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She stood at danger's threshold—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 Craven—handsome, tough, and tenacious—and the most exciting man Sara has ever met.

Derek rose from poverty to become the wealthy lord of London’s most exclusive gambling house. And now duty demands that he allow Sara Fielding to enter his perilous realm of ever-shifting fortunes—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 “mouse” can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress—and a cynical gambler can be shaken to his core by the power of passion and the promise of love.

373 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1994

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About the author

Lisa Kleypas

100 books28.4k followers
LISA KLEYPAS is the RITA award-winning author of 21 novels. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.

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5 stars
18,780 (43%)
4 stars
15,093 (35%)
3 stars
7,223 (16%)
2 stars
1,460 (3%)
1 star
433 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,612 reviews
Profile Image for Daniella.
256 reviews542 followers
May 2, 2016
Did my 5th re-read of this book yesterday. I used to love it--really, I did.

But things changed. My views have changed, and I can't let the fact that Derek shagged that housewench as a sub for Sara go. It felt unclean for me, and was so downright disrespectful to women in general. No woman should be used for her body like that. Enough.

And this delineation between pure, naive Sara and the unclean OTHER women? Yeah, that can go to hell. I'm sick of that shit.
Profile Image for Kristen.
834 reviews4,768 followers
December 29, 2014
Quick review finally completed 10/31/13


Dreaming of You is one of the most beautifully told love stories I've read. It's full of vibrant and flawed characters that will touch your heart like few other characters will. There's nothing new I can say about this slightly heartbreaking yet wonderfully heartwarming story that hasn't already been said other than Derek Craven and Sara Feilding and their love story is why I read romance. It doesn't get better than this!
Profile Image for Shawna.
3,545 reviews4,576 followers
September 14, 2021
5+ stars – Historical/Regency Romance

This is such a beautiful, heartrending love story that I savored like the finest Vosges chocolate! And it’s no wonder why this is such a sentimental, LK fan favorite...Derek Craven...*dreamy sigh*.

Author Sara Fielding wants to observe the workings of London’s underground gaming halls for her latest novel, including the most famous gambling club of all, Craven’s, and the notorious man who runs it. Derek Craven, the sexy, cynical, hardened cockney son of a prostitute, grew up on the rough streets of London and learned to make his way in the dangerous rookeries by any means necessary, eventually accumulating vast wealth and power by running a popular, thriving gaming club.

Derek has erected strong defenses and adopted a detached, cool, blasé façade to hide his emotions, protect his heart, and conceal his longing for the things in life he doesn’t think he deserves and can never have: honor, respect, trust, friendship, love, and family. Of course, he never counted on an innocent, brave, inquisitive, genuine, mousy, and tenderhearted spinster like Sara Fielding shaking up his life and tearing down his walls of self-protection.

Derek Craven is such an endearing, diamond in the rough hero because he’s a tortured soul and deeply flawed, yet he has a huge, albeit tarnished, heart of gold and such vast potential for love; and when he falls for Sara, he falls hard and forever. The way he cherishes and protects Sara like the world’s greatest treasure is incredibly sweet and romantic.

Dreaming of You is a poignant, passionate story about the invincible power of love that tugs the heartstrings and that stays with you a long time after it’s over. Big 5 stars!
Profile Image for Jasbell76.
286 reviews147 followers
January 23, 2022
ALERT! ALERT! Cheating hero!

Hero was not celibate during the separation. I will avoid this book since I had a BAD experience with the last book I read by Kleypas:
Forever My Love
Forever My Love? Oh, really?

Profile Image for Addie.
511 reviews252 followers
November 16, 2019
I am re-reading all my 5 star rated romance novels. There are 60 on my shelf. This is book 22.

(Tropes: Opposites Attract, Unrequited Love, Wallflower, Love Triangle)

This is how my 22nd re-read held up.


I cannot believe how I have chosen to ignore a MAJOR big problem in this book the first time I read it. CHEATING. Not once. But twice! The second time was sort of out of his control, but the first time was NOT, so


The thing is, this book is pretty awesome. Was pretty awesome – whatever.


At least up until the point where LK makes Derek F**King Craven use one of his house-wenches to seek comfort while missing the heroine.

And the second time when he doesn’t really wake until it’s more or less too late when his ex-mistress has sneaked into bed with him.




I had forgotten why I sometimes read LK’s books with some trepidation, because she pulls stunts like this.


While there is certainly more to this book than the cheating, personally it has ruined it for me. Which really pisses me off, because the rest of the book is pretty great. Sort of.

