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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
At nineteen, Beatrice Corning fell in love. With a portrait. Of a dead man. Now five years on, Reynaud St. Aubyn is back from the dead, ready to reclaim his life and rightful place as the Earl of Blanchard. Who currently, and unfortunately, is Beatrice's uncle.

Seven years of captivity have changed Reynaud from the mischievous young man in the painting. Now he's ruthless and determined to take everything the usurping earl possesses. Including his forthright, enchanting niece.

But fights for the title and rumours of madness are just a fraction of the troubles Reynaud faces. Attempts on his life, dark memories and the presence of a traitor soon threaten everything. And even if he does win back all that was stolen, how much will it mean if loses the precious new things he has found?

The Legend of the Four Soldiers (To Taste Temptation,To Seduce a Sinner,To Beguile a Beast) series comes to an end in fitting style. The spectre that has hung over the other novels, Reynaud St. Aubyn, is resurrected and the previous heroes are reunited for one purpose: to discover who betrayed them at Spinner's Falls.

Reynaud is suitably intense after his experiences, with a savage need to be in control. His single-mindedness is only ever softened in Beatrice's presence, as she draws his experiences from him. Yet even with her he is ruthless and possessive, while Beatrice herself wavers between angelic, practical and terribly romantic.

With Reynaud's return and the battle for the title, not to mention the ongoing mystery of the traitor - and return of old characters - there is a lot going on here. As such, I did feel that the main relationship suffered and became at times superficial. Reynaud and Beatrice happen to both be there, so of course they fall into bed, marriage, love. The steps towards love are all there, and they have all the right conversations, but something is lacking. It feels rushed, and missing Hoyt's usual deft touch for passion, empathy and inevitability.

However, despite something missing at the beginning - and perhaps in the middle - by the end it does work, and the action carries everything towards the rightful end. Not my favourite Hoyt novel, but a solid conclusion to an excellent series, complete with another charming fairytale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2014
Wonderfully written series, strong plots, lots of love and hot passion. This is book four and it is just as brilliant as the previous books.

As with the previous books this story has characters of great strength and purpose.
Both major and minor people were so well written that you felt part of the story, involved in the excitement and waiting in anticipation for the traitor to be caught.
The hero and heroine were perfect for each other and the interaction between them believable. Lord Vane was as funny as ever, Reynaud broken but not beaten, misunderstood at times,he remains true to his word and Beatrice, though innocent, wise for her years, she seems to understand her husband's needs and is loyal to him.
Loved them all, really enjoyed the reintroduction of previous characters and getting an update on them.

Lots to recommend this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 October 2014
I've enjoyed the Legend of the Four Soldiers' series, having read them a couple of years ago and now re-reading all of them and posting reviews this time around. These books are: To Taste Temptation: Number 1 in series (Legend of the Four Soldiers),To Seduce A Sinner: Number 2 in series (Legend of the Four Soldiers),To Beguile A Beast: Number 3 in series (Legend of the Four Soldiers) and last - this book, To Desire A Devil: Number 4 in series (Legend of the Four Soldiers). I've enjoyed the stories tremendously and do have my favorites, but I must admit that Reynaud St. Aubyn stands out for several reasons. He was the one of the four that was presumed dead after the horrendous "Spinner Falls" incident in America and believed to have been crucified and burned at the stake.

Not so - he was captured and enslaved for 7 long years suffering some hellish experiences. Drive and determination got him back to England to reclaim his title, his possessions and everything that was rightfully his by birth. However, he didn't count on the lovely young woman, Beatrice Corning upending his life. When he arrives home to find his elderly cousin, Reggie, in possession of his title, he is sick, feverish and not only appears to be a savage, one could safely say, he actually is part savage. In addition to being supplanted by Reggie - Beatrice, Reggie's niece, now lives in Reynaud's home and serves as her Uncle Reggie's hostess.

Beatrice has often studied Reynaud's portrait since she first came to live at the Blanchard townhouse at the age of 19 - staring at his face, fascinated at the half-french young man with the "laughing eyes, slightly crinkled, full of mischief and humor." In truth, she's fallen a little in love with the man in the portrait. When Reynaud manages to finally make his way home, a tea party is taking place - he staggers into the house, feverish, speaking French and collapses in a heap. Beatrice is the one and only person who immediately recognizes the half-savage Reynaud St. Aubyn and it's soon very apparent the Earl of Blanchard did not die seven years ago - no, he's very much alive and some things are fixing to change.

