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July's Best Reads: Dive into Summer's Hottest Page-Turners!

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Movie costumer Joey Jessop discovers a Hollywood diva's deadly secrets.


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She won�t quit until she gets justice.
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Excerpt of Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Purchase


Gamblers #2
Avon
September 2003
On Sale: September 1, 2003
Featuring: Derek Craven; Sara Fielding
405 pages
ISBN: 038077352X
EAN: 9780380773527
Kindle: B000FC11I8
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Add to Wish List

Romance Historical

Also by Lisa Kleypas:

Someone to Watch Over Me, August 2024
Mass Market Paperback
Devil in Disguise, August 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book / audiobook
Chasing Cassandra, February 2020
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Devil's Daughter, February 2019
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Hello Stranger, March 2018
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Love in the Afternoon, December 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
A Christmas to Remember, October 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Devil in Spring, March 2017
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Marrying Winterborne, June 2016
Paperback / e-Book
Cold-Hearted Rake, November 2015
Paperback / e-Book
Brown-Eyed Girl, August 2015
Hardcover / e-Book
Crystal Cove, February 2013
Paperback / e-Book
Dream Lake, August 2012
Trade Size / e-Book
Rainshadow Road, March 2012
Trade Size / e-Book
Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor, October 2011
Paperback (reprint)
Love Come to Me, September 2011
Paperback (reprint)
Stranger in My Arms, February 2011
Paperback / e-Book
Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor, November 2010
Hardcover / e-Book
Love In The Afternoon, July 2010
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Married By Morning, June 2010
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Tempt Me At Twilight, October 2009
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Smooth Talking Stranger, April 2009
Hardcover
Seduce Me at Sunrise, October 2008
Paperback / e-Book
A Wallflower Christmas, October 2008
Hardcover / e-Book
Blue-Eyed Devil, April 2008
Hardcover / e-Book
Mine Till Midnight, October 2007
Paperback / e-Book
Sugar Daddy, March 2007
Hardcover
Suddenly You, December 2006
Paperback (reprint)
Secrets of a Summer Night, December 2006
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Gifts of Love, November 2006
Paperback
Scandal in Spring, August 2006
Paperback / e-Book
Devil in Winter, February 2006
Paperback / e-Book
It Happened One Autumn, October 2005
Paperback / e-Book
Secrets of a Summer Night, November 2004
Paperback / e-Book
Again The Magic, January 2004
Paperback / e-Book
Where's My Hero?, September 2003
Paperback
Wish List, September 2003
Paperback (reprint)
Dreaming of You, September 2003
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Worth Any Price, January 2003
Paperback / e-Book
Only With Your Love, September 2002
Paperback (reprint)
When Strangers Marry, July 2002
Paperback (reprint)
Lady Sophia's Lover, June 2002
Paperback / e-Book
Suddenly You, June 2001
Paperback
Where Dreams Begin, August 2000
Paperback
Someone to Watch over Me, September 1999
Paperback / e-Book
Because You're Mine, September 1997
Paperback
Somewhere I'll Find You, October 1996
Paperback
Three Weddings and a Kiss, September 1995
Paperback (reprint)
Only in Your Arms, September 1995
Paperback
Prince of Dreams, August 1995
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Midnight Angel, January 1995
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Then Came You, June 1993
Paperback / e-Book
Give Me Tonight, April 1989
Paperback
Forever My Love, December 1988
Paperback
Love Come to Me, June 1988
Paperback

Excerpt of Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Chapter One

The lone figure of a woman stood in the shadows. She leaned against the wall of a crumbling lodging house, her shoulders hunched as if she were ill. Derek Craven's hard green eyes flickered over her as he came from the back- alley gaming hell. Such a sight wasn't unusual in the streets of London, especially in the rookery, where human suffering was visible in all its variety. Here, a short but significant distance from the splendor of St. James, the buildings were a crumbling mass of filth. The area was crawling with beggars, prostitutes, swindlers, thieves. His kind of people.

