Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Review of To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
When 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 author...very 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 like...Helen 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 inside...filled with honor, integrity, and intellectual curiosity. As my faithful readers know, 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+
Wishing Alistair Munroe was my next door neighbor,