History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason (2012)
I couldn't help but picture Piet as the gay footman from Downton Abbey because of his deception and sense of entitlement, but I liked him in spite of it because he was mostly harmless and had a conscience that nagged him, if only occasionally.
The reviews call this an erotic novel, but although there was a healthy dose of sex, it wasn't especially erotic. It was important to the plot, sure, but not dwelled upon in any detailed way. I would say it's hedonistic and sensual because it dwells so much upon the opulent lifestyles of the wealthy, and that is what Piet is so taken in by.
Speaking of Downton, this novel appealed to my sensibilities in the same way as those great costume dramas like Upstairs, Downstairs and Pride & Prejudice. Indeed, there was a split here between the family and staff, with Piet lodged comfortably between them. He wasn't quite equal with the family, but was still socially above the help, which made it much easier to insinuate himself into the family's lives. I enjoyed his trajectory, and liked him enough to spend the whole novel with him, but not enough to feel badly when things went wrong. It was his own fault, after all.