No decent female would be found here, especially after dusk. But if she was a whore, she was dressed strangely for it. Her gray cloak parted in the front to reveal a high- necked gown made of dark cloth. The lock of hair that strayed from beneath her hood was an indistinct brown. It was possible she was waiting for an errant husband, or perhaps she was a shopgirl who had lost her way.

People glanced furtively at the woman, but they passed her without breaking pace. If she remained here much longer, there was no doubt she would be raped or robbed, even beaten and left for dead. The gentlemanly thing to do would be to go to her, inquire about her well-being, express concern for her safety.

But he was no gentleman. Derek turned away, striding along the broken pavement. He had grown up in the streets—born in the gutter, nursed through infancy by a group of ragged prostitutes, and educated in his youth by criminals of every kind. He was familiar with the schemes used to prey upon the unwary, the few efficient moments it took to rob a man and crush histhroat. Women were frequently used in such plots as bait or lookouts, or even assailants. A soft feminine hand could do a great deal of damage when it was wrapped around an iron cudgel, or when it clutched a stocking weighted with a pound or two of shot.

Gradually Derek became aware of footsteps close behind him. Something about them caused a warning prickle along his spine. Two sets of heavy footsteps, belonging to men. Deliberately he changed his pace, and they adjusted to match. They were following him. Perhaps they had been sent by his rival Ivo Jenner to cause mischief. Swearing silently, Derek began to round a comer.

As he expected, they made their move. Swiftly he turned and ducked beneath the drive of a clenched fist. Relying on instinct and years of experience, he shifted his weight to one leg and lashed out with his booted foot, striking a blow to the assailant's stomach. The man gave a muffled gasp of surprise and staggered back. Whipping around, Derek lunged for the second man, but it was too late . . . He felt the thud of a metal object on his back and a blinding impact on his head. Stunned, he fell heavily to the ground. The two men crawled over his twitching body.

"Do it quick," one of them said, his voice muffled. Struggling, Derek felt his head pushed back. He struck out with a clenched fist, but his arm was pinned to the ground. There was a slash across his face, a dull roar in his ears, hot wetness flowing in his eyes and mouth . . . his own blood. He sputtered a groaning protest, writhing to free himself from the searing pain. It was happening too quickly. He couldn't stop them. He had always been afraid of death, for somehow he had known it would come like this, not in peace, but in pain and violence and darkness.

Sara stopped to read through the information she had gathered so far. Peering through her spectacles, she puzzled over the new cant words she had heard that night. The language of the street changed quickly from year to year, an evolving process that fascinated her. Leaning against a wall for privacy, she pored over the notes she had made and scribbled a few corrections with her pencil. The gamblers had referred to playing cards as "flats" and had cautioned each other to watch out for the "crushers," which was perhaps intended to describe policemen. One thing she hadn't figured out yet was the difference between "rampsmen" and "dragsmen," both words used to refer to street thieves. Well, she would have to find out . . . it was imperative that she use the correct terms. Her first two novels, Mathilda and The Beggar, had both been praised for their attention to detail. She would not want her third, as yet untitled, to be faulted for inaccuracies.

She wondered if the men coming and going from the gambling hell would be able to answer her questions. Most of them were quite disreputable, with unshaven faces and poor hygiene. Perhaps it would be unwise to ask them anything— they might not welcome an interruption in their evening revels. On the other hand, she needed to talk to them for the sake of her book. And Sara was always careful not to judge people by outward appearances.

Suddenly she was aware of a disturbance near the corner. She tried to see what was happening, but the street was shrouded in darkness. After folding the sheaf of paper she had stitched together to form a little book, she slipped it into her handbag and ventured forth curiously. A torrent of crude words brought color to her cheeks. No one used such language in Greenwood Corners except old Mr. Dawson, when he drank too much spiced punch at the annual town Christmas festival.

There were three figures engaged in a struggle. It appeared that two men were holding a third on the ground and beating him. She heard the sounds of fists pounding on flesh. Frowning uncertainly, Sara clutched her reticule as she watched. Her heart began to pound like a rabbit's.

 

Excerpt from Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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