The second book in Lorraine Heath’s series finds Stephen Lyons, the second son and the black sheep of his family, amidst the war in Crimea in 1854. He has come home a broken man with but a shred of memory - and the last two years of his life have been completely erased from his mind.
Mercy Dawson was one of hundreds of nurses taking care of the war-ravaged men who came into the hospital tents either on their last leg or close to it. Like many of the nurses, she
fell under the spell of Stephen Lyons, who had become known as a war hero. Unlike her comrades, she
did not sleep with him. One of her fellow nurses did and became pregnant. Mercy left the war to take care of the baby after the mother
ran off right after the birth, not wanting to spoil her chances of a successful marriage.
Mercy fell in love with the boy and “adopted” John as her own. Her father is not too happy when Mercy comes home from the war with a baby in tow.
He takes her to confront Stephen and have him do right by his only daughter.
Stephen has no memories of the last two years of his life - he has no memories of the war
and no memories of Mercy Dawson, but he - along with his family - trusts that she tells the truth and
is in fact the mother of the baby she holds. A lover of women, Stephen had no idea that he could find such passion with only one, and yet he
does - with Mercy Dawson. He may not have recovered his memories, and he suspects
- judging by Mercy’s nightmares of the war - that it is a godsend that he didn’t remember.
He is sure that he will love his son in time, but he never suspected that he
could love Mercy as much as he has grown to. When he finds out Mercy’s secret, will it destroy everything that she has worked for?
Will it destroy the love that she has started to see in Stephen's eyes?
I loved the second book in this series (as I did the first) and cannot wait for the next. Although the plot of Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman is a bit unexceptional and a tad ordinary, I will forgive Heath since she more than makes
up for it in storytelling and passion.