Friday, April 10, 2009

Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

Book Description:
She thought her heart was safe, but…...

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?

I loved this book! I had already heard about it alot, you know how it is... it was one of those early Lisa Kleypas books that I had yet to read because I'd been so absorbed in her later series like the Wallflowers and the Liar's Club. But, still, I was getting so curious about it since so many people have raved about it! Now I know why! It was a really good story, sexy, endearing, sad at times, emotional and different! Just the kind of book I like, and I might add, it's now one of my favorite Lisa Kleypas books!

At first when I started reading it, I was a bit confused by the heroine. I wasn't sure if she was the heroine or not, not having read the blurb on the back cover of the book, which I like to do sometimes for the surprise effect. For one thing, she's not your standard virginal, damsel in distress, but, then again, Kleypas' heroines almost never are. She's somewhere around the age of 30, and definitely reckless! Lily Lawson (loved the name, btw) is well born but wears raspberry pink trousers when she rides - astride no less, has cut her hair short so it's a myriad of little ringlets all over her head, is the only female member of the infamous Craven's gambling club (as alluded to later in Devil in Winter) and flaunts propriety every chance she can get. She never wants to marry, yet many men want her, but she doesn't want a man. Scarred previously by being jilted by her fiance and then she is seduced by a slick Italian ne'er do well in Italy (a painful experience she never wants to repeat) who gets her pregnant. Raising her daughter by herself, her daughter is kidnapped by her father and Lily never sees her again! Poor Lily! She tries to find her, hires detectives, but the slimy bastard father keeps their daughter away from her and blackmails Lily for money for two years.

Finally, when Lily is almost at her wits end (and out of money) she meets Alex, Lord Raiford who is engaged to her meek and mild younger sister, Penelope, who is really in love with someone else. Lily can't stand Raiford upon first sight and the feeling becomes mutual. Lily can't stand seeing her sister marry unhappily and helps to break up the engagement and sees to it that Penelope can run off with her true love, Zachary. This ordinarily wouldn't endear her jilted fiance to Lily, but in fact, Alex has already been developing feelings for her of the lustful kind and can't get her out of his head. Lily ties him to her bed and keeps him there (alone) all night so that Penelope and Zachary can run off to Gretna Green together. Lily, despite herself is intrigued by Alex and starts having feelings for him too. Feelings she never thought she'd have for a man.

To get her back for tying him up, Raiford winds up getting the upper hand when the next night, in a daring bet at Craven's, he wins a night with Lily, who lost the bet, desperate to win money to pay her slimy blackmailer. And so with the winning wager, suddenly the book - and Raiford - becomes really interesting! What a night! Very well done, and Alex suddenly takes on a whole new aura! LOL! Not only that, there are so many little details in this book that are great. I love the descriptions of Lily's clothes, especially two outfits in particular. One she's dressed as Eve (as in the Garden of Eden?) at a fancy masquerade at Craven's, and the other is a beautiful black lace gown over a nude underlay - sounds gorgeous!

The dialogue between the two h/h is fast and furious, they're a good match for each other! Lily is so daring and refreshing, it's fun to see what next is going to happen with her. Yet, at the same time, she's carrying this horrible burden around with her about her daughter. You really feel for her.

I won't spoil anymore of the plot, but this is a GREAT read! Raiford is blonde and handsome and strong and virile. At first we don't really like him too much because he comes across as such an ogre, but he definitely grows on you and softens and changes with Lily. By the end of the book you love him as I did with Lily too. I had tears in my eyes. I can't stress enough what a good story this is! It sounds complicated, but when you read it, it flows smoothly and effortlessly.

Kleypas' heroines are generally complicated individuals with many layers to them, they're usually carrying around some baggage from their past as well. Lily is obviously no exception, but I appreciate these characteristics. Her people are more real to me, I sympathize with them and care for them. I think it takes a talented author to do this and get her readers to feel an emotional bond or tug with her characters. Ms. Kleypas does this in spades over and over again.

First in the Gambler's series. The next one involves Derek Craven - should be interesting!



VampFanGirl said...

Great Review Julie as always. ;)

I haven't read this one but it sounds really good. Lilly Lawless, you're right, that's great name! She sounds pretty lawless too. :) I've read Derek's book which I enjoyed and I vaguely remember some mention of Lilly. Enjoy 'Dreamin of You'!

I'll be adding 'Then Came You' you my Wish List. Thanks for the recommendation!

Have a great weekend!

