Where Dreams Begin

Where Dreams Begin

4.0 85
by Lisa Kleypas

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New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers the unforgettable, sexy tale of a brash rogue who meets his equal in a woman who knows exactly what she wants . . .

Zachary Bronson has built an empire of wealth and power. Now he is seeking a wife to help secure his position in the ton . . . as well as warm his bed in private. But not just any

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New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers the unforgettable, sexy tale of a brash rogue who meets his equal in a woman who knows exactly what she wants . . .

Zachary Bronson has built an empire of wealth and power. Now he is seeking a wife to help secure his position in the ton . . . as well as warm his bed in private. But not just any woman will do for one of London's most notorious rakes. When he meets Lady Holly Taylor, he surrenders to the temptation to take her in his arms and kiss her. Yet he's pleasantly surprised to discover her fierce passions match his own.

Lady Holly Taylor is destined to spend her life playing by society's rules even when they go against her bolder instincts. But Zachary's kiss arouses her, and though his shocking offer doesn't include marriage, she is compelled to risk everything for the most forbidden passion.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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6.72(w) x 4.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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Chapter One

London, 1830

She had to escape.

The rumble of sophisticated chatter, the blaze of chandeliers that splashed hot wax onto the dancers below and the profusion of smells that heralded the lavish supper to come, all overwhelmed Lady Holly Taylor. It had been a mistake to attend a grand social event so soon after George's death. Of course, most people would not consider three years to be "soon." She had gone through the year and a day of Deep Mourning, barely venturing from the house except to take garden walks with her small daughter Rose. She had worn black bombazine and covered her hair and face with veils that symbolized her separation from her husband and the unseen world. She had taken most of her meals alone, covered all mirrors in the house with black crepe and written letters on black-banded paper, so that every interaction with the outside world would bear the sips of her grief.

Second Mourning had come next. She had still worn all-black clothing, but had relinquished the protective veil. Then, on the third year after George's death, Holly had undergone Half Mourning, which had allowed her to wear gray or mauve, and to participate in small, inconspicuous women's activities, such as tea with relatives or close female friends.

Now that all stages of mourning were finished, Holly had emerged from the dark and comforting shelter of the grieving period into a bright social world that had become terribly unfamiliar. True, the faces and the scene were exactly as she remembered ... except that George was no longer with her. She felt conspicuous in her aloneness, uncomfortable in her new identity as the Widow Taylor. Likeeveryone else, she had always regarded widows as somber figures to be pitied, women who wore an invisible mantle of tragedy no matter what their outward attire suggested. Now she understood why so many widows who attended events like this always looked as though they wished they were somewhere else. People approached her with sympathetic expressions, offered a small cup of punch or a few consoling words and left with a discreet air of relief, as if a social duty had been performed and they were now free to enjoy the ball. She herself had done the same thing to widows in the past, wanting to be kind and yet reluctant to be affected by the desolation in their eyes.

Somehow it had not occurred to Holly that she would feel so isolated in the midst of a large gathering. The empty space beside her, where George should have been, seemed like a painfully obvious gap. Unexpectedly, a feeling akin to embarrassment came over her, as if she had stumbled into a place where she did not belong. She was half of something that had once been whole. Her presence at the ball only served as a reminder that a dearly loved man had been lost.

Her face felt stiff and cold as she inched her way along the wall toward the door of the drawing room. The sweet riot of melody the musicians played did not cheer her, as her friends bad hopefully suggested. The music only seemed to mock her.

Once Holly had danced as lightly and swiftly as the other young women here tonight, feeling as if she were flying in George's protective arms. They had been made for each other, and people had once commented with admiring smiles. She and George had been similar in size, with her own diminutive stature matched by her husband's less-than-towering frame. Although George had been average in height, be had been wonderfully fit, and so very handsome with his golden brown hair and alert blue eyes, and a dazzling smile that was never long in hiding. He had loved to laugh, dance, talk ... no ball or crush or dinner party had ever been complete without him.