Downgraded to 1.5 stars.


”Mr. Craven doesn't know how to love. He recognizes it only as weakness and folly. That's part of his attraction for women, I believe. They each hope to be the one who will finally capture his heart. But it's not possible. He'll never allow it, no indeed ..."

Quick plot: Prim and well-bred Sara Fielding might be an artist with the pen fictionalizing the underbelly of London, but what she really lacks is real insight. By pure chance she saves the life of the notorious owner of London’s most exclusive gambling house, Derek Craven. Indebted, Derek has no choice but to allow the tenacious little author inside the walls of his questionable establishment.


After my cheating rant, let’s focus on the good stuff, because there is plenty.

- Derek had never dreamed that his territory would be so gently and thoroughly invaded—or that his employees would be such willing traitors. Sara Fielding's mysterious charm had captivated everyone in his club.


- "In my opinion," she said, "you use your poor beginnings as a convenient excuse to ... to discard all the ethics the rest of us must live by."
"Ethics," he sneered. "I couldn't name one man, rich or poor, who wouldn't discard them for the right price."
"I wouldn't," she said steadily.

- What does she think of you? Appalled by your lurid past, as I would imagine?"
"She's in raptures over it."
"I suppose you've done everything possible to be offensive."
"She likes it. She calls me 'source material.' "


- "I'd keep you with me every bloody minute of the day—no, I'd have you fitted with a ball and chain—because I know that otherwise you'd be running off to do 'research' in the nearest dark alley with every cutthroat and pimp you can find!"
She folded her arms and regarded him with tight-lipped disapproval. "There's no need to shout at me, Mr. Craven."
"I'm not ..." Derek's voice faded into silence. He had been shouting, something he never did. Amazed, he rubbed his jaw and stared at her, while she returned his gaze like an inquiring little owl.

- He wasn't behaving like himself—he wasn't thinking like himself. He felt as if he should brace himself for some cataclysmic event. The air was charged with white-hot currents. His nerve ends seemed abraded. Something was going to happen ... something ... and all he could do, it seemed, was wait.


- ''You're offended that I'm here," Sara said in a small voice.
"I'd rather stand in a bucket of coals than spend one night under the same roof with you!"
"You dislike me that much?"
Derek's lungs began to work hard as he stared into her small, lovely face. The violent joy of being near her caused his blood to sizzle. His fingers flexed repeatedly into the softness of her shoulders, as if relishing the texture of her flesh.
"No, I don't dislike you," he said, nearly inaudible.

- With a disbelieving look on her face, Sara pulled out the tiny pair of spectacles she thought she had lost at the club. "Why?" she whispered, amazed that he was carrying them in his breast pocket.
He met her gaze defiantly, his jaw set. A small muscle twitched in his cheek.
Then she understood. "Are you having problems with your sight, Mr. Craven?" she asked softly. "Or is it your heart?"


- They settled on a step and he hunched over her tightly, his arms fast around her.
"I love you," he told her, wiping impatiently at the tears that kept trickling down his face. "I couldn't say it before. I couldn't—"
He clenched his trembling jaw, trying to control the hot flow of tears. It only made them worse. Giving up, he buried his face in her hair.
"Bloody hell," he muttered.
Sara had never seen him so undone, had never imagined it possible. Stroking his dark head, she whispered meaningless words, trying to give comfort.
"I love you," he repeated hoarsely, burg against her. "I would have given my life to have one more day with you, and tell you that."


There is another reason why I have downgraded this book, which is that Sara repeatedly mentions
his hold is hurting her, or the book describes he is acting forcibly with women (ex mistress).



You and me LK.


Profile Image for Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (SLOW).
520 reviews760 followers
September 5, 2016
5 I-so-marrying-Derek-in-my-next-life stars ! ♥

This book was a BLOODY AMAZING READ !! I can't believe I just struck gold in a mine full of books,so unintentionally....

She felt him tremble with the force of his need. He spoke just beneath her ear, his voice thick with tormented pleasure. "You have to leave, Sara ... because I want to hold you like this until your skin melts into mine. I want you in my bed, the smell of you on my sheets, your hair spread across my pillow. I want to take your innocence. God! I want to ruin you for anyone else.”

My thoughts:

Amazing story-line ? Alpha-male hero ? Endearing heroine ?

Its a Check To all three,ladies ! This book really has it all ! Fast paced and emotionally charged,Dreaming of you manages to stay original and fresh to the very last page.

