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To Beguile a Beast To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth HoytWhen I first read Elizabeth Hoyt s debut novel, The Raven Prince, I was amazed The last time I read a debut novel and thought, Holy Mother, here s a new author I am already addicted to, was the book Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan If you haven t read it, I highly recommend it The Raven Prince had a preposterous premise for the book, but nevertheless, Hoyt s writing is so fabulous that I truly didn t care I absolutely fell in love with her hero and I use To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth HoytWhen I first read Elizabeth Hoyt s debut novel, The Raven Prince, I was amazed The last time I read a debut novel and thought, Holy Mother, here s a new author I am already addicted to, was the book Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan If you haven t read it, I highly recommend it The Raven Prince had a preposterous premise for the book, but nevertheless, Hoyt s writing is so fabulous that I truly didn t care I absolutely fell in love with her hero and I use that term very loosely, because Hoyt s heroes are flawed men, warts and all The hero of To Beguile A Beast is no exception Sir Alistair Munroe is horribly disfigured from an extremely traumatic wartime incident He is cranky, blunt, irritable, and rude I love him And luckily for him, eventually beautiful Helen Fitzwilliam does, too Hoyt s sex scenes are among the best written by a historical romance authorvery earthy, lusty, and real No flowery prose or formalities here You get a very real sense of the characters physical attraction, and that is not so common in historical romance The underlying message about physical beauty is a theme I really likeHelen was chosen as a mistress by an arrogant duke because of her beauty, but it means nothing to her since he treats her as a possession Alistair is so disfigured that small children scream in horror when they see him And yet Helen and her children learn to love the man he is insidefilled with honor, integrity, and intellectual curiosity There is nothing I like better than the redemption of a broken man through the love of a good woman Sydnam in Balogh s Simply Love, Zsadist in JR Ward s Lover Awakened, Zarek in Kenyon s Dance With The Devil Watching the transformation of Alistair s crumbling castle and ruined life, into a home filled with love, and a future filled with hope, is a wonderful journey for the reader I absolutely adored this book, and I know that it will be re read many times in the future Thank you Elizabeth Hoyt for creating another masterpiece for romance lovers everywhere Grade A Penelope I picked up this book because Elizabeth Hoyt is a prolific writer that I have never read and decided to try In reading the synopsis I thought the book would be about a lady running from danger, taking a job far below her as a housekeeper to keep herself safe What I found in reading was a woman who had spent her life as a wealthy man s mistress, living a pampered life while bearing two illegitimate children When he loses interest in her, she decides to run away with the children, changeher c I picked up this book because Elizabeth Hoyt is a prolific writer that I have never read and decided to try In reading the synopsis I thought the book would be about a lady running from danger, taking a job far below her as a housekeeper to keep herself safe What I found in reading was a woman who had spent her life as a wealthy man s mistress, living a pampered life while bearing two illegitimate children When he loses interest in her, she decides to run away with the children, changeher courtesan lifestyle and start a new life She takes a job as a housekeeper at a castle in Scotland and very soon after falls into bed with her boss, starting another torrid affair Hmmm I m supposed to believe she s changing She claims to love her children so very much but the repercussions of her lifestyle doesn t affect them Character integrity, even when one has made mistakes, is important, especially when it is CLAIMED I understand from the overall ratings that many people loved this book but I was totally disgusted It didn t work on many, many levels 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 fa ade, 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 The Beauty and the Beast theme always captivates me I think the only one I likeis a Cinderella story But there s so much to be said for a strong man who lives a tragic life until something beautiful comes along to make him live again I think the metaphor is evenimportant than the ugly pretty trope You shouldn t live only for aesthetic beauty There is so muchto a person than their looks And Alistair learns that just because Helen is beautiful doesn t mean that she cares th The Beauty and the Beast theme always captivates me I think the only one I likeis a Cinderella story But there s so much to be said for a strong man who lives a tragic life until something beautiful comes along to make him live again I think the metaphor is evenimportant than the ugly pretty trope You shouldn t live only for aesthetic beauty There is so muchto a person than their looks And Alistair learns that just because Helen is beautiful doesn t mean that she cares that he is scarredvice versa, just because Alistair is a horribly scarred recluse doesn t mean he is ugly They both deal with prejudices in the end And this book really pushes the scars into the background until they are just a part of how the reader sees him, not a part of who he is MY SYNOPSIS Alistair is the man who went to the Colonies on a mission for the kingnot as a military man, but as a peaceful naturalist, sent to discover all he can about the fauna and flora of America In a twist of irony, he is also the man that the Native Americans were the most violent with, cutting off fingers, burning his face, and