Notorious Pleasures - Elizabeth Hoyt Maybe 2-2.5. I'm stuck with a feeling of indifference and even a general distaste for the way things played out.

Lady Hero left me cold and was way too stubborn about her feelings for WAY too long. This book could have been finished in 100 fewer pages if she weren't such a coward about what she was feeling and if Elizabeth Hoyt didn't have word count requirements. For those of you who've read my review of [bc:If He's Dangerous|9279284|If He's Dangerous (Wherlocke #4)|Hannah Howell||14161291], Lady Hero actually reminded me a bit of Sir Argus, and you know that's not a good thing. She was supposed to be all prim and proper, but then she started knockin' boots with the H...while she was still engaged to the H's brother. But she refused even to consider marrying the H because they were "too different" and they "wouldn't suit," but oh...she couldn't resist his magic penis and ended up shagging him multiple times (while STILL engaged). *sigh* At least Griffin called her out on it, saying that she may not want his love, but he could at least give her something she did want: his cock. O__o This continues even after Griffin has proposed to her and professed his love for her. She refuses him and refuses to recognize her own feelings until she believes he's in mortal danger. In this way she reminds me of Sir Argus, who didn't recognize his love until his h was lying on the ground with a knife wound to the back. It's not as dramatic here, but I definitely saw a parallel there.

Griffin was a good guy and he was working for me, but then he went a little emo when Hero refused his suit. His shift from "I'm in love" to kamikaze gin still fighter (literally - as in, he recognized the overwhelmingly unfavorable odds in his guns-and-swords fight with a rival gin distiller, and he practically welcomed death) to "Yay, you love me, too?" was a little too mercurial for my tastes. I mean, his readiness to die was sandwiched quite neatly between kissyfaced lovey-dovey hearts-and-rainbows feelings, and that just didn't work for me.

The secondary characters (and the secondary romance) were a little too conveniently evil villain types. It just seemed weird that Hero's brother, who earlier showed concern over her happiness with the match with the H's brother, would take an about face later on in the story to blackmail Hero into marrying the brother. *blink blink* I mean, really?

Not all is doom and gloom - there are some redeeming qualities here. I liked Griffin a LOT for 90% of the book - basically up until he turned emo. The sexytimes were hot and steamy. The non-romance plot points (i.e., the push to shut down gin production and the scenes set in seedy St. Giles with Silence, the gin distillery, the foundling home, etc.) were interesting.

More substantive review to follow. Maybe. Or not. This is my more substantive review...I guess.

Elizabeth Hoyt is still one of my go-to authors, but I'm glad I got this one from the library. I look forward to the next story, but my expectations are a bit lowered. Charming Mickey's use of "me" instead of "my" in the sneak-peek sample of [b:Scandalous Desires|11103494|Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane #3)|Elizabeth Hoyt||14090854] made me wince, and that was only within the span of 6 pages. :/

I will hold on to some faith, though, as that book was rated 4.3+ overall. *crosses fingers* Bring on Silence and Mickey!