Thursday, March 17

To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

Book 3 in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series
     Elizabeth Hoyt has an amazing series – of which I have read only 2 out of the 4 books so far, but plan on remedying that directly – on four men who are returning emotionally and, in To Beguile a Beast’s case, physically scarred from battle. In order to like this book you must:
     1. Love men who you can sense truly and obviously need a woman in their life, even if they don’t know it yet
     2. Not be a hunk snob or hate slightly emo, mentally battle-scarred soldiers
     3. Be able to sympathize with Helen’s mistress situation.
     Please note that I could do all of those things, and thus adored the book. I love battle-scarred soldiers because they are so compassionate, loyal, and kind (clearly they are good souls because they have been scarred from the violence they have witnessed). I love watching the woman teach them love and happiness again, give them a future they never thought they could have (which Helen does in this book). To me, that’s an important part of being female and these kinds of books speak wonders about how amazing women are – we are love and happiness, and we bring our joy and light to those we love.
     But to the novel. Sir Alistair Munroe is a naturalist who, while in America studying flora and fauna, was attacked along with Regiment he was travelling with. He was captured and tortured – and lost two fingers, an eye, and is covered with hideous scars on one half of his face. Helen Fitzwilliam is on the run from the Duke of Lister, to whom she was a mistress for 14 years. He is the father of her two adorable children – sweet, sensitive Abigail (9 years old) and boisterous Jamie (5 years old) whom she has with her. She and her children take refugee in his castle, under the guise of Helen being his new housekeeper. Their relationship grows and flourishes beautifully, and includes frequent, deep, sensuous lovemaking. And it’s truly lovemaking because underneath the lust the love is very, very evident.
     Basically, this book was great. There were a few parts where the plot fell flat, but Hoyt made up for that with the beauty of the passion of her hero and heroine. The pain he has found in life as an ‘ugly freak’ and the pain that has been served her in life as a beauty has united them as they both seek new beginnings, away from the shallowness that has consumed their lives. It’s truly a beautiful journey. This was a romance that spoke to my soul.
Favorite quotes:
“I can instruct you further, if you wish, on how to properly manipulate the pole.” (Alistair)
“This is the clitoris. It was discovered by Signor Gabriele Falloppio in 1561.” (Alistair)
“You mean… you mean no one knew it existed until 1561?” (Helen)
“Another Italian anatomist, a man named Colombo claimed to have made the discovery two years prior to Signor Falloppio.”
“I think I feel sorry for these gentleman’s wives.”
“I think, then, that I prefer we use this lemon for lemonade.” (Helen)
“Sexy”ness rating: Hot Hot Hot!!!!
Overall Rating: A-
Bottom Line: This book has an emotional depth that pulls at your heart, as you watch Helen and especially Alistair struggle to trust and love. It’s a beautiful, touching historical that I would recommend to any non-hunk-snob. Just read it.
Pages: 331 pages
Published:  April 14, 2009
Genre: Historical

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