Where Dreams Begin

Where Dreams Begin

by Lisa Kleypas

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380802319
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/26/2013
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 117,359
Product dimensions: 6.72(w) x 4.20(h) x 1.00(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

London, 1830

She had to escape.

The rumble of sophisticated chatter, the blaze of chandeliers that splashed hot wax onto the dancers below and the profusion of smells that heralded the lavish supper to come, all overwhelmed Lady Holly Taylor. It had been a mistake to attend a grand social event so soon after George's death. Of course, most people would not consider three years to be "soon." She had gone through the year and a day of Deep Mourning, barely venturing from the house except to take garden walks with her small daughter Rose. She had worn black bombazine and covered her hair and face with veils that symbolized her separation from her husband and the unseen world. She had taken most of her meals alone, covered all mirrors in the house with black crepe and written letters on black-banded paper, so that every interaction with the outside world would bear the sips of her grief.

Second Mourning had come next. She had still worn all-black clothing, but had relinquished the protective veil. Then, on the third year after George's death, Holly had undergone Half Mourning, which had allowed her to wear gray or mauve, and to participate in small, inconspicuous women's activities, such as tea with relatives or close female friends.

Now that all stages of mourning were finished, Holly had emerged from the dark and comforting shelter of the grieving period into a bright social world that had become terribly unfamiliar. True, the faces and the scene were exactly as she remembered ... except that George was no longer with her. She felt conspicuous in her aloneness, uncomfortable in her new identity as the Widow Taylor. Likeeveryone else, she had always regarded widows as somber figures to be pitied, women who wore an invisible mantle of tragedy no matter what their outward attire suggested. Now she understood why so many widows who attended events like this always looked as though they wished they were somewhere else. People approached her with sympathetic expressions, offered a small cup of punch or a few consoling words and left with a discreet air of relief, as if a social duty had been performed and they were now free to enjoy the ball. She herself had done the same thing to widows in the past, wanting to be kind and yet reluctant to be affected by the desolation in their eyes.

Somehow it had not occurred to Holly that she would feel so isolated in the midst of a large gathering. The empty space beside her, where George should have been, seemed like a painfully obvious gap. Unexpectedly, a feeling akin to embarrassment came over her, as if she had stumbled into a place where she did not belong. She was half of something that had once been whole. Her presence at the ball only served as a reminder that a dearly loved man had been lost.

Her face felt stiff and cold as she inched her way along the wall toward the door of the drawing room. The sweet riot of melody the musicians played did not cheer her, as her friends bad hopefully suggested. The music only seemed to mock her.

Once Holly had danced as lightly and swiftly as the other young women here tonight, feeling as if she were flying in George's protective arms. They had been made for each other, and people had once commented with admiring smiles. She and George had been similar in size, with her own diminutive stature matched by her husband's less-than-towering frame. Although George had been average in height, be had been wonderfully fit, and so very handsome with his golden brown hair and alert blue eyes, and a dazzling smile that was never long in hiding. He had loved to laugh, dance, talk ... no ball or crush or dinner party had ever been complete without him.

Oh, George. A wet aching pressure grew behind her eyes. How lucky I was to have you. How lucky we all were. But how am I supposed to go on without you?

Well-meaning friends had pressured her to come here tonight, intending that this should begin the days of freedom from the smothering rituals of mourning. But she wasn't ready...not tonight...perhaps not ever.

Her gaze scored across the crowd, locating various members of George's family as they socialized and ate delicacies from gilded Sevres porcelain plates. His older brother, William, Lord Taylor, was escorting his wife to the drawing room, where a quadrille was about to begin. Lord and Lady Taylor were a well-suited couple, but their tepid affection did not begin to approach the genuine love that she and George had shared. It seemed that everyone in George's family -- his parents, his brothers, and their wives -- had finally recovered from his death. Enough that they could take part in a ball, laugh and eat and drink, allow themselves to forget that the most beloved member of the family was in an early grave. Holly did not blame them for their ability to carry on, now that George was gone...in fact, she envied them. How wonderful it would be to escape the invisible mantle of grief that covered her from head to toe. If not for her daughter Rose, she would never have a moment's respite from the constant ache of loss.

