Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath

Title: Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman
Series: London's Greatest Lovers
Author: Lorraine Heath
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Avon
ISBN: 0061922951
ISBN-13: 9780061922954

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 enlists in 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 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...

My rating:

Stephen Lyons, yes, the guy who was the catalyst for the conflict in the first book in this series, has recently returned from Crimea, his body riddled with scars and his mind blank of the past two years. His last memory being taking tea with his brother’s wife, it’s as if he’s never even been to the war.

But he was and he has the scars to prove it...And a child his mother has brought to his family’s footstep thinking Stephen was dead.

There was nothing wrong with the story overall. I love Lorraine Heath’s writing. The pace is always wonderful, the plot nicely structured, the characters nicely layered and fleshed-out, the chemistry between the main characters always combustible, the attraction palpable, the drama and angst always spot-on...

But this particular story bothered me. And it’s all because the initial premise, or even better, the big lie. Granted, the heroine didn’t lie at the beginning. Everybody simply inferred that she was the child’s mother, and she didn’t correct them. But she also didn’t tell the truth when she had the opportunity (before and after the marriage). She could’ve told him when Stephen confessed as to not remembering, she could’ve told him when she was being blackmailed...Yet she didn’t.
And then she was “heartbroken” because he didn’t believe her when the (distorted) truth came out and she wanted to set the record straight. Can you blame him?

The hero’s reaction didn’t help matters one bit with him being so quick to condemn her based on hearsay, without proof, and then even quicker to forgive her, once more thanks to someone else telling him “the truth”.
Either you trust or not, make you own damn mind based on what you know, what you’ve seen of her character, not based on what others tell you.

Yes, the conflict was resolved pretty quickly, but still, the whole ordeal (the whole premise, actually) left a slightly bitter aftertaste. It was well-written and plotted-out, I just didn’t like the base on which the story stood.


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