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Dreaming of You
     

Dreaming of You

4.6 243
by Lisa Kleypas
 

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When shy and secluded author Sara Fielding ventures from her country cottage to research a novel, she inadvertently witnesses a crime in progress—and manages to save the life of the most dangerous man in London.

Derek Craven is a powerful and near-legendary gambling club owner who was born a bastard and raised in the streets. His reputation is unsavory, his

Overview

When shy and secluded author Sara Fielding ventures from her country cottage to research a novel, she inadvertently witnesses a crime in progress—and manages to save the life of the most dangerous man in London.

Derek Craven is a powerful and near-legendary gambling club owner who was born a bastard and raised in the streets. His reputation is unsavory, his scruples nonexistent. But Sara senses that beneath Derek's cynical exterior, he is capable of a love more passionate than her deepest fantasies.

Aware that he is the last man that an innocent young woman should ever want, Derek is determined to protect Sara from himself, no matter what it takes. But in a world where secrets lurk behind every shadow, he is the only man who can keep her safe. And as Derek and Sara surrender to an attraction too powerful to deny, a peril surfaces from his dark past to threaten their happiness . . . and perhaps even their lives.

Together they will discover if love is enough to make dreams come true.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380773527
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/30/2003
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
84,947
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Dreaming of You

Chapter One

The lone figure of a woman stood in the shadows. She leaned against the wall of a crumbling lodging house, her shoulders hunched as if she were ill. Derek Craven′s hard green eyes flickered over her as he came from the back-alley gaming hell. Such a sight wasn′t unusual in the streets of London, especially in the rookery, where human suffering was visible in all its variety. Here, a short but significant distance from the splendor of St. James, the buildings were a crumbling mass of filth. The area was crawling with beggars, prostitutes, swindlers, thieves. His kind of people.

No decent female would be found here, especially after dusk. But if she was a whore, she was dressed strangely for it. Her gray cloak parted in the front to reveal a high-necked gown made of dark cloth. The lock of hair that strayed from beneath her hood was an indistinct brown. It was possible she was waiting for an errant husband, or perhaps she was a shopgirl who had lost her way.

People glanced furtively at the woman, but they passed her without breaking pace. If she remained here much longer, there was no doubt she would be raped or robbed, even beaten and left for dead. The gentlemanly thing to do would be to go to her, inquire about her well-being, express concern for her safety.

But he was no gentleman. Derek turned away, striding along the broken pavement. He had grown up in the streets--born in the gutter, nursed through infancy by a group of ragged prostitutes, and educated in his youth by criminals of every kind. He was familiar with the schemes used to prey upon the unwary, the few efficient moments it took to rob a man and crush his throat. Women were frequently used in such plots as bait or lookouts, or even assailants. A soft feminine hand could do a great deal of damage when it was wrapped around an iron cudgel, or when it clutched a stocking weighted with a pound or two of shot.

Gradually Derek became aware of footsteps close behind him. Something about them caused a warning prickle along his spine. Two sets of heavy footsteps, belonging to men. Deliberately he changed his pace, and they adjusted to match. They were following him. Perhaps they had been sent by his rival Ivo Jenner to cause mischief. Swearing silently, Derek began to round a comer.

As he expected, they made their move. Swiftly he turned and ducked beneath the drive of a clenched fist. Relying on instinct and years of experience, he shifted his weight to one leg and lashed out with his booted foot, striking a blow to the assailant′s stomach. The man gave a muffled gasp of surprise and staggered back. Whipping around, Derek lunged for the second man, but it was too late . . . He felt the thud of a metal object on his back and a blinding impact on his head. Stunned, he fell heavily to the ground. The two men crawled over his twitching body.

"Do it quick," one of them said, his voice muffled. Struggling, Derek felt his head pushed back. He struck out with a clenched fist, but his arm was pinned to the ground. There was a slash across his face, a dull roar in his ears, hot wetness flowing in his eyes and mouth . . . his own blood. He sputtered a groaning protest, writhing to free himself from the searing pain. It was happening too quickly. He couldn′t stop them. He had always been afraid of death, for somehow he had known it would come like this, not in peace, but in pain and violence and darkness.

Sara stopped to read through the information she had gathered so far. Peering through her spectacles, she puzzled over the new cant words she had heard that night. The language of the street changed quickly from year to year, an evolving process that fascinated her. Leaning against a wall for privacy, she pored over the notes she had made and scribbled a few corrections with her pencil. The gamblers had referred to playing cards as "flats" and had cautioned each other to watch out for the "crushers," which was perhaps intended to describe policemen. One thing she hadn′t figured out yet was the difference between "rampsmen" and "dragsmen," both words used to refer to street thieves. Well, she would have to find out . . . it was imperative that she use the correct terms. Her first two novels, Mathilda and The Beggar, had both been praised for their attention to detail. She would not want her third, as yet untitled, to be faulted for inaccuracies.

