Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Elizabeth Hoyt: To Beguile a Beast

Happy Wednesday and Happy Veterans' Day, readers!

good morning kitty by luciana on WeGIF

I don't like cats or kittens much, but the one above is so darling... I just had to share!

With that, I shall proceed to Ms. Hoyt's third book in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series,

To Beguile a Beast: B+
Helen Fitzwilliam & Sir Alistair Munroe
Legend of the Four Soldiers #3


Reclusive Sir Alistair Munroe has hidden in his castle ever since returning from the Colonies, scarred inside and out. But when a mysterious beauty arrives at his door, the passions he's kept suppressed for years begin to awaken.


Running from past mistakes has taken legendary beauty Helen Fitzwilliam from the luxury of the ton to a crumbling Scottish castle . . . and a job as a housekeeper. Yet Helen is determined to start a new life and she won't let dust-or a beast of a man-scare her away.


Beneath Helen's beautiful fa├žade, Alistair finds a courageous and sensual woman. A woman who doesn't back away from his surliness-or his scars. But just as he begins to believe in true love, Helen's secret past threatens to tear them apart. Now both Beast and Beauty must fight for the one thing neither believed they could ever find--a happy ever after. (back of book)

This novel was unique in several aspects, which I greatly appreciated.

I like to think this novel is one of a higher level than the regular mass romances on the bookshelves, mainly because the both the hero and the heroine are not squeaky clean. Helen Fitzwilliam is a great beauty and surprise, paramour to a high-standing someone in the London ton. She has been with this man for so long, she has two children fathered by this less than spectacular gentleman.

Alistair Munroe, on the other hand, has holed himself up in his castle since returning from fighting in the Colonies. It was there that he was severely tortured. Not a whipped-back has-knife-wound kind of tortured, Munroe is missing an eye and two fingers from one hand, among other "disfigurements." If this story were to be paralleled to the story of Beauty & the Beast, I am fairly certain Alistair would fall under the Beast category (not the Beauty. I think that would be Ms. Helen Fitzwilliam).

Helen finds herself running for her life. She and her children end up on Munroe's doorstep (er.. castlestep) and announces herself his new housekeeper.

He, undoubtedly, is appalled by her bravado and is stunned by her beauty.
She is intimidated by his scars.

And there starts the story of how these two characters fall in love. Why is Helen running for her life? Glad you asked. Something about an overpossessive certain-somebody...

You also get to find out more about the mystery as to who betrayed the British during that war. It wasn't Alistair, as he was tortured the way he was... so who...?!

I felt the characters came to life in this story. While the whole Helen-in-grave-danger part wasn't particularly exciting nor interesting, seeing Alistair and Helen interact was fun. And... I don't see how a hero can be more tortured or "wounded" (physically and mentally) than our very own Alistair Munroe.

Bottom line: Recommended reading.

Side Question: So... does it make anyone else laugh that the men's woohoo is referred to as a "prick?" I understand that this might be culturally and historically accurate from the Regency era, but a prick? I almost prefer "throbbing manhood" to it... okay, not so much, but you get what I'm saying.

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