"Holland," came a murmur from nearby, and she turned to see George's youngest brother, Thomas. Although Thomas had the same attractive features, blue eyes and amber-streaked hair that all the Taylor men shared, he lacked the mischievous spark, the slow dazzling smile, the warmth and confidence that had made George so irresistible. Thomas was a taller, more somber version of his charismatic brother. He had been a steady source of support ever since George's death from typhoid fever.

"Thomas," Holly said brightly, forcing a smile to her stiff lips, "are you enjoying the ball?"

"Not especially," he replied, while sympathy flickered in the azure depths of his eyes. "But I believe I'm navigating it better than you, my dear. There's a pinched look on your face, as though one of your megrims is starting."

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

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Where Dreams Begin 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
AvidBookworm More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Lisa Kleypas that I¿ve read, and I was not thoroughly impressed. I'm a big fan of McNaught and Garwood's historical romance novels, and I've breezed through all of their books, so I was looking for a similar substitute. Kleypas writes a good story with interesting characters, but I just didn't care for how she developed the storyline around them.

Zachary and Holly were very likable characters, and you find yourself rooting for them from the beginning. But Kleypas makes it difficult when the heroine continues to lament over her first husband who died years before these two people met. I could understand sprinkling some of that in the beginning of the novel, but to continue on about it throughout the story eliminates the book's magical possibilities. I guess I just like the concept that two people are made for each other and no one else¿

I really liked the hero, Zachary, because he was a well developed character - very ambitious, business savvy, determined, ruthless, and strong, while still being considerate, loving and gentle with the heroine and his family.

All in all, it was an entertaining and touching story, just wished it could have eliminated some of the heroine¿s continual mourning over her dead husband. I will definitely consider other books by Kleypas though because I sense she has what it takes to capture the reader and send them on a magical ride¿just got to find the right book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Travelover More than 1 year ago
I have read this book over and over. I cannot get enough of this wonderful romance. Whenever I need a pick me up - this is a go to book that always leaves me feeling I'm floating on air. Zachary Bronson is quite a man - a good, decent, hardworking "hunk" who loves with every fiber of his being. His longing for Holly was heartbreaking at times - and I was thrilled when they finally got together. I loved how Kleypas blended in the differences in the various classes during that time period, and how selflessly Zachary set out to make things better for the poor. You can't help but root for this man. He was remarkable - a dream - yet seemed so REAL. And the love scenes! Hot Hot Hot!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1830 London, wealthy, self-made Zachary Bronson wants a place in polite society. To accomplish this, the untitled businessman needs an aristocratic wife who will comply with his wishes and that of the Ton when it does not conflict with the powerful Zachary.

Zachary chooses widow Lady Holly Taylor as his best bet especially after a sizzling kiss ignites his ardor. Holly still mourns the loss of her spouse. Zachary decides to go slow and hires her as a ¿tutor¿ to teach the ways of the Ton to his mother and sister. She reluctantly accepts for the sake of her daughter. As Holly comes to grips over the death of her husband, she falls in love with Zachary who returns her feelings. However, will the always by the book widow throw out the rules to live a dream relationship with the handsome upstart?

