Saturday, October 29, 2011
New Review: Elizabeth Hoyt’s TO BEGUILE A BEAST in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series - A Scottish beast to Love!
TO BEGULE A BEAST is the third in Hoyt’s Legend of the Four Soldiers series (TO TASTE TEMTATION, TO SEDUCE A SINNER, TO BEGUILE A BEAST AND TO DESIRE A DEVIL).
Set in Scotland and London in 1765, this is the story of Helen Fitzwilliam, mistress of the Duke of Lister and Lord Vale’s friend and fellow comrade in arms in the Colonies, Sir Alistair Munroe. When Munroe was tortured by the Wyandot Indians, allies of the French, after their capture at Spinner’s Falls, he lost an eye and was so scarred in the process now women scream when they see him. So he has become a recluse living in his castle in Scotland where he pursues his career studying animals and plants. Of course, he’s a celebrated naturalist, knighted for his first book by King George. Meanwhile, Helen has run away from the Duke of Lister who doesn’t love her and has never acknowledged the two children of hers he has fathered. Lady Vale helps her escape to Scotland where she appears on Alistair’s doorstep declaring she is Helen Halifax, his new housekeeper. Each has a past they must overcome to find love and a future.
As with the other books in this series, each chapter begins with an excerpt from a fairy tale, in this case the story of a soldier named “Truth Teller” who saves a princess held captive and turned into a beast by a sorcerer in a mythical kingdom. I thought that was clever and added dimension to the romance.
Lord Vale and Sir Alistair continue to search for the traitor who betrayed the English to the French at Spinner’s Falls, but not much is gained in that hunt with this story. This is all about the tortured soul of Sir Alistair and how a former mistress, a woman who is beautiful inside and out, though not at all respectable, beguiles him. The secondary characters, mostly her two children, are charming. Except for the castle’s location, there isn’t much Scottish about this story. Still I enjoyed it and recommend this one.