by Elizabeth Hoyt

May 2009
ISBN: 978-0-446-40693-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Grand Central Publishing
Mass Market Paperback

Elizabeth Hoyt is back with another fantastic historical romance in To Beguile a Beast.

Helen Fitzwilliam is on the run with her two young children, Abigail and Jamie, far away from London and her life as a mistress to the powerful Duke of Lister. She arrives in Scotland with only a few bags and a letter addressed to Sir Alistair Munroe letting him know she is the new housekeeper. Unfortunately, things do not proceed smoothly.

Sir Alistair Munroe does not want or need a housekeeper so when he opens the door to find Helen and her children on his doorstep his immediate reaction is to send her away. That reaction is intensified when Abigail screams upon seeing his badly scarred face and missing eye. Alistair does not move about in society because of his deformities and he has no desire to be a monster in his own household. The problem is that Helen will not leave.

Helen has nowhere to turn so she is not going to let Alistair scare her away. She will learn how to be a housekeeper no matter how much dust is in his old castle. As Helen settles in, she starts to see past Alistair’s beastly façade to the brave and alluring man beneath the scars. He appeals to her and that scares her. After all, Helen just left a man; she has no desire to become another plaything for a man. But as Helen and Alistair circle each other in mutual desire, her past will make an appearance that will remind Helen that escape is impossible.

To Beguile a Beast is heart-wrenching and lovely. This tale of beauty and the beast comes with its own unique embellishments. Helen may have been a mistress but she is no plaything for a man. She just wants safety and security for her children, the most important part of her world. She has a good heart that sees Alistair for who he really is: caring, passionate, and a man worth all the love in her heart.

Alistair is a reclusive man who does not want to burden society with his scars and past betrayals. He just wants to be left alone. Helen knocks into his life leaving an impression he will never forget. He knows her stay can only be temporary; after all, everything he has ever truly desired has disappeared from his life. This hard featured man has a heart of solid love beating in his chest and it this man who slowly emerges throughout the course of the story.

To Beguile a Beast is enchanting, genuine, and one of Elizabeth Hoyt’s best books to date. Just as Helen cannot resist Alistair, readers will also feel that pull and will come to admire him. Theirs is a romance of imperfection, possibly the best kind of love story that can be told. Captivating and fabulous!

Reviewed in May 2009 by Sarah.

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