To Beguile a Beast
Helen Fitzwilliam takes her children and escapes from London. With the help of Lady Vale she goes to Scotland. She is going to be the housekeeper at the castle for Sir Alastair Munroe. But she wasn't warned of the extent that Sir Alastair needed someone at his castle. His face was disfigured when he was studying the flora and fauna in the new world of America. He had accompanied a military troop that had been captured by Indians. (His back history comes later in this book, but was described in the previous book of the series, To Seduce a Sinner.) One side of his face was unaffected and is still attractive. But the other side has been known to make children scream.
His castle is just what she needs. She wants something far from London and remote, hard to locate by a man with a lot of power behind him. Sir Alastair tries to send her away because he wants to wallow in his solitude. He has one man who "does" for him but nothing else. Helen is lucky to find something for her, Abigail, and Jamie to eat the night they arrive. Although she has lived the life of a lady for around 15 years, she teaches herself to adjust to their new situation. She also is determined to bring the castle back to a livable condition.
Helen soon realizes there is more to Alastair than his unwelcoming facade. She grows attracted to the man behind a face of scars she soon no longer sees. Here is a man who treats her children like people, not as objects he owns. Here's a man who works to overcome or ignore his disabilities, such as missing fingers, to continue the work he loves. Her own past secrets keep her wary. He is also wary, knowing how he looks. Can two people like this ever come together?
This is a romance - of course they can get together, and eventually do (whoops - gave away the ending, but what else do you expect from the romance genre?). Elizabeth Hoyt gives them a past that makes both Helen and Alastair interesting, flawed, hurting people. The story line is predictable yet the reader enjoys the route used to get to the end.
This novel is also part of Hoyt's Four Soldiers series. At the beginning of each chapter is the continuing short story of a soldier who always tells the truth. He takes the job of guarding a beast in a cage. But one night the cage owner is late and the soldier sees the beast turn into a beautiful woman. He has to learn more.
Between the soldier's story and Helen and Alastair's story, To Beguile a Beast is a romance to pull in the readers of this genre. For the first time in her life Helen stands on her own and is determined to make it - the strong woman expected in romances these days. Hoyt does it well.
Notice: Explicit sexual content
|The Four Soldiers Series:||
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