Miss Sara Fielding, a celebrated but reclusive author, is researching her new book about gambling in the seedier parts of London a long way from her sedate live in the country. When she saves a man from being attacked she is astounded to realize that it is none other than the owner of the renowned gaming hall, Mr Derek Craven. In repayment for saving his life he lets the spinsterish but adventurous Miss Fielding into his club for her research; however, the little “mouse” seems to be getting under his skin, cracking the wall he has carefully erected over his emotions and heart.
Lisa Kleypas is a very talented writer and this book is one of her best, in fact it is one of the best romances historical or otherwise that I have read. And what makes it so good is Derek Craven, a truly brilliantly well rounded character, you get a glimpse of him in Then Came You but in this book he is outstanding; a truly unforgettable hero. He is a dark and complex character and the more you learn and understand about him and glimpse beneath his cold and mocking exterior you start to fall head over heels in love with him. He has a chequered past, which I won’t reveal any of as I don’t want to spoil it, because of this he doesn’t think he is good enough for Sara; with this mixture of danger and vulnerability I challenge any woman not to fall instantly in love with him!
Sara is another prime example of Ms Klepas's skill at creating unforgettable and well rounded character. She wasn’t the typical blushing country maiden and I found her charming, her naiveté despite having written a rather worldly book and her good nature made her the kind of person you wish you knew and were friends with. She is definitely one of my favourite heroines.
The romance between Derek and Sara was intense, Derek is a man of extremes and when he loves, he love violently and it is coveyed fantastically well on the page. It kept me riveted to the book and Derek and Sara have remained one of my favourite of her couples. Also if you are a fan of the Wallflower Quartet you get a glimpse of Ivo Jenner, Evie’s father, I love how her books all connect together.
Anyone with a love for dark, tormented and dangerously complicated heroes as well as those who like wallflower/bluestocking stories (if you love both, you are in luck!) this should make it on your must-read-right-now list, but I recommend that anyone who is a fan of romance give this a try.
Sara on Love
"Don't you understand how much even one day of loving each other is worth? Some people are searated by distances that can never cross. All they can do is dream about each other for a lifetime, never having what they want most. How foolish, how wasteful to havr love within your reach and not take it!"
Derek on Love
There was also the occasional bite of resentment when he realized she had become the source of all pleasure to him, all comfort and peace. She was the first human being he had ever needed. He had lost his freedom in a way he had never imagined possible, bound more securely by her love than by a mile's length of iron chains