Okay…my Rx Romance kick has continued and shows no signs of stopping. I have some non-romance reviews coming up but for now, strap in ladies and gentlemen as I devour some romance!
My most recent read is Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas.
This book is it. I could not put it down. Every moment I was reading it I thought about how badly I could ignore my other obligations so I could read it some more. It was a page turner. I am really starting to come around to the 350-375 page novel. Both with the last two by Kleypas and with some I read at the end of December, I’m starting to see the light. Before I was convinced that everything I read had to be 600-800 pages to be good. Well, no longer.
Without further ado, read on past the page break for my review…(btw this review contains a lot of spoilers)
** spoiler alert ** I loved this novel. There were so many reasons why it worked. First, Sara and Derek were not your conventional pairing. Sara was truly awesome…she was mature, independent, a writer(!), patient, and more. When Derek sent her away, she did not collapse, even when her engagement to Perry did. Instead she said she would keep living in Greenwood and keep writing. I love that she never once compromised her values and principals. Derek’s personality was exotic to her, but in a way that didn’t seem like she was in it for the thrill of it or just for kicks. And to Derek’s immense credit, he gave her independence, space, and freedom to pursue her writing. He didn’t take that away from her no matter how much he claimed her as his “what’s mine.” Derek was overall a really interesting character, extremely complex and fascinating. Kleypas built his past to have so many components and contributing factors to why he was the way he was that it left me wanting to know more about him. He was not overly cocky or self-absorbed, either. He wasn’t given to saying swoon-worthy proclamations of love until the end, so he didn’t seem like some overly dreamy guy. The epilogue showed his paternal side of him, and I was touched by how happy he was to have a family. Good for you, Derek!
Another thing I liked about this novel is that it gave us ample time with the Happily Ever After. Too often I read books by authors who have absorbed the theory of “delay is better,” and with romance novels it is so frustrating. Sometimes you can read a 350-page novel and the characters don’t admit their feelings until page 325. That’s so frustrating to me as a reader because it seems like it’s a cheap stunt to get you to keep turning the pages even though hello, it’s a romance novel so of course they are going to end up together in the end–we know it, you know it, just give it to us! Kleypas plotted her novel in such a way that there was indeed conflict and delay, but it felt like it arose out of sincere and genuine circumstances and emotions rather than something contrived. Then we got a good 100 pages of Derek and Sara happily together with minimal drama. I love it! That is the kind of reward we should all get from reading and sticking by a couple in their dark times.
I read “Devil in Winter” (Wallflowers #3) before this, so I was aware that Craven’s burns down at the end. That gave the whole thing a kind of bittersweet coating because I knew their time at the club could not last.
I thought this was such an enjoyable read, and I am putting it up on my “to-keep” bookshelf so I can read it again one day.
In closing I leave you with this 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?'”