gouging out an eye He was rescued, of course, but upon his return to England, he locked himself away in his castle, continuing a solitary mission of cataloging plants and animals for the King A few trips into town in which his face casued children to scream and ladies to faint was enough to convince him that his dog was the only being in the world that he wanted around.Helen has been the mistress of the Duke of Lister We met her To Seduce a Sinner, while Melisande was walking in the park Helen is a quiet, gentle woman, shunned by society for her status as a mistress She was a tenderhearted seventeen year old daughter of a country doctor when the Duke swept her off her feet Now, she is somewhat jaded, approaching her third decade, and has not one, but two children to love, cherish, and keep safe That s why Helen has decided to get away from the Duke, and when this book opens, she is on her way to the reclusive Alistair Monroe s house on the advice of Melisande, a short acquaintance but true friend.When the trio of bedraggled and homeless arrive on a dark and stormy night on Alistair s doorstep, he tries to turn them away, but Helen is steadfast and desperate, and somehow wheedles her way into his house as his new housekeeper The attraction between these two isanimalistic than romantic, and builds fairly slowly But there is muchgoing on than simple attraction, for the Duke of Lister sees his woman and children as propertyand no one leaves without his permission In the wild, open spaces of Scotland, this tiny family wheedles their way in to Alistair s hearta young boy with a zest for life and everything in it, a young girl who is not only quiet and shy, but in need of some strong affection and acceptance, and a beautiful but proud fallen woman with empathy and courage in her eyes MY THOUGHTS I really connected with Helen in this story, and that was unexpected for me I assumed that after all of my adventures in Historical Romance, the Mistresses of the powerful men of London were beneath my notice, and always the nuisance and point of jealousy for my heroines But I actually felt for Helen She is a woman who made a mistake as a young girlseventeen years old an thinks she s in love She runs away from her family who promptly disown her and begins to live a life that is no longer her own But in this day and age, after she made that choice, there was little that she could do about her situation She was forever an object of lust for men and of scorn for women But Sir Alistair s gaze was different Those other men had looked at her with lust or speculation or crass curiosity, but they hadn t been looking at her really They d been looking at what she represented to them physical love or a valuable prize or an object to be gawked at When Sir Alistair stared at her, well, he was looking at her For those who follow my reviews, you ll know that I tend to love stories with kids This particular book was so well done in regard to the little boy and girl Abigail, in particular, played a large part in the story with Alistair She simply stole his heart She also has a few scenes in which we get her POV, so that was great.There is one part of the story that kept this from being a five star read for me, and that involves some disrespect that Alistair showed Helen regarding her previous life as Lister s mistress The word whore shouldn t be something that the hero gets to call his love interest, but especially not without some repercussionan most definitely not without some mother loving groveling I wanted some groveling NO star for you Despite that grump, the rest of the story was wonderful They are secluded for the most part from the outside world, so the focus is really on just those involved in the story, and we get to see each character change is some big ways and some small ways So far, each book in this series has been fantastic, but I ve come to expect no less from Elizabeth Hoyt Lovers of Beauty and the Beast tale, will certainly love this exceptional romance Helen, former mistress of the Duke of Listair, has decided to leave her long time protector taking their children away with her But knowing how reluctant the duke is at being deprived of things he believes he owns even if he doesn t care for them, she has to hide as far away from him as she can Which brings her to Sir Alistair s remote castle in Scotland Sir Alistair is a naturalist He is also one of the sur Lovers of Beauty and the Beast tale, will certainly love this exceptional romance Helen, former mistress of the Duke of Listair, has decided to leave her long time protector taking their children away with her But knowing how reluctant the duke is at being deprived of things he believes he owns even if he doesn t care for them, she has to hide as far away from him as she can Which brings her to Sir Alistair s remote castle in Scotland Sir Alistair is a naturalist He is also one of the survivors of the Spinner s Falls massacre However, though he may have managed to survive, he stills has the signs on his face to remind him of it his eye is missing, and one side of his face is badly scarred Living as a recluse in his old castle, the least he feels he needs is an extremely beautiful housekeeper with two yound children But Helen is determined to stay, bring back the old castle to life and tame its beastly lord The longer she stays in the castle however, theshe realizes that behind Alistair s gruff facade hides a sensitive, tender man a man worth fighting for She not only becomes accustomed to his scarred face, but starts to feel attracted to him his strong body, his quick mind, his brave demeanor Alistair, can t believe that a beautiful woman as Helen would want to spend her life with him He s not however going to throw away this rare gift and enjoy her for as much as she wants him He s going to deal with her leaving him when the time comes Of course Listair is closer than Helen imagined and soon they have to fight