Oh, George. A wet aching pressure grew behind her eyes. How lucky I was to have you. How lucky we all were. But how am I supposed to go on without you?

Well-meaning friends had pressured her to come here tonight, intending that this should begin the days of freedom from the smothering rituals of mourning. But she wasn't ready...not tonight...perhaps not ever.

Her gaze scored across the crowd, locating various members of George's family as they socialized and ate delicacies from gilded Sevres porcelain plates. His older brother, William, Lord Taylor, was escorting his wife to the drawing room, where a quadrille was about to begin. Lord and Lady Taylor were a well-suited couple, but their tepid affection did not begin to approach the genuine love that she and George had shared. It seemed that everyone in George's family -- his parents, his brothers, and their wives -- had finally recovered from his death. Enough that they could take part in a ball, laugh and eat and drink, allow themselves to forget that the most beloved member of the family was in an early grave. Holly did not blame them for their ability to carry on, now that George was gone...in fact, she envied them. How wonderful it would be to escape the invisible mantle of grief that covered her from head to toe. If not for her daughter Rose, she would never have a moment's respite from the constant ache of loss.

"Holland," came a murmur from nearby, and she turned to see George's youngest brother, Thomas. Although Thomas had the same attractive features, blue eyes and amber-streaked hair that all the Taylor men shared, he lacked the mischievous spark, the slow dazzling smile, the warmth and confidence that had made George so irresistible. Thomas was a taller, more somber version of his charismatic brother. He had been a steady source of support ever since George's death from typhoid fever.

"Thomas," Holly said brightly, forcing a smile to her stiff lips, "are you enjoying the ball?"

"Not especially," he replied, while sympathy flickered in the azure depths of his eyes. "But I believe I'm navigating it better than you, my dear. There's a pinched look on your face, as though one of your megrims is starting."

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

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Where Dreams Begin 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
AvidBookworm More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Lisa Kleypas that I¿ve read, and I was not thoroughly impressed. I'm a big fan of McNaught and Garwood's historical romance novels, and I've breezed through all of their books, so I was looking for a similar substitute. Kleypas writes a good story with interesting characters, but I just didn't care for how she developed the storyline around them.

Zachary and Holly were very likable characters, and you find yourself rooting for them from the beginning. But Kleypas makes it difficult when the heroine continues to lament over her first husband who died years before these two people met. I could understand sprinkling some of that in the beginning of the novel, but to continue on about it throughout the story eliminates the book's magical possibilities. I guess I just like the concept that two people are made for each other and no one else¿

I really liked the hero, Zachary, because he was a well developed character - very ambitious, business savvy, determined, ruthless, and strong, while still being considerate, loving and gentle with the heroine and his family.

All in all, it was an entertaining and touching story, just wished it could have eliminated some of the heroine¿s continual mourning over her dead husband. I will definitely consider other books by Kleypas though because I sense she has what it takes to capture the reader and send them on a magical ride¿just got to find the right book...
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1830 London, wealthy, self-made Zachary Bronson wants a place in polite society. To accomplish this, the untitled businessman needs an aristocratic wife who will comply with his wishes and that of the Ton when it does not conflict with the powerful Zachary.

Zachary chooses widow Lady Holly Taylor as his best bet especially after a sizzling kiss ignites his ardor. Holly still mourns the loss of her spouse. Zachary decides to go slow and hires her as a ¿tutor¿ to teach the ways of the Ton to his mother and sister. She reluctantly accepts for the sake of her daughter. As Holly comes to grips over the death of her husband, she falls in love with Zachary who returns her feelings. However, will the always by the book widow throw out the rules to live a dream relationship with the handsome upstart?

