Then Came You (Gamblers of Craven #1)

Then Came You (The Gamblers, #1)Then Came You Summary:
A woman with a secret...

Reckless beauty Lily Lawson delights in shocking London society. She will break any rule to get what she wants . . . and she is determined to stop her younger sister from marrying Alex, Lord Wolverton, a handsome and arrogant earl who has vowed never to fall in love.

A man who will do anything to possess her...

To Alex's fury, the headstrong hellion presents a temptation he can't resist. He vows to make her pay dearly for her interference—with her body, her soul, and her stubborn, well-guarded heart.

As Alex and Lily challenge each other at every turn, they are caught up in a white-hot desire that burns through every defense and exposes the mystery of Lily's past . . . and together they discover that love is the most dangerous game of all.

Then Came You Review:
I am going in order of the books series, that I have read so far, not the order in which I read the books. That is why I talk as if I already know what’s happening in the plot, because I do J So I can say without a doubt that this was definitely not one of Kleypas’ best books. It lacked a likable heroine and hero which resulted in a weird romance story, but the plot was interesting to say the least!

Beware, there may be spoilers below.

The story was based on Lily trying to find and get back her daughter. It was an incredibly interesting context of it’s uniqueness and Kleypas always brings out incredibly strong emotions when she writes a story. Kleypas handled some extremely dark moments and topics with ease. She never made the scenes completely emotional. The same was done to the rest of the plot. The emotion was there but it was layered perfectly with the idea and the writing style. The world building was really nice, and made me excited for the next novel even if this was not amazing.

The heroine, Lily was a strong heroine. With the bad hand she has been dealt, how could she not. She was constantly facing disappointment with family and friends abandoning her, not being able to protect those she loves and being forced into horrible/desperate situations. Yet, she lives the life of a single, 21st century women. Pretending to owe her life to no one, everyone mistakes her for a carefree spirit that has no care for life. But it is all an act that she holds onto for most of the book. She is one of the few Kleypas heroines that has been hardened by life. I loved seeing this dark side to a female character and to, once again, not be overly emotional. The only flaw with her character was the she was too untrustworthy. She did not talk about her problem to Alex until the VERY end of the book. It got to the point that Lily was just creating more unnecessary problems and drama.

“I can’t help you if you won’t trust me,” he said with quiet intensity. “I can’t protect you from shadows, or keep you safe from dreams.”
“I’ve told you everything…I…I don’t know.”
There was a long silence. “Have I ever mentioned,” he said coldly, “how much I hate being lied to?”
She averted her gaze, looking at the carpet, the wall, the door, anywhere but his face. “I’m sorry.” She wanted him to hold and cuddle her as he always did after her bad dreams. She wanted him to make love to her, so that for a little while she could forget everything but the powerful warmth of him inside her. “Alex, take me back to bed.”
With impersonal gentleness, he eased her away and turned her in the direction of the bedroom. “Go on. I’m going to stay up for a while.”

While Lily had one problem, Alex was just a huge problem. He took Alpha male to a new level. Instead of changing from the overbearing man he was in the beginning, which can be excused, he stayed the same until the very end. He constantly looked down at Lily because he was too close to his ex-wife’s memory. He devalued her over and over again, and refused to look beyond the exterior to find out her reasons. He constantly made assumptions about her character and repeatedly tried to own her.

“You'll be my wife," he said inexorably.
"You want to own me!" she accused, trying to crawl away from him.
"Yes." He flung her down on the bed and flattened his weight on her. As he spoke, his hot breath fanned
her mouth and chin. "Yes. I want other people to look at you and know you're mine."

There were two good things about Alex that saved him from being a total dick. First, his love for Henry. He is insanely protective of Henry and almost beats down another man, because he hurt Henry. It was sweet. Another thing was how he treated others. While he wasn’t respectful to Lily, he amazing to Penelope, Nicole and others. And will never stop protecting them from harm. This was shown a lot near the end of the book, and that’s why the book ended on such a high note.

“Lily.” He took her shoulders and pulled her to him gently. The unanchored sheet fell to her waist, baring her slender body. “You know I’d rather you didn’t hunt—I can’t stand the thought of a single scratch or bruise on you. But I don’t want to deprive you of anything that makes you happy. I know how you love to hunt. As long as you’re careful, and walk the horse around the more difficult jumps, I don’t have any objections.”

There was one other character that this book absolutely needed and that was Derek. With his Cockney accent and ruthless demeanor, he swept into our hearts making us excited for his book, Dreaming of You. I hope at least in the next book that Kleypas takes away part of the accent because I couldn’t understand half the dialogue with him. He is another tortured hero, which makes him all the more exciting to reach his happy ending. But there’s one thing I do have to say. He left Lily when she needed him the most so that he could protect his heart. I don’t like that he did it, but I understand why he did it. (I just wanted to try and explain his situation)

One thing before I conclude this review is a mini rant on the heroes. In all of Kleypas’ novels there is always a domineering alpha that is the hero. He is always a womanizing, arrogant, rich male (Sir Ross doesn’t fit into that). Why is it that only those people can showcase their love? What about the quiet, bookish types who can be just as “passionate” as the alphas. But then again, every author has their “type”. But still I would like to read another book without the same old alpha.

The ending was beautifully written and wrapped up the novel in a splendid way. To say the least, it bumped this book up a star. I wish the romance from the last part replaced the first part so that the whole book could have been amazing. The two have their own quirky way of romance that really shone through in the end!

What do you want to wager that it’s a boy?”
Alex bent his head to murmur in her ear.
Lily laughed throatily. “That’s all?” she teased provocatively. “I thought you were more of a gambler than that.” Smiling, she drew him down to her, her hands clasping his broad back. “Come closer, my lord,” she whispered, “and we’ll see if we can’t raise the stakes.”

Overall this book is a 4 star read! It had a mix of complex and diverse characters filled with an intriguing plot and interesting concept. There were flaws here and there, but the book is not the worst of Kleypas’ HR. While it doesn’t compare to the start of the Wallflowers or Hathaways’ series, it helped open up our eyes to another wonderful series.

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