She wondered if the men coming and going from the gambling hell would be able to answer her questions. Most of them were quite disreputable, with unshaven faces and poor hygiene. Perhaps it would be unwise to ask them anything--they might not welcome an interruption in their evening revels. On the other hand, she needed to talk to them for the sake of her book. And Sara was always careful not to judge people by outward appearances.

Suddenly she was aware of a disturbance near the corner. She tried to see what was happening, but the street was shrouded in darkness. After folding the sheaf of paper she had stitched together to form a little book, she slipped it into her handbag and ventured forth curiously. A torrent of crude words brought color to her cheeks. No one used such language in Greenwood Corners except old Mr. Dawson, when he drank too much spiced punch at the annual town Christmas festival.

There were three figures engaged in a struggle. It appeared that two men were holding a third on the ground and beating him. She heard the sounds of fists pounding on flesh. Frowning uncertainly, Sara clutched her reticule as she watched. Her heart began to pound like a rabbit′s.

Dreaming of You. Copyright © by Lisa Kleypas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Johanna Lindsey
Wonderfully refreshing...I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

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Dreaming of You 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 243 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I have read it 3 times.
It's an unlikely and wonderful love story between an independent, compassionate bluestocking and a hardened, cynical, street educated gambling house owner.
Often times misidentified by the public as the heroine of her famous and popular novel, "Matilda", Sara Fielding falls hard for Derek Craven after rescuing him from a knife attack while she's researching her next novel on the dark streets of London.
Unable to help himself, Derek falls even harder for her but, 'for her own good' makes her return to her fiance and quiet life in her village. However, thanks to a little meddling by Lady Lily 'Lawless' Raiford (nee Lawson, of 'Then Came You' fame) Sara manages to see him again at a party where he again fights his love for her, sends her away, only to rush to her aid and rescue her from certain assault.
Derek and Sara end up marrying (to "save" her reputation) and their love for each other only deepens as they learn more about each other and realize that their differences are what binds them together, completing themselves as individuals and as a couple.
Derek is astounded that Sara actually loves him for himself and not what he can give her. Having raised himself out of the gutters and worst dregs of London, he dreads the day that Sara will surely be taken from him as he deems himself undeserving.
The evil machinations of a scorned ex-lover of Derek's almost shatters their world, but in the end only strengthens their love and commitment for each other, particularly Derek who is finally able to allow himself to love Sara without reservation or fear. A very good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Lisa Kleypas, and consider her my favorite author. And this book stand apart from the rest as truly superb. Doesn't follow the normal recipe of most romances. Be ready for surprises and truly a ton of fun.
Loves2ReadKR More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 3 days (a feat, considering that I am going to school and having time to read anything other than school books is rare). It was a wonderful book that I would highly recommend. As the reader, I found myself falling in love with Derek and wanting to be Sara's friend. Their stark contrasting differences are what make them such an odd but perfect pair. "We're eccentric in our own ways, but somehow we fit together. I'm certain that an ordinary marriage wouldn't have done for either of us." -Sara The characters were well-developed and had a real depth to them. The story tells the tale of Derek Craven and Sara Fielding. Sara, a recluse author, and Derek, the owner of THE gambling club, find themselves thrown together after Sara comes across Derek being attacked in an alley. Sara has traveled to London in order to do research for her new book. As she is heading back to the place she is residing while in London, Sara comes across Derek being attacked. As the events unfold, Derek finds Sara in his club gathering information. Derek's desire grows, just as Sara's affection for Derek does. Beneath Derek's rough exterior and shady past is a man who longs for something he believes he will never have. After a masked assembly at the club, Sara is told to leave. Derek's longing to keep Sara safe from himself forces him to send her home. Back in her tiny village, Sara tries to forget Derek by becoming engaged to a real mama's boy, who had courted her for four years. When being asked to attend an event at Lily Raiford's home, Sara finds herself face to face with Derek. He still believes her to be too good for him. A burned ex-lover of Derek's has been seeking revenge for Derek's dismissal and leads to Sara being attacked. As a result, Sara confesses her love for Derek and tells him to take a chance on her. They are married. More excitement follows, culminating in a charged ending. This book was engaging from the beginning to the end. I had read Then Came You and was not overly fond of Derek. I had no real like or dislike for him. However, this book looks much deeper at who Derek is and what is behind his extraordinary drive. Sara patient and loving personality is a great match for Derek's hard edges. Lisa Kleypas created a real piece of art that was impossible to put down. It was a beautiful story that was never boring. Probably the best book I have read by her so far!
AvidBookworm More than 1 year ago
Lisa Kleypas' novel, "Dreaming of You" is a great love story between two very different people.

