Sunday, April 4, 2010
Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas
"Reckless, wild, and beautiful, Lily Lawson delights in shocking proper London society--and now she is determined to rescue her sister from an unwanted impending marriage to the notorious Alex, Lord Raiford, by fair means or foul. But while she succeeds outrageously, Alex is a master gamesman who is not to be undone.
Alex has lost one bride, yet he is enchanted by this remarkable lady who is willing to break any rule to flaunt her independence. When Lily offers him only scorn, he counters with kindness, and he parries her blistering barbs with gentle words and a soft, tender touch. The spirited miss will pay dearly for her interference--with her body, her soul, and her stubborn, unyielding heart. But will Alex's own heart be the prize to be won in this sensuous game of love?"
Question: What does a Lisa Kleypas book have in common with a hollow chocolate Easter bunny?
Answer: They are both treats and can be devoured in one sitting!
I've had the two books in Kleypas' Gamblers series (Then Came You, Dreaming of You) on my to-read list for quite some time, and the springtime always makes me reach for a good romance novel. A Lisa Kleypas novel is a quick read and a real treat!
This is Lily's story, a fiesty, independent young woman in 1820's England who has a painful past....her fiance' left her before their marriage took place, and another relationship with an Italian lover left her pregnant and alone. I thought this was an interesting twist on the romance heroine, who often times is innocent, beautiful, and pure....as the story begins, Lily has loved and lost and made her share of mistakes, and she definitely has some battle scars on her heart. The deepest wound of all for her is that Giuseppe, her Italian lover, is unscrupulous and is keeping her apart from the one thing Lily holds dear. Convinced that love and marriage are never going to be a part of her life, she has committed herself to doing whatever is necessary to take care of herself and her child.
Enter the handsome Lord Raiford, who is betrothed to Lily's younger sister Penelope. He is also the victim of a painful past, so he is content to enter into a conventional arranged marriage, produce an heir, and live dispassionately with a dutiful wife, Penelope. Lily knows that her sister is really in love with another man and wants to help her elope, so she cooks up a scheme to help her sister, arrives for a visit to Lord Raiford's home, and turns everyone's life upside down when she arrives. Lord Raiford thinks Lily's behavior is disgraceful and interfering, and wants nothing more than to get Lily out of his house and life. He is also aware that Lily gambles and often visits the gaming tables at Derek Craven's club and thinks the worst of her friendship with Derek....he has no idea, however, that there is a painful, secret reason why she must win money at the card tables...
Lily is such a lively, colorful character, and it was interesting watching the evolution of her relationship with Alex change from blatantly beligerent, to mildly tolerant, to mutually intrigued, and at the end, a genuine understanding of each other and a passionate connection. Lots of fun, sizzling scenes between Lily and Alex as they try to "one up" each other, as well as a few that tugged at my heartstrings....there are some very poignant moments that involve Lily's child, and there is a memorable scene with Derek as he comes to terms with Lily's love for Alex.(I really liked Derek's Cockney character, and felt for him as he truly thought Lily was special but knew she was way out of his league.)
A fast-paced, easy and flowing plot with lots of spark and sizzle -- pure fun! I'm looking forward to continuing Derek's story in book 2, Dreaming of You. This book is also on the list of 100 best romance books.
Title: Then Came You
Author: Lisa Kleypas
genre: historical romance