To Desire a Devil (Legend of the Four Soldiers #4)
By: Elizabeth Hoyt
Published date: October 14, 2009
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
How hot is it: Pretty hot.
Hero: Reynaud St. Aubyn, Earl of Blanchard
Heroine: Miss Beatrice Corning
So I wasn’t kidding, I went straight to another Elizabeth Hoyt to finish off this series. I actually read the first book too, but couldn’t wait to write about this one. This is the final installment in this series, and as always, you always hope it will be the best. And this one was good.
These books follow four soldiers who return home from the French and Indian War damaged in some way. Reynaud was a slave to a tribe of Native Americans for seven years. He fights his way back to England with only the clothes on his back, only to find out that his home is no longer his home. A total bummer for sure. He’s feverish, starving, and desperate so Beatrice persuades the new Earl, her uncle, to let Reynaud stay in their townhouse until it’s established that Reynaud is the true heir and Earl.
As could be expected, Reynaud has some major PTSD and at times forgets he’s not in the war anymore, which in itself seems strange since he’d been held captive for seven years longer than he’s been in the military, but that’s just not that much of a deal. In any case, this leads the current Earl to believe he can make a case for Reynaud being mad so he can keep the earldom for himself. The rest of the book is a kind of half-hearted fight to make sure Reynaud gets his title back. There are some murder attempts, lazy attempts to make him look mad in crowded place, but these peter out by the middle.
The rest of the story more or less revolves around finally figuring out who the traitor in the regiment was, which was the mystery the men were trying to solve through this entire series. It was a relief, but not exactly a big surprise who it was. Then of course, Beatrice is captured by the traitor and Reynaud has to find her, and you get the idea.
I have to admit that maybe my expectations were too high, and while the book was great, I wanted more passion I think. It just seemed like the romance between them happened extremely quickly and inorganically and that Beatrice, while very nice, could have been anyone. Reynaud is intriguing and vulnerable and fierce, so he made the read interesting, and I think it would be a difficult character to write so I admire the complexity with which he was drawn. I’ll definitely be reading more Elizabeth Hoyt (just FYI, I’ve written Holt first every time I tried to write Hoyt in this post, excluding that time right there) in the future. Her novels are rich, suspenseful, and satisfying. What more does one need from a romance?