Mackenzie's Reviews > Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath
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Mar 27, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

** spoiler alert ** When Stephen Lyons, a second son (whose older brother is an earl and younger brother a duke), a notorious sex 'em and leave 'em lover, callous, free spirited and cares less for pretty much anything, decided to go off to Crimea with a commission bought for him by his brothers, he comes back from battle a completely different person. Two years of his life in war has been completely erased. He has no recollection at all of what happened.

So when nurse Mercy Dawson arrives at his family's door after reading in the papers that he has died, not only is she surprised that he is alive, but the family has a surprise of their own; she claims to be the mother of Stephen's son. Mercy waits for secrets to be revealed, but instead Stephen goes along with her story as he doesn't want his own secret of his memory loss to be revealed.

Although she is little John's mother in her heart, she did not actually give birth to him. Stephen who had nearly recovered from battle wounds at the hospice Mercy was in, rescued her in the middle of a gang rape and stayed and comforted her. Half in love with him all ready, her heart breaks when she learns that another nurse is pregnant with his child. Together they leave in secret and the new mother abandons Mercy and the baby in France.

Eventually Stephen reveals his memory loss to Mercy and partly at her acceptance of this decides to marry her. She loves John as her own and feels this is the best way to remain in John's life. As they settle into married life, they begin to build a great bond and find that they both are just what each other needs.

When John's birth mother emerges from the shadows, Mercy fears the worst. As Fancy blackmails her, it bring suspicions and soon, Mercy's secret is out. Stephen throws Mercy out, but Stephen's mother, who thinks Mercy is just what Stephen needs, offers her sanctuary. Meanwhile, more investigation is done and after Stephen talks to a sergeant who served under him and learns more of Mercy's story, he barged into his mother's home and he is in a better place to listen to what Mercy has to say. In the end he asks is she will please return home with him and with no more talk of trying to recover his lost memories, he devotes to making the most of new ones.

This was just a really sweet read. Both main characters had a lot that they had to deal with and overcome from the war. They weren't perfect and both made mistakes along the way, yet they were able to still fall in love in a believable way. I also like that the conflict didn't come from a "VILLAIN" per se. There was a also a continuing of secondary characters and their story from the first book of this series and it didn't take away from this one at all.

Am looking forward towards reading the last of this trilogy and seeing how everything ties together!
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