Derek & Sara.. *sign* It was love at first-word for me with these two. I adored them from the very first page.Even though they were eccentric and so different from each-other.Together they were just two perfect pieces of thepuzzle.

“I didn't want to give you the one last part of myself that I couldn't take back. And then you were gone... And I realized it was already yours. It had been since the beginning. Except that I hadn't told you. It drove me mad, the thought that you would never know.”

Would I recommend the book ?
HELL YES ! Its over 9 hours and I'm STILL face-palming myself for leaving this lying on my TBR for so long ! Lol.. Don't be another me :P

Will I be continuing the series ?
If there is a book 3..Then sure.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
March 30, 2022
Yes, it is 2022 and I am just reading Dreaming of You for the first time. Is Derek Craven really that big of a deal? Well, yes. Yes, he is. Holy moly this book! From the start I was obsessed with Derek's character. He is a self-made man who went through a very rough childhood and I just want him to find happiness. His past has made him fear people leaving him, which only increases when he grows closer to Sara. I loved how he and Sara meet and how Sara is a writer who is trying to learn more for her books, which means getting into some dangerous situations. There's a masked ball involved and two characters who try to resist each other but can't. Both Derek and Sara try to move on from each other, but they quickly realize no one can compare to how they feel about each other. Ughhhh it was so good! Seriously, I want to reread this book already! If you haven't read this book because of the hype, you just need to pick it up already. Because I'm obsessed!!
June 11, 2009
This book is a beautiful love story. Derek Craven is a self-made man who is not interested in love, and certainly not with a sheltered provincial spinster like Sara. But when he falls for her, he falls hard. The beauty of this story is how deeply Derek comes to love Sara. Some of the things he says to her, and the way he shows his love move d me intensely when I read it, and still do, though it has been years since I read this book. And Sara is worthy of his love. She might be rather plain and certainly unfashionable, but she has a great mind and a beautiful heart. Derek is not a perfect guy. He's not smooth or urbane. He doesn't speak well because he grew up in the stews of London, but he's one of my all time favorite heroes, and certainly my favorite Lisa Kleypas hero. He earned this because of the fact that this man was so utterly affected by love for Sara, and how he cherishes her. And also due to the fact that he pulled himself up from the gutter and made something of himself. I love those kinds of heroes/heroines. This book is in my top 10 of romances easily.

Rachel Weisz as Sara Fielding
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Gerard Butler as Derek Craven
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Profile Image for Mo.
1,362 reviews2 followers
May 19, 2017
Liked this one. I always like a tortured hero ... and Derek Craven really is tortured. He feels that because of his upbringing he is unworthy of love, especially the love of a sweet person.

Separately they had different strengths. Together they were complete.

Loved catching up with Lily and Alex again. I loved the first book.

Derek fights his attraction to Sara. She is not even his "type": a country maiden from a small village. He is used to the flirtatious ladies of the ton.

He was so far from the gallant knights in her romantic fantasies ... He was tarnished, scarred, imperfect.

Derek's breath touched Sara's throat in unsteady urges. "Sometimes," he whispered, "I'm so close to you ... and I'm still not close enough. I want to share your breath ... every beat of your heart."

He cradled her head in both his hands, his mouth hot on her neck. "Sometimes," he murmured, "I want to punish you a little."


"For making me want you until I ache with it. For the way I wake at night just to watch you sleeping." His face was intense and passionate above her, his green eyes sharp in their brightness. "I want you more each time I'm with you. It's a fever that never leaves me. I can't be alone without wondering where you are, when I can have you again." His lips possessed hers in a kiss that was both savage and tender, and she opened to him eagerly.

Profile Image for Chantal ❤️.
1,361 reviews770 followers
April 4, 2017
I read this book long ago when it first came out.
It was one of my fav as the tortured hero goes he was the best.
However, I must say looking back on it now I can see that it was an ok read but it also had some questionable moments like when he first sees her and does not help her out but she saves his life.
He is a street rat and does not know any other way to be but basic. The fact that he does not have sex with her when she throws herself at him says how hard he was trying to do right by her.
He really does think he can never have her as she is too good and pure and he is who he is. So he sends her away and eventually sleeps with another woman who looks like her and calling the heroines name the whole time. This poor woman goes to visit the heroine to ask her to come back and tells her all about what he had done and how he is behaving.
I loved his struggle with his feelings and her emotional and sexual awakening.
This was a great story and the characters came alive off the pages for me.
Very enjoyable. The masked ball was one of my favorite when he discovers that she is the girl under the mask that he is trying to seduce. That was hot!!!
This book is not for everyone and I am glad the author glosses over some of the finer details in history so I could enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Roksana.
356 reviews471 followers
April 3, 2020

Romance or not Cheating/Infidelity should never be taken so lightly... it's never ok to sleep with someone who is already married and his/her deniability of it by using excuses from their past habits!

