Posts Tagged ‘London’s Greatest Lovers’


Setting: England, 1855

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


Lorraine Heath is one of my favourite authors because whenever I pick up one of her books, I am always assured of an outstanding historical romance. PLEASURES OF A NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN, the 2nd book in her London’s Greatest Lovers series, is a passionate and moving story of two deeply wounded people who find happiness through the healing power of love.

One of Ms Heath’s greatest strengths is her ability to create in depth characters that appeal directly to the emotions. The torment Stephen endures because he can’t remember the events of the past two years is captured so well and gives him a vulnerability which is very touching.

But his eyes – his beautiful blue eyes – had changed the most. They held such an incredible bleakness when he looked at her that she almost wept. His wounds went much deeper than his flesh; they had penetrated his soul.

The war has changed him. Gone is the irresponsible, womanizing rogue from Passions of a Wicked Earl to be replaced by a man prepared to take his responsibilities seriously and marry Mercy. It takes him a little longer to bond with his son, John but, when he does, it’s a poignant moment.

She transferred the child to Stephen’s waiting arms. Not once did John release his firm grip on Stephen’s finger. His throat knotted, Stephen forced out the words. “Hello, John. You and I are going to have quite a time of it, aren’t we?”
The boy blinked up at him, a question in eyes of blue, a shade that mirrored Stephen’s. “Who the devil are you?”
“I’m your father.”

Mercy is gentle, courageous and loving and just perfect for Stephen. Her own experiences of war allow her to understand him in a way his family can’t. Her tenderness and compassion are exactly what he needs to heal his troubled soul. She’s not perfect and doesn’t always make the right decisions. I did not agree with her keeping the truth from Stephen but I understood that she was driven by her love for Stephen and John and her fear that she might lose everything she held dear.

Their journey to happiness is passionate, poignant and, at times, heart-rending as they struggle to overcome the obstacles that lie in their path. But the final affirmation of their love is well worth waiting for.

Before she could protest, he took her in his arms and kissed her deeply while the world looked on. With his reputation, no one even raised an eyebrow. But Mercy knew the kiss symbolized much more. It was a celebration of their life their love.

Ms Heath brought to vivid life the harsh realities of war and I was pleased that she chose not to take the easy option as regards Stephen’s amnesia.

I love the secondary characters; Stephen’s younger brother, the Duke of Ainsley who exudes power and authority and demonstrates a maturity well beyond his years; Stephen’s mother, the Duchess of Ainsley who loves her sons and wants their happiness and her young lover, Leo who obviously loves her to distraction. I was also pleased to see the rift between Stephen and his older brother, the Earl of Westcliffe healed.

I’m looking forward to reading Ainsley’s story in the final book in the series, Waking Up With the Duke




Read March 2012

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Official Blurb

Known throughout for his prowess in the bedroom, Morgan Lyons, the eighth Earl of Westcliffe, cannot forgive an unpardonable affront to his honor. Discovering his young bride in the arms of his brother was a staggering blow–so he banished the beautiful deceiver to the country and devoted himself to the pursuit of carnal pleasure.

Claire Lyons was an innocent, frightened girl on her wedding day, seeking chaste comfort from a childhood friend. Now, years later, she has blossomed magnificently and has returned to London with one goal in mind: the seduction of her notorious husband. Unskilled in the sensual arts, she burns nonetheless for the kisses too long denied her. And she has but one Season to win back the heart of the rogue she betrayed.

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


Lorraine Heath is one of a select number of authors whose books are auto-buys. PASSIONS OF A WICKED EARL, the first book in her series London’s Greatest Lovers, is a deeply emotional story of two people who must look beyond their feelings of hurt, fear and betrayal to discover trust and ultimately love.

Oh, how I hated Westcliffe at first! He’s arrogant, callous and his response to Claire’s plea for forgiveness is cruel and hurtful.

“You are never a consideration. Quite honestly, Claire, from the moment I delivered you to Lyons Place, I’ve not given a single thought to you.”

But I soon realised to understand Westcliffe, I needed to understand why the marriage to Claire had been so important to him. His family relationships were fraught with difficulties; his mother showered love on his younger brothers, Stephen and Ainsley, whilst remaining distant with him and, because his father had left only debts, he was forced to go cap in hand to Ainsley whenever he needed funds. Not something a proud man like Westcliffe would relish. Marriage to Claire, with her substantial dowry, promised him complete financial independence and, on a personal level, he was attracted to Claire with her warmth and laughter, things sadly missing in his life.

He’d anticipated marriage to her to her as he’d anticipated nothing else in his life before or after.

So her betrayal completely devastated him and it was hard to hate this lonely, unfulfilled man.

Westcliffe’s small acts of kindness made me see him in a whole a new light; making Beth’s first ball so memorable (even to the extent of bribing all the young bucks to dance with her!) and giving Beth and Claire a beautiful bracelet each as a momento of their first ball. Not the acts of someone uncaring. Westcliffe believes he’s incapable of love but the scene where he’s sitting on the floor in the kitchen with his faithful old dog, Cooper, trying to get him to eat, is so moving. He’s been Westcliffe’s only companion for so long – the one creature with whom he’d shared all his secrets, his disappointments, his dreams – and Westcliffe shows so much love and compassion for his dying friend. I think it’s probably the moment Claire falls in love with him and I know he finally found a place in my heart as well.

I admire him for admitting he has never considered the affect his various affairs have had on Claire. When he discovers how humiliated she has been by the malicious gossip, he tries to make amends by doing everything in his power to protect her from further gossip.

I sympathise with Claire. At seventeen, she was too young and naive to cope with the emotional turmoil of having to marry and be intimate with a virtual stranger. She wanted to be courted and get to know Westcliffe first but, in his arrogance, he assumed she would fawn over him just like every other woman and he didn’t need to woo her. Turning to her only friend, Stephen, she had fallen in with his plan, not realising what it involved and, by the time she did, it was too late. I appreciated how much she has matured in the intervening years. It takes a great deal of courage to approach Westcliffe about Beth’s season knowing the reception she will receive but she cares very much for her family. I admire her for being willing to accept how her actions on their wedding night hurt Westcliffe so deeply.

For the first time she thought she might finally know what he’d experienced on that long-ago night. It shamed her that she’d been so young and self-centred not to have realised it immediately.

Their relationship develops slowly and their continuing conflict creates great sexual tension. I love the little things Westcliffe notices about Claire; her sweet rose fragrance, her delicate features, her freckles, the faint scars on her brow. It’s as though he is really seeing her for the first time. Claire finds Westcliffe darkly appealing and the way in which he exudes power, influence and confidence is more intoxicating than wine. As always with Ms Heath, we are treated to some hot and sensuous love scenes conveying the characters’ feelings and emotions so well.

These moments were nothing like her aunt had described. There was no lying back while he lifted the hem of her nightgown. It was constant moving, constant stroking. It was giving and receiving pleasures. It was groaning while he growled, whimpering while he moaned. It was joy and satisfaction.

I love the secondary characters; Ainsley, who demonstrates a maturity beyond his years; the scandalous Duchess of Ainsley and her much younger lover, Leo; Stephen, still as irresponsible as ever and Beth full of youthful exuberance.

My only complaint is the extra drama at the end which seemed unnecessary given the earlier scene in the conservatory but this is only minor point and didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the story.

Full of powerful emotions and unforgettablel characters, PASSIONS OF A WICKED EARL is highly recommended.

RATING: ★★★★½

(Read August 2011)

Books in the London’s Greatest Lovers Series ~

Passions of a Wicked Earl #1
Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman #2
Waking Up With the Duke #3

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