:) VFG

Erotic Horizon said...

Hey Julie...

I have always liked this author, I haven't read anything by her in a while.

But i do like her convoluted plots and her situations that lead to the HEA....

Great reviews and comments on the book.


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

VFG - yes I'm looking forward to reading Derek's story, he's an interesting character coming from such humble beginnings and rising to being so very rich and running Craven's. In this one, it alludes to that he loved Lily, but didn't think he was good enough for her, they were great friends before she hooked up with Alex. Leaves the door open for his story.

EH - Thanks! I've always liked Lisa Kleypas' books too, some I wasn't as crazy about as others, but for the most part they're all great! What is HEA?

Lea said...

Wonderful review Julie!

VFG always raves about this author and I see her everywhere in the blogosphere. I've not read any of her books but maybe I will some day based on the strength of yours, VFG and so many other rave reviews.

Thank you for sharing. :)

Happy Easter

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Lea, she is really good! I've only read her historicals, but I hear her contemporaries are really good too. She's such a talent! If you want to start reading something of hers, I'd start with this series, since it's a precursor to her Wallflower Series.

Renee said...

This is a great one, and Lily is such fun to read about, isn't she?

I really hope you enjoy Derek Craven. Dreaming of You is one of my very favorite Kleypas books!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Renee, oh I'm definitely intersted in reading about Derek Craven! I wonder will he ever speak like a gentleman, or will he always have that coarseness about him from his Cockney background.

I vaguely remember there was someone in Devil in Winter that came to the gambling club and I wonder now if that was an older Derek? I'll have to go back and see. I don't think I have the book anymore, probably swapped at Paperback Swap.

VampFanGirl said...

HI Julie,

Yeah, Derek has a LOT of self-esteem and image issues. But his heroine is perfect for him. Humble beginings doesn't even do him justice. The poor man. He's one of the most tortured historical heros I've ever read.

I know you're primarily a historical reader, Julie, but you may also enjoy Kleypas's contemporaries. I really love her 1st person naratives.

Happy Easter!

:) VFG

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

VFG - Happy Easter to you too! Eventually I'll get to her contemporaries, right now I'm making my way through her historicals. Slowly but surely I'm starting to read contemporaries, I do like them, but historicals just seem to call to me. :D

Blodeuedd said...

I haven't read a Kleypas book yet but it's sure on my list :D

And from your review I wnat to read it more

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Blodeuedd - you are in for a real treat! She's one of my favorite romance authors! You can't go wrong with her!

Happy Easter!

Kristie (J) said...

The best part of this book for me is the glimpses we see of Derek Craven - my all time favourite hero. I can hardly wait to see what you think of him when you get to his story. Hopefully when you read it (and *laughing* I'm finding it odd that not every has read his story) you will become a bona fide Cravenator. Before there was the Wallflower series - there was Dreaming of You - still my favourite Lisa Kleypas book all these many years later.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Kristie - okay that does it! I think I'm going to have to start reading Dreaming of You right away (although I really like my current book!), or perhaps I'll make it the next one I read - I'm so curious now about Derek! I'm late to romances, I only discovered Kleypas this past years and read her the Wallflower series first so that's why I'm only getting to this one now. I am very eager to get to it pronto! Will definitely post when I do!

Annie said...

Hey Julie. Great review! Adding it to my TBR Pile. I have another award for you:

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Annie - thank you for the award and of thinking of me!

Glad you're adding it to the list, I hope you like it!

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

Great review Julie, so in-depth, will add this to the list!

I only have one more of the Outlander series to read, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I can't decide if I should read it now or what until the new release gets closer!

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

For a bit of fun you have been tagged by the Hunky Hero. Check this out Can't wait to see who you choose!

Erotic Horizon said...

Hey Julie..

Just catching up on comments....

HEA - Happily Ever After...

I have to write them down until i get used to them, there is so much little letters, floating around the web - that I have to ask as well..


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Alaine - read it now, and then read them all over again before Echo comes out. It's even better the second time around - trust me! I envy you just beginning! ABOSAA is a tough book, but better than TFC.

E.H. - of course, thanks I should have known!

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

I've actually just read all the others, end of last year and early this year. Not ready to reread them all. I was just holding out on ABOSAA until it's closer to the release so that it's really fresh in my mind. But I think I'll read it sooner rather than later.

There is a blog award waiting for you @

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Thanks Alain for the great award! I haven't been able to access all day or comment at my office! Sorry, it took me so long!

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