This did not seem to bother other readers, but it did bother me and even the characters in the book seem accepting for not addressing Derek's pervasive and distasteful lifestyle of sexual indulgences throughout the entire book and I do not wish to read in explicit details about him having a sexual encounter with his mistress... it's very disturbing and distasteful and definitely takes away all the credibility for him to be a real man with any redeeming qualities... he is a selfish man who sought empty, meaningless pleasures of the flesh without thought for anyone or anything but his own gratification... by sleeping with a married, and heartless woman that led but could have also led to many more tragedies...

First and foremost Derek is a character that some readers may find difficult to connect to, and sadly I am one of them. I acknowledged his tragic past, however, the problem I have encountered with this aspect is that he justifies his actions often irresponsible ones by his past experiences and to me, this is not a good portrayal for his character growth. For me a real "Hero" is a character that progresses systematically throughout the story and demonstrates the redeeming qualities that make the reader... "accept and forgive" his wrongdoing, so there is a balance. I found the social judgment on the married woman who had an affair with the hero very unjust one, as every character in this book was disgusted with his ex-mistress, but not really about him having sex with her whilst she had marital status and add he is committing to adultery fully without remorse. I do acknowledge the woman was in the wrong, but so as the Hero. She got all the grief, but he none! In those moments, I questioned the author for not allowing the characters to confront Derek for being so brainless by indulging with someone's wife when this woman caused so much pain and trouble because he ever so suddenly got tired of her and rejected her?????? I was disappointed at this turn of events, as no one really confronted Derek about him causing all this... He was largely the responsible one for all the damage caused by his former mistress because he started this by engaging with her sexually in the first place. He even did not apologise to his friends for causing all the distress...I wish the author could have challenged the hero by allowing his friends to "finally" question his choice of affairs with women, for example...

His friend did mention something at the beginning of the book, but it was a very little confrontation and the hero called Lilly a "BI**T"... not very appealing to call his friend that way. The heroine was nearly raped by the heroes ex mistress, but in the next moment was defending him by justifying him by putting the blame on his ex mistress and not on him. But the fact of the matter is, that it takes two to do that tango...so in my humble opinion he was liable at the same level as his former mistress for all the damages caused. Its true that some of these traits add hints of realism to the novel, but this book is a romance novel, hence its design to inspire fantasy and a feeling of enjoyment, I felt none of this. WHY could the hero just talk to his ex-mistress instead of humiliating her? What did he expect that after he left her like garbage she would just forget about him? he knew what the woman was capable of, Yet he could not behave like a "man" "A real man would have a real conversation with her" and explaining his refusal to be with her in a decent way at least with some level of respect as he could make it at the time. THAT would have been good for his character growth. Instead of doing the right thing, the author gave him the easy way out, by making the "other woman" an evil one, so that he would look more a "hero" compare to her actions by wanting revenge etcetera...

I was really not charmed with Derek's cold and disrespectful attitude towards women...He was a rake I gather but he did not have to treat them like trash...I understand he had no choice over his tragic upbringing, but he definitely had a choice after becoming successful and he did not need to sleep with married women, he had plenty of choices elsewhere, so that left a bad taste in my mouth and I had a dislike for him. I also understand that this is a romance, but thinking of all the married women he slept with makes me feel very uncomfortable...WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE FAMILIES OF THOSE MARRIED WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN? I WOULD RATHER WANT TO READ ABOUT HIM TRYING WIN HEROINE OVER...For me the magic that holds that special sparks that make the romance cherished went down the drain in here! True love is about learning to see the beauty in another person (the other significant) regardless of their faults and Sara was willing to accept him with his past, but he chose to be alone and sleep with other women...A special relationship is also about transforming a normal relationship into a deeper one without further interest in others and I could not find that here!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,521 reviews366 followers
July 14, 2018
Me ha encantado mucho mucho mucho, y estoy indecisa si fue mejor que el anterior o no porque siento que lo historia de Lily y Alex es un poco mejor pero en personajes me quedo con Derek y Sara son INCREÍBLES!!