for the children Alistair also tries to find the man who betrayed them in Spinner s Falls, but this story is left muchin the background than in the previous books A most heartwarming story between two good, decent people who have had a most difficult past I m not usually fond of courtesan heroines, but in this case, I couldn t have cared less Helen, as it turns out, has been Listair s mistress since she became an adult he was her one and only lover all those years I could easily get past this and come to care for her She was a strong woman who made some mistakes in her past, but had the determination to put it behind her and fight for a better future for her and her children Alistair was a good, solid man, realistically vulnerable when it came to his relations with women and it was past time he found his HEA I rooted for both of them and both feared and anticipated the time their story would come to an end This one goes straight to my keepers shelf Yet another heart wrenching tale of a tortured literally hero that had me wavering between tears and smiles Elizabeth Hoyt s latest Four Soldiers tale, To Beguile a Beast , was one of thetouching and VERY romantic stories I ve read this year My emotions are still careening about but as long as I remember the ending I can still smile.Helen has finally made her escape from the cold and arrogant Duke of Lister After he seduced her as a young girl and she bore him two children, she fin Yet another heart wrenching tale of a tortured literally hero that had me wavering between tears and smiles Elizabeth Hoyt s latest Four Soldiers tale, To Beguile a Beast , was one of thetouching and VERY romantic stories I ve read this year My emotions are still careening about but as long as I remember the ending I can still smile.Helen has finally made her escape from the cold and arrogant Duke of Lister After he seduced her as a young girl and she bore him two children, she finally realized that he cared for none of themthan any other object he owned Her flight has led her to the home of Sir Alistair Munroe to be his housekeeper and never mind that he doesn t particularly WANT a housekeeper and as this deserted castle in the wilds of Scotland is a perfect place to hide, she has no intention of leavingno matter how frightening or scarred or unpleasant Sir Munroe is Alistair is sure this beautiful woman has appeared at his remote home with her children just to tempt him He s well aware of just how frightening his countenance iswomen and children scream at his appearance so he s managed to become content living alone in his castle But somehow, Helen just won t leave And before long, Alistair s home is cleaner, he s come to care for the children and Helenis his Helen of Troy But what will he do when he learns the truth of Helen s background And when the Duke of Lister appears Why do I always seem to find the crying books at the same time I swear between this one and Jennifer Ashley s latest, my eyes may never be the same But oh, how wonderfully romantic these stories are The Four Soldiers series by Hoyt is extra entertaining as each book contains a story within a story Along with the main romance, each book tells a fairy tale of a soldier returning from war who finds his love in an unusual way In To Beguile a Beast the fairy tale concerns a man who can t lie and an ensorcelled princess trapped in the body of a beast The fairy tale is told in short snippets at the beginning of each chapter and generally shadows the action in the main romance.Hoyt does a great job of combining passion and love and the sexual tension between the hero and heroine is hot, hot, hot Their relationship unfolds gradually through small steps of trust and caring actions There s also a running story of soldiers betrayed by a spy and this is how the heroes in the main romances were scarred, either mentally or physically or both, in different ways The true romance is how the heroines come to love and trust our heroes in spite of, and perhaps because of, these scars.A truly feel good romance with enough steam to heat your windows I enjoyed every page of To Beguile a Beast and can hardly wait for To Desire a Devil which is scheduled for release in Nov09 The third book in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series by Elizabeth Hoyt My favorite of the series so far but I ve really enjoyed them all immensely Just oneto go This one has a beauty and the beast theme Alistair, the hero, is not a macho alpha type He s a scarred recluse devoting his life to research and studies Then a lovely woman, Helen, barges into his life to be his housekeeper This is no light fluffy romance which I do love but a heart wrenching and touching romance betwe The third book in the Legend of the Four Soldiers series by Elizabeth Hoyt My favorite of the series so far but I ve really enjoyed them all immensely Just oneto go This one has a beauty and the beast theme Alistair, the hero, is not a macho alpha type He s a scarred recluse devoting his life to research and studies Then a lovely woman, Helen, barges into his life to be his housekeeper This is no light fluffy romance which I do love but a heart wrenching and touching romance between two lost souls who deserve to be loved She leaned forward, her gaze so intense that Helen wanted to look away And I love himfor it Do you hear me He was a good man when he went away to the Colonies He came back an extraordinary man So many think that bravery is a single act of valor in a field of battle no forethought, no contemplation of the consequences An act over in a second or a minute or two at most What my brother has done, is doing now, is to live with his burden for years He knows that he will spend the rest of his life with it And he soldiers on She sat back in her chair, her gaze still locked with Helen s That to my mind is what real bravery is I loved it, it hooked me in and didn t let go until the very last page Although, I was a