Prince of Dreams

Prince of Dreams

by Lisa Kleypas

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A wealthy and bitter exile, he most dangerous and desirable man in all of England, he burns to possess a proud, headstrong beauty who is promised to another. But winning Emma Stokehurst's exquisite hand through threats and determination does nothing to fill the empty spaces in Nikola's heart—until passion's magic carries the handsome, tormented prince back to a bygone era of splendor and romantic dreams. For there his destiny awaits him in a distant life. And in one remarkable woman's tender touch—achingly familiar but gloriously new—he must seek the elusive promise of ecstasy . . .and learn, at last, to love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380773558
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/01/1995
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 116,176
Product dimensions: 6.74(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

1877 London

"WAITING FOR SOMEONE?" A man's voice cut through the rustling quiet of the garden. The Russian accent was soft and guttural, falling pleasantly on Emma's ears. Turning with a wry smile, Emma watched as Prince Nikolas Angelovsky stepped out of the shadows.

With his golden skin, his sun-streaked hair, and his unpredictable cruelty, Nikolas was more like a tiger than a human being. Emma had never seen such a perfect blend of beauty and menace in any other man. She knew from personal experience that there was good reason to fear him. But she was an expert at handling dangerous creatures. The only sure way to be hurt was to show her fear.

Emma relaxed her spine and settled more comfortably on the stone bench, located in the most secluded section of the formal estate garden. "I'm certainly not waiting for you," she replied briskly. "Why are you out here?"

He smiled at that, his white teeth gleaming in the darkness. "I felt like taking a walk."

"I'll thank you to walk somewhere else. I'm trying to meet someone in private."

"Who is it?" He slid his hands into his pockets, walking around her.

"Go away, Nikolas."

"Tell me."

"Go away!"

"You can't order me about on my own estate, child." Nikolas stopped a few feet away from her. He was a tall man, one of the few in London whom Emma didn't tower over. He had big hands and feet, and a spare, powerful build. A shadow fell across his face, obscuring all but the piercing yellow gleam of his eyes.

"I'm not a child. I'm a full-grown woman."

"So you are," Nikolas said softly. His gaze swept over her, taking note of herslender figure wrapped in a simple white gown. Emma's face, as always, was unpowdered and unpainted. Her hair had been pinned into a tight chignon, but exuberant curls sprang around her face and neck. Her hair was a sublime shade of red, burning with bronze and cinnamon lights.

"You look beautiful tonight," he said.

Emma laughed. "Don't flatter me. 'Attractive' is the best I can do, and I know it. It's hardly worth having my head stuck with hairpins and my ribs crushed with tight lacing until I can't breathe. I'd much rather go 'round wearing boots and breeches and be comfortable, as men are. If one can't be beautiful, one shouldn't have to try at all."

Nikolas didn't argue, though he had his own opinion on the matter. Emma's unique attractiveness had always fascinated him. She was a strong, resilient woman, with the grace of a tall-masted ship. Her face was a composition of delicate angled cheekbones, a lush mouth, a scattering of golden freckles across the bridge of her nose. Long-limbed and slender, she reached a height of nearly six feet, even in her flat slippers. Nikolas topped her by a scant two inches. He had often imagined her body matched exactly to his, her legs and arms wrapped around him.

They were right for each other. Strange that no one else could see it, but it had been clear to Nikolas for years, ever since he had first met her. She had been a devil-child, an explosive bundle of gangly limbs and wild red hair. Now she was a young woman of twenty, with a ruthless honesty that was a perfect foil for his own secretive nature. She reminded him of the women he had known in Russia, women with fire in their souls . . . so unlike the tepid European creatures he had known for the past seven years.

Aware of his inspection, Emma made a face at him. "I don't mind being plain," she said. "As far as I can tell, beauty is a terrible inconvenience. Now you really must go, Nikolas. With you hovering around, no man will dare come near me."

"Whomever you're waiting for, he won't last any longer than the others."

Emma scowled in sudden defiance. "This one will."

"They never stay," he continued idly. "You send them all away, in the exact order they come to you. Why is that?"

