Shelf Love

This Guy? "Dreaming Of You" By Lisa Kleypas [Whoa-llab w/ Shelf Love]

Short Description

This week, yr grls at long last encounter Derek Craven in "DREAMING OF YOU" by Miss Massachu herself LISA KLEYPAS. It is time for Morgan and Isabeau from Whoa!mance to wade into this collaboration with Shelf Love. You probably already know this - but Sarah is a regency country mouse who is secretly a best-selling novelist. Facing the dreaded sophomore slump, she seeks out a real Gambling Hell to research her next novel and instead finds Derek Craven. Derek's a gutter baby cum Cockney made good by establishing the most luxurious gambling den in London. But, it turns out, his personal tastes skew a bit more bucolic if you catch our drift (they fall in love!). What makes a character captivating and why doesn't Derek Craven have any of it? Is the sentimental version of the Culture Wars any more forgivable? It's 10 p.m. - is your child a Perry? Take our "lump of ice" and tune in as we give this "weep and wail" its "early hours".


romance novel discussion, historical romance

Show Notes

This week, yr grls at long last encounter Derek Craven in "DREAMING OF YOU" by Miss Massachu herself LISA KLEYPAS. It is time for Morgan and Isabeau from Whoa!mance to wade into this collaboration with Shelf Love.

You probably already know this - but Sarah is a regency country mouse who is secretly a best-selling novelist. Facing the dreaded sophomore slump, she seeks out a real Gambling Hell to research her next novel and instead finds Derek Craven. Derek's a gutter baby cum Cockney made good by establishing the most luxurious gambling den in London. But, it turns out, his personal tastes skew a bit more bucolic if you catch our drift (they fall in love!).

What makes a character captivating and why doesn't Derek Craven have any of it? Is the sentimental version of the Culture Wars any more forgivable? It's 10 p.m. - is your child a Perry?

Take our "lump of ice" and tune in as we give this "weep and wail" its "early hours".



Guests: Whoa!mance (Morgan and Isabeau)

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Morgan & Isabeau joined me in episode 076 to discuss Strange Love by Ann Aguirre


Episode 089 to Problematize Romance


108 She-Devil (1989): Who's Entitled To Be Selfish in Love & Life? (Whoa!mance spectacular)


Shelf Love:

Discussed: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas


Morgan: [00:00:00] We wanna take a second to thank you for supporting Whoa!mance by listening to our podcast.

Isabeau: One great way that you can continue supporting us, including those listens, is hitting, subscribe, telling a friend, leaving a review. That stuff all really matters.

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Isabeau: If you want to contribute more than a dollar a month, which obviously no pressure, whatever you've got, we are so appreciative to have, but we have awesome gifts for you.

If you wanna hand addressed letter from Morgan and Isabeau maybe with some special whoa stickers other merch,

Morgan: just uh, visit our Patreon. We are Whoa!mance on Patreon, or is it We would be very proud to call you one of our patrons.

I'm Morgan.

Isabeau: I'm Isabel,

and this is

Morgan: Whoa!Mance.

Isabeau: A podcast about romance novels,

Morgan: about boy moms

Isabeau: clawing your way out of poverty,

Morgan: about gambling hells,

Isabeau: about research,

Morgan: about pronouncing your Ls as Ws,

Isabeau: about having that one friend that thinks they know best for you.

Morgan: But most of all, it's about that first thing, romance novels, and our ourselves.

This week, we will be returning to the very moist well of Lisa Kleypas. With the inimitable, the infamous,

Isabeau: infamous is good

Morgan: Dreaming of You. For those of you who follow the show regularly, you may have noticed that we are working in tandem

Isabeau: with Shelf Love, our good friends, uh, I should say friend, uh, because there are two of us in one of her, uh, in her rotating slate of guests, Andrea Martucci over at Shelf Love.

We hear, uh, at Whoa!Mance have accidentally noticed sometimes that other podcasts do books that we do. And we were talking to our good friend, Andrea Martucci at Shelf Love about that. Coincidence and or, uh, intellectual property theft and how it's a fine line, right? Yeah. How many? Uh, but it's a, it's a, it's a good one.

And so we had an honest [00:03:00] whoopsie wherein we did Lord of Scoundrels this same week, that learning the tropes did. Totally. We hadn't spoken about it had no idea. Like just two romance podcasts smelling the same breeze. And it was Lord of Scoundrels for whatever reason. And we were like, Hey, Andrea, this thing happens.

And she's like, that's so funny. Do you wanna do it for reels?

Morgan: I think like the other aspect of this is that you and I have been like, sniffing around novels that we like did not do early in the show because it felt too obvious. Yes. And now it feels too obvious not to do. And I think Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas definitely falls under that umbrella.

It does. And interestingly enough, Andrea actually proposed this title to us. Mm-hmm. And so we first of all have not heard her episode, uh, have not heard the Shelf Love episode yet. We are recording this totally fresh. We do have an indication of what an overarching theme of the episode was. She was allowed to express it to us in three words.

And so we are going to strive to keep the content fresh and different. But one of the things we really loved about our Whoopsie Daisy double episode with learning the tropes is that, you know, and this comes up a lot whenever we. Cover novels that other podcasts have covered and realized it after the fact is just seeing like two totally different approaches to what is inherently generic because it is genre fiction and getting like two totally fresh perspectives.

And so we thought like, what if we did that in like a really intentional way

Isabeau: and then it said a whoopsie, it's just a daisy. And uh, in that way you get to, you get to hear both takes, both fresh takes, both fresh daisies in our feed this month. And isn't that a treat for all of us?

Morgan: It is. Especially us.

Isabeau: Especially us.

Uh, yeah. So Dreaming of You.

Morgan: Can I read the back of the book?

Isabeau: I wish you would.

Morgan: All right, great. So my copy, I picked up at a local thrift store, two bucks out the door. Uh, it was originally sold for 6 99 us. Hmm. And I would like to read the, can I read the blurbs on my copy? Please Do a real dot. Hard to put down.

Spoken by no less of a lion esner field than Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Isabeau: oh, wow. What a blurb, Lisa.

Morgan: Get ready. Wonderfully refreshing. Dot, dot, dot. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Johanna Lindsay,

Isabeau: my girl.

Morgan: Jolie

and then this is [00:06:00] a throwback. Lisa Kleypas is more than just a fine writer of rich and passionate historical romances. She's a genuine phenomenon, Heart to Heart, which is a romance magazine that no longer exists.

Isabeau: Oh, that's too bad. That is a, we should have magazines again.

Morgan: Are you ready? She stood at dangerous threshold then Love beckoned her in and the shelter of her country cottage.

