Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time!
This week I chose Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas.
At First Sight: Derek Craven was walking through The Rookery - one of London's worst slums - when he was attacked by two men, but that wasn't the biggest surprise of his night, that came in the form of his savior: a small woman by the name of Sara Fielding who simply pulled out a gun and shoot one of the men.
Sara is a writer - author of a very popular book called Mathilda - and is doing some research for her new book, as she lives in the country and leads an otherwise very sheltered life. She helps Derek because is the nice thing to do, but she's both surprised and happy to realize that he's the owner of Craven's, London's most fashionable gambling club, for access to Craven's would help her a lot in her research.
Derek is reluctant at first, but somehow he can't say no to Sara. But having her in the club is not easy, for it puts them on close proximity, a proximity that puts what's left of his heart in jeopardy. For her part, Sara knows she shouldn't find Derek so fascinating, that she's almost engaged to another man and that Derek probably doesn't think of her as a woman anyway, but from the first, she's drawn to him.
Second Glance: Dreaming of You is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. A self made hero, a heroine who's a writer and the love that brings them together. It features one of my Most Romantic Moments in Historical Romance (Derek steals a pair of Sara's glasses and carries them in his coat pocket, right above his heart, because he wants to own a part of her).
I loved seeing the changes in Derek and learning his story, I loved how Sara saw him for who he was and accepted him. Loved that he didn't want her to stop writing, and that encouraged her in her projects.
I consider this book a modern classic, if I may say so. When I was listening to the Audiobook, I was surprised to realize that I've read it so many times that I actually knew by heart some of the passages of the book.
Bottom Line: Dreaming of You is quite simply my golden standard when it comes to Historical Romance. I bought this book in 2005 and I've read it at least once a year ever since.