Emma's vivid flush clashed with her hair. She clamped her lips together. His arrow had found its mark. This was her third Season after having been presented. If she didn't marry soon, she would be considered a failure in the marriage market and on a rapid road to spinsterhood.

"I don't see why I need a husband," she said. "I don't like the idea of being owned by someone. You probably think that makes me unwomanly."

"I consider you very much a woman."

Her auburn brows inched upward. "Is that a compliment or mockery? With you, it's hard to tell."

"I never mock you, Emma. Other people, yes. You, no."

She gave a disbelieving snort.

Nikolas came forward then, stepping into the light that spilled gently from a garden lantern. "You will accompany me back inside now. As your host--and a distant cousin--I can't allow you to stay out here unchaperoned."

"Don't try to claim any kinship between us. You're my stepmother's relative, and you have no ties to me whatsoever."

"We're cousins by marriage," he insisted.

Emma smiled at that, knowing that as cousins, they could have a far more informal relationship, calling each other by first names and talking privately without the need of a chaperone. "Whatever you say, Your Highness."

"Perhaps you would like a tour of my art collection," Nikolas suggested. "I have an icon wall that might interest you. Many of them are works from thirteenth-century Novgorod."

"I don't care for art, and I certainly don't want to look at any gloomy old icons." Emma gave him a skeptical glance. "Why do you keep them?

Prince of Dreams. Copyright © by Lisa Kleypas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Prince of Dreams 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
jnxdoe More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It's full of magic, fantasy and romance. The main character also quite different from others that i've read before. Maybe sometime it's disturbing for how Nikolas treated Emma before, specially when it comes with betrayal with other women, but in the end it's just like Madam Miracle said before (i dont know the original words, because i only read the translation one) : "...with your patience and forgiveness you will unite the opposite forces of you two..." It's clear that Emma will face many obstacles before she can reunite with her foreign husband and gain the happy ending. Well, this is just my opinion ^____^
luxmey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Contrary to the statement of numerous reviewers who have claimed that this was not a good book, i would say that Lisa Kleypas has written a keeper. The story is rich with imagery and emotions as well as a well thought out plot. The main characters Emma and Nickolas were extremely well matched; intelligent, intriguing and most definitley good looking. I read midnight angel and was dying for emma to have her own story. Despitehis unflattering debut in 'midnight angel', he had reedemed himself at the very last part of the book giving a glimpse of a more caring side of Nickolas and had left me dying from curiousity as to how the romance between emma and him blossom and in Prince of dreams... i was not at all disappointed with the way their relationship had happened...and the much detested flashback seemed astoundingly appropriate and wonderfuly romantic under the circumstances. God knows why it was not a hit with the rest of Ms. Kleypas's fans. I was thourougly enchanted by the enlightenment Nickolas had reach BECAUSE of this flashback. A beautiful and well written story. DO NOT BE DETERED BY THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good chemistry between the main characters but a convoluted plot that felt forced and too fantastical.
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CatrinaBear More than 1 year ago
I loved Midnight Angel and this book I have to say was better than the first. Prince of Dreams takes you to a place that you can't believe and leaves your heart full.
Happywitch More than 1 year ago
WOW! What a read! I love it. No, surprise... as I LOVE all her novels. The look into the life of Prince Nicholas was wonderful! And, the storyline including so much explanation about his homeland of Russia. I loved it! I could not put the book down & wanted so much from the beginning for them to end up happy together. His character had interested me since the novel with his distant cousin. Emma's stepmother. YOU WON'T REGRET THIE BUY!
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Frenchiebella More than 1 year ago
I don't understand all the bad reviews, but it was a wonderful books. The characters are very realistic and you fall in love with them. Lovely =)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is different from Lisa's usual storyline but still greatly told. It is filled with strong characters & a great love story.
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Shermaria Major More than 1 year ago
This book was quite spiritual. A lot of the bad reviews come from people who don't understad what it's like to be married to someone like Nikolas. I loved the story and this was better than Midnight Angel. Nikolas is a hero that you love to hate. You won't regret buying this book.
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