Sara Fielding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well bred gentle woman out of her safe haven, and into Derek Craven's Dangerous World. Dreaming of You, a handsome, tough and tenacious cockney, capital C Cockney. He rose from poverty to become Lord of London's most exclusive gambling house.

A struggle that has left a Derek Craven, fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious, and now duty demands. He allows Sara Fieldy into his world with her impeccable banners and her infuriating innocence. But here, an a perilous shadow realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper mouse air quotes can be transformed into a breathtaking and a world weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion and the promise of love.

Isabeau: Oh, I like that. It's good. Side note. Mm. Romance uses enchantress just enough because no one else uses it. And it is such a good word. Ench. Yeah. Dude, I, yeah. When you read it, I was like, mm mm Just felt it like I felt my shoulders. I'm like, Hmm, yeah.

Morgan: Ugh. I wish I would, I wish someone would call me an enchantress.

Isabeau: Right. And it's just like, we don't use it in the common vernacular enough.

And I would say romance probably uses it too much, but it's just enough because we don't have it in any other space.

Morgan: Next time you're writing a professional, like quarterly review of a fellow employee, describe them as an enchantres.

Isabeau: I know exactly who I would write that about

Morgan: a spreadsheet enchantress?

Isabeau: Yes. A Salesforce enchantress

Morgan: an ADP e-time enchantress.

You put the e in e time for enchantress.

Isabeau: I know exactly who it's gonna be. Um, I I can't wait to write my, I can't wait to get into Workday and write there.

Morgan: Oh man. We should call people [00:09:00] enchantress. Got it. Someone, yep. If someone called me even enchanting. Mm.

Isabeau: It's so beautiful. It's just, it's just such a good word. Anyway, honestly, I think that back of the book is pretty good.

Morgan: I agree. I think it's really great. I think. Okay, so Sara Fielding, she is a celebrated novelist, although she doesn't go by Sara professionally, so she can kind of sneak around the world without getting too recognized.

Isabeau: Yep. She goes by S. R.. Fielding,

Morgan: S. R. And sh, her previous novel, Matilda.

Isabeau: People love it.

Morgan: Barn burner, total hit. And it was about a sex worker and she did a lot of research talking to sex workers. Mm-hmm. And she now wants to write a story about a gambling hell. Mm-hmm. So she starts sneaking around bad parts of town and she comes upon a man getting attacked, getting his face slashed, and she shoots his assailant and murders them right out the gate

Isabeau: shoots. Him in the throat. Yeah. And he gurgles to death.

Morgan: And she goes, oh dear.

Isabeau: And then she picks up the man who's just been beaten and he's like, take me to my home. And she's like, I guess I killed a man. And they're like, don't worry about it. And literally no one in this book worries about the murderer that took place on the first page.

Morgan: Listen, when Derek Craven says, don't worry about it. Don't worry about it, no one else will. It is so funny to me. Yeah, she, I mean, and it's the first of the couple of murders that were. What did this book, um, but people move on.

Isabeau: Uh, this book moved on so swiftly. I don't think I've ever read another romance novel wherein our heroine murders someone and is like, chill as fuck about it.

Like Sara Fielding is, let alone in the first 20 pages, right? She's a cool customer, if you know what I mean. She's not letting that bother her. She's like, he was a bad man. I shot him in the throat and watched him die.

Morgan: She's got other things going on.

Isabeau: Yeah, she's gotta write a book.

Morgan: The other thing. So she discovers that the man she saved is Derek Craven.

She's like, all I want is access to the gambling hell for research. And he's like, no. But then his fact totem, which another word we don't use enough and should be on, more people's professional reviews, shows up and is like, you know what, yeah, you can sh, you can come to the gambling. Hell, I'll show you around.

Isabeau: You wrote Matilda. I love that book. So does everyone here?

Morgan: Yeah. Also, everyone loves Matilda, but no one can grasp the concept of a fictional character. And at first I thought this was because she [00:12:00] was like talking down to like the chamber maid's, wink wink in the novel. But in fact, even the wealthy can't wrap their mind around the fact that Matilda isn't a real person.

Isabeau: Mm-hmm. And so everyone's constantly like, what's Matilda really like? Yeah. Where is she now? I heard that she was in Scotland and it's like, it's actually quite a funny running gag. Um, and it also serves a key plot device.

Morgan: It does, it doesn't go nowhere. Mm-hmm. And as Sara spends more time in the gambling, hell her and Derek Craven from a distance start to fall more and more in love.

But unfortunately she's got like a, might as well be my fiance boyfriend back in her small country town, Perry. And so after a masquerade wearing things happen, Romantic things, kissy things

Isabeau: more than kissy things,

Morgan: more than kissy things. Dry humpy things happen. Mm-hmm. Uh, she returns home and then she's like, she gets a visit from one of the girls who works at the gambling health and she shares that Derek Craven had paid her to spoon him.

Like to, so he could spoon her and call her Sara. Mm-hmm. Ver, yeah. Ver, I mean, it's a romance novel. Very romantic. Mm-hmm.

Isabeau: Nothing like paying a stranger who vaguely looks like the object of your affections to turn away so you can spoon them in their name.

Morgan: We love that.

Isabeau: Honestly. We do.

Morgan: And then Derek's friend. Lily gets them at a ball and she ends up in a highly compromised position, and so to save her reputation, he marries her. And then there's this whole, ugh, look. And then there's his former lover who refuses to let go. Joyce, it's so funny to me. In 1994, Joyce is a scintillating film fatal.

And in 2023, Joyce is the shift manager at the D M V. Absolutely Joyce, uh, you know, causes a lot of trouble for them. She does. So what's interesting, you know, they get married like three quarters of the way through, but like the true h e a happily ever after is him saying, I love you.

Isabeau: Yeah. Which happens at the very, very end.

Where would you like to go from here? Cause that's like broad overview of the text.

Morgan: I wanna talk about our main characters.

Isabeau: Derek.

Morgan: Derek. I had heard a lot of hype about this guy.

Isabeau: He was no gentleman. He had grown up in the streets, born in the gutter, nursed through infancy by a group of ragged prostitutes and [00:15:00] educated in his youth by criminals of every kind he was familiar with.

The schemes used to prey upon the un wary and few efficient moments it took to rob a man and crush his throat.

Morgan: Whoa.

Isabeau: So that's Derek Craven also. He's Cockney. Yeah. So what we get is that he was left, um, in a drain pipe.

Morgan: Yeah. Literally.

Isabeau: Yeah. That's, that's, he was left in a drain pipe, uh, in the rookerie, which is a bad part of London.

