Then Came You
by Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: June 1, 1993
Book #1 in The Gamblers of Craven’s series
Number of Pages: 371
Source: Warren Public Library
Ages 15 and up
CW: near drowning, kidnapping, animal cruelty
A woman with a secret . . .
Reckless beauty Lily Lawson delights in shocking London society. She will break any rule to get what she wants . . . and she is determined to stop her younger sister from marrying Alex, Lord Wolverton, a handsome and arrogant earl who has vowed never to fall in love.
A man who will do anything to possess her . . .
To Alex’s fury, the headstrong hellion presents a temptation he can’t resist. He vows to make her pay dearly for her interference—with her body, her soul, and her stubborn, well-guarded heart.
As Alex and Lily challenge each other at every turn, they are caught up in a white-hot desire that burns through every defense and exposes the mystery of Lily’s past . . . and together they discover that love is the most dangerous game of all.
Now that I’m getting back into reading historical romance, I’m trying to touch on some that are considered to be essentials to many avid HR readers. Being on Twitter, I could not help but hear tales of Derek Craven over the years. Since I can never read a series from anywhere other than the beginning, I figured I’d start my Lisa Kleypas journey with this story. Derek Craven’s book is next in this series. While he shows up in this book, and he’s definitely intriguing, I have not gotten to his depth as of yet.
As for this story, I really enjoyed the tale. I’m not sure how she did it or when it even happened but somehow, I went from “how am I ever going to actually like Alex let alone love him” to adoring the guy. It was like, once Alex made the decision to let his past go and really give 100% to a happy future and life, a switch flipped. We got to see the real Alex, not the Alex that was hiding behind an emotionless mask and putting walls around his heart.
Lily has so many layers and so many secrets. What you see is not necessarily what you get. She’s outspoken and wild and carefree to the public, but behind closed doors Lily is dying inside a little bit more each day. She’s had something dear ripped from her and will stop at nothing to get it back. The devil-may-care woman is actually bankrupting herself to get her world back in order. Yet, when the man she knows is the true love match for her younger sister appeals to her to stop her sister’s engagement to Alex she is unable to resist taking a break from her own woes to keep her sister from making a mistake.
The more I got to know Lily, the more I respected how far she’d come and how fierce she was. Of course, there is so much we see as the reader and I yearned for her to share with Alex so he could help her. All at the same time I understood her fears when it came to opening herself up to any man, no matter the connection she felt with him.
I’m really glad I decided to dive into this author’s work. I will note that while reading these stories from before 2010-ish (and especially before 2000) there has to be a bit of bending you’re willing to take or you should just skip the stories altogether. The MMC in these stories often push the boundaries of acceptable behavior without it being thrown back in their faces. Alex toes the lines, more with how he speaks to Lily in the beginning rather than actions, more than once. I know I said I fell in love with him, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some problematic scenes and I feel it only fair to make you aware before you dive in. I highly recommend this book to those who are not bothered by some aggressive actions by the MMC.
Pingback: Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven’s) – book review | All In Good Time