WHERE DREAMS BEGIN is a refreshing relationship drama. Holly deeply loved her first husband and unlike most tales was not scarred by him.. Instead, Holly¿s love has left her grieving even as she finds a new love and potential happiness with the brazen Zachary. The story line is fun as dreams do come true and the support cast adds late Regency color and class distinctions to the wonderful blend. As with SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, Lisa Kleypas provides readers with an arousing, fervent love story.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous 7 months ago
SesameG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Zachary Bronson started as a bare-knuckle prize-fighter, investing his winnings and eventually building an immense fortune. He hires Holland Taylor, a member of the ton to teach him, his mother and his sister to fit in with the nobility. He uses his business negotiation skills to convince her, against her late husband's family's advice, to move into his ornate 'wedding cake' of a house with her young daughter Rose, who comes trailing a string of buttons.I love a story where a strong, aggressive man is baffled by something that only the heroine can help him with. I also love stories with an element of the Hades/Persephone myth. This has both - so definitely a keeper in my books!
mom2lnb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lately, I've allowed myself to become distracted from some of my favorite authors, so it has been quite a while since I've read a Lisa Kleypas novel. Where Dreams Begin has been on my TBR pile for nearly two years, and I believe that was due in part to it rarely being mentioned as a fan favorite which led me to believe that it probably wasn't one of her stronger efforts. Now that I've finally read it, I'm kicking myself for not picking it up sooner. In my opinion, Where Dreams Begin is every bit as good if not better than Ms. Kleypas' other works (that I've read to date), and I found it to be a real pleasure to read. I thought it embodied her trademark style in both plot and characterizations, and although perhaps not quite as steamy as some of her later books, it was still plenty sensuous. There was also quite a bit of lightly humorous bantering between the hero and heroine that really livened things up, and lots of sweet, tender romance. Where Dreams Begin was an all-around wonderful story about a proper lady who is tasked with making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, only to find out that it's the roughness around the edges which make her hero so attractive to begin with.Zachary was yet another of Lisa Kleypas' heroes who begins as an ordinary low-born man, but uses his intelligence, diligence and determination to work his way into a hard-earned fortune. He is a real diamond in the rough with a heart of gold who has never forgotten his humble roots and is constantly working for the betterment of the lower classes much to the consternation of the upper classes. It is often said that one can tell the measure of a man by how he regards his mother, which to my way of thinking makes Zachary a virtual saint. He has a huge heart behind his enormous bank account and treats his mother like a queen and his sister like a princess, and can't help spoiling both Holly and her daughter, Rose, too, when they come to live with him. Zachary is more of a father-figure to Rose than her blood uncles were after her father died. He absolutely adores this little girl from the moment they meet and the feeling is mutual. Their scenes together positively melted my heart. Zachary may be as sweet as pie and take the utmost care of the women in his life, but he is a completely incorrigible, unrepentant rogue until his love for Holly literally brings him to his knees. In business, Zachary has a take-no-prisoners approach and a reputation for doing anything it takes to get the job done, and he also has a natural knack for bending others to his will to get what he wants without being overly arrogant. Described as an ¿ape¿ by a member of the nobility, this hulking man was not considered particularly attractive by the standards of the era, but he certainly was incredibly appealing to Holly, and I'm sure will be to most readers as well, myself included. It might have been nice to have a little deeper insight into the hardships that Zachary endured which made him the man he was in the story, but overall, he was yet another delectable hero to come from Lisa Kleypas' talented pen.Holly was no slouch herself. She was a strong and courageous woman who carried on with life after the death of her beloved husband even though she felt like rolling up in a ball and dying herself. Even though it has been three years, Holly is still grieving her husband's passing when she and Zachary meet and share an accidental but incredibly passionate kiss. I loved how she took a chance and followed the desires of her heart when Zachary offered her employment as a social etiquette tutor to him and his family. It took a lot of spunk to risk becoming a social pariah for living under the roof of a man who was looked down upon by the ton in order to better her daughter's future. Not to mention, the backbone it took to keep a rake like Zachary in line. Holly was incredibly prim and proper, having had an extremely loving marriage with her first husband, albeit a s
