Lady Hero Batten, the daughter of a Duke, has been raised to be proper in all things, comportment, behavior, speech and thought. In Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt, Lady Hero has become engaged to a proper man, then she meets his rakehell younger brother St. Giles and all her proper behavior goes out the window as he upsets her within the first five minutes of meeting him.
Griffin Rmmington has worked hard to present a façade of a rakehell to society, little do they know he has worked hard to bring his family back from the brink of bankruptcy. While the family is now financially solvent, Griffin feels the need to defend the family’s business interests when it falls under attack from competitors. Griffin is having a hard time juggling his façade and the family business and then he meets Lady Hero and finds himself having to protect her when she travels into the dangerous St. Giles area to oversee the rebuilding of the orphanage she sponsors.
I had some problems with the beginning of this novel, Griffin and Hero meet for the first time while Griffin is having sex with another woman. While the scene is humorous, I really struggled to see why the proper Hero was attacked to Griffin when this is how they met. It is one thing for man to have a reputation as a womanizer but another thing altogether to see him in the act. Getting past that rough beginning, I was very intrigued by the direction the story took by addressing the gin problem that developed in the lower class during the 1700s. Hoyt’s portrayal of both the aristocracy belief and justification for dealing with the problem and the lower classes reactions and persecution was intriguing and heartbreaking. The other issue I had with this novel was the use of the “F” word by Griffin, while the etymology credits the creation of the word in the 1600s I just struggle to believe that a aristocratic lord would use the word in mixed company in the 1700s. I gave Notorous Pleasures a 3 in liking because I felt the great story of the orphanage and the gin distribution outweighed the issues I had with the novel.
You can read an excerpt here.
The Maiden Lane:
Scandalous Desires (November 2011)
Title: Notorious Pleasures
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 400
Publisher: Hachette Publishing
Release Date: February 2011
Available for purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
**I received a copy of this book from Hachette Publishing but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.