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To Beguile a Beast (The Legend of the Four Soldiers) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2009
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Helen Fitzwilliam is not about to take no for an answer. Reclusive Sir Alistair Munroe might insist he has no need for a housekeeper, but Helen and her young daughter and son desperately need a place to stay. So as far as Helen is concerned, Alistair is getting a housekeeper whether he wants one or not. As it turns out, Helen is exactly what Alistair needs. Not only does his incomparably lovely new employee begin to turn his disintegrating Scottish castle into a home, Helen also begins to work her subtle brand of magic on Alistair’s war-scarred soul. But just as things seem to be settling down, a secret from Helen’s past threatens to destroy not only everything for which she has worked so hard but also the lives of those she loves dearly. Hoyt works her own brand of literary magic on the classic Beauty and the Beast story in the exquisitely romantic, superbly sensual third addition to her extraordinary Georgian-set Legend of Four Soldiers series. --John Charles
"There's enchantment in Hoyt's stories that makes you believe in the magic of love."―-Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
"Elizabeth Hoyt writes with flair, sophistication, and unstoppable passion."―-Julianne MacLean, author of PORTRAIT OF A LOVER
"Prepare to be seduced! Hoyt's writing is almost too good to be true."―Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
"The new master of the hisorical romance genre."―-HistoricalRomanceWriters.com
"41/2 Stars! TOP PICK! Fantastic...magically blends fairytale, reality, and romance in a delicious, sensual feast."―Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
"A sexy, steamy treat!"―-Connie Brockway, USA Today bestselling author on THE RAVEN PRINCE
Top customer reviews
But, our sweet Melisande from To Seduce A Sinner (The Legend of the Four Soldiers) has decided that some meddling is in order. When her lovely acquaintance, Helen Fitzwilliam, shows up at Melisande's home with her two young children - on the run from her protector, the mean old Duke of Lister - Melisande packs Helen and the children off to Scotland to Sir Alistair's castle knowing he is in need of: 1) a housekeeper, 2) a ready made family, and 3) a beautiful woman. I must confess to having meddled a few times myself, so I understand what drove Melisande.
It's almost laughable when Helen arrives at Alistair's castle and realizes just how bad things are. Indeed, Helen doesn't know how to cook, but she does seem to be able to manage a broom, plus she's got some gumption. More than anything, however, having served and been under the control of the Duke of Lister since she was 17 years old, she's glad to have some freedom, even if it is in a dusty old castle with a man who has only one handsome side. In addition, the duke hasn't made use of her physical attributes for some years - she's been lonely and struggles with choices she made in her early life.
Helen's two young children - Jamie and Abigail, are adorable and add some zest to the story. Their father, the duke, never had any kind of relationship with them, their social life was basically non existent due to their mother's status and they hunger for affection and adventure. Once they arrive at the castle and meet Sir Alistair, their lives begin to change. There is one major problem centering around the sweet kiddos - their father, although an uncaring jerk, will chase them to hell and back in order to regain control of them and their mother.
Alistair is overwhelmed by Helen's beauty and very soon, he is making moves on her person, even though he's so accustomed to rejection, he hasn't had female company since he returned from America some years previously. Helen doesn't see his scars as much as she sees a lovely man who needs to get a life. Very shortly, Alistair has the children and Helen intertwined in his life and ultimately the relationship becomes more satisfying to both Alistair and Helen than either one imagined it could be. However, they have secrets between them. Alistair hasn't been willing to share how he became damaged and Helen isn't willing to let him know she's hiding out from a duke. Everything comes to a head as we all knew it would - people are placed in danger, harsh things are said, and eventually tough decisions must be made. For Alistair, vulnerability and trust come very hard. Thankfully, he also has a very pushy sister who shows up in the right place and the right time to kick his behind into shape.
Enjoyable story - one of my favorite parts - every time Helen would come to Alistair's room, he would grab her and pull her into the room. It was kinda funny but made the point all too well how starved he was for love and affection. Also, there were no major big misunderstandings between the H/h which tend to drive me nuts. Still, it's more of a 3 1/2 star book, but I'll round it off to four stars.
Hoyt's story was very good. Enjoyed this book better then the others in this series.
My only small complaint is this. I never really felt that I understood Helen the way that I have understood Hoyt's other heroines. Helen's motivations for changing her life by leaving the duke just don't feel as solid and understandable as I would expect. Ultimately, that leaves Helen being a little less defined and concrete than I would like. Still I love the story and Alastair's character is memorable and amazing.
Most recent customer reviews
Lots of surprises
You feel the characters come alive
Could not put it down towards the end
One of a four part series involving men who served the...Read more