WHERE DREAMS BEGIN is a refreshing relationship drama. Holly deeply loved her first husband and unlike most tales was not scarred by him.. Instead, Holly¿s love has left her grieving even as she finds a new love and potential happiness with the brazen Zachary. The story line is fun as dreams do come true and the support cast adds late Regency color and class distinctions to the wonderful blend. As with SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, Lisa Kleypas provides readers with an arousing, fervent love story.

Harriet Klausner

Happywitch More than 1 year ago
WOW! I loved it! The characters were so different from each other… But, You want them to be together sooo much! I am never disappointed after reading a Novel by Lisa Kleypas. As usual I am laughing & crying with the joy & disappointments of their lives. I must say every new one I read becomes my new favorite. And, of course this is no different! LOVE LOVE LOVE Lisa Kleypas! On to the next one...
Kendra_Readers_Edyn More than 1 year ago
Review first posted on Reader's Edyn (blogspot) Partial review due to word count ~ please visit site for full review. ... I absolutely loved this couple. Holly has been raised to be the perfect lady and a woman of gentle respectability. I so desperately wanted to see her break free of her misguided constraints and jump into a torrid affair with Zachary. The longer she held out and denied her feelings (which, in her defense, confused and scared her because she did not understand them) the more I wanted to smack her upside the head and scream, “Wake up and seize what is standing right in front of you damn you!” Although I found her devotion to her deceased husband a bit over-the-top, I do suppose it would have been appropriate behavior for the times. And Zachary! How can you not instantly fall in love with this driven man of sublime temptation? The intensity of his words to Holly could literally dissolve me into a puddle. Not to mention that I always root for the underdog. It was inconceivable to me that society could shun his birth, yet desire his wealth, and not admire his ability to rise above even in the face of near guaranteed failure. The icing to the fabulous cake that is this book, is the sub plot involving Zachary’s sister, Lizzie, and Holly’s cousin, Jason. The two characters are … well … characters. Lizzie’s outspoken tendencies and Jason’s deft ability at handling her indelicate ways is nothing short of joyous to read. Also adding a bit of depth to the story is Holly’s daughter, Rose, who adds a childlike innocence to the story, yet expertly wraps the hearts of all off the Bronsons’ around her little finger; most especially the biggest Bronson. I would dearly love to see Jason and Lizzie’s story expanded into a full length novel as well as see Rose grown up. The later for the sheer pleasure of witnessing Zachary coming to grips with how to handle Rose and a gaggle of suitors. But I digress … My only complaint with the book is that Zachary is so far beyond his time that he seems almost too far into the future. Characters of viable existence are challenged with a bit too much entrepreneurism. Also disliked was the out of character visit Holly makes to a factory with child workers. The dutiful woman of refinement suddenly jumps far outside of the box which does not at all jive with the character that the reader has come to know. I think not. Her little jaunt also ends up extending the story well beyond where it should have gone. It could have ended several pages earlier and been spectacular. Instead, I felt like Ms. Kleypas was looking for a way to extend the story just a bit longer so why not throw a near death wrench in their happily ever after?!?!?! Argh! Complaints aside, Where Dreams Begin truly is a place where dreams can come true. Just as Zachary had never imagined he could become consumed in a forever-love, Holly had believed her chance at love had come and gone. I genuinely enjoyed seeing the sexual frustration come to a peak as Zachary’s innuendos finally hit their mark to effectively wear Holly’s defenses down. This book was beyond entertaining and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical romance. Despite a couple of flaws (in my own opinion), the magnificence of Ms. Kleypas’s writing style is undeniable and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. (Paperback purchased for private collection)
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Laugh, cry, get aroused, and fall i love again. These are the emotionsx that the great Lisa Kleypas evokes in her readers. I loved this book and the many characters that jumped off the pages to dance fancifully through my mind as I read. From Lady Holland and Zachary to sweet little innocent Rose, I truly loved them all. This book showed the true depth of love developed over time. I only wish that I was one of the characters. Who knows maybe Dr. Linely or Ravenhill could wed me. But alas, it was only a fictious story.
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