I read Dreaming of You before reading the prequel Then Came You. Is mentioned that our hero Derek Craven is a strong supporting character in the previous book. The hero and heroine from Then Came You, Alex and Lily played a large role here and they both appear so lovey dovey. Maybe I will check out their book some day. Anyway back to Dreaming of You, I had no problem reading this as a standalone and thoroughly enjoyed Derek and Sara's story.
Sara is a novelist who loves to write about society issue such as poverty, prostitution and now she wants to write about gambling club. Her previous novel titled Mathilda, a story about a prostitute brings her much fame. She met the notorious Derek Craven, the Craven's gambling club owner one night at the alley when he was being attacked by some thugs. After saving him and finding out about his identity, she tries to persuade him to allow her to do her research at his club and interview his staffs, much to Derek's annoyance.
Derek Craven, our tortured hero with some self-loathing going on and kinda broody. But I find it not overdone and he did had some sense of humor and sarcasm. Although I did not read the previous book, we had enough information of his past when he tried to scare Sara away with the evil things that he had done. As if she will be easily dissuaded. Although he is now the wealthiest man in London, he is far from respected because of he doesn't possess a drop of noble blood in him. I despise the society that look highly to people who inherited the wealth, instead of making their own. My heart break for him for every time he was made to feel inferior. He had this badass facade upfront, but we know deep down he is an honorable, insecure and lonely man.
Sara is a very strong and bold character. I can see that she needs to be bold here, what with Derek's reclusive personality. I love seeing Sara being so frank and voice out what she wants and Derek appeared all bewildered and unsure of himself. He keeps telling himself that he needs to protect her away from the likes of him. Keep telling yourself that, Derek. Sometimes I want to shake him so hard, so that he stop over thinking.
I like the part when things got heated between Sara and Derek, they both decided to part ways with Sara heading back to her hometown and back to her fiance, Perry. Sara desperately in need to sort through her emotion and resolve the issue with Perry. Both Sara's parents are not what I expected. I expected them to be snobbish and know what's best for Sara, which is to marry to some respectable bachelor and stop writing. But they are non of that. They support Sara in her dreams and let her decides who she wants to marry herself. Sara tried to make things work with Perry, but of course she can never feels the same desire that was triggered by Derek from Perry.
"Some people are separated by distances they can never cross. All they can do is dream about each other for a lifetime, never having what they want most."
Before long, Sara is reunited with Derek at Lily's party. With the reappearance of Derek's crazy ex-lover, things get a little intense and suspenseful. Poor Sara for things that she had to face, just because she is in love with Derek. But I love her whenever she always tell Derek not to blame himself and reassured him of her affection. Sara is just so awesome. I never actually use the word awesome to refer to a heroine, usually the hero. As usual in historical romance, we had a prerequisite swoony epilogue. I know they are as usual cliche, but I totally soaking it up. I love cliche HEA.