As soon as Reynaud begins to recover and throughout the remainder of the storyline, he is determined get back everything that belongs to him. Although he had not previously met Beatrice, it doesn't take him long to decide that she's another one of the things he also wants and he will have her. In fact, his mind and soul say, "Mine" once he becomes acquainted with Beatrice. I love this part - the almost savage, wild instinctive ability to recognize his woman and the determination to have her. Beatrice is more than willing to be his, but she will not go quietly into this relationship with a man who doesn't seem to have "love" as a priority - only a demanding demeanor that constantly puts forth the posture that nothing will stand in his way to get everything that is his.

I must confess to being a sucker for the half-savage St. Aubyn and found his determination refreshing in some ways. He never wavered, he didn't dilly dally and he wasn't back in civilization to make anyone comfortable - including the friends who left him behind even as they returned to England and managed to move on with their lives. He doesn't cut anyone slack, he's serious about his business and one of the items on his list of things to do is To. Make. Beatrice. His.

In the midst of the personal agenda, there is the re-occurring theme running through all these books. Exactly who was the individual who betrayed the four soldiers and their comrades, resulting in the "Spinner Falls" incident? The incident where lives were lost, one was enslaved, some suffered horrendous tortures, one was made to watch as his comrades were cut, burned and disfigured - yep, first and foremost in the hearts and minds of these four soldiers is - Who. Betrayed. Us? and When. We. Find. Them. They. Will. Pay!

Elizabeth Hoyt is a gifted writer and she absolutely brings it in this series of books. Forewarning: There are three (if memory serves) steamy romance scenes for those who don't care for such, but it's possible to skim over those, if the reader should find them offensive. However, the basic storyline is full of relational satisfaction, comradeship, loyalty and enjoyment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2013
I have loved the Four Soldiers series especially Munroe's story, loved him. But I was not as impressed with this story. I know Reynaud suffered terribly but he was such a bully to Beatrice that I found myself really disliking him. And Beatrice was such a wimp I wanted to shake some spirit into her, thank God for her corsets it was the only thing keeping her upright. Disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2014
I really wanted to like this book as I have enjoyed the others in the series. Unfortunately it just felt too rushed and there was no development of the characters.. It just seemed like the author had got fed up.. Disappointing
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on 4 October 2015
I am new to Elizabeth Hoyt and started with The Legend of the Four Soldiers. What a superb series- it was evident that this was the work of a master story teller with the underlying theme of who was the traitor but each book was a wonderful story of survival and love. I loved each of the stories- I loved that these were interesting ,often flawed individuals who each found peace and redemption with a loving partner. The background period details were excellent .
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on 15 February 2015
A novel from a series of four books. I bought all four books because I'm a pushover for a good series just like many other people (as the writers know judging by the preponderance of sagas within this genre). This series is one of the better ones, is competently written, has the expected levels of romance and hot love scenes and is entertaining and undemanding. No regrets about spending the money.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This story is set in London, England, and begins in October, 1765. Everyone believed that Reynaud St. Aubyn died seven years ago when his regiment had been massacred in the Colonies due to a traitor. In truth, he had been held captive, enslaved by Indians. His time in the Colonies had changed him, warped him. So when Reynaud stormed into Blanchard House (wild, unkept, and bellowing in French), no one recognized his as the earl.

Miss Beatrice Corning lives in Blanchard House with her uncle. Uncle Reggie was given the title, Earl of Blanchard, when news of Reynaud's death had been received. It is Beatrice who notices the slight resemblance to the portrait of the young lord. The dashing gentleman in the portrait has long held her attention. Now that the man is here, Beatrice finds herself even more attracted. It appears that Reynaud is drawn to her as well. She is the only person able to see past his savagery to the noble man inside.

Reynaud is determined to reclaim his lands and title. Beatrice's uncle is just as determined to keep them. Beatrice is caught between her loyalty to Uncle Reggie and to the man she is falling in love with. This also puts her in the line of fire, because someone wants Reynaud dead.

***** FIVE STARS! This is the last book of the quartet. As usual, the best was saved for last. Throughout the story, there were times Beatrice would convince Reynaud to tell a little bit more about his years in captivity. I must admit that I found these conversations to be both fascinating and dreadful. This story mimics the ear's settings and events so realistically, that I often forgot that I live in the Twenty-First Century. It is this talent of creativity that has placed Elizabeth Hoyt on my Must Buy list. *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 25 June 2013
Love the whole series of this book fast delivery and a great author it has romance sex and love juts my kind of book
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on 23 April 2014
Very sad to reach the end of a fab mini series. Elizabeth Hoyt is such a great author of historical stories.
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