flashed and thunder rolled, the raven-haired beauty was sixteen before the promise of her name became the path of her life… Born to wealth, the belle of five counties wagered away to a middle-aged rancher by her wastrel uncle. On her way to Texas to marry Gabriel North, she was captured by outlaws — and wagered away again by her captor to a blue-eyed bounty hunter, a dark-skinned gunslinger called El Lobo, the wolf. A man who could kill in cold blood, then take her with fire and tenderness when she whispered to him.

LOVE CHERISH ME by REBECCA BRANDEWYNE