To Beguile a Beast
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: May 1, 2009
Book #3 in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series
Number of Pages: 374
Ages 15 and up
CW: PTSD, torture, war/violence
CAN A WOUNDED BEAST . . .
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.
TRUST A BEAUTY WITH A PAST . . .
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.
TO TAME HIS MOST SECRET DESIRES?
Beneath Helen’s beautiful façade, 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.
This is the story I was hoping for after To Seduce a Sinner ended. The things Sir Alistair and Helen had been through in their lives, they both deserved happiness and safety. I just knew Alistair had a big, mushy heart in there.
Helen didn’t grow up rich, but she didn’t grow up poor either. And once she was of age she had a lavish life of the mistress of a duke. Or what started as a lavish life. She may not have had formal education, but Helen is a very smart woman and saw the writing on the wall. Not to mention, she he been unhappy and neglected for years. Scared that eventually her children would be taken away, she decided to start a new life far away from London. Helen is inspiring. She is overwhelmed but doesn’t balk at the work that needs to be done to keep her children safe and give them a good life. She refused to be swayed or take the easy way out.
Lord Alistair Munroe picks up the search for what happened to his regiment when they were attacked years before. Each story in this series moves from soldier to soldier as they investigate if they had been betrayed. Alistair was not a soldier, but a naturalist who was traveling with the regime that fateful day. He was taken prisoner and tortured along with a handful of other men. He’s been a recluse ever since returning to England. Of all the men there, he has the most visible scars of that time. He also has the inside scars the other men suffer. It’s time for him to rejoin the world, and Helen and her children are just the elixir he needs.
Not only do Helen and Alistair bring out the best (eventually) in one another, they also have such a heart-stopping connection. There were butterflies galore whenever they shared the page. Of course, there is the underlying secret Helen is keeping from Alistair. A secret that is understandable in this case. While he reacts badly to the reveal, at the same time the children are put in danger. Alistair springs into action while also realizing he overreacted to Helen keeping things from him.
It was such a pleasure to watch this couple work through their issues and learn to trust and love. Alistair was wonderful with the children without even trying. He just inherently seemed to know how to talk to them, even if he was unsure of himself. His relationship with the children was just as beautiful as his relationship with Helen.
As much as I love the stories this author tells, I also love her fairytales that lead into the different chapters. Her story within the story. They are always just as engaging as the main story being told. What a great talent she has for foreshadowing.