And raised by these sex workers, these ragged prostitutes as the text says, and, you know, tried to pull himself up. We learned later in this weird confession that the worst thing he thinks he's ever done is he, uh, became a bone man. He like

Morgan: a resurrection man.

Isabeau: A resu, a resurrectionist. Yeah. He was stealing grave. He, he was robbing graves to give to the medical schools in London and he thinks this is the worst thing. And he like, kind of throws it at Sara to be like, you don't wanna be with me.

Morgan: Get outta here.

Isabeau: Yeah, exactly. It's like you think that's the worst thing you've ever done? You kill people. Like you can have dead bodies, not great, but like they already dead like this.

This book has like what I would consider very strange, uh, morality, but we've already talked about the murder. But Morgan's referring to this idea, Derek Craven before 2020, before Romancelandia blew itself up with like everything that happened with Courtney Milan and Rwa and Damon Suede. One of the largest arguments was whether or not you thought Derek Craven was the bees knees.

Simpler times.

Morgan: Simpler times. We thought we could save the rainforest, and we were arguing about whether or not Derek Craven was the best hero there ever was,

Isabeau: or like a super shitty guy.

Morgan: I mean, he, like, I, that was part of the reason I was interested in this book was because his reputation room loomed so large.

Isabeau: It did,

Morgan: and it was one of the reasons I kind of refused to read it as well. Mm-hmm. Early on, cuz I was like, it's overhyped, it's oversold. And now reading the book, I mean, resolutely, I feel like he's neither, I don't think he's a particularly, uh, terrible person. In the grand scheme of, uh, romance novel heroes, especially from this era.

But I also don't get the, like, I, I don't get the, uh, the, uh, the hype so much anymore.

Isabeau: This is my weirdest part. As someone, oh, as someone who's read quite a bit of Lisa Kleypas, like I also came to the broader Romancelandia. I had been a romance fan in isolation, came to Romancelandia via this podcast, and man, Derek Craven was super overhyped.

I [00:18:00] actually thought for a long time that the hype was about this, uh, other gambling hell owner. Sebastian from different, yes. From a different Lisa Kleypas novel Sebastian, who literally attempted to rape and kidnap his friend's fiance. And so I'm like, yeah, he's a bad guy. I can see why there would be like, you know, juicy gossip about this character.

But like Derek Craven,

Morgan: self plug, uh, we talked about Sebastian St. Vincent's novel in our Lisa Kleyposter Syndrome series, uh, where we talked about devil in winter and devil in winter. That episode, if you go and seek it out, heads up. It was highly experimental time in romance's history. So it's, it's not ex, I don't know.

It's, it's certainly one of our most controversial episodes. Yes,

Isabeau: that's true. Also a very controversial book.

Morgan: Yeah. People really love Sebastian St. Vincent, who also, well, we talk about it in that episode.

Isabeau: We talk about it in that episode. So I was like, at first when I was like, there's a least Lisa Kleypas novel about a gambling hell owner.

It's gotta be this one. Cuz that terrible and like also super hot. I can, I can understand how there would be a curfuffle.

Morgan: Yeah.

Isabeau: So I labored under that misapprehension for quite some time until someone was like, no, it's a DerekCraven of Dreaming of You. And I was like, oh. Okay, well, I haven't read that.

And now that, like, I know that it's about this other person and not that I'm, like, I, there's no way that it could be worse or better than devil in winter. And like, once you've, you've done one rake in a gambling hell owner, you kind of like, how many more do you need from the same author was my feeling.

Morgan: She's prolific.

Isabeau: She's prolific, she's prolific. And this is a, as you said, moist well for her. Mm-hmm. Um, I don't get it. I don't get the Derek Craven thing. I don't get it at all. Like, His backstory. Very sad. We've heard sadder backstories. In fact, we've had longer sadder backstories recently. So recently, yeah.

With Lord of Scoundrels also. Have you ever encountered, like any Laura Kin sail books, like you wanna talk about? A sad, long ass backstory. Laura Kinsale knows how to write 'em.

Morgan: We've also had like better guys with, uh, that particular accent,

Isabeau: The Proposal.

Morgan: The Proposal by Judith Ivory. By Judith Ivory. Like there's like, I mean like it's just he, he looms so large and I would say yes, I would.

There are some pretty hot little set pieces. Yes. And I will also say like, to me, this is kind of feels like the platonic ideal of a Lisa Kleypas [00:21:00] novel. Yeah. It has that weird morality that you mentioned earlier, which feels like a hallmark of a Lisa Kleypas. There is very strange. Set peace in the final sex scene wherein he nurses his wife.

Isabeau: I was like, wait, what are you talking about? And then I remembered, as you saw it,

Morgan: Lisa Kleypas always manages to have a taxi cab confession style sex scene in each of her historical novels.

Isabeau: That's so fucking true.

Morgan: True of you is no exception. It also has, I think Lisa Kleypas has this way of creating like a mousey heroine or a mousey, air quotes, heroine.

Or like I, I wrote down at one point that Sara is violently square.

Isabeau: Mm-hmm.

Morgan: But through her depiction, you can also understand her as this very, like, open-minded, warm enigmatic. Person, charismatic person. She's got great Riz and like you really wanna be around her. Mm-hmm. Lisa Kleypas does this great job of creating that kind of heroine who's captivating even in their innocence.

I hate, like, I tend to immediately bulk at back of books that talk about like her alluring innocence or something like that. Lisa Kleypas can genuinely write women like that, I think.

Isabeau: I think, I mean, I totally agree. I think violently squares like the ideal way of describing this person, because she literally murders someone in the first 20 pages and like we all walk away and she maintains her innocence.

Morgan: I believe I might have murdered that chap.

Isabeau: They're like violently square and like everyone at the gambling, hell loves her. Everybody wants to protect her. And you know, she don't know. She beautiful and that's fine. But I think what you're driving at about why a character's innocence can be interesting, right?

Rather than one note is because it's not one note in a Lisa Cleopas novel. It's innocence, but it's innocence and charisma. It's innocence and curiosity. She's endlessly curious about people. And one of the things that it really spoke to me and I finally like something clicked into place about why her innocence is so interesting, where other innocence just feel like fucking disgusting and gross or annoying or flat, objectifying flat is because this book really gives us.

And Lisa Kleypas by this like characterization gives us the fun of the discovery and the freedom of discovery, where it's like Sara talks to people and we talk to them with her and like we watch her watch people and like experience clothes. And it's not just like she puts on the [00:24:00] peach dress and then she puts on the blue velvet, she puts on the peach chiffon with the six layers of roses.

