Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recent Read

To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

Why this one: I've really enjoyed all her previous books including the books by her alter ego Julia Harper so it was a given that I would read this one

Steam Level: Yepper - this is a hot one

Author Website Blurb:


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.


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.


Beneath Helen's beautiful fa├žade, 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.

My Thoughts: Hmmmmm. This is the first historical I've read since another historical I read and I think maybe I should have read a few other genres in between to 'cleanse the pallet' so to speak. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book but it didn't come close moving me the way the other book did. Alister just didn't have the depth that Ian did and I didn't like Helen nearly as much as I liked Beth. I think if I hadn't read them so close together (I just finished a reread of the other book last week, To Beguile a Beast would have fared better.

I love a good Beauty and the Beast story and this one is good as that. Alister is gruff and grouchy teddy bear who is hiding away from society due to his scars. At first the last thing he wants around is a beautiful housekeeper, but ever so slowly he lets Helen and her children into his life and opens up to a less lonely and solitary life. There is a wonderful scene where he goes around waking everyone in the castle up early so he can take them all fishing.

Helen is a bit more problematic for me. She has lived the life of the mistress of the powerful Duke of Lester. Despite this interesting premise, I found her a bit bland. She didn't have the courage of another historical heroine I loved.

I wasn't all that impressed with the POV of Abigail her nine year old daughter either. I sound bitchy and heartless I'm sure, but I don't really care what a nine year old thinks and feels in a romance. I didn't think her POV really added anything to the story.

I feel bad because I'm sounding harsher than I usually do and this book doesn't really deserve my harshness. It's a good entry into the series and after reading the excerpt for the final book in this series, I'm really looking forward to this.

All in all, I recommend this book, but if you've read and been blown totally away by another recently published historical, I'd advise letting more time and more books lapse between that one and To Beguile a Beast. Then this one might not suffer as much next to it.

Grade: 4 out of 5


My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Kristie!

Beguile the Beast sounds good, even if it had some weak points. I'm going to try it.

Dottie :)

Phyl said...

Hey Kristie,

Have you read the other Hoyt books? I have to say that this is the first one I would give less than an A to. I liked it, but I didn't love it the way I did her previous books. I honestly don't think I'm comparing TBaB to Ian and Beth--I just think it was....well, average. Not that average is bad. But I will admit to a certain level of anticipation when it comes to Hoyt.

Kristie (J) said...

Phyl: I have read all her books and this one didn't wow me like say The Raven Prince of The Serpent Prince. I can't really tell if it's because I'm still basking in the afterglow of Ian and Beth or whether this one is just lacking a bit.

Dottie: I say go for it. Others have enjoyed it more than I. But! *wicked grin* have you read Lord Ian yet? 'Cause now I'm curious as to how other people with compare the two of them.

Brie said...

I gave this one a B for many reasons. It was good, but I didn't connect with the story the way I would have liked. Still, for me, TBAB has been the best in this series, and I was going to give up on the series all together before reading it. So I guess it had it's good points.

Stacy~ said...

I haven't read this one yet but I intend to. The first one is my favorite so far, but that's how it went with the Prince trilogy too.

It's funny how our mood or a previous book can affect the way we think with the next one. I know it's hard to like anything after reading an unforgettable story, yet it might be a totally different experience if the previous read wasn't so memorable. You just never know.

Lea said...

Hey Kristie!

Thank you for another concise review! I've heard so many great things about this author.

However I ::cough:: have ::cough:: another ::cough and sputter:: historical sitting here waiting to be read.

I know, I'm pathetic, my wing is broken. :(


orannia said...

Thank you Kristie! I haven't read the second book in the series yet - yes, I am way behind on my TBR list, and recent releases are languishing...including a particular historical romanace (no, Lord Ian hasn't made it to these shores yet :)

Lea...are you going to be reading what I think you're going to be reading? If so, have you signed up for the challenge?

It's funny how our mood or a previous book can affect the way we think with the next one.Definitely! There are some books I finish that put them through the wringer. Anything straight afterwards pales unfortunately :(

Barbara said...

Hey, Kristie! I haven't read this one yet. I skimmed your review only because I'm hoping to read this book soon.

I think Hoyt is a phenominal writer, although I do agree when you say after reading a blow your mind great story it can affect how we perceive the next. Even if the next is really good.

Hilcia said...

LOL, KristieJ, it's tough to read anything after you read a GREAT one. I have Ian's on my TBR pile, so I'm glad I read this one first. I enjoyed TBAB more than you did, but not as much as her Prince series.