avernon1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Aren't we all secretly ( or maybe not secretly, as in my case) attracted to those bad boys? The ones your mother told you to stay away from, the ones who have that naughty glint in their eyes, the ones whose wickedness holds a certain charm, the ones who are just a bit rebellious and innately driven? Don't we believe, deep down, that maybe, just maybe, these bad boys could fall in love with us? Well, once again, I have fallen in love with a bad boy, and his name is Zachary Bronson.Zachary always gets what he wants, and what he wants is Lady Holly Taylor. As Holly is leaving a ball, the first real outing she has attempted after having been in mourning for three years since the death of her beloved husband, she is swept up in a kiss by Zachary Bronson. Neither knows the identity of the other on the darkened conservatory, but each feels the passion and the allure of the kiss. It is at this point that Zachary decides he is going to make Lady Holly his. It is too, at this point, that something is ignited deep within this young, beautiful widow.Zachary is a very wealthy, self-made man, something unheard of in the ton. Blue-blood is the only blood that matters, the only blood that makes you a true gentleman. Zachary is the first to admit that he is not a gentleman. It is this knowledge that he uses as a premise to lure Holly and her daughter onto his estate. Lessons. Lessons in manners, lessons in deportment, lessons in chivalry.....lessons in everything gentlemanly. Zachary is willing to pay Holly a huge sum of money, not only to turn him into a gentleman respected by the peerage, but also to give his beautiful sister, Lizzie, etiquette lessons as well so that she may make a productive match for herself. But once the prim and proper Lady Holly embarks on this mission, she is shocked to find herself falling for this brute of a man, a man, she discovers, who is more than the breadth of his shoulders and the fortune he amasses. But how could she fall for someone so different than her first love, George. George would never approve of her finding love with someone so beneath her status, someone so feral. But how can Holly resist Zachary when he is so vulnerable, yearning to be accepted and loved for who he truly is.I truly enjoyed this book. I loved the hero....striking, big and brawny, devoted, intelligent, loyal and passionate. Something about a man fighting his way out of poverty using his physicality and his intelligence is very attractive! I loved how he was able to admit to himself that he was falling in love with a woman. And I loved that he told her so, even at the risk of being rejected for the "commoner" he was. I was happy to see that Zachary wouldn't change for anyone. He knew his flaws, but wasn't willing to change for anyone....he stayed true to his self. The sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine is hot. I loved how Zachary ignited a passion in Holly that was beneath the surface of her lady-like composure. But I did get tired of her holding on to the ghost of her first husband for so long throughout the tale. Having read so many of Lisa Kleypas' novels, my expectations were high and I was not disappointed. Kleypas has once again created characters that come to life on the page, characters that make you yell in frustration...characters that make you laugh uncontrollably.....characters that make you weep with sorrow....characters that make you cry out in anguish. Rose, Holly's four year old daughter, is one such character that touches the reader with her innocent charm and childish honesty. Tears slipped down my cheeks as she was saying goodbye to Zachary, a scene that reveals his inner anguish. "Will I ever see you and Lizzie again?" Rose asked woefully. Zachary couldn't bring himself to lie to her. "Not very often, I'm afraid". "You'll miss me awfully," she said, heaving a sigh, and she began to fumble for something in the pocket of her pinafore. Something went wrong with Zachary's eyes, some odd blurring and sti
ut.tecum.loquerer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There were two big things I liked about this book, and two little things I didn't. Good stuff first: Lady Holly was extremely likable while being believably prudish. That can be a difficult line to walk, but Kleypas did a great job here. Secondly, I actually like Zach from the beginning. Many romance writers have their heroes lusting after the heroine to the exclusion of all else in a sort of threatening way. Zach says 'Tell me all about her.' It seemed to me that from the beginning he was interested in Lady Holly in more ways than one.Annoying things: (SPOILER ALERT) Holly's near death experience was totally unnecessary. It felt trite and tacked on. Also, the orgasm-less widow is one of those romance novel cliches that always makes me roll my eyes a little bit. Oh well. Still quite good overall.