And you know, she's talking to the mod and Lily and it's like, it's an, it's a sensory experience. Like there's so much freedom to discover sensory delights, other characters, other kinds of interests. Like she tries all sorts of kinds of weird foods. She like gets the backstory of the chef, but also the stable boys.

Like she talks about the kinds of columns that he uses that like echo back into architecture like, She's so curious because she's been so sheltered and she's so excited, and it's so fun to be with someone who's just like, oh, and your brass knuckles. Do what again? That's fascinating. Or like, oh, the beast with two backs.

I've never heard that. Can you explain it to me?

Morgan: Yeah. Well, I think there's also something about class happening here because she does not, this book does not focus, spend a lot of time with the wealthy. Mm-hmm. It does not spend a lot of time in the wealthiest minds. Like the Derek Craven is wealthy, but he's a, a self-made man or whatever, and Sara is decidedly middle class and trying to, it is very much an outsider looking in on the wealthy who attend, visit this gambling hell and leader who go to the ball and everything and she herself esteem as an oddity to them, an object of fascination. And by virtue of someone like her being an object of fascination to someone like them, it really solidifies how boring they are.

Mm-hmm. Um, whereas like her objects of fascination are very much the working class. She wants to know their story. Having said that, this gets into like one of the clunkier parts of the novel, which is. All of the freaking exposition is accomplished via dialogue.

Isabeau: Yeah, it totally is. It's like, well, I'm not tell, I'm not showing.

I'm not telling, not showing if they're talking to each other.

Morgan: And she asked, she asked like that whole piece Isabel gave early on. I think that's from the fact Totem explaining to Sara. Who? Derek Craven is worthy. That's his name.

Isabeau: Oh, about how he was raised? Yeah. That's dialogue.

Morgan: I don't even wanna, okay.

There's something almost otherworldly about you. Worthy murmured, quite forgetting himself. It's been too long since I've seen such innocence in a woman's face. Innocent. Sara shook her head and laughed. Oh, Mr. Worthy. I know all about vice and sin, but you've been untouched by it. Uh, it's just like, Always, always, [00:27:00] always through dialogue, which is a little exhausting and like kind of goes to show like, you know, there's like a natural gift for storytelling here or like natural gift maybe for like certain characters.

Here's the thing, maybe there are natural gifts here, but there's like a certain lack of refinement in the execution, which I think is also very much Kleypas.

Isabeau: Yes, unrestrained. Is is definitely a word that we can apply to this author

Morgan: unrestrained that makes me think of, you know, beast by Judith Ivory, which is just like seen after, seen after seen, after seen.

Or like Kathleen Woodiwiss's Shanna feels unrestrained or Mermaid's kiss feels unrestrained. Yep. This feels like something else cuz it is very like structured and it moves at such a quick pace. This is a classic kind of romance that you can read in an afternoon. Mm-hmm. 400 pages you can clear in four hours.


Isabeau: Easy, easy read,

Morgan: easy. But yet it has this Kleypas signature of like being slightly unhinged and we've talked about it in the past and it's like the shorter her books get, the more. Unhinged they are.

Isabeau: I think what's interesting to me about this is like, I, I agree with you that like there are unhinged parts of this book, not the least of which is that it begins with a murder that no one ever mentions.

Again, I cannot stress that enough. This book is unhinged. One of the ways that it functions in its unhinge is that its unhinge is logical and I think that, like, that's really clear to me in Joyce, right? So Joyce functions as this antagonist former lover. Derek Craven goes to her bed because he wants to feel something.

He's got a lot of ennui after climbing the rungs of the social ladder in London's ton,

Morgan: and he says like ennui, who'd have ever thought? Moi.,

Isabeau: Yeah, like right. And like, that's like a perfect example of like how fucking wet this book is. Um, but Joyce says this thing that I thought like, here, here is an author who understands.

And, um, so Derek says to Joyce, until you had never met a woman who had to threaten a man into her bed, the barb found its mark. He saw a flesh color, collect at the outline of her mask. Don't cross me again, Joyce. He said through his teeth, taking her wrist in a grip that made her wince. Or I'll make you wish you were dead.

I'd rather have your retaliation than you're indifference. And I was like, the opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference.

Morgan: Yeah.

Isabeau: Joyce cannot handle the idea that Derek is going to move on and literally wash his [00:30:00] hands and never think of her again. Mm-hmm. She would rather murder him, burn down his club, scar his face, do all manner of unspeakable things, just so that she is ever present and evergreen in his mind, even as a hated object, because hatred is better than indifference.

And I was like, here is an author who fucking gets it.

Morgan: Yeah. That's the thing. It's like she's able to land, she nails, Sara. Pun unintended, like the gravitational spin. Is there. Mm-hmm. It makes sense. Everything makes sense. Even all of this like insane stuff,

Isabeau: the unhinge has logic, which is why, right. It's not only palatable, but like also imminently forgivable.

Like even as you're watching worthy deliver like a monologue to himself, that is literally exposition. Yeah.

Morgan: You know, like

Isabeau: you're, you're like, okay, strapped in. Here I am. Here I am.

Morgan: And like the thing is, is like Joyce is baroquely evil.

Isabeau: Oh God.

Morgan: She creates a plot to kidnap Sara, keep her in a tower, in an abandoned medieval castle.

Starve her until she performs cunnilinugus on her. Doesn't happen in the book is just specifically threatened what a specific threat. And it is like, and then I'll come back and tell you about how well Derek's doing without you when he moves in and then she burns down his gambling hell. But we also get this very clear and like not just because all of the exposition comes via dialogue, we realize that Derek and everyone around Joyce understands Joyce.

They're like, when she was 15, she was married off to this old bastard and she's been just making do ever since she comes by it honest.

Isabeau: Yeah, she's a crazy psycho. But she was 15 when she was married to someone who could have been her grandfather. So like, and then there's this whole, like aside about the fact that she'd, like she'd never let children grow in her like toxic and barren womb.

And I'm like, yeah, yeah. Why would she, when you've just described her husband as her grandfather and like not a nice person, like I don't. Like the, the, that internal consistency where it's like someone could be like, oh man, Joyce was married to someone when she was 15. That's why she's this toxic evil bitch.

But that woman would have abortions. It's like, what? Of course she would, you just said like, make it make sense

Morgan: what she wants to bring children into this world? Like think about what her world is. Yeah. Look what her world is. She's certainly a dynamic and interesting antagonist and [00:33:00] she also has like a very rich backstory and you know, is obviously thrilling when she shows up.

Like she's a very good villain. So we have this like wonderful protagonist. We have a riveting antagonist, and then there's Derek,

Isabeau: there's Derek.

