To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt is definitely one of my favorite adaptations of the Beauty & the Beast fairy tale.

Helen Carter (birth name)/Helen Fitzwilliam (mistress name)/Mrs. Helen Halifax (housekeeper name) has fled from her former lover/patron of fourteen years and father of her two children, Abigail and Jamie, and the life provided by him in London. At the suggestion of her friend, Lady Vale, Helen and the children move to Scotland in order for Helen to serve as the housekeeper for Sir Alistair Munroe, naturalist, author, and severely wounded survivor of his time as a prisoner in the Colonies.

Of course, Alistair doesn't want a housekeeper. And Helen has no choice other than to force her way into his home.

The children, Alistair's sister, and a couple of dogs provide nice side characters for the story.

What happens when the children are kidnapped to force Helen's return to London? What happens when Alistair learns the truth about his housekeeper? Can Helen get her children back, and can the four form a family in Scotland?

Contrasted with my previous review of Secrets of Surrender by Madeline Hunter, there is a certain similarity in the basic stories. I can only say that Hoyt crafted a compelling, sympathetic Helen, one I liked, and, from what I read, Hunter's Roselyn left me annoyed and completely disinterested in her fate.

This is the first book I've read by Hoyt, and I'm looking forward to reading her earlier works, including To Seduce a Sinner, the story of woman Lord and Lady Vale.

My personal overall rating of To Beguile a Beast is an A-.


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