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Suddenly You (Lisa Kleypas)

3 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Not my favorite work by Kleypas – though still worth the read.  Suddenly You definitely is the quickest-to-seduction-scene I’ve ever seen in a historical romance.  The characters feel genuinely interesting and outside the norm  – Amanda Briars is an author from the country who decides to hire a male prostitute through an infamous madam in order to lose her virginity on her thirtieth birthday, and Jack Devlin is a ruthless publisher from an abusive background who is both fascinated and terrified by the temptation Amanda presents.  They are almost intimate by the end of the first chapter, and though Kleypas lets us take a step back and get to know the characters in the later chapters, this book seems particularly driven by the physical attraction between the two, a shame because (especially by the end, spoilers below) it almost gets in the way of the more compelling emotional arc that develops.
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Dreaming of You (Lisa Kleypas, Gamblers #2)

1.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is an earlier Kleypas work and though it is still fairly well written, it ultimately feels like an earlier work of a talented, but still developing, writer.  The plot centers around an acclaimed author who saves the life of a notorious gambling club owner… and it meanders quite a bit, the dialog lacks the sparkle of her later works, and the characters are more one-dimensional than usual (she’s naive and innocent, he’s hardened and weary).  Also, there are some real moral gray areas that you don’t often encounter in a regency romance (spoilers below), which, though different and arguably intriguing, also make the novel considerably less escapist than I like.  I don’t regret reading it, but there were parts that were… surprisingly difficult to get through, and the most noticeable feeling I felt upon completion was relief.  It’s not something I’d recommend, even to a Kleypas fan.

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