Elizabeth Hoyt's "To Beguile A Beast" is the third book in the "Legend of the Four Soldiers" series. I had never read any of Elizabeth Hoyt's books, but decided to read it as it's one of our current giveaways...and I'm glad I did :)
This is the an adult take of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. Sir Alistair Munroe is a scarred (physically & mentally) recluse who has resigned to living a lonely life in his castle in the wilds of Scotland. One rainy night, a beautiful woman and her two children appear at his doorstep claiming to be his new housekeeper. He is unpleasant, unwelcoming and uninterested, but she is stubborn and persistant. Due to the increment weather, he allows her and the children to stay the night but demands that they be gone by morning. However, she is determined to stay. She is not just adamant about wanting to be the housekeeper he so desperately needs (and clearly doesn't want), but she simply cannot go back to the life that she fled so she needs to make this work for the sake of her & her children.
She becomes fascinated with this man. His hideous appearance is all the more endearing when she begins to learn about the man beneath the scars. And he is besotted with her. Is she there just to tempt him? Is she there to remind him of the future that he dare not hope for? Before long they begin to enjoy each other's company and find themselves falling headlong into a passion that neither one can resist. All the while this is happening, his home is cleaner and he finds himself with renewed focus on his life's work. In addition, he gets a lead that the traitor that caused him to sustain his injuries may have been discovered. All seems to be falling into place until...
Helen's children are missing and are nowhere to be found. Her past has caught up with her and now Alistair is caught up in it as well. She has no choice but to reveal the real reason she came to land on his doorstep. She is the former mistress of the Duke of Lister and he is the father of her children (Abigail and Jamie). He will stop at nothing until his "possessions" are returned to him. She cannot go back to a loveless life as another man's ornament. With Alistair's help she must confront her "demon" in order for her to get her children back.
I literally read this book overnight. You find yourself caught up in the woe's of the sad and lonely Alistair Munroe and begin rooting for him to find love beyond the scars. By the same token, you want Helen to find the love she craves as well as a good father figure for her children (who you cannot help but love). The love that develops between these two characters is gradual and makes it all the more rewarding when it finally does happen...not to mention that Hoyt did not hold back on the passion either!
This is a charming story of blind love, passion, pain, fear and self-discovery. There is a definite fairy tale quality to the story, but will it have the fairy tale ending as well?
Sign up for our giveaway and read it for yourself to find out :)
*Aren't I just the woyst?* LOL
I give it ★ ★ ★ ★
PS: My only criticism is the cover art. The artwork itself as well as the colors are beautiful, but I don't feel that they truly depict the characters, particularly Alistair. He is a man facially scarred and the man on the cover has a perfect face. I think the man on the cover should have a "Phantom of the Opera" quality to him or at least have part of his face shadowed. Just a thought...