Sara Fielding is a shy, gentle, and gifted novelist who is raised in the country where she is somewhat sheltered by her parents and suitor of four years. She travels to London to do research on her latest project, a book about gambling. During her research, she encounters Derek Craven, an extremely wealthy owner of an exclusive gambling club in London.

Derek is an extremely complex character. He was abandoned as a child and raised by prostitutes. He's had to beg, borrow, and steal to elevate himself from rags to riches.

Through a series of events, these two characters develop a love for one another, but Derek struggles to overcome his insecurities and fully express his love for Sara.

This story is great in so many ways. You see the characters grow throughout the novel, take risks, and fall deeply in love during their journey. I loved how Kleypas developed both characters, and I found myself rooting for them throughout the book. It's a quick read that's packed with exciting events and heartfelt emotion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is book 2 in the gambler series and I recommend reading book 1 first. The first book introduces Derek and I was captivated by his character.This book has it all...drama, romance, innocent female, steamy chemistry and above all Derek! The best love story ever. Kleypas is an excellent writer and this is one of her best. Just read it you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great author. Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has everything you would want from a romance novel I highly recommend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this down. This is my first Lisa Kleypas, but trust me it won't be my last.
Tracy_St_Davids More than 1 year ago
Derek Craven is HOT and Sara is a charming heroine. How can anyone not LOVE this book. Must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a historical romance fan, you must check this book out. It is among the best Kleypas has written. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is light reading, and for what it is - a romance novel- its better than average. I have found that to be the case with most of the books written by this author.I give it 3 stars based on how it rates in comparison to other romance novels. The book is written according to formula- unconventional heroine meets attractive conflicted man- they fall in love,overcome the evil designs of a villan and live happily ever after. The reason I gave it 3 stars was because I felt that in this book the author was to melodramatic. Derek Craven sitting in the dark with one of the house wenches who looked like his lady love and calling her by his lovers name....a little bit to much even for this kind of book.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
We are first introduced to Derek Craven's character in "Then Came You" and saw a touch of the depth of emotion of which he was capable. Due to his upbringing, he is uncertain of his worth and because of that rejects the person he could have loved. It was what needed to be since it was obvious Lily and Alex belonged together. However, after reading that novel, it was impossible not to wonder when it would be Derek's turn.

And this is it. This is his turn. Time has passed and yet Derek still believes himself to be an unworthy man. Sara Fielding, a novelist, enters his life, first by rescuing it, and then by infiltrating herself into his gaming club in order to conduct research for her novel. She is innocent without being too much of an ingenue or too naive. She is open, idealistic, and refreshing. She doesn't try to change or reform who he is. She accepts him in a way even he can't accept.

This is really his story. His struggle to accept and give love. The brilliance in this book is that neither character is a parody of certain traits. They are completely developed and complicated. Neither can be summed up in a stereotype for each breaks a mold in one way or another. Very fine read.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Lots of twists and turns. Looking forward to finding out about Evangeline.
Midniteiz99 More than 1 year ago
I spent my entire day listening to this compelling novel! After listening to the audio sample of this book, I bought not only the book, but the audio as well, and I'm so glad I did! For my first book by Lisa Kleypas, this one has me hooked on her writing style and creative characters. "Dreaming of You" is packed with a myriad of unexpected possibilities, depth, and a completely out of the ordinary romantic love story and I would refer this book to anyone interested in a delightful, fast moving, action packed romantic novel. I must say, Roslyn Landor did a wonderful job bringing all of these characters to life through her talent of storytelling, her knowledge of the varied accents and correct pronunciation of the language used by these characters, which of course fueled my imagination while listening. If I had read the book first, I'd say it was a real page turner, but since I listened to the audio version first, I can only say I didn't want to put it down until the end of the story. Now, ill just miss the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters and romance! Kleypas is such a great writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book very much.
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I enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and their love story. Over 200 pages on my nook. If you're looking for love, drama and a happy ending, this book is for you.
Ariana1 More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite historical romance. Lisa Kleypas is as good as it gets. I read this book at least once every year. Everyone should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in two nights, such great characters and plot. I'm so glad I found this little treasure to escape into.
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