To Beguile a Beast - Elizabeth Hoyt 4-4.5 stars. Great "Beauty and the Beast"-themed historical romance with interesting, flawed characters and a very clever resolution to the suspense element. Really, this story was very well done, and the sexytimes were smokin' hot. As always, I loved Elizabeth Hoyt's trademark fairy tale story that unfolded over the course of the book in the chapter introductions. This book is my favorite of the Four Soldiers series thus far.

A couple of quibbles kept me from giving it five stars, but that may very well change upon later reflection in the same way I gave Hoyt's The Raven Prince five stars a few weeks after rating it a 4.5. When Helen told Alistair she loved him but couldn't live with him like that and he said nothing in response, that crushed me. He let her leave - just like that. I don't think the reason was fleshed out clearly enough for why he didn't think he could - or why he didn't want to - make a commitment to her. I also cringed when, in relation to Helen's being the duke's mistress, Alistair used the phrase "whoring yourself out" (or a variation of it) a few times. I just found it so offensive. While I'm aware her "fallen woman" status probably came as a shock, it just struck me as strange when he and Helen had already been intimate more than once at that point. I mean, would she not already be a teensy bit beyond the pale for sleeping with Alistair? I know he was trying to draw a distinction between being paid as a companion versus not, but I just came off wrong and offensive in my eyes. Otherwise, a fine read with great characters, from the main couple to the children to the villainous type.