Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman (London’s Greatest Lovers) – book review

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman
by Lorraine Heath
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Book #2 in the London’s Greatest Lovers series
Number of Pages: 389
Historical Romance
Ages 16 and up
CW: PTSD, rape, war
As the black sheep second son of an Earl, Stephen Lyons has gained a reputation in the art of seduction, but when his wicked ways result in scandal, he joins the army to redeem himself. On the battlefield, he proves courageous . . . until he is seriously wounded. Returning home to recover, he discovers he can’t remember the angelic beauty who arrives at his doorstep, his babe nestled in her arms.

Mercy Dawson will risk everything to protect the son of the dashing soldier she once knew and admired. When Stephen offers to do the honorable thing, she is determined that London’s most notorious gentleman will desire her and no other. But Mercy fears that what began as an innocent deception could destroy her dreams and their blossoming love if Stephen ever learns the scandalous truth . . .

They are masters of seduction, London’s greatest lovers. Living for pleasure, they will give their hearts to no one . . . until love takes them by surprise.

Sometimes I find myself reading a “big secret” book, even though it’s not a favorite of mine, because it’s within a series I’m reading. That was the case with this story. I was hoping, due to the nature of the story and the MMC having amnesia anyway, that it wouldn’t bother me as much here. For the most part, it didn’t. Once the full nature of Mercy’s deception was clear to me, I truly understood her actions and reasoning. Until it went on too long and Mercy seemed to be trying to justify her lies (or, as she put it, her omission) to even herself.

When it comes to the love story, Mercy and Stephen are wonderful together. Having read the previous book, Passions of a Wicked Earl, it was satisfying to see that Stephen has grown up. Even if you didn’t read that first book, you can tell from the beginning of this story that he is quite the rake. But once Stephen was in an active war zone, he realized he needed to grow up and be responsible for himself and all of the men under him. He took that very seriously and was well respected. Unfortunately, he cannot remember any of the war.

While Stephen was the brother who upset me in the first book, his younger brother the Duke was getting on my nerves in this book. Mind your business! Of course, he was doing what he thought he needed to do to protect his family. And unlike Stephen in the past, it seems the Duke of Ainsley actively tries to fix things when he makes an error.

Something I’m learning about myself lately is that I am a sucker for sick bed scenes. When one main character is ill or hurt and the other main character cannot stay away, thereby showing everyone their true emotions even when those feelings aren’t being openly admitted. I love it! It’s a fantastic way to bring the characters closer together and never fails to make my heart flutter. This story is no exception.

While I didn’t love this book as much as the first, I can readily admit it has mostly to do with Mercy’s secret and the inevitable fallout from that secret. As much as I didn’t love that secret, I did love how things played out after it all came to light and how the side characters responded to the situation.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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