Morgan: And like I get that he has like this very Reaganomics story about how he never took a hand, but he, okay, we'll talk about the politics of this book later, but like to go back to your weirdest part.

Like him,

Isabeau: this guy,

Morgan: like I find there are sexy parts in this book. Certainly. Yes. Absolutely. And one that I wanna, and a lot of them hinge on Derek doing sexy things. Mm-hmm. I think one of, as a fan of longing mm-hmm. I've got the card, I write, I coordinate the letter writing campaigns for the Longing Fan club.

We've got t-shirts. Mm-hmm. Um, I love that he steals a set of her spectacles and keeps it in his pocket.

Isabeau: That was my second sexiest part. Yep. Yep. Next to his heart, it's in his breast pocket. And like, she, she only discovers it when she like, is about to hug him and she's like, what's this thing in your pocket? He says, no, don't, it's her glasses.

Morgan: She's like, why do you have these out? It's very good. Right. So good. He, he is demonstrative. I love that he goes into a drunken self-destructive stupor when she leaves. I think we would all want anyone who we ever left to do the same, to just give up on life. Yeah. You know, so I, I get the, like, the moves, but like I can't reco like I.

He feels like just a series of, I don't know how to say this. That doesn't sound like, well, duh. Cuz I wanna be like, he's just like a series of features and I'm like, he's just a series of actions. But he's really just a series of anecdotes Yes. Rather than a whole person. Yeah.

Isabeau: Yes.

Morgan: Anecdotes is what it is.

He's just a series of anecdotes and like comparatively a whole person would be like the main character from the titular Lord of Scoundrels, whatever his name was. He was a very holistic character.

Isabeau: Extremely. And the Prince of Midnight, totally whole. Like not one question about what that guy is. In fact, a little bit of a question of like, whose book is this?

Morgan: Yeah. And this might be the opposite of that. I know. Yeah. I feel like this is very much Sara's book.

Isabeau: Absolutely. This is Sara's book and [00:36:00] you know when Joyce shows up, it's Joyce's book. Yeah.

Morgan: Yeah. And then there's also, and like I said, and then there's Derek.

Isabeau: In my mean moments, while I was thinking about this conversation and this book as I was reading it, I'm like, he, why?

Do I hear Morgan's voice saying nothing, burger, because like, the thing about the glasses and like, but it's also like there's so many set pieces. Like he owns a gambling hell, okay. We've seen that a bunch of times. He pulled himself up from, uh, mean Streets of London. We've seen that a dozen times. Uh, he, you know, he, he's bad at expressing himself.

We've seen that a dozen times. It's, there's nothing unique or. Fully stitched together, right? Like the series of anecdotes all adorable. None of them are actually seemed together. Yeah. And I think that's part of the problem. Like so much of his backstory is given to us by others in massive dialogue dumps these moments where it's him.

Like the stealing of the glasses is also like a weirdly abstracted in internality. Like when he chooses to do it, like she's walked away from her little purse and it's like it's, it's not the cuddly third, it's like an omni mission third. He is deeply outside of his body when he does it. And so we are therefore really far away from things.

Yes. And like that happens in the book all the time, it's like we're never very close to Derek and because we're not close to Derek, he's never close to us. Which makes him that projector screen of like, am I into this? Cuz these set pieces are great, you know, is this like, I love you most ardently.

Morgan: Well, that's the thing he, like I can picture other characters outside of the context of their book and I think I could understand like what their motivations.

I think I could predict their choices. I think I could, you know, I understand their motivations and their in internality and you're right, Derek Craven is so abstracted and like when we do get his in internality, it's something that's like not specific enough. It's like mm-hmm I don't deserve you. Mm-hmm.

Because I dug up corpses

Isabeau: and it's like, that isn't the part that's the problem.

Morgan: And then he is like, I was, I thought I was haunted by their ghosts. And it's like, oh, okay. Closer. Alright, well, hmm. It's not actually a whole person

Isabeau: because it doesn't go anywhere. Right? Because like if he were truly haunted by that, like rather than just telling us that he is, there'd be a scene where like he wakes up in a cold sweat and has like sleep paralysis because he thinks he sees a ghost in the bedroom.

And then Sara is like, oh, hey, why are you awake? And then like, they have a conversa. Like there's a way of. Interpolating that trauma

Morgan: instead, he just [00:39:00] announces it to her after saving her from a potential gang rape.

Isabeau: Right, exactly. I was like, what? This is neither the time nor the place, nor the thing that you're going to, what you think this is what you're being condemned for guy? like...

Morgan: So Sara has been at this masquerade ball, dry humping, Derek Craven.

Isabeau: She was pretending to be Matilda, her titular character,

Morgan: and he realizes who she's really is. Who she really is, and he goes, ah, nuts. Get outta here. I was trying to get over you just now.

Isabeau: Now I can't.

Morgan: What gives. And she encounters Ivo Jenner, who is the father of the heroine from Devil in Winter, interestingly enough.

Mm-hmm. And he's also Derek Craven's rival gambling hell owner, who's done a similar thing. Mm-hmm. Except with boxing. Derek Craven has had sex with Patroness. Mm-hmm. Who gave him, who invested in his gambling hell. But Ivo Jenner fought with his fists instead of his. Thrust sticks. And at first Sara's feeling alive.

And so she's like, I'm gonna go on this adventure with Ivo Jenner and I'm gonna make him gel. I'm gonna make Derek jealous by going to Ivo Jenner's gambling hell. And then they got caught up in a riot, and then she finds like a well-to-do gentleman after escaping the carriage. And she's like a well-to-do gentleman, surely he'll take care of me.

And instead he, um, drags her off to gang rape her with his fellow classmates from Eaton. Yep. Travis. And, yeah. And then, uh, she's rescued by Derek who pulls her like, I don't know, 300 feet away. And then is like, I used to dig up dead bodies.

Isabeau: He rescued her on a horse, which also seemed like. Like he needed the horse to get through the mob, I guess.

Like, but also just like, it, it felt just like so many other books that we'd read where it's like, of course the rescue's on horse, where it's like, by all means, it would've been easier, I think, to be on foot. But anyway,

Morgan: whatever. They didn't ask us.

Isabeau: Not the only attempted rape that he rescues her from either.

Morgan: No, it's just the first one and he rescues her from this one. And like, this is one of the interesting, another interesting thing this book seems to be doing about class, which, if I think about the books we read from the seventies and the eighties, this book seems very confrontational of the wealthy and seems to really want to mark them.

