Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas

       Title: Where Dreams Begin
       Author: Lisa Kleypas
       Release Date: March 17, 2009
       Publisher: HarperCollins
       Category: Historical Romance
       Type: Paperback/Audio/Kindle/Hardcover
       Click Here To Buy NOW!


New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers the unforgettable, sexy tale of a brash rogue who meets his equal in a woman who knows exactly what she wants . . .

Zachary Bronson has built an empire of wealth and power. Now he is seeking a wife to help secure his position in the ton . . . as well as warm his bed in private. But not just any woman will do for one of London's most notorious rakes. When he meets Lady Holly Taylor, he surrenders to the temptation to take her in his arms and kiss her. Yet he's pleasantly surprised to discover her fierce passions match his own.

Lady Holly Taylor is destined to spend her life playing by society's rules even when they go against her bolder instincts. But Zachary's kiss arouses her, and though his shocking offer doesn't include marriage, she is compelled to risk everything for the most forbidden passion.


“I'll follow you to the next life if I have to," he whispered harshly in her ear. "You'll never be free of me. I'll chase you through heaven and hell and beyond." He continued to whisper without stopping while his hands gripped her body close to his. "You stay with me, Holly," he muttered savagely. "Don't do this to me. You stay, damn you.” 

Quote Highlights:

“You wouldn't have taken Rose to such a place, would you?"

"Of course not, but she is a little girl, and I'm-"

"My life", he interrupted quietly. "You're my entire life. If anything ever happens to you, Holly, there is nothing left for me.” 

“Then he raised her enough to whisper in her ear, and while his voice was tender, his words were savage. "You're my woman, and no man or God or ghost will ever take you from me.” 

“Finish the wine," he suggested softly, "and let me have my way with you. And in the morning we'll both pretend that you don't remember.” 


I generally include a much bigger excerpt and dialogue highlight in an effort to give everyone reading this review a glimpse of the writer’s style. However, with these “bigger” authors (if you will), it can be difficult to ferret out snippets to share without typing straight from the book and infringing upon copyright. This is the same problem I had with the last Kleypas review that I completed. This time I chose a few of the great quotes from Zachary; although he had many other great ones. If anyone ever demonstrated a rogue who was well and truly caught, it is our Mr. Bronson.  I discovered Ms. Kleypas by accident on a camping trip of all things and have never looked back since. When I am lucky enough to come across a book I have not read, it is an automatic purchase. This book is a tale of how opposing worlds and ideals can intersect in the most unexpected ways to form a perfect union full of love, passion, and mutual respect.

Lady Holland Taylor has had her one true love. Her aristocratic dearly departed husband has crumbled the perfect bubble she lived. Living for her daughter and the joy she brings, Holly now resides with her in-laws and is the epitome of the perfect widow in mourning. Not only does she mourn faultlessly, she is the personification of a Lady. After attending her first public affair in three years, she finds herself seeking refuge in a dark room, hopelessly attempting to escape the flood of memories of her husband that has assaulted her senses. Ironically, she finds her senses assaulted in an entirely different way altogether. A chance meeting and mistaken identity conspire to place her in the arms of a stranger and the most sensual experience of her life. Little miss perfect takes a chance, desperate to feel a connection to another human being if only for a moment. And oh what a connection. Ultimately her inability to enjoy Zachary’s attentions stems from a deathbed promise made to her late husband, George; a secret not divulged until much later in the book.

Zachary Bronson is what every respectable Lady dreams of … as her paramour. Born of the lower than low, Zachary is shunned by many despite the vast fortune his business deals have amassed. Everyone wants him for his money, but no one wants him as a relative by marriage. God forbid their bloodlines mingle. And Zachary also has a younger sister who is due out for her season  very soon. She needs to be schooled in social etiquette for her introduction to society and Zachary has just the woman in mind. Having discovered Holly’s identity almost immediately following their scandalous interlude, Zachary knows he must possess her any way possible. Making an offer she can’t refuse will get her under his roof and hopefully in his bed. But Zachary is more than just a forbidden rogue with a rakehell’s reputation and it isn’t long before Holly has utterly captivated him. A plan to make her his mistress soon develops into a fight to make her realize the potential he has as not only her greatest temptation, but also her greatest love.

I absolutely loved this couple. Holly has been raised to be the perfect lady and a woman of gentle respectability. I so desperately wanted to see her break free of her misguided constraints and jump into a torrid affair with Zachary. The longer she held out and denied her feelings (which, in her defense, confused and scared her because she did not understand them) the more I wanted to smack her upside the head and scream, “Wake up and seize what is standing right in front of you damn you!” Although I found her devotion to her deceased husband a bit over-the-top, I do suppose it would have been appropriate behavior for the times. And Zachary! How can you not instantly fall in love with this driven man of sublime temptation? The intensity of his words to Holly could literally dissolve me into a puddle. Not to mention that I always root for the underdog. It was inconceivable to me that society could shun his birth, yet desire his wealth, and not admire his ability to rise above even in the face of near guaranteed failure.

The icing to the fabulous cake that is this book, is the sub plot involving Zachary’s sister, Lizzie, and Holly’s cousin, Jason. The two characters are … well … characters. Lizzie’s outspoken tendencies and Jason’s deft ability at handling her indelicate ways is nothing short of joyous to read. Also adding a bit of depth to the story is Holly’s daughter, Rose, who adds a childlike innocence to the story, yet expertly wraps the hearts of all off the Bronsons’ around her little finger; most especially the biggest Bronson. I would dearly love to see Jason and Lizzie’s story expanded into a full length novel as well as see Rose grown up. The later for the sheer pleasure of witnessing Zachary coming to grips with how to handle Rose and a gaggle of suitors. But I digress …

My only complaint with the book is that Zachary is so far beyond his time that he seems almost too far into the future. Characters of viable existence are challenged with a bit too much entrepreneurism. Also disliked was the out of character visit Holly makes to a factory with child workers. The dutiful woman of refinement suddenly jumps far outside of the box which does not at all jive with the character that the reader has come to know. I think not. Her little jaunt also ends up extending the story well beyond where it should have gone. It could have ended several pages earlier and been spectacular. Instead, I felt like Ms. Kleypas was looking for a way to extend the story just a bit longer so why not throw a near death wrench in their happily ever after?!?!?! Argh!

Complaints aside, Where Dreams Begin truly is a place where dreams can come true. Just as Zachary had never imagined he could become consumed in a forever-love, Holly had believed her chance at love had come and gone. I genuinely enjoyed seeing the sexual frustration come to a peak as Zachary’s innuendos finally hit their mark to effectively wear Holly’s defenses down. This book was beyond entertaining and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical romance. Despite a couple of flaws (in my own opinion), the magnificence of Ms. Kleypas’s writing style is undeniable and a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

(Paperback purchased for private collection)

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