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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pleasures of a Notorius Gentleman by Lorraine Heath

Pleasures of a Notorius Gentleman by Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon / Harper Collins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (268 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

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.

To Stephen Lyons, women are a gift, precious treasures that bring pleasure. He made it his priority to enjoy these treasures and pleasures, becoming notorious for his prowess in London Society. However, when he returns from the Crimea War, his life has changed forever. Wounded and unable to remember anything that happened in the two years before he woke up in a hospital, Stephen tries to put his life back on track.

Marcy Dawson, one of Florence Nightingale's nurses, becomes a connection to Stephen’s time in the Crimea when she arrives with his baby in her arms. Since Stephen is staying with his family while he recuperates, they all get involved with Mercy and baby John. Thus, a tangle of omitted information, amnesia, greed, and love that is full of compassion, courage, and determination makes the conflicts in Pleasure of a Notorious Gentleman heart revving and heartrending.

The emotional clutter in both Stephen and Mercy’s lives sets up a minefield they try to navigate as their lives entwine. They seem to have almost made it, then a huge bomb falls in the form of Sarah (Fancy) Whisehunt.

The cruelty Mercy endures just because she tries to do right by a darling, helpless baby is heartbreaking. Yet, deep down in her heart she knows her love has not been misplaced. She knows the real Stephen, not the one society sees.

The secondary characters, most of whom were in Passions of a Wicked Earl, become vitally important as the tangle of secrets, lies, and love beyond reason bring Stephen to the full knowledge that he indeed does have character—a character that matured sometime during a horrifying war that he can’t remember.

Lorraine Heath magically brings the characters to life and creates a world fraught with the best and the worst of humankind’s actions. Every Deadly Sin creeps in, but the most giving, precious love is victorious. Oh, yes, the love scenes are spellbinding. SUCH GOOD READING!