“Sara Fielding is hanging out in the rough areas of London doing research for her next book when she comes upon two men trying to kill another. She saves the man, who turns out to be Derek Craven, owner of the most finest gambling establishment in the city. After helping him back to his club, she arranges to be able to come back and visit his club to continue her research. From the very beginning, Sara confounds Derek in ways he's never experienced.
I absolutely loved this story! Derek goes beyond the normal bad boy label and takes rakishness to new limits, which makes it tougher to accept him as a hero in the story. He emerged from a horrific childhood to become one of the most wealthiest men in the country. Derek has garish taste as he tries to overcome his past life of poverty by overcompensating with things that are expensive but lack style, accept it becomes his. Sara, while shy and fairly innocent, is no shrinking violet or "mouse," as Derek likes to call her and challenges him like no woman has in the past. She is the perfect female foil for Derek, reminding him in some ways of his friend Lily but very different indeed. The conflicts and tensions kept me enraptured through this story as Derek's layers were unraveled and explored. We also got more than a brief glimpse into Sara's circumstances with a clarifying interlude late in the story.
Many have tagged Derek Craven as one of their favorite heroes and now I understand why. He's crude, smart, loyal and completely overwhelmed by Sara. It was fun to watch his descent from loneliness, cynicism and isolation and Sara's ascent into herself.
I hate to see this series end, especially this character. You must add this to your Kleypas collection.”