Derek es uno de los personajes más misteriosos y enigmáticos que he leído en histórica, es oscuro, cínico, peligroso y ladronzuelo que se robó mi corazón. Es un hombre con un corazón endurecido por la vida que el tocó sobre todo su niñez no cree en el amor obviamente pero llega a su vida una mujer que rompe todos sus muros y va quitando cada capa que lo cubre para descubrir a un hombre HERMOSO!!

Derek Craven se ha convertido en mi segundo protagonista favorito después de Sebastian ex St Vincent ahora Duque Kingston nadie puede superar a mi Sebastian. Pero Derek tiene lo suyo siento que faltaron páginas para descubrir más de él. Desde el libro anterior el me intrigó y cubrió todas mis expectativas es tan akdkkdfkdksk.

Sara me pareció una chica que a pesar de su inocencia era muy valiente siempre defendió sus ideales, se crio en el campo teniendo una vida sin sobre saltos la naturaleza de ella le pedía aventura arriesgarse y fue lo que hizo cuando se decidió ir por Derek ella me gustó mucho y la pareja que hizo con Derek era maravillosa.

Y como este libro era más de personajes que historia por eso me decidí hablar sobre ellos. Esta es la Lisa Kleypas que espero leer en el libro de West. échale ganitas Lisa
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,864 reviews2,242 followers
March 30, 2022
2.75 stars

Not sure if I didn’t like this because it wasn’t good or it’s just outdated. Either way it didn’t really work for me. The mousy author meets the gambling den owner? Sounds super promising to me. But the writing style was a bit off and I never really felt the chemistry between Derek and Sara. I liked them both a lot on their own, they’re very interesting characters. But I wasn’t sold on their love story.
Profile Image for Marisa Sauco.
302 reviews260 followers
September 26, 2017
Moví cielo y tierra para encontrar los libros de esta serie principalmente para conocer al famoso «Derek Craven», por lo cual mis expectativas estaban por las nubes.
Bueno, ahora sí puedo decir que Dereck es uno de los personajes más complejos y mejores logrados de esta autora. Todo lo bueno (y lo malo) que se diga de él lo tiene absolutamente merecido. Peeeeeeero, debo confesar que el personaje de Sara me FASCINÓ. Y no solo por cómo logra «reformar» a nuestro descarriado Derek, sino por ella en sí misma. Tiene la dosis justa entre entre bondad, valentía, inocencia y astucia, que la hacen adorable.

«No puedes cambiar la verdad. (…) Te quiero —Sara sintió que un ligero estremecimiento recorría el cuerpo de Derek—. Te quiero —repitió—. No nos mientas a los dos fingiendo que me dejas por mi bien. Lo único que harás será negarnos a los dos la oportunidad de ser felices. Puede que yo suspire por ti día y noche, pero al menos mi conciencia estará limpia. Yo no te he ocultado nada ni por miedo, ni por orgullo, ni por testarudez. (…) Por una vez, ten fuerzas para no irte —susurró—. Quédate conmigo. Deja que te ame, Derek». ❤

Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,120 reviews13.6k followers
July 16, 2021
5+ stars for Derek Craven!

I have a new book boyfriend, his name is Derek Craven.

“He was a powerful man with street swagger and absolute confidence, a man who could no more conceal his appetite for the finer things of life than he could keep the sun from rising.”

This book was beyond perfection! A virgin, and a scoundrel. However will this work out?! Trust me, it works out, and is so steamy. I love Derek’s cockney accent..his scar. The fact that he is a sexual beast, and falls head over feet for a virgin that writes books about harlots in whore houses. This book had so many twists and turns, suspense and ACTION! My heart will forever belong to Derek Craven!
Profile Image for Azet.
1,021 reviews228 followers
September 6, 2020
I have wanted to read "Dreaming of You" ever since i read "Then Came You" last year and got to meet the very beloved Anti-hero Derek Craven!(i see that every member in Goodreads are madly awed by this hero)I was so captivated by his dark mysterious character that i wanted to meet the one lady who would bring this rake down his knees.Lisa Kleypas is a marvelous writer who delivered much drama,intrigue,emotions,love,passion that was so smoldering that i simply couldn`t stop reading.I love the story-line,developement of romance and all the characters that brought light to the story.

Sara Fielding of Greenwood Corners is a very passionate novelist who one fateless evening saves the life of Derek Craven, the notorious owner of a gambling club and in return he has to let her join into his dark life for her research of the destruction of a gambling life.Despite her innocence i liked how she handled Derek.They both baffled each other since they were so different in natures,but they fall in love with each other against their will,and that was bittersweet to watch!I loved the scene where she masquerade herself as a temptress that resembles her main-character in her written novel,and captures the eyes of everyone in the ball including Derek.Oh that scene made my toes curl!!!

