I often get romance suggestions from Barbara, one of my co-workers who is a huge romance reader. She was cleaning out the paperbacks at work when she came across this title and told me to try it. She said it is old but it is one of those books that she has read and re-read, so I gave it a try. And I’m glad I did.
Sara Fielding lives with her elderly parents in a small English town out in the country. She has been hoping that a local young man would propose, but after four years she is beginning to give up. Sara is also a novelist, writing under a pen name, and her most famous book is about a prostitute.
Sara has a curious nature and a soft spot for the downtrodden, and she tries to highlight the social issues of the day in her novels. She has decided to write a new book about the popular gambling hells, and takes herself off to London to do some research. The most famous and opulent gaming hell of all is Craven’s, and the owner is reported to be one of the richest men in England.
Derek Craven came from lowly beginnings and created an empire, not an easy thing to do then. He has never married, preferring to have affairs with married women, ending them the minute he feels they are getting too close. His childhood was brutal at best, so his rough and tumble demeanor is no surprise. What is a surprise is how taken he is with Sara and her innocence.
The innocent yet smart woman saving the damaged man is a standard in the romance genre, and this is an excellent example. I loved this book.
Note – this cover is actually an update, the book was reissued this summer and from what I can tell has been in print continuously since 2000. There are probably thousands of paperback romances that have gone out of print in that time so while that may not sound like a big deal, trust me, for a paperback romance to be in print for that long, especially to be reissued with a new cover 15 years later, is a very big deal. But having read it, I completely understand. If you like historical romance, please add this to your reading list, you will be very glad you did.
8/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
DREAMING OF YOU by Lisa Kleypas. Avon; Reissue edition (June 30, 2015). ISBN 978-0380773527. 400p.