The, not, not, not just the wealthy, but the, uh, inherited, wealthy, the nepo babies. Mm-hmm. As. Dangerous people, with the exception of Derek's friend Lily, her big blonde spouse, Alex. I love my big blonde spouse. It's [00:42:00] my favorite line in the book

Isabeau: picturing. It's a really good line. Uh, I was just picturing Alexander Skarsgard and yeah.

He is the only, uh, member of the nobility that is treated with any kind of like good light in the book.

Morgan: Yeah, it's true. He's the only one who gets any kind of halo glow. Mm-hmm. And every time a, a wealthy person shows up, including in the case of her country, wealthy ex-boyfriend, they all turn out to be assholes.

And they also, as the book continues on, are way more fascinated. Her with her and Derek than they are with anyone else. And it's because her and Derek are genuinely the most interesting people in the ton and they're not even in it.

Isabeau: They are genuinely. Which is weird because Derek isn't interesting. So,

Morgan: and I think it really speaks to like a shift in, you know, not just like our cultural understanding of the world, which is like, I think it's, I think the nineties seem to be when bootstrapping really comes home to roost.

Isabeau: Yeah. There's a thing here about m money not being the problem, like the problem with money as the inherited class is listless and hasn't earned it. Right? Derek is cool and handsome and makes good choices because he had to earn it and because he had to work, there's like intrinsic value. In his ability to gain capital in a way that other people that he associates with do not have because they didn't earn it.

And they are just like the landed elite and they fucking suck.

Morgan: Yeah. And like when does he make his first like, big unforgivable mistake to everyone around him? It's when he has ennui and so he hooks up with Joyce.

Isabeau: Yep. Ennui the rich inherited man's disease.

Morgan: The root of all evil is ennui. And like it's inter it's interesting to read because, uh, we actually don't read it that often.

Mm-hmm. Or when we read it now it gets like celebrated as like groundbreaking, EG. Joanna soup. Right. And in fact, like I think this book is doing a lot of what Joanna Chu's novels did. Mm-hmm. But did it in 1994.

Isabeau: Yeah. Lionizing labor and earn versus something like unearned.

Morgan: But I think it's also doing that thing where people will be like, this is a working class romance.

And it's because like one person is working class and the other one has, is like, has worked to be a millionaire.

Isabeau: Yeah. But [00:45:00] he's a good boss, right? Like those, those house wenches are cared for and clean and get hot baths

Morgan: and they never have to have sex with him. They just have to spoon him that one time.

Isabeau: That one time. And he paid her for her silence. So she was also compensated cuz he's a good man. TM, TM..

Morgan: So your weirdest part isn't, do you think your weirdest part would still be Derek Craven if there wasn't that hype around him? If there weren't all those like Tom Hardy fan cuts on Instagram?

Isabeau: No, absolutely not.

That would not be my weirdest part if there wasn't this insane level of both. But like that's the thing. I don't understand it, right? Like there's this insane level of Stan, but then pre 2020 innocent times, there were also a bunch of people who like Derek Craven's the fucking worst, and I was like, He is literally neither of these things.

Yeah, really. Milk toast. Like, I don't understand the Derek Craven cavern here. Like, I, I don't understand this chasm. Like, I don't get either side, honestly. Like, I don't wanna be like, I don't wanna both sides it, cuz like, I don't, I don't believe in both sides of I'm not a fence sitter. I'm not Jane.

Morgan: Oh yeah, you're not, you're not really.

Isabeau: I've grown a lot. I've grown. Um, but like, I, I just like, I don't, I don't, like there's not a fence to sit for me here, you know what I mean? I like, I just don't fucking get either side. I'm, I'm perplexed, which is why it's my weirdest part. What am I missing?

Morgan: I feel like despite Mark, the first weirdest part that is not like, Conditional to the text itself.

Mm-hmm. Except for the last weirdest part that I had. But like that it has to do with the context around the novel's consumption. Mm-hmm. You'll be happy to know that my weirdest part is narrowly tailored within the text itself. Great. That's not true actually. I'm already used tove.

Isabeau: You wanna backpedal already?

We haven't even heard it.

Morgan: Okay. Well my weirdest part is Perry. So Perry is Sara's boyfriend, eventual fiance from Greenwood Corners, her hometown. Mm-hmm. And Perry's mother is classic, awful, cartoonish mother-in-law. She's obsessed with her son. And resentful of anyone that his son, her son would be attracted to and feels like she's being replaced once again.

Yet another antagonist who's more fully fleshed out and understandable than Derek Craven

but she's the wealthiest woman in town. Her husband has been dead a long [00:48:00] time. It's just been her and Perry, her one child, her one son. But what's interesting to me about Perry's mother is that she kind of like reeks of like boy mom stuff that's going on currently, which feels like a rebranding. It's like whenever grandmothers decided they didn't wanna be called Grandma anymore in like the year 2010, they were all like, I'm Gigi now.

It seems like mothers. Uh, yeah, it seems like Mothers of AMAB, people. Uh, are now like I'm a boy mom and it seems like it's trying to resist this archetype of Perry's mother who is like Perry is unendingly obsequious to is like you. We have to live with my mother and take care of her. I'm the only person she's got in the whole world.

And it seems like we're just rebranding this archetype all the time. But it seems weird with like the boy mom revolution that people are like claiming it for themselves.

Isabeau: Yeah. Boy, mom seems to be the positive mirror image of mama's boy.

Morgan: Yeah. Except it's not. It's the same thing. It's the same thing. It's the mother of a mama's boy.

Or not even like, I think you can be a mama's boy, not be a mama's boy and still have a boy mom.

Isabeau: Absolutely. Because she do, she deeply wants you to be a mama's boy and like also like. Aren't. Like I just, even, even saying the term mama's boy, I know exactly who I'm evoking and I hate myself. I know. Uh, it just sucks.

And it's like, it's good for boys to love their mamas. It's in within reason. You know what I mean? Yeah. Within reason, as long as it doesn't get fucking weird. And like Perry's mom makes it fucking weird and Perry makes it weird.

Morgan: Yeah. Well there's something about like. There's something about having, I was thinking about this the other day, how every day when I come home, my dog is so excited to see me and like every day when my brother comes home, his son is so excited to see him.

And then I was like, what if one day Vesper the dog? Ignored me when I came home and then stayed out past her curfew and slammed her door and told me she hated me and never asked to be born. And I was like, having a child is fucking nuts. Like I would never, I would never recover. Are you kidding me? It's too much.

Isabeau: I think about it all the time.

Morgan: This like bottomless pool of like unconditional love. Ha. And then you just hit the bottom after like 12 years all at once. Uh, it's crazy. But then like also you would want that to happen. Like if your child wasn't [00:51:00] resistant to you, they would be. Strange. You know, like something would be wrong and you would, your child would be Perry, perhaps

Isabeau: your child would be Perry.