Derek Craven is every bit as bad as i thought he would be.Reckless,crude,insolent,manipulative,cold and a rude bastard i just wanted to slap sometimes.He was the defenition of scoundrel.But he was also so irresistibly charming,charismatic and sexy that i wanted to kiss him all along.He was simply gorgeous Alpha of a hero,so bruised and tortured.Sara`s sweetness and pure heart was a temptation his heart couldn`t afford.But he couldn`t stay away from her and i love it when he eventually do ask her to marry him.The way he did it made me laugh.Ah i want a Derek Craven for myself!!!!His love for Sara made my heart melt,he cherishes and respects her so much.I love the eternal love between Derek and Sara,smoldering flames that will never go down.

“For making me want you until I ache with it. For the way I wake at night just to watch you sleeping.” His face was intense and passionate above her, his green eyes harsh in their brightness. “I want you more each time I’m with you. It’s a fever that never leaves me. I can’t be alone without wondering where you are, when I can have you again…”

We also got appearances by the couple from "The Came You" Alex and Lily and their children.Oh it made me happy watching how they still love each other so much,i missed these two so much!Hope their daughter Nicole will have her own book in the future,she seems to be a promising future heroine! I will say this again,i love you Lisa Kleypas!!!
Profile Image for Annie .
2,449 reviews818 followers
March 28, 2011
5+++ STARS!!!


I don’t think it’s possible for me to talk about this book without excessive gushing! I’ve heard great things about Derek Craven, about how he’s Kleypas’ favourite hero that she’s ever written and now I understand why! Derek is the most haunted, the most broken out of all the heroes she has written. And I thought Kev from the Hathaways was intense! Derek easily stole my heart in Then Came You and he broke it in Dreaming of You!

And then there’s Sara Rose Fieldings whom I just adore as well! As an author, she’s quiet and observant, always perceptive about the world around her, especially of Derek. She is able to see past the gritty exterior that Derek has protected himself with and see him not as a poor, abandoned Cockney chimney boy and whore, but a man of intelligence and strong will.

This has easily become one of my new favourite books! Kleypas has me laughing out loud at some parts and my heart breaking in others. I just love the fact that Kleypas is able to create such vividly real characters with a soul. Derek Craven has definitely topped my list of favourite LK heroes along with Kev Merripen from the Hathaways, Sebastian St. Vincent from the Wallflowers and McKenna! I just can’t believe I didn’t read this sooner!

Bottom line? If you haven’t read anything by Kleypas before, get out of that hole you’ve been living in and start with the first book in the Gambler series, Then Came You or start with the Wallflowers prequel, Again the Magic! You won’t be disappointed!

Favourite Quote:
He met her gaze defiantly, his jaw set. A small muscle twitched in his cheek.
Then she understood. “Are you having problems with your sight, Mr. Craven?” she asked softly. “Or is it your heart?”
Profile Image for Pepa.
949 reviews240 followers
December 25, 2016
Me ha gustado mucho. Pero menos que el primero, por el que siento debilidad
Imposible leerlos por separado para ver la evolución del personaje de Dereck Craven
Me han gustado los dos, pero el que más (contracorriente) SAra. Por esa bondad, esa valentía y ese romper moldes de mujer independiente que es un pequeño homenaje a las escritoras de a época
Es una novela lleva de simbolismos, una historia muy bonita con unos personajes que atrapan,
Lectura imprescindible, aunque yo me quedo con Lily y Alex
Profile Image for Nat O.
24 reviews
April 7, 2018
6++++ Stars
HOLY HISTORICAL HOTNESS. Derek Craven's got to be thee finest historical male that was ever written!! Need any more reason to read this?? Didn't think so- 'nuff said.

Derek grew up in the gutters. He is now the richest man in London as the owner of Craven's, a renowned gaming hell. His upbringing has left him extremely guarded and cynical. Sara Fielding is a young writer from the country who visits the casino for research on her latest book, but what she finds is one *irresistible* man who doesn't want to give her the time of day.

This is one of those books that once you read, you never forget. The lust, the love, the way everything unfolds is perfect. Beautifully strong hero and heroine. You honestly can't lose with this book. It is book 2 of the Gambler series, but can be read as a standalone book.