little disappointed it didn t focus a littleon the traitor like the other books and Alistair trauma with living with his scars, it did show him moving on and accepting himself and Helen. To Beguile a Beast takes a tried and true romance theme and does it justice In this case, the Beauty is the fugitive mistress of a powerful duke, who takes her children to start a new life, not as a kept woman, but as a legitimate housekeeper The Beast is a naturalist who was tortured by Indians in the colonies, as the result of an ambush against British soldiers The writing flows and compels The romance not only involves Helen and Alistair, but also the bond that develops between Alistair a To Beguile a Beast takes a tried and true romance theme and does it justice In this case, the Beauty is the fugitive mistress of a powerful duke, who takes her children to start a new life, not as a kept woman, but as a legitimate housekeeper The Beast is a naturalist who was tortured by Indians in the colonies, as the result of an ambush against British soldiers The writing flows and compels The romance not only involves Helen and Alistair, but also the bond that develops between Alistair and Helen s troubled children, Jamie and Abigail I guess I am just getting older, but lately I really appreciate the idea of a hero or heroine who has children meeting someone who embraces those kids and makes them part of their life in all ways, founding their own parental bond In this case, I loved how this relationship develops between Alistair and the children I felt bad for them that their father wasn t really a dad to them at all He didn t even talk to them or acknowledge them, although they didn t lack materially They were just possessions to him Whereas Alistair does spend time with the kids and genuinely cares about them.As much as I liked this book, I didn t love it as much as The Raven Prince I think the subject matter might have been a bitdicey for me I don t really like the idea that Helen willingly committed adultery with a married man I understand her actions were those of a young, starstruck girl woman, and she fully accepted the accountability for those actions I didn t judge her for her actions, I just felt disappointed for the choices she made, but probably nowhere as near as she did She threw away a lot for a man that wasn t worthy of her love, and paid the price for it The one good thing that came out of it was her children, and she decides to make tomorrow a different and better day for herself and her children, which definitely shows character in a person From a creativity standpoint, it makes sense to have a story for once about the other woman , but my deep seated issues with infidelity give me a bit of heartburn about that I m never going to take that subject likely, so I do always feel a twinge when I read a book and the characters go down that road, past or present Conversely, I didn t like that Alistair gave Helen such a hard time about her past when he finds out I mean, he really rubs it in her face Considering that his past is hardly lily white a man who admittedly has slept with prostitutes another ick factor for me , it was sort of like kicking a puppy I know part of his issues were jealousy because he will never be a duke or have the powerful, accepted status in society as a duke And also, his issues with his disfigurement For all my disappointment with him, I did love how he rallies around Helen in her time of need and works to ensure the safety of her children from their father.The other issue I had was I guess I expected the duke to be a bitsinister I was waiting for other shoe to fall, and when it does, it s a bit of a thunk instead of a bang Helen seemed very afraid of the duke, and when he appears, he doesn t have even a smidge of the presence that Alistair has Stylistically, I would have liked a littleGothic flavor here The book sort of begs for it, really I suppose it s just my melodramatic drama hound nature I just felt like I wanted something deeper,intense in this novel Maybeangst and flair than it had Having said that, I do like the crafty way that Alistair deals with the situation I love a hero who has as much or evenbrains than brawn and uses them to solve a tricky problem.Despite my misgivings, I found this to be a pleasant, highly enjoyable read The powerful passion between Helen and Alistair made for good reading, along with the relationship between Alistair and the kids As before, Hoyt sets an authentic historical tone that really works for this reader The story of the beast finding love with the beauty will always be timeless and beloved to this die hard fairy tale lover, and Elizabeth Hoyt gives it a different spin and gives it justice overall Things were going on perfectly until Alistair called the heroine a whore after learning about her past I m sorry, but my heart just broke at that point That was just so disrespectful and nothing in the world could make me forgive him for such cruelty Hello Helen had lain with ONE MAN A MAN THAT SHE LOVED I think that hardly qualifies as whoring God How could you be so cruel, Alistair Isaac from The Ice Princess handled the situation better and gave Coral her due respect FUCK YO Things were going on perfectly until Alistair called the heroine a whore after learning about her past I m sorry, but my heart just broke at that point That was just so disrespectful and nothing in the world could make me forgive him for such cruelty Hello Helen had lain with ONE MAN A MAN THAT SHE LOVED I think that hardly qualifies as whoring God How could you be so cruel, Alistair Isaac from The Ice Princess handled the situation better and gave Coral her due respect FUCK YOU AND YOUR HYPOCRISY, ALISTAIR YOU RE RIGHT YOU DONT DESERVE HELEN Can t you see that the poor girl has suffered enough UGH


About the Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long suffering husband.


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