memasmb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After literally fighting his way up from poverty, sexy and virile Zachary Bronson has assembled a vast fortune and at the same time provided for his mother and sister. Now, he needs one thing... he must become socially acceptable so that his sister can marry well. Into his life unexpectedly one night comes, the beautiful and correct Lady Holly Taylor, at her first party that she has attended since she became a widow. The sparks fly and the two share a very powerful attraction.Zachary finds a way to entice Holly to move into his home and to teach his family the ways of society and gain society¿s approval. Against everyone¿s better judgment, she agrees to tutor the Bronson¿s. The story follows the antics of Holly¿s daughter Rose and the very amusing situations that Holly and Zachary get into learning about each other and falling in love. The love story is compelling, humorous, and scrumptious and even though the ending is predictable it was a pleasure to read. I look forward to reading more of Lisa Kleypas¿ stories.I recommend this book for its humorous treatment of two opposites attracting and falling in love.
Anniik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, for the most part. I like books of self-made men who challenge the aristocracy, and while this is not as some I have read (Rose by Lauren Royal, for instance), it is an entertaining and well-crafted story. Zachary is an interesting character, gentle at the same time he is powerful and conniving, and Holly is the epitome of all that is expected of a grieving widow in early Victorian society. The story is strong and compelling - until the last fifty pages, which were almost completely unnecessary and even a little bit corny. The story would have been better if she'd left it off after the wedding and left out Holly's rather cheesy near-death-experience. Still, I enjoyed this book despite its flaws.
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lady Holly had been brought up to be the perfect debutant. She had a perfect childhood, married the perfect man and had a perfect daughter. But when typhoid fever stole away her young, loving husband Holly knew nothing would be perfect again. Three years later Holly still mourned her losses, with only her daughter to live for. So, when Holly attends her first ball after mourning and is stunned and titillated by a stranger's passionate embrace she finds herself re-thinking the person she had always thought herself to be. When the same man, the nefarious Zachary Bronson, offers her a position in his household employ for the purpose of teaching polite society manners to him, his mother and sister Holly amazes even herself in agreeing to lower herself before the members of the ton to do so. However, as her attraction to her employer grows will she be able to throw a perfectly proper upbringing aside to embrace not only he and his family, but her own hidden desires?When I first started reading the book I rather expected it to follow in much the same manner as the last Kleypas novel I read, Suddenly You, with the upper-class lady and the rule breaking social climbing scoundrel. However, I found that this story was indeed a tale all of its own and only bore a passing similarity to Suddenly You and was indeed a delightful novel all of its own. I really enjoyed Zachary, Holly, Lizzie and Rose with each character having their own personality and influence on the story. There were also a couple great moments, such as when Holly walked into Zachary's library and commented to the housekeeper how much he must love reading due its size, only to have the housekeeper reply, "Oh, no, my lady, the master hardly ever reads. But he is quite fond of books." I continue to find Lisa Kleypas' historical novels to be fun, quick reads (with a bit of steamy romance which doesn't hurt) and very much looking forward to reading more by her in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An early offering from Kleypas that is satisfying yet not as good as her later novels. The writing is solid, as always, and Kleypas never fails to transport us. Great chemistry between the main characters, and a sweet ending. Worth the money.
Happywitch More than 1 year ago
WOW! I loved it! The characters were so different from each other… But, You want them to be together sooo much! I am never disappointed after reading a Novel by Lisa Kleypas. As usual I am laughing & crying with the joy & disappointments of their lives. I must say every new one I read becomes my new favorite. And, of course this is no different! LOVE LOVE LOVE Lisa Kleypas! On to the next one...
Kendra_Readers_Edyn More than 1 year ago
Review first posted on Reader's Edyn (blogspot) Partial review due to word count ~ please visit site for full review. ... 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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Laugh, cry, get aroused, and fall i love again. These are the emotionsx that the great Lisa Kleypas evokes in her readers. I loved this book and the many characters that jumped off the pages to dance fancifully through my mind as I read. From Lady Holland and Zachary to sweet little innocent Rose, I truly loved them all. This book showed the true depth of love developed over time. I only wish that I was one of the characters. Who knows maybe Dr. Linely or Ravenhill could wed me. But alas, it was only a fictious story.
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