This, along with Kleypas' "Again the Magic," are my all-time favorite books period. I have re-read this many times and it's still a solid, satisfying read each time.
*Originally read in 2011 and many times since then*
*Updated review*
Profile Image for Jan.
893 reviews175 followers
July 29, 2022
3.5 stars. I liked but didn't love this sweet HR about Sara the apparently mousy writer who is really quite a strong and interesting person, and Derek the poor Cockney orphan made good. Derek has had a very tough life but he has pulled himself up by his bootstraps and is now highly successful.

On the surface, they don't seem like an obvious couple, but they fall deeply in love and it's soon clear they were meant for each other. There are a few twists and turns to the plot, including a suitably twisted and evil baddie who I ended up feeling a bit sorry for.

The characters felt a little underdeveloped to me, but overall I did enjoy the book.
Profile Image for Carmen Sereno.
Author 6 books317 followers
September 9, 2019
4,5 ⭐
¡Qué bonita! 😍😍😍😭😭😭
Esta novela se sitúa automáticamente como mi favorita de Lisa Kleypas. La trama me ha gustado mucho, pero lo que de verdad me ha atrapado son los protagonistas. Ella es magnífica: inocente sin ser pacata, intrépida, inteligente y con principios. Pero él... ÉL... Partiendo de la base de que los personajes masculinos que suelen gustarme más son los oscuros, atormentados y arrogantes que, en el fondo, esconden un corazón tierno y frágil, puedo afirmar que Derek Craven me ha hechizado por completo. El final es precioso y el epílogo, muy erótico 🔥🔥🔥
Profile Image for Precious ✨.
508 reviews78 followers
September 10, 2023
”This isn’t happening at all. You’re just visiting a dream of mine.”
“Am I?” He bent his head, his smiling mouth very close to hers. His breath was warm against her lips. “Then don’t wake up, angel. I’d like to stay awhile.”


This story starts out with our heroine Sara walking the darks alleys of London all in the purpose of researching her next novel. Ah, what would we do without google in today's age? While she's out and about a handsome man is attacked by two hired hands and our brave, bookish Sara takes a PISTOL out her purse and saves the day. She then takes mystery man to his place which happens to be the biggest and most popular gambling hall in London, Craven's. & yes, mystery man is legendary blackguard and owner of said den of iniquity, Derek Craven. From there to repay her debt he "tolerates" her frequenting his place, interviewing the staff, nothing misses her questions and she slowly imbeds herself at Craven's and the man himself.
"Derek had never dreamed that his territory would be so gently and thoroughly invaded—or that his employees would be such willing traitors. Sara Fielding’s mysterious charm had captivated everyone in his club."

From here we have a "fallen" man trying to do his best to keep her safe from herself & and from him. All while getting all the banter and tension that we love. <3 also they're freaking hilarious

“Still carrying the pistol?” he asked, casually amused.
“I try to be prepared for any situation.”
“Well,” Derek mocked, “the next time things get tight around here, I’ll know who to come to.”


MR. DEREK CRAVEN 💕♥️💍: what a book boyfriend husband.
"Closed in a small room with these gently-born men, he seemed like a panther keeping company with house cats."
Derek is a man who came from nothing and made himself into one of the wealthiest men in London. He's crude, blunt, and all cockney. However for those under his skin and his protection he's kind and generous and you can't help but see all the good in him. So when Sara starts to slowly crawl under his armor he doesn't know what to do because all he sees is his dirty past.
"She belonged with a decent man. A stab of violent jealousy .... caused Derek to scowl."
He doesn't do anything in halves and you can see that every time he is on the page. Him being subtly obsessed with her. Swoonnnnn.

And Sara was such a great heroine.
“A long time ago I learned not to explain things to people. It misleads them into thinking they’re entitled to know everything I do.”
Sara is a country girl who lives vicariously through the stories she writes. No one knows how she is since she stays unassuming and reclusive. However, during her time with Craven and his club you can see her flourish into herself. She's pragmatic, observant, and she stands up for herself. And as she stays in his orbit she sees under his burly persona the more she wants to prove that she can make it in his world.
“Not a mouse tonight,” she had whispered with a wondering smile. “You won’t even know me, Mr. Craven.”
Truly, couldn't get enough of her.

TL;DR: I loved this! First read of apparently a lot of people favorite regency author. I am onto another one of her books very soon 😍😍
Profile Image for Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️.
819 reviews842 followers
June 16, 2020
I have never read a Lisa Kleypas book and shame on me for waiting so long. I do know that lots of my friends love her stories and as I do like historicals, I decided to jump on the back wagon.

