To Desire a Devil (Legend of the Four Soldiers) – book review

To Desire a Devil
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: November 1, 2009
Publisher: Forever
Book #4 in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series
Number of Pages:  385
Historical Romance
Ages 15 and up
CW: PTSD, torture, war/violence
Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl’s heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?

Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle’s home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh-and luring her into his bed.

Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud’s savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice’s love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title-even if it means sacrificing her innocence?

While this story doesn’t seem to live up to the rest of the series for a lot of readers, I loved this book. Throughout the previous three books, I couldn’t figure out how Reynaud would come back to life, so to speak. I found the author’s choices to be believable while remaining interesting. I didn’t want to put this one down, anxious to see how things would play out in the end.

One of the things that stood out to me is how Reynaud seemed to hate and admire his native captures at the same time. He hated them for different reasons. Of course, the original person who took him away from the rest of his group once they were taken hostage was a terrible person. But others in the tribe that took him in as a prisoner did eventually seem to respect him. They didn’t trust him to stay with them and continue to help them as they needed him to, but they also weren’t terrible to him. That doesn’t negate the fact that they were keeping him from his previous life which he very much wanted to return to. Ms. Hoyt did a beautiful job of that thin line Reynaud traversed for years.

Beatrice and Reynaud are amazing together. She has dreamed about him, thinking him dead and someone she wouldn’t ever actually meet, for years. That doesn’t stop her from taking a firm stance with him. She doesn’t let him push her around. Reynaud can be quite stubborn about his title and his home, yet I couldn’t find it in myself to hold that against him. Beatrice also understood his position but seeing as his claims would uproot her and her uncle and put them in a bad position she wanted everyone to just get along. Way easier said than done.

There is a substory going on with Beatrice’s best friend and her husband that just broke my heart at times. Don’t worry, that also has an HEA. I thoroughly enjoyed their tale and it fit in with what was going on with Reynaud, Beatrice’s uncle, and all the political aspects of this book.

I have loved every book in this 4-book series. I’m moving on to one of her longer series and I am trying to keep my expectations in check.

5 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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