Like I said this to someone recently where it's like, so I, I rescued a cat during the pandemic. Her name is Regina Spekter. And if Regina, Gina lives a full and long cat life, she'll live to be like 17 or 18. That would be a really long life for a cat. Yeah. And at that point, the child that I birthed from my human body would be like, you know, 15 or 16.

So I will have. The whole of Gina's life and my human child won't yet be an adult. And like that, like that will be the end of like, Gina's whole life is the end of my child's childhood. Right. Yeah. And like I've been thinking about this in terms of time where it's like I will have, I will have so much longer with my child as an adult than I have with my child as a child.

Yeah. And so like constantly thinking about how do you set yourself up to have a normal nurturing relationship with a fellow adult who you will spend way more time with than you did wiping their butts?

Morgan: Yeah.

Isabeau: And like Perry's mom, she's lost that thread entirely. Like she is just swiping that baby's butt.

Morgan: She's wiping his butt until he can wipe hers. Yeah, man. Like having that positive relationship with your adult child, which is weird to say, but that would be the context is like hinges on your ability to have a super content, manage a super contentious relationship for like 10 years. Oh man. Ugh. God long view.

Yeah. The other part of like specifically the boy mom, part of it is like as cis hat women our like need our like, need to suck the morning due. That is patriarchy. We will not only take it from a husband who. Ignores our regular requests for like small things, you know, dishes, we, we talked about that article with the, like glass of water next to the sink, right?

Yeah. Like not only will we, will we tolerate that incredibly dehumanizing daily reminder, but we will also like, insist on the power of our sons and like their sexual power and like seek to control it. Like it's so fucked up. Yeah. [00:54:00] Perry's mom sent me down a fucking, I spiraled.

Isabeau: I can hear that. But also I, it's, it's weird because it's happening, right?

Like this boy mom phenomenon. Like the fact that there are t-shirts at Old Navy. Mm-hmm. Right. That feel like this very specific rebrand of like, you don't wanna be the mama of a mama's boy, you're a boy mom. Like you're cool and like you're tennis and like, you know, you wear your baseball cap backwards cuz like, you know, stuff about sports, it feels like an inheritor of like, um, that one show, um, like three guys a pizza place and a girl or whatever.

Morgan: Three guys and a girl and a pizza place.

Isabeau: Yeah. That's the one. It feels like she grew into a boy mom. Right. Because like she's so hip and she's so cool. She like doesn't have friends that are women because she's so cool and it's like, boy, moms are friends with other boy moms because girl moms don't get it.

Morgan: Yeah. I was like, it's the pick me to boy mom pipeline. Yeah. Yeah. It made me think about it, but also like, once again, Lisa Kleypas Lisa Kleypas. Lisa absolutely nailing like. A tangential character. Perry feels more whole than Derek Craven. Mm-hmm. Correct. Which is very strange. He's not more likable. Mm-hmm.

Because I think someone's gonna misunderstand what I'm saying here. He's not more likable, he's just more solid. What was your sexiest part?

Isabeau: Well, we've already talked about the glasses, which was my number two. But my number one,

Morgan: Uhhuh aka sexiest

Isabeau: Sexiest, this is a very sexy book. And so like, uh, there were like quite a few in the running, but there's this lovely scene where they've been married for a while and they've just been having sex, which is great.

Um, Their sex scenes are get quite playful. Um, there's this scene where they're in bed and she's like, I just wanna talk to you. And so she like flips over under her stomach. She's like, you can't have sex with me if I'm on my stomach. And she's like, grabbing the bed. And he is like pulling her ankle. And he is like, what?

You don't know about sex? And they're like literally playing with each other, like they're wrestling. And in that wrestle, then they like, like, you know, he takes her from behind, which is like also very sexy. And it's like all like sepia toned, morning sex. And like, all of it was just like, this is a jam.

Also, when's the last time I read such a playful sex scene? Like, you know, just like mm-hmm. That she's like, that they're wrestling, right? Like he's got her by the ankle and she's like, hanging on for the bed and like the bed like lifts off the frame and like, it was adorable. I was [00:57:00] like, this is, this is so nice.

Like, Yeah, why don't we have more sex scenes with this kind of play in it? Um, which is why I found it deeply sexy, but also, um, it just pushed itself over the edge. There's also a very good bathtub scene. Like this is a very sexy book, honestly. Yeah. What was your sexiest part?

Morgan: Well, I feel like I, I would've said that scene, I found their final sex scene, which is in the epilogue after she's had a child.


Isabeau: And he, and he suckles at her breast.

Morgan: He suckles her milk out and I was like, there's no way. And oh, nope. It's gonna specifically say, He got the, he got the salt, he got the salty juice. He got that salty juice in his mouth. Yeah,

Isabeau: he, he's like, it's great. It's better than before. And I'm like,

Morgan: yeah. And I was like, why, because you get refreshments halfway through?

Isabeau: Because, cool.


it's like, that's not how it went down in this, these Grapes of Wrath. But Okay.

Morgan: I, I wanna talk about, when he rejects her, uh, or like, is rejecting her? Is casting her off? It's at Lily's house.

Isabeau: Oh, okay.

Morgan: He's, they've made out on next to a banister. Mm-hmm. And. He's going to leave her. I'm just gonna read it and then talk about it.

Mm-hmm. Clinging to him desperately. Sara kept her mouth at his ear. Listen to me. All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. You can't change the truth. You can't act as though you're deaf and blind. You can't walk away from me forever. You can walk away from me forever.

Pardon? But the truth will still be there and you can't make it go away. I love you. She felt an involuntary tremor roam through him. I love you. She repeated. Don't lie to either of us By pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness along for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear.

I haven't held anything back from you out of fear or pride or stubbornness. She felt the incredible taughtness of his muscles as if he were carved from marble for once. Have the strength not to walk away. She whispered. Stay with me. Let me love you. He walks away from her, by the way, at the end of this, but in a very pained way.

Isabeau: He doesn't have the strength to stay.

Morgan: And what I found so sexy about this was her openness and her vulnerability, and throughout this kind of third act of the novel, she is always that way. She's always very courageous in expressing herself and being her authentic [01:00:00] self. And she's just getting like tremors and things like that in return.

Mm-hmm. But she's being like s, she's so assured in how she feels for him, and she's also, I think, assured in the way he feels for her, even if he doesn't explicitly say it the way she does. Yep. And. I think it's so rare in romance novels, we're oftentimes seeing like the effusive exclamation of love is going from the hero to the heroine in these heteronormative romances that we read.