Derek Craven and his tortured soul......the “I don’t deserve love because of my background” and his reputation as a rogue is known far and wide around London. Sara Fielding, the sweet, country maiden, savvy author, who might I add is also a virgin, is a strong woman of her convictions but wants to know if she needs more than what her life is suppose to be. The scoundrel and the virgin meet and it’s a constant push and pull. It’s not easy for these two to find their HEA but their journey is filled with passion, wants and desires and a great banter fit for the time period.

There was also a great groups of secondary characters in this story. I was transported back in time to 1800’s London, I could imagine the social club owned by Derek and the country side where Sara grew up. I enjoyed my time with Derek and Sara and that epilogue, it was perfect!! I definitely look forward to reading more by Lisa Kleypas.
Profile Image for Sonia.
736 reviews30 followers
September 25, 2019
Ahora ya puedo decir que he conocido a Derek Craven 😉😍
Desde luego está historia está entre las mejores de la autora. Ambos personajes protagonistas, Sara y Derek, son maravillosos.
Lectura MUY recomendable
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,397 reviews661 followers
March 30, 2022

***4.25 Stars***

"Everything I have is yours," he said raspily. "Everything."

"I only want you."

Alright, I've done it. I've finally met Derek Craven. Proclaimed by many as the #1 Lisa Kleypas hero, I've finally had the pleasure of meeting him.

And he certainly did not disappoint. He may not be my new #1...it's gonna be hard to knock Sebastian from that spot...but he certainly ranks up there, and I clearly see why he's a reader favorite!

If anyone knows me, I'm a sucker for a broody hero who doesn't believe he's worthy of love and whose guarded walls crumble with the love of the right woman. And that's what I got here.

"I can protect you against everything except myself."

I'm late to the party so I really don't have much to add here that lots of other folks haven't already said.

Sara and Derek were great together. Their chemistry was amazing.

Sara was a fantastic heroine, and the perfect strong-willed, caring, and determined counterbalance to Derek's rough exterior.

Separately they had different strengths. Together they were complete.

One negative is that I could have done without the evil, over the top, "Fatal Attraction" ex-lover, because seriously, she was overkill.

But, in a nutshell, the swoon was swoony and the steam was steamy and I have another great Lisa Kleypas novel to add to my ever-growing collection.

Favorite Quotes:

Profile Image for Susana.
988 reviews247 followers
September 12, 2015

Looking at my friend's ratings it is clear that I am once again the black sheep.

The thing is, despite loving the Wallflower and the Hathaway series to bits, I tend to have some problems with Lisa Kleypas older books _apparently this was written back in 2003 o_O _, they feel very soap operish to me, and I'm sick and tired of idiotic heroines always placing themselves in dangerous situations, so that the hero can save them!
That's what happened here: Sarah is supposed to be an intelligent woman but she's always getting herself into big messes!
As for Derek, I wasn't crazy about him in the first book in this series, although he does redeem himself in this one. Also unlike Sarah, he has some serious background that explains why he acts the way he does.
In the end this was a fast read, but not a memorable one.
Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,732 reviews543 followers
October 7, 2016

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 page 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
Profile Image for Crista.
782 reviews
April 24, 2012
I read this book at least once a year, and have been doing so for the past 5 years. There really are not enough words for this love story. Each time I read it, I think that I've romanticized it in my mind, and each time I am left with the same amazed, giddy, and warm-fuzzies that I experienced that last time I read it. If you are a romance fan...this is an absolute MUST READ. DEREK CRAVEN is a name that you'll take with you to the grave!

This man is so positively unforgettable that I struggle to capture his character to it's fullest. After 5 readings, I still am left with a further understanding of him....and he is absolutely endearing (to say the least).

Derek is a self-made man. He has worked his way from the lowest forms of humanity to become one of the wealthiest and most successful men in England. He is also a man filled with shame. He is afraid of love, desertion, and relationships that could cause him pain.

Sara is incredible. She is honest and forthright. Seeing Derek for who he is, not excusing his past behavior, but understanding why he is how he is. She sneaks past all his defenses and as hard as he tries to stay away from her.....he can't. She expects nothing of him, yet FOR HER, he becomes all she could dream of...AND MORE. His love for her is so compelling and believable that it literally takes my breath away.

I can not say enough about this book....I read it again yesterday and am still smiling today. Perfect. Thank you Lisa.
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