And it was exhilarating and like affirming as someone who is the more effusive person and almost at, in most things that I do at the grocery store, I'm the most effusive person. It felt very like validating. I love that we got like an explicit understanding that like his reaction was positive even if he was resistant to it, even if he didn't have that courage.

And I found it very sexy hearing about his reaction and her ability to like push through. I was like, that's passion.

Isabeau: Yeah, there's another scene kind of like that. At the gambling hell where like, she finds him like early in the morning and she's just like, you know, you're so handsome. I love you so much. And, and like there's like a pause where it's like she's kind of waiting for him to say it and then like he doesn't, and then she's like, you don't have to.

And then he's just like, I'm gonna fuck you on this poker table.

And it's like, she's so confident. Not even in his love, although she is, and like he loves her in like lots of nonverbal ways, but she's so confident in her feelings. I think you're exactly right to say that. Like that she, she doesn't have any regrets and it like doesn't cost her anything to say, Hey, you look very handsome.

I love you a lot. I'm really happy that I'm here and that I made this choice. And it is, it is refreshing. It's just like one of the other facets of like her character that are like fun to be with.

Morgan: Yeah, it's easy to like, feel her warmth. Mm-hmm. And like her excitement and her like propellant basically her own mm-hmm.

Self. And like, oftentimes, like I find that like when we're in the perspective of heroines, they're so like self-conscious and like they mm-hmm. Project a sense of confidence, but in reality they're very scared that the boy doesn't like them, you know? Mm-hmm. And so to kind of have that reversed was like refreshing.

And, but I also think on another level, like it just felt so, it felt so sexy to be that, to be in a perspective that was, that actually confident.

Isabeau: Mm-hmm. [01:03:00] I mean, there is a moment where she's like, you don't want me, that's why I left. And he's like, I'll show you what I want. And then like from that period on, she never questions.

She's like, all right. Yeah. It is, it's really good. It's really good.

Morgan: That's really good. Uh, Whoa!mance or No-Mance?,

Isabeau: that's a fucking, whoa. It's, it's a very good book. I think you, at the top of the episode called it the platonic ideal of a Lisa Kleypas. I think like that's super true. Um, it hits every beat. It does all the things.

Sara is way more interesting than Derek Craven. The only thing that would give this an asterisk for me is like, I just don't understand the hype. It is like a perfectly serviceable romance novel, but like, it is not upper echelon for me. Like, I think you, I think people should read it. It's a, whoa, I enjoyed myself.

I read it very quickly. Um, I think if you're a fan of Lisa Kleypas and you haven't read this, you should read it and maybe return to it if you haven't read it in a while. But like, it is not better than like, Lord of Scoundrels or Prince of Midnight. And like the thing about Derek Craven is like the fuck,

Morgan: it's, you know, it's not better than Lord of Scoundrels or Prince of Midnight or Beast or The Proposal or you know, I will say, I think Sara is probably the hottest ticket in this book.

I think she is a character. I mean, does she nail the, like mouthiness as much as flowers from the storms, from the storms main character? Maybe, maybe not. But she was a, she was a joy to be amongst, you know? Yeah. And I think the antagonist and like the politics of the book are really interesting. Derek Craven is a leftist.

He's trying to bring up, he's trying to make chimney sweeps illegal, but he like doesn't want to be credited with like charity. It's. It reminds me of that like idealized time of the nineties. Like it is very like when we thought we could have capitalism work out, you know?

Isabeau: Yeah. Like the neoliberal promise of capitalism is, yeah, we're gonna get AmeriCorps and you're gonna get an electric car and, and we're gonna solve racism and we're gonna, we're gonna get this recycling thing and we'll have Lilith Fair for the ladies.

Like that's a hundred percent what this book feels like.

Morgan: You know how we're gonna get it? Free markets,

Isabeau: people are gonna earn it with their dollars.

Morgan: Yeah. We're all gonna bring each other up. We're gonna self-regulate. We just need the wealthy to take Yeah. It's just very, yeah. So it's [01:06:00] sentimental.

Isabeau: It's sentimental. And in that way it's like, it's an, it's a nice break from the culture wars. Yeah. Although, like there's some stuff about Joyce that is definitely a little, like, she doesn't make cookies.

Morgan: That's very true.

Isabeau: But like overall, I think like it's not as egregious as others. Like it's, it's cultural politics are, um, hopeful as you say.

Morgan: Yeah. Miss Massachusetts does it again. Another Whoa, another whoa. Also her author photo is just in my copy.

Isabeau: Oh, that's very, very, very good. I love the off the shoulder, her collarbones.

Wow. Lisa Kleypas,

Morgan: very coquettish. She, after graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, Lisa Kleypas decided to make writing her full-time career. What a, what a trajectory. She's a former Miss Massachusetts and competed in the 1985 Miss America Pageant. Be sure to mention it y'all. I follow her on Instagram.

She, for a while, I remember she was making tiny fairy furniture.

Isabeau: I'm not pleased or disappointed with that information.

Morgan: It's just kind of there. Anything else you wanna say about Dreaming of You?

Isabeau: Someone who knows about the hype, explain it to me, please.

Morgan: Yeah. Could someone give me like a little bit of a d like make it make sense?

I see the Instagram posts. Uh, don't know which Derek Craven you read, but I hope he exists somewhere else

Isabeau: in your mind. If nowhere else.

Morgan: Yeah. Yeah. At least you enjoy it. I'm glad you have that happiness. Mm-hmm. With that, loosen your stays,

Isabeau: but never your principles. Mm.

Morgan: Whoa-lly, guacamole everyone. Thanks for listening to another episode of Whoa!mance

Isabeau: Whoa!mance is hosted, produced, and edited by my friend Morgan

Morgan: and by my friend Isabeau. Our logo artwork is by another friend, Mary Reischmann. You can find her on Instagram at @m.reischmann, spelled R E I S C H M A Double N.

Isabeau: Original Music by Nick Gravelin, and our web mistress is Jane Bonzac.

They're the best.

Morgan: You're also the best. We so appreciate your support by listening. Please consider taking this to the next level by following rating and reviewing. We read every single review or even check us out on Patreon.

Isabeau: If you'd like more Whoa in your life, you can connect with us on Instagram at @whoamance and on Twitter, where we are at @mance_Whoa.

Or you can find more episodes and content at

Morgan: if you have an idea or just wanna reach out, please email [email protected]. We'd love to hear [01:09:00] from

Isabeau: you. Romance is a part of the Frolic podcast